Last Saturday I did it again. I stepped out of my zone and went to a business function by myself…ok maybe not totally by myself but I meet a couple of my friends/co-workers there. The event was entitled “Go Get It: Moving Forward with Your Vision” and the audience was filled with young, African-American entrepreneurs who were all women. The panel included the Owner/President of M2 Public Relations Marsha Middleton, Photographer Joi Watson, and Owner/Hair Stylist Najah Aziz of Like the River Salon. We all sat watching, listening and absorbing all the information that our panelist were dishing out. They discussed numerous topics from tax forms, sources of funding and business functions to internal personal drivers, selecting a great support team and volunteer efforts.
The panelist all had their own stories but the main advice from each of them was to go after your passion. Your passion is what makes you wake up in the morning, work for free, and take yourself to places you have never been before. Passion is the true driver of success.
Here are some of my key takeaways from the event.
Marsha Middleton – President/Owner of M2 Public Relations
- Don’t make your decision to be an entrepreneur public until you solidify that first company investment – Marsha didn’t tell her friends or family until she was totally sure of her decision and actually taking the next steps to get it up and running.
- Create values and make sure that they are engraved everywhere in your business – Marsha prides herself on her loyalty to her clients. She even has her daughter learning brand loyalty, unintentionally that is. J
- Create your own balance – When you go into business for yourself you have to make time for the things you need; family, exercise/health activities, and love. If you don’t make the time, the time will just keep disappearing.
- Learn from other’s mistakes and not your own – Be an observer and learner of your craft and take those mistakes that you read about, hear about or see, and avoid making them in your own business.
Joi Pearson – Joi Pearson Photography
- Have faith – Make sure that you are grounded in your faith and you will be able to overcome the obstacles that will jump in front of you.
- Investing is a must not a risk – For every dollar you put into your business you will get double, triple or more back. Be wise but don’t be scare to put money into something you love.
- When it comes to love, be choosy – When you become an entrepreneur your life shifts in different areas. Your days are busier and you may have to travel more. Find a mate that isn’t scared to help you get to that point and then you must be willing to merge lives together (i.e. he travels with you; you take him to events, etc.)
- Don’t let the worry consume you – Yes being an entrepreneur is risky but so is life in general. You can’t allow that anxiety to consume your thoughts and eat away at your passion.
Najah Aziz – Hair Stylist/Owner of Like the River Salon
- Don’t rush it – Sometimes you have to go through certain situations in order to change your current situation. Najah knew that moment when fell asleep during her annual review. At that moment she knew that the corporate world was not for her and that it was time to go after her passion.
- Never worry about your competitors – If you are providing the best services you will always have clients. When you worry about your competitors you may find yourself trying to do what they do and you can’t. You can only do the best that YOU can do! This allows you to be unique.
- Surround yourself with a team of like-mind individuals – For her business, it was important that employees are professional, personable and had a clean background. She does a full background check for her employees. Your employees should play an extension of you and your business.
- Love what you do – Always remember that you are doing your passion. If you wake up one day and don’t want to do it anymore, then it’s time to re-evaluate what it is that really makes you happy.
Overall Nneka Saran and Natt Taylor over at Studiotique put on a great event!
So what’s my big announcement…?
After attending the event and networking some great ladies I’m proud to announce that I have now launched my own Marketing Freelancing site.
So if you are looking to open your own business, refresh your business or just need some branding help please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m taking my passion on the road…the road of life that is.
Be easy and have a great weekend MWC fam!