5 things you need to keep in mind if you're an entrepreneur

black entrepreneurs have a hard enough time as is trying to break away from the negative stereotypes associated with black businesses. and as i'm sure many of us can attest to, you can have the greatest product or service in the world and still not have a strong customer base because your brand isn't positioned in the best possible way, ya know? it's time for us to raise the standard and be more accountable to one another. entrepreneurship is more than putting together social media pages, it's a lifestyle that only a few are called to live. got a brand? cool. let's make sure you keep these things in mind. 

5). your online presence matters. 

how you present yourself on social media is crucial. if you’re going to use instagram, facebook and twitter and whatever else to promote yourself, at least do us the honor of making sure your captions are spelled correctly and are written in the correct tense. you may think that misspellings aren’t that deep but to a potential customer, that may mean you don’t pay attention to detail or you’re not efficient enough to double check your work before releasing it to the world. customers don’t want to buy from someone whom they’ve interpreted to be incompetent. the captions you post, the pictures you share and the quality of your images overall play a vital role in how people respond to your online presence. don’t tweak. 

4). how you interact with your customers is very important. 

as an entrepreneur, you’ve probably already learned that your customers really cling to what you say and what you post when it comes to your product or service. you can’t be out here saying one thing and doing another. similarly, you’ve also gotta maintain a high level of professionalism at all times. don’t get so familiar with your customers that you begin to talk to them like they’re a member of your family. and even if they are in your family, you should still treat them with the same respect you would if it was someone you didn’t know. remember, the reputation you build with your customers literally defines how successful you’ll be. 

3). you won’t always feel like doing it.

when the instagram likes are low and people aren’t spreading the word about your business, will you stick with it? after you’ve become bored because the journey isn’t as exciting or as glamorous as you thought it would be, will you push forward anyway? these are questions you really need to consider. despite some our best efforts, we have to accept that entrepreneurship is not a microwaveable journey — you’ve got to let it marinate in a slow cooker; it’s a process. and when the magic of being an entrepreneur has seemingly left you, there needs to be something within that compels you to move forward… even when you don’t feel like it. If you know you’re someone who doesn’t like to commit, entrepreneurship probably wouldn't work out for you. if you’re honest with yourself on the front end, you’ll save yourself some time, money and energy on the back end.

2). you can’t always do everything by yourself. 

what a shame it would be for a business to burn in flames because you were too busy trying to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. the following statement is something i initially struggled with learning —it’s ok to ask for help. it's ok for you to develop a team to help you get this stuff done. stop being cheap or ineffective by trying to do it all on your own. at the end of the day, entrepreneurship isn’t for the weakhearted or the ill prepared. it requires you to be able to do a lot of things art once. you’re only one person and regardless of how efficient you are or how many reminders you set, there’s only so much you can do as one person.

1). it’s going to cost you. 

i get it. entrepreneurs are all about saving money and getting the most bang for our buck. but you’re fooling yourself if you’re thinking you can obtain maximum profit off little to no investment. as with anything else in life, you get out of entrepreneurship what you put into it. it’s gonna cost you if you want to reach your highest possible altitude— and i’m not just talking about the money, either. it’s gonna cost you time, energy, resources and in most cases, some of your toxic friendships. entrepreneurship has a way of making you come to grips with what is actually important and what is not; tough decisions will have to be made and you can’t be a cheapskate. it’s either you’re going to be all in, or you’re going to be all out. the choice is yours; there cannot be an in between.