When was the first time that you realized that you had to be your own boss?
I remember this vividly. It was Fall of 2014. As most people, particularly African Americans, I was conditioned to be all that I could be. That meant to climb the corporate ladder as high as I could and get as many degrees that my pockets would allow. I did just that. I got my first job at McDonalds at the age of 14, and have literally worked more than one job from that age on consistently. I proved myself to be a dependent employee over the years. I worked graveyard shifts, multiple positions, etc… It proved to be worth it as I was constantly promoted to the next level. By the age of 31, I held a corporate leadership position, making six figures, and managing multiple teams, some who were almost twice my age. However, I began to do some things on the side and loved it. I ghost wrote for large corporations and big name clients. Furthermore, I began to see that “corporate” was “political” and it was pretty lonely at the top. It just wasn’t what I was conditioned to believe it to be. Once I realized that I was a part of the club where I was selling my creative ideas for a negotiated wage, I became angry. I wasn’t getting my worth. I prayed about it for a year and the answer came when I was pregnant with my son. I became high risk and I had to take off of work. I never went back. That was God’s way of pushing me out. The best decision of my life.
Was there anyone in-particular that inspired you to become an Entrepreneur?
There is nothing like having a support system. My husband, Rico Webster, has been the best supporter. Not only does he support me, but he encourages me to continue to go further and grow. I also have a host of like-minded friends who are also small business owners. We encourage, support, and promote each other.
What challenges do you face most?
What if someone doesn’t like my work? What if no one buys my product or service? This is the common fear every entrepreneur has faced and will face. The saying is, entrepreneurs are the only people who will quit a 40 hour a week job to work 80 hours. It’s very true. You have to grind a bit more because you want to be successful. You also want to be financially stable. So, there are a lot of sleepless nights. It’s still worth it.
What keeps you motivated to keep your brand thriving?
My babies. I was sitting at home one day, and the commercial for a local dealership came on. It showed that the company has been around for decades and has been passed down to future generations. The great granddaughter of the founder now runs the dealership. This happens a lot amongst the white community. They build wealth for their generations. Look at the Hiltons, Anderson Cooper, etc… I also met an older gentleman during a networking event who owned a chain of insurance companies. He said that he was about to retire. I asked him who will run his companies. He said that he had been teaching his sons since they were children. Each son, who are 25 and 27 years old, will get their own business. I want to teach my children that you don’t HAVE to work for anyone unless that is your desire. Have the mindset to be your own boss first. You set the rules. You set the precedence. You are the leader. My 2-year-old is already learning the family landscaping business.
How important is networking?
Networking is extremely important. By definition, it’s a way for entrepreneurs to meet and form business relationships and to recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities, share information and seek potential partners for ventures. Networking is a free marketing tool that every entrepreneur should take advantage of.
What advice would you give to other Entrepreneurs (or those aspiring to be Entrepreneurs) to help them be successful?
Do it. Don’t be scared. Fear is inevitable. But, push through it. The best thing to do is to create and adhere to a business plan. Give yourself personal development plans and once a quarter measure your success. Did you reach your short term goals? Are you able to move on to your next goal or do you need more time to accomplish Goal A. Also, set up a budget. What do you want to invest and how much can you invest? This is something you should talk to a financial expert about; however, remember this: Money is currency. A current is a continuous, directed movement. If you believe and have faith in your brand the money will come right back.
How can we support your business?
Follow me, talk about me to others, and share my services and products. Word of mouth is the oldest and most powerful marketing tool.