I’ve teamed up with State Farm® and the Color Full Lives podcast to encourage you to stop being scared and take care of your business!
Being an entrepreneur is no easy feat, but I have to do it. It’s in my blood. From my great-grandmother marketing her skills as a seamstress to make ends meet, to my grandmother selling plates of food to earn extra money, I come from a family filled with resourceful African American entrepreneurs. Having the opportunity to watch the women in my life make a way for themselves encouraged me to get started with my own business.
I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Back in high school I sold cupcakes to earn money for college. As a young adult, I sold t-shirts to my friends at the HBCU I attended. Once I had my daughter, I started a blog and quickly realized that I had found my forever home in digital media. Over the last few years, my blog business has gone through a few changes. When I first started back in 2010, I had no idea how to run a blog. I learned how to design my site, take bright and pretty pictures, and work really hard to create content that my community relates to.
This past year, I finally hired some help. It was a tough decision to make, because it’s always hard for me to spend money, but I realized I had to get support if I wanted to take things up to the next level. From sponsored posts to social media clients and a full-time job, I was on a hamster wheel. In order to get off and take it to the next level, it was necessary to stop working scared and start working smart.
You know, fear really does hold us back from greatness. We’re afraid to burn a bridge, so we don’t ask for a higher rate that we deserve. We’re scared of not being able to pay our bills, so we take every deal that’s offered to us, even though it stresses us out. We’re fearful of setting big expectations and being disappointed, so we set our standards low. That’s no way to run a business.
It IS Scary
It’s scary to start something from scratch. Sure your idea looks good on paper, but when it’s actually time to execute, who knows if it will work? The good thing is, if it doesn’t, you can always start over.
It’s scary to say “No” to a brand because their pitch doesn’t meet your standards — especially a big brand that you’ve really been wanting to work with. I can tell you from experience that responding with a kind “No, thank you,” or a reasonable counter-offer, can actually pay off bigger with that brand in the long run.
It’s scary to let your friends and family know that you’re starting a business or looking for work. I can tell you, however, that I increased my monthly income because I reached out to a friend and let her know that I needed to earn more money.
It’s scary to be vulnerable, humble, and transparent. It’s scary to be brave and courageous and take risks. It’s scary to dedicate precious time and money into a project that you believe in that may or may not pay off.
But all these scary things are what it means to be an entrepreneur. Once you taste that first bit of success, it’s all worth it. Every single frightful day of it is worth it.
It’s okay to be scared, but don’t let that stop you from going after what you want. Right now one of my biggest goals is to do more with video. I feel like I’m starting at square one again. It’s not a comfortable place to be, but I’m up for the challenge. I do fear failing, I’m not going to lie; but, I’d rather try and fail, than give up without putting any effort into seeing if I have a chance to win.
Are you willing to be brave in your work? What’s holding you back? What are you scared of?
Color Full Lives Podcast
Color Full Lives is a new podcast sponsored by State Farm that promotes positivity, empowerment, and celebrates all women in the African American community through digital and in-person engagement.
In the second episode of Color Full Lives, hosts Angela Yee (The Breakfast Club, Lip Service), Fran (HeyFranHey, The Friend Zone) and Tatiana King-Jones (Fan Bros) share resources and inspiration on how to find success as an independent creative, as well as tools for managing your money better. Whether you’re a blogger, artist, or other type of entrepreneur, you’ll find their commentary to be interesting and full of insight.
You can also hear Angela and Tatiana talk all about their time down in New Orleans for 2016 Essence Festival and the gems dropped by their special guests Bilal and Tank.
This post was sponsored by State Farm. For more information, please click here.