A media maven somewhere in between Whitley Gilbert, Maxine Shaw, and Sandra Clark. I tell stories like Nas and Terry McMillian on April Fool's Day. Follow me on IG @cococurator.
No matter what you do to a slinky, it will bounce right back to its original form. It stretches, it bends, it travels down stairs and can probably hit a clean milly rock on any block.
If you're not prepared to be this flexible or resilient in your pursuit of entrepreneurship, then maybe it isn't for you.
When we as entrepreneurs run into a wall, some easily break and never bounce back, abandoning business ideas and settling to "play it safe". However, success requires you to get out of your comfort zone.
Before you quit chasing your dream, give your journey in entrepreneurship an honest evaluation by answering these questions.
1. Am I In The Right Industry?
It is torture for me to watch people operate outside of their authentic selves. So many times I've seen women announce that they work in the beauty industry, but when they post pictures of their work… those pictures scream a thousand words – and beauty isn't one of them!
So my question to you is, are you doing something because it aligns with your talent and purpose? Or are you jumping on a bandwagon that you thought would take you places simply because it did for others?
I have several friends who are doing exceptionally well as hairstylists, photographers, fashion designers, and makeup artists. While I am a creative person, these jobs require a hands-on, artistic creativity that I am not qualified to charge customers for. Moral of the story? Don't go chasing waterfalls; stick to the rivers and the lakes that YOU are used to.
2. Have I Found A Solid Mentor?
Iron sharpens iron and if you want to excel in your craft, you've got to associate with people who are where you desire to be someday.
Even though friends and family mean well, they can't always pour into your vision. We live in the era of social media, so there's no excuse as to why you can't connect with a seasoned person in your field from the comfort of your home. Finding a mentor is easier than you think. Join Facebook groups that include professionals in your industry and search hashtags that are relevant to the type of people you want to commune with. It's the magic of social media!
3. Am I Overwhelmed?
Are you trying to plan a book launch, book speaking engagements, handle client invoices, diagnose website issues, design a flyer, and run your business at the same time?
You may be feeling burned out and suddenly not enthused from all the extra responsibility. Some folks can do all of these things effortlessly, but some of us (myself included) never will. That's okay because you can always outsource work to other entrepreneurs or employ interns. In addition to that, there are systems and apps to make your work life easier like Dubsado and Canva.
4. Am I Focused?
Sadly, sometimes the reason business doesn't pop the way we expect is because we're minding everyone's business except our own! When you work for yourself, there's no way to fake productivity.
You can't take 10 breaks a day, check text messages, and expect money to show up in your PayPal account. If you lack focus, you're probably lacking in finances – which means you have a hobby, not a business. To see the results you want in income, social media engagement, or event attendance, spend more time developing business and branding strategies. Friday nights will have to be sacrificed until you get things in order, but it will be all be worth it!
Originally published on CocoCurator.com.
Featured image by Getty Images
That special time of the year is coming when us girls feel sheer bliss and butterflies in our stomach. Yep, you guessed it! It's income tax season!
There's a lot a girl can do with her income tax return, like taking a trip to Dr. Miami or splurging on a new wardrobe, however, the smartest move is to make the money work for you by starting a business.
But what if your significant other wants to go half on a business?
I found myself in this predicament about five years ago when I met this guy. When I tell you we had big plans to be this super sexy and woke power couple, even I have to retrospectively laugh at myself! We talked about doing a lot of good Samaritan deeds for the community, but running an operation like Russell and Kimora Simmons in the 90s was of more interest to him.
His bright idea for creating generational wealth and rejuvenating our local economy was to buy a gang of basketball jerseys in bulk and sell them... Cue up the cricket sounds. Never mind the fact that we live in south Louisiana and everyone is a Saints fan. Forget the marketing plan or a competitive analysis— just cop the basketball jerseys and sell them out the trunk of his Buick.
I think Cole Brown had a better idea for Rent-Em-Spoons on an episode of Martin. Dude's not so bright idea raised some concerns for me about his lack of insight and ability to make sound decisions (So much to the point that I was ecstatic that I didn't have sex with him). The more I studied him, I concluded that I was introduced to his representative, not the real him, and any kind of relationship with him would be the death of me, especially a business relationship!
If you are considering mixing business with pleasure in your relationship, here are 5 signs that bae is probably bad for business:
He has no sense of urgency.
Normally, I had to remind him to do grown people tasks that should be on the top of his to-do list. Two heads are better than one and, if you constantly have to do all the major decision-making and micromanage someone, becoming business partners is pointless.
He doesn't take responsibility for simple mistakes.
One day, I was sitting in the kitchen working on my laptop. Dude opened the freezer and exclaimed, "Oh shit," and closed it as if he had seen a zombie. When I looked in the freezer to see what the hoopla was about, I found a frozen can of Coke had exploded. Rather than cleaning up his mess (I don't drink soda, so it was positively his), he simply closed the freezer door and left the kitchen. Just left the damn kitchen! Of course, I had to stop what I was doing and clean it. When customers have issues, they want the problem solved, not ignored. His disdain was automatic denial for us to make money moves.
He isn't proactive about opportunities.
When you decide to become an entrepreneur, hustle must be as organic as breathing. Customers are not always going to fall in your lap. The more I paid attention, I came to the realization that his potential had never been utilized. He was too lackadaisical about pursuing personal goals, so business with him would never be booming because he is accustomed to waiting for things to pop off. Nope. Faith without work is dead.
He is unorganized af.
He could never find his driver's license. He couldn't remember when his speeding tickets needed to be paid. Dude was a devastated trainwreck, and that's not good for a mogul in the making. Not having your crap together discourages potential customers from patronizing you. When Kiki says the salon will be open at 8 AM and she consistently shows up at noon, clients start a campaign to boycott her like Monique did Netflix. His discombobulation was just one more nail in the coffin for me.
His money management game is trash.
Dude never had any money saved. All his tithes and offerings went to the weed man, which raised a very valid question. Who the eff was going to foot the upfront cost associated with starting a business? Filing paperwork, purchasing a website, hiring a web designer, and all other aspects of branding cost a pretty coin—and it wasn't happening with my tax refund money!
How would you tell your mate that you don't want to start a business with him?
Featured image by Getty Images