Riding the elevator up 1,815.5 feet to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto had me reflecting on life last week. I started Buy From A Black Woman in my living room while I was living in a two-bedroom townhouse in Atlanta. And last week I was in Toronto because BFABW is now officially in Canada. Meeting with Black Women Business Owners, hearing about their businesses and their experiences, and even patronizing Black Women-Owned Businesses while I was there was educational and inspiring.
I couldn’t help but reflect on my own journey over the past seven years. Especially because just like the nerve-wracking ascent up the CN Tower, the entrepreneurship journey is filled with uncertainty, fear and excitement. But all of it can work in your favor as you're growing your business. Here’s why:
1. There’s levels to the journey
Your business journey is going to have different stages. Each phase presents its own challenges and rewards. And it's okay to feel nervous, overwhelmed and unsure at each new level. Just know that growth is a process and you're not alone in experiencing these emotions. The Black Women all around you are probably experiencing the same things and are just a message or phone call away with a word of encouragement when you need it.
2. It’s okay to feel scared or overwhelmed
It's perfectly natural to feel fear in the face of the unknown. Fear isn’t a sign of weakness, it's a sign that you're pushing your boundaries and aiming for something greater. Embrace fear as a catalyst for growth. And from a practical standpoint, break your business goals down into smaller, manageable steps. It’ll help make the overwhelming tasks seem conquerable (which they are!).
3. There’s strength in numbers
Having people who share your dreams and struggles is invaluable. Build connections with other entrepreneurs, especially those who understand the unique challenges that Black Women Business Owners face. Sharing experiences, insights and advice will give you sense of community and affirm that you aren’t on this journey alone. And having networks that you can tap into will empower you to keep making the best decisions at every stage of your journey.
4. Your goals are attainable
As you push through challenges, you'll discover that the dreams and aspirations that seemed distant and unreachable are actually within your reach. Your goals aren’t fantasies, they’re just objectives waiting to be realized. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Especially if nobody else around you does.
5. Think of self-care a part of doing business
It's easy to neglect self-care while running a business, but as a Black Woman Entrepreneur, prioritizing your well-being is a must because if you don’t, who will? So acknowledge that you are more than your business. Set boundaries to prevent burnout, and schedule time for activities that bring you joy and allow you to rest. Whether it's reading, spending time with loved ones, practicing mindfulness or doing one of your hobbies, self-care is an investment in your ability to lead and thrive.
You got this Black Woman!
There are no limits to what you can achieve as a Black Woman Business Owner. Embrace the challenges, learn from others and remember that taking care of yourself is not a distraction from your business, it's a foundation for your success. As you navigate each level, keep this in mind. So, keep soaring, keep growing and keep practicing self-care. The sky is not the limit, it's just the beginning.
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