Hi #Pods, my name is Jeannette and today I have to admit to you that I have fear. I know many people who may be shocked by this revelation. They and you are probably thinking Jeannette cannot have fear. I always appear strong and bold. I told you how I started a business (not just one but two) in small city with a small minority population. My goodness, I faced racism, gender discrimination and stereotypes and I am still in business. My clients were told that if I could make it then they should have no issues returning to their home city and starting their own business. This meant that others were aware of the discriminatory practices that us, people of color faced in my city. Now, I was aware of it and I made it through even with my fears.
Well pods, I have fear, and I am bold and strong while stepping out in my fear. That little voice that tells you that you are not doing your best sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear too! I often question myself. Am I investing enough time in my family life, and am I taking the best care of my kids? When I am sleeping, I usually wake up multiple times a night racked with guilt that I am resting when I should be working. Sometimes it is so hard for me to shut off my brain. Right now, it is 4am and I’m writing this blog.
If you are subscribed to my Youtube channel, then you are aware of my video Don’t Knock My Hustle pt2. You know of my life growing up and my deep understanding of poverty. I truly believe that no matter how successful you may become, if you know a life without, you will always have a deep humbled understanding of life and strive to be your best in order to push away that underlying fear. This means that I have a focus on building a legacy and generational wealth for my family and for others around me. This system of legacy and generational wealth has been and continues to be deleted from black history and denied to many BIPOC. Therefore, in building a business and a brand as a POC it is important for me to remember that and to educate others. To be a successful and powerful representation of my people in a city where they do not see many POC is important to me. This also plays a part in the fear that many of us carry. The fear of not being successful and of failure. We tend to use excuses not to move forward. What bigger excuse to use now in the world, than COVID19. The world is on shutdown. Businesses are closing and major brands are filing bankruptcy. Starting a business now or expanding could be financial suicide.
Many of us are barley getting through each day. So why should you take on extra risk? What was the excuse last year? What was your excuse the year before that? Yes, the world is silent and this should be your opportunity to take their focus and put it on your business. You have the time to focus and fulfill your purpose and start the business you have always wanted. Governments have seen and recognized the power of small businesses. They have created grants and access to small business loans more than any years previously. Many of us have lost our jobs and our financial stability. The fear of moving forward is understandable. However, when will you believe in yourself enough to invest in yourself? Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. When everyone says that it is hard work, it is. However, how do you know how much work it is if you do not know how and where to begin. Many people often tell you how hard it is without telling you exactly what they did to get where they are. They leave you in a fog of fear with no life vest. Well, think of me as your life vest.
Here are a few foundational suggestions on how to start the after you have figured out your vision.
1. Begin with a thorough business plan. This requires research of the market and your competitors have a realistic financial cash flow forecast.
2. Know what it will cost to startup your business. Many people come with a plan but no idea of the cost to implement. If you have a realistic outlook of the cost for a building, website etc., you will be able to start figuring out how to fund your venture.
3. Research all government loans and grants available provincially and federally. These funding options can be substantially beneficial to startups and expansions. Contact your local economic development corporation for assistance. They can guide you through the various options and sometimes help you with your business plan. Look for your local business startup support groups.
4. Find a mentor to help guide you through at least the first year of business. I wish we had someone in those early years to reassure us and simply encourage us through the tough times. Someone who could guide me through my fog and steer me in the right direction.
This is why I am here. To be that sounding block that and voice that teaches you from my experience, a sort of mentor.
Allow your fear to fuel your drive to success. Remember that if you continue to wait to follow your mission you will be in the same spot tomorrow that you are in today.