I asked my grandmother to help me complete my very first income tax return. She instructed me that she’d teach me how to complete the return, but she would not do the return for me. It was during that moment that I decided I wanted to start my business. My major was accounting, and I was in the middle of a personal income tax course. I began doing my research on what it would take to create a business, who would be my ideal clients, and how I could afford to pay rent and add a staff. Once I knew I couldn’t shrink into greatness, I took a leap of faith and started my business.
What were the biggest initial hurdles of building your business and how did you overcome them?
It’s no surprise that financial fears are what stop many entrepreneurs from launching their endeavors. From fear of not making enough to the fear of draining a savings account, worries about money are widespread. The Gallup poll found that 84 percent of Americans surveyed said they didn’t start a business because they like the security of a steady income. Another 68 percent said they didn’t have enough personal savings to start a business. When I began my business, I ran out of cash because I was not focused. As a result, I had to re-enter the workforce for a short period of time.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
My family has always been very supportive of my business venture because I showed them from the beginning that the business would generate substantial revenue that would allow us to build a lifestyle designed for us. If I could rewind the clock, I’d start the journey in my early 20’s.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Networking is the single most influential factor in my business. A strong network is like money in the bank. Your network can help you build visibility, connect you with influencers, and open up doors for new opportunities. Building and nurturing a network is one of the most powerful things you can do.
What do you know today that you wish you knew when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Leaders are readers and had I known I was supposed to read a partnership agreement years ago, I could have been much further along with my business plans.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Being successful often means learning from those who have already achieved their goals. Having a mentor is an amazing blessing to an entrepreneur, but not everyone can find one in person. So remember this
Do what you care about.
Take the risk.
Believe in yourself.
Have a vision.