You Have Options
When the business fails, what options do you have in place? If you lost your job tomorrow, how would you eat and pay the mortgage or rent? Do you have enough in your savings account or investment portfolio to last you for six months? What’s your side hustle?
This week, these questions came to me after a conversation with a friend on Sunday and listening to a Steve Harvey speech on Monday.
My friend and I bonded in talking about our entrepreneurial ventures and struggles to build a viable company. Yes, “misery loves company!” We shared mutual challenges with acquiring professional consultation gigs, creating courses, completing writing projects, and acquiring coaching clients.
I organized a limited liability company nine years ago, and she just filed the necessary paperwork to establish her business.
In a YouTube clip of Steve Harvey, he shares the importance of looking for a divine self-employment path away from traditional jobs. Through his comedic gifts, he explains how passion and purpose support the creativity and drive integral to entrepreneurialism.
Harvey’s advice resonates with me and possibly your experiences.
Over the years, people and organizations have paid for my teaching, coaching, and writing-related products and services. I see the university where I work as my current and largest paying client to date! Outside of my jobs, contractual payments have yet to produce a sustainable monthly salary, but the projects derive from my passions and life purpose.
Hearing myself acknowledge this failure in entrepreneurial income and now seeing it in writing stirs emotional feelings inside of me. When I am alone, I often ask myself, the universe, and God why.
Have you attempted to start a business? If you answered no to that question, let me tell you, it's tough. You often work long hours. And sometimes, you create a product or service, but it flatlines with your customers.
The reality of business blues doesn't mean that you shouldn’t try. When visiting my son's class this week, I saw a motivational quote on the wall. It read, "I can accept failure, but I don't accept not trying." If you've always wanted to start a company or side hustle, listen to that advice and at least try.
Start with thinking about another person’s need or desire and how you might help. Such thoughts are where businesses begin.
In the Steve Harvey speech from the introduction, he praises our human abilities to imagine and create profitable solutions to everyday problems. He uses the example of a cellphone and our desire to stay connected while remaining mobile.
In addition to having a great idea, you have to network with like-minded individuals. Businesses flourish when people connect with others in their respective industries.
There are also components of faith, discipline, luck, and a viable market that influence success. Did I lose you with the last sentence?
Listen, a human being can only control the work and faith dividends of the entrepreneur’s equation. Don’t believe me or it's still not clear, then please read Dennis Kimbro’s book, Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice. Inside, you will find countless examples in the pioneers of Black-owned enterprises.
When you scroll your social media feed or look at the news this weekend, put on your entrepreneurial lenses and read the highlights. On various platforms, you will see business leads with the potential to improve another person's life. There is a market for everything from the relationship needs of individuals like Kanye West to communities with critical race theory bans and mourning families like the Lockes. You will also see an article on the unfortunate violent conflict involving Russia, Ukraine, and its potential impact on the economy.
Of course, the tricky part comes with creating the desire for what you offer.
My friend, mentioned at the start of this post, and I also talked about digital nomad lifestyles. Social media only shows you the highlight reel of making online income. Our advice is don't quit your day job until you can produce a consistent salary for 12 months.
In this final week of Black history month, think and move on a business plan or investment strategy.
Do people rave about your cooking? Do you enjoy exercise? What are you currently getting paid to do at your job? Answering these questions can help you explore products or services that resonate with your skills.
Sure, you may fail at business.
Failure often invites itself to my home. However, we can't let the fear of failure control our ambitions. We must believe that eventually, failure will leave like all guests who stay too long after a party.
When a business loses you, you can win. A lost job or failed business offers you the opportunity to learn and strategize how to create or find the next venture. It’s not easy to remain optimistic in this uncertain economy.
Stay with me by subscribing to this blog, and I will build your mind’s muscles to carry the dreams from your subconscious to the concrete or digital pavement.
Last November, I participated in a podcast episode where I spoke candidly about my family’s move abroad and struggles in business. It builds on the themes in this week's blog post. Support another entrepreneur and listen to the recording at this link: https://www.theblackexpat.com/