UNLEASHing Your Unique Greatness as a Black Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurship is no easy plight at bare minimum, when you add the idea of greatness, excellence and superb customer service, the load becomes even heavier. For many entrepreneurs the beginning is tough, you are the brains, the hands, the provider, the customer service, the everything and that is heavy. The key, in my opinion, to lightening that load is to operate with the end in mind. What are your objectives? Do you want to be an entrepreneur forever or do you aspire to be a business owner? One may ask, what is the difference? Most entrepreneurs run a one-person team with limited plans to scale beyond that model. Business owners seek to build companies that work without them being hands-on day-to-day forever. Both have the ability to be remarkable and lucrative however failing to set an idea or goal as to which one desires to be can often hinder the growth process on either side.
Once one has established the route they are trying to go in the current season, it is critical to analyze a simple yet complex question, “who is my customer”. Some will jump to say “I offer something for everyone”, well, take into context that if you are for everyone, you’re truly for no one. Thousands of people shop at Wal-Mart and grab a quick bite from McDonald’s however they companies have a distinct target audience. Everyone outside of that audience is extra! Just because one runs a small business doesn’t mean you have to think like one nor operate like one. Unleashing greatness comes with doing market research, understanding who you want to serve and identifying how to serve them at the best standard of excellence possible. Why is it so important to know who your audience is and to serve them well? The answer here is direct, they are your revenue source and without revenue you do not have a business. Entrepreneurs oftentimes want to skip the research and development step and get directly into offering their product or service when in reality, the development work is needed and necessary to not only begin business but to remain in business. From a structural, financial and overall systemic standpoint, minority-owned, more specifically, black-owned businesses often suffer and fail due to lack of work in this area. If you want to unleash and unlock your full potential as an entrepreneur and/or developing business owner, do the back work and take it seriously. I am not saying everyone needs to enroll in Harvard Business School, however I am suggesting you take a class at your local community college and/or invest in a business coach, online program or masterclass. Shift your mindset, change your circle and develop support systems that support who you are becoming which may or not coincide with who you have always been.
Though I could go on for days on this topic, I want to end with a critical charge for my melanated people in business. If you have personal financial issues or thought processes that don’t allow you to do your due diligence as it relates to your business’ financial health, get help! Don’t wait until the business is upside down or closed to seek professional financial assistance. Having a solid structure and understanding of your business’ financial health can make or break your small or large operation. It is possible that you could be bringing in 10K, 15K, 20K or more per month however with improper structure and unbearable overhead, you may still be in the red with no sight of coming out. Unleash yourself from thinking you have to know it all and do it all, your role is to perfect your craft and work to deliver excellence to your customers. If finances isn’t your thing, get help. Same with marketing, hiring, scaling and any other aspect of the actual business that may not be directly correlated to your craft. Dear entrepreneurs and business owners, do your due diligence and unleash the potential that is inside of you. Don’t allow cut-corners to be the reason you are not successful at pursuing your dreams. ------------------------------- Tabitha D. James is an award winning millennial business strategist, five-time published author and global speaker who has helped numerous businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofits to unleash their unique greatness!