Over and over again on social media, I see the cries of small business owners about the lack of support from the community. They want everyone to support what they have going on and don't understand why their good friends are not buying their hype.
Black businesses are important to the economy and the culture BUT just because you are black and own ...
Black businesses are important to the economy and the culture BUT just because you are black and own a business doesn't mean that everyone who knows you has to buy from you. That is the problem that many black business owners don't understand, and because of this, they turn salty and bitter. They begin to despise their friends for not spending money or supporting their dream. I can completely understand that feeling.
Too many times we fail to see our customers perspective on their purchasing behavior. Maybe we even forget that our services aren't the greatest, our follow-up is sub par, and our commitment is lacking. I don't want to be completely naive and think business in the black community is expressly about pigmentation. It's more than that - it's about quality products, services, persistence, and commitment. I mean think about, are you buying goods or services from people who business strategies are below your expectations? Most likely not, so focus on making your business the best, and the customers will come.
I will be the first to admit that I have started and stopped many businesses over the years. My usual excuse for shutting doors was due to the lack of support. I whined and moaned about the difficulty in getting people to notice what I was doing. When the truth is, I didn't tough it out enough for people to buy into my temporary dream. I'm sure I am not the only small business owner this has happened too. We play the blame game when things don't go our way. We get to the point where we want things to happen overnight, and when it doesn't, we give up and move to the next thing.
Inconsistency does not build a good following. People are leery and start to view your entrepreneurial spirit as a get rich quick scam or even worse a pyramid scheme. This is why it must stop! Start something and stick with it. Through the good and the bad. You didn't go from being a newborn to an adult in six months so what makes you think you can do the same with a business. In the words of Earl Nightingale, "it takes longer to build a skyscraper than a chicken coop." So ask yourself which one you want to construct. Are you in it for the quick hustle or the legacy? It's up to you.
Today I finally got hired! Yes, I am excited, thrilled, inspired and happy. As you can tell from my enthusiasm, I haven't worked for some time. Well, I have worked for myself, but that's a different story. Today I landed a contract position with an organization that shares a mission that is close to my heart, enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities.
The struggle to find work has been real since my last contract position. I had to swallow my pride to get this job, and I am thankful to my husband for showing me the way. After getting several calls from potential employers yet failing to advance past the interview, my husband suggested that I contact an interviewer who I thought was friendly and would give me advice on what I was doing wrong. I didn't want to call the interviewer because of pride issues (and the fact that I was disappointed that he didn't hire me) but I went for it.
I made the call and took a deep breath. I played the conversation out in my head trying to figure out what I was going to say with each ring.
Waiting for him to answer the phone seemed like forever.
Please don't pick up, please don't pick up.
Oh, good, he didn't answer!
I left a message on his voicemail speaking through a smile and desperation.
"This is Lisa, I interviewed for a position with your organization a couple of months ago and didn't get the job. I was wondering if you can help me because I am having trouble making it beyond the interview process. My number is....thanks!"
Whew...I did it and I am still alive with my pride partially intact.
Previous career in the nonprofit sector working with individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Two days later he called me back and scheduled a time for us to discuss my resume/hiring situation.
During our meeting, he gave me insight on things that stood out on my resume, areas that need adjusting, and things that I should leave off. He ended the meeting with asking me if I was interested in working a contract position that is 20 hours a week.
My eyes lit up as I said a powerful yes! He smiled and retrieved paperwork for me to sign and told me I should start working by next week.
Who knew that swallowing my pride would allow me to get a part-time job in a field I love?! I can work from home, continue to work on my blog, write, finish my degree and have time with my family. This is the most humbling experience that I have had in a long time, and it showed me that it pays off to ask for help and it's okay to swallow your pride.