What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship?
Taking the leap into entrepreneurship was a choice inspired by my transition into motherhood. A choice made in finding more freedom and flexibility coupled with the desire to inspire, positively impact and educate my community. Taking the leap into entrepreneurship offered me the opportunity to work on my passion which has allowed me to make a positive and valuable contribution to my community and to grow and challenge myself beyond the typical 9-5 job. Having founded my business, Unconditioned Roots, I'm always faced with a variety of activities that keep me constantly engaged, I'm always networking and building new powerful business relations. I have a flexible schedule which is suited for me and more importantly my family life. I'm faced with endless opportunities. I absolutely love what I do, when you love what you do you don't consider it "work".
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will! Whether it's self doubt or discouragement and lack of support from others, the absence of faith and trust in your abilities to grow from strength to strength is always one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. I wasn't immune to self-doubt but I refused to allow my fear of "failure" and lack of support to prevent my vision from manifesting into greatness. Instead I channeled all the negativity into focusing on the good, with a lot of positive affirmations, hard work and dedication I've managed to build a powerful online presence with a global audience of over 300,000! My business, Unconditioned Roots, generates weekly traffic of over 4million! I've been featured in renowned media company's such as buzzfeed and cosmopolitan. I've networked with major brands within the hair and beauty industry such as Carols Daughter and Motions Hair Care. I've worked with international celebrities and powerful online influencers such as Natalie Nunn, Kiera Lashae, Bianca Miller and Simone Shepard to name a few.
As the infamous saying goes "Comparison is the thief of joy" do not compare your first chapter to someone else's final chapter as everyone's journey is different. When you compare yourself to others you diminish your own efforts, accomplishments and ability to grow! There's nothing wrong with being inspired by others and having mentors but don't look to their work as a benchmark for your "lack of achievements". A great way to overcome this is to focus on yourself! Focus on getting started, be consistent, network, build relations and work on YOUR growth. Stop looking to others and focus on strategies to develop your own skills and business.
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?
Yes most definitely. Naturally so, people fear what they don't know and when you present an idea to someone such as the prospects of entrepreneurship initially it's difficult to digest. Entrepreneurship is a world of "unknown" and the majority of the time people want something concrete presented to them before they can approve it. However in the initial stages you won't necessarily have all of your successes cemented in stone to present to people, so naturally so they'll disprove your entrepreneurial pursuits before they give you their full support.
Honestly when you're not getting the support and encouragement you need from family and friends it can be disheartening and may reinforce fear and doubt in your mind. The best way I handled this was by focusing on those who did support me! Focus and thrive off of the positivity that is being generated your way, focus on the good! Look towards inspiration that'll keep you grounded and focused on your end goals. Strangely enough the doubt of some family members and friends is what fuelled my desire and passion to establish my business the more. Ultimately try and be that driving force that'll allow your successes to speak volumes. Those who doubted you will soon become your biggest supporters.
In hindsight, what I would have done differently is spoke authentically about my passion and my vision! When you elicit confidence in yourself others listen and gain confidence in you. I'd be more bold in getting my business out into the world and not shy away due to stage fright and or fear of lack of experience or being under established.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Having a strong network, a supportive community of people who know and trust you and your brand, as they'll direct others to you which is a powerful asset. Let's be honest, if people do not support your vision you will not thrive. But it takes time, dedication and honesty. You can not expect to receive love if you don't give love. So establish, build, love and support your network and in return it'll support you!
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
Find mentors! I can not stress this enough! Find the experts and do as they've done!
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Knowledge is power! Read more, read a lot, never stop reading! Walk in your gift and use your platform to make a difference in people's lives. You can not impart knowledge and offer people something they're willing to invest in if you do not have the necessary knowledge. Never give up and be devoted to manifesting your passion. Remember you do not have to know everything you just have to be willing to learn! With consistency and hard work your business will grow from strength to strength and your journey will be rewarding.