Entrepreneurship first excited me once I started investing my money into supporting other women, small business owners through how I dressed my son, Kent. I admired their beautiful, unique creations and their stories of hard-work and dedication to their brand. We even became brand representatives, receiving free or discounted products in exchange for quality photos of Kent in their apparel. As much as I was investing into other people's dreams, I too, had something to offer.
A year later, I'm still lunging toward entrepreneurship and have learned many lessons along the way. I had the urge one morning to broadcast my tips on my Periscope channel, @LatoyaDPhoto. They were as follows:
Be Humble & Seek a Humble Tribe
You should never feel like you are too good for anything. As a new creative, you may not have found your niche immediately-- in fact, it's very rare unless you've already taken the time to do thorough research and carefully committed to finding, understanding, and reaching your target audience. But you don't want to miss an opportunity because you've gotten your nose so high in the opposite direction of what you think may not be for you, just because it doesn't look glamorous. Similarly, seek a humble tribe. Your tribe reflects your vibe. Don't keep folk around you who want to boast their successes and try to impress you with their words as opposed to their actions.
Put in Work | Be Confident
Nothing magically falls in your lap, especially success. My friend Steven of Know Money, Inc. shared this quote by Frederick Douglass: "I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs." You will only reap the rewards of the work you put in. And as an entrepreneur there is no one who will work harder for your brand than YOU. I guarantee it. When you've put in the work to hone your craft, you'll also realize your likes and dislikes. This is when you'll be ready to make the call for what is/isn't for you or for your brand's consistency. Consistency begets confidence. When you've repeatedly done something successfully (proficiency), you will have the confidence to share it with others and share your gift with others.
Grab a Glass of Water | Hydrate!
Nothing profound here. Take care of your body. Eat good. Sleep well. Hydrate.
Trust the Energy
I had a meeting with someone who was offering me a very kind and potentially lucrative offer to collaborate. However, I could shake the feeling the something just didn't feel right. I was not feeling the vibe whatsoever. When it came to the time to commit, I had to decline. The energy doesn't lie; it actually serves to protect you. Whether you call it vibrations, the Holy Spirit, your conscious, there is something inside of you that guides your heart's decisions. Trust it.
All Business is Not For You
I've hinted on this in a few of the points above, but I think this is an important tip to note to stay focused in your business. Everything that comes your way is not for you. It may look sexy, like a goldmine for your business, but always remember why you started. Don't forget what your ultimate goal and success looks like. There will always be things (and people) out there to distract you. You must be able to discern what contributes to your overall goal and what just looks great for right now. Stay the course!
Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur, just starting out like me, or have been thinking about the road to entrepreneurship, I'd love to hear what other tips you have.
For those who have recently taken the leap into full-time entrepreneurship, I'd love to connect with your personally. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have some exciting news to share soon and you would be the perfect person to help me! Talk to you soon!