I was recently invited onto the Rise of The Achiever Podcast hosted by Robert Muruli. We recorded this podcast with a literal ocean between us as Robert is in the States and I’m based in the UK. Robert has a passion for telling unique individual stories from across the world through voices from the African diaspora and it was good to discuss some of the lessons I’ve learnt in business and in life as a whole. One of my key takeaways from this conversation was the fact that I had so much youthful vigour when I first started my business. I had a hunger and a passion that did not take into consideration the very real barriers that I would face as a Black woman who grew up working class in the UK. I admit I was inspired and motivate not only by my environment but by the idea that you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it. Though there is some truth in this statement it doesn’t take into consideration external factors that are often out of our control – no amount of positive thinking or motivational quotes can dismantle structures that are set up to limit and discourage marginalised groups. So while I appreciate and honour my journey I am aware that entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily the fix all leveller that I grew up thinking it would be. But that makes my journey even more unique and hopefully more encouraging – my honesty serves to offer insights that are sometimes overlooked in the journey of success. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story:
Robert highlights stories of individuals from known and not-so-known backgrounds who are self made and who have built their path to achievement brick by brick. In this episode we spoke about the changing landscape of public relations and what businesses can do to stay relevant and stay mindful during a crisis.
On July 11th 2018, Forbes Magazine released a list of America’s richest self-made women. Forbes is very good at creating lists and its lists are often very good at stirring up public reaction, which in media terms is a winning formula. The list itself is very interesting and it contained so many women whose journeys to success and financial prowess are fascinating. There are some truly amazing women from a range of industries on the list and if you have a chance do some research on them because their stories can and should be used as inspiration and encouragement.
One particular individual who was not only featured on the list but also on the front cover of Forbes magazine has caused a media storm and that is Kylie Jenner. Kylie is a member of the infamous Jenner-Kardashian family who have built their careers using reality TV entertainment, social media, fashion & beauty endorsements and powerful personal brands. The matriarch of the family, Kris Jenner is central to the strategic success of the family and has enabled her children to reach heights that for some is unimaginable.
Kylie Jenner, who at not even 21 years old has built a $900 million cosmetics fortune with virtually no employees or capital. This new model of extreme fame leverage is radically reshaping business, culture and politics. Kylie Cosmetics launched two years ago and has since sold more than $630 million worth of makeup. She has leveraged her mammoth social media following to build a giant business. “Social media is an amazing platform,” says Jenner. “I have such easy access to my fans and my customers.” Kylie Cosmetics is now worth nearly $800 million and Kylie Jenner owns 100% of the company. – Forbes
A debate has been raging as to what it actually means to be “Self-made”. How does one define it when certain individuals have literally had no starting support system to get them where they are whilst others, like Kylie, have an excess of privilege and access to wealth. Being mindful that this is based on Forbes on form of measurement what do you think of the list? In this video I share my thoughts and I would love to hear what you think.
According to most dictionaries competition is “the activity or condition or circumstance of striving to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others”. It goes without saying that there will always be competition in business but having competition is actually a good thing. It means that you are constantly looking for ways to innovate and strive to do better, without competition this world would become a very dull place, there’s nothing worse than only have one option when we’re looking for a product or service. Competition feeds variety and it also gives consumers choice however competition can also become a distraction if we only focus on what our competitors are doing. The main purpose of this video is to encourage business owners to look beyond competition as a negative factor. Some people get so caught up in worrying about what others are doing that they forget about what they should be doing to improve their own business.
I believe that you can use your competition to motivate your own business goals and encourage you to do better rather than discourage you from thriving. Not worrying about your competition doesn’t mean that you should stop caring about them it simply means that any competitive comparisons should focus on tangible change that lead to improvements and growth. If you keep worrying about your competition will you do the things that you need to do in order to grow and innovate? There is more than enough abundance in this world for all of us to succeed. Just because others are doing something doesn’t mean that you should stop yourself from moving forward. Worrying is simply a way to rehearse all the bad things that could happen without working on a solution. You should worry less and focus more on what you can do to improve your business. You can use this principle in other areas of your life to like work and of course in sports. Sports champions focus on their performance, that doesn’t mean they don’t care about who they are competing with it means that they use their competition as fuel to do better. Try to think of your business in this way – you can beat your competition but even you don’t that doesn’t mean that you can’t still be great.
Starting a business is exciting but before you start your business take the time to really consider whether your business is a viable one. That is not to say that all the conditions have to be perfect but have you asked yourself a few questions that might make the difference between making money or losing your peace of mind? When you start actually making money from your business it is probably one of the best feelings there is. Knowing that you have attracted a group of loyal customers who want to buy what you have created, whether that is a product or a service, is such an exhilarating experience. However before you take the leap there are just a few things that you must consider and that you should not overlook in your business start up process.
Are you prepared for the tough times? There will be some really tough times in business, days when business progress is slow, clients are taking too long to pay or when you just feel tired. I have seen that the motivational and inspirational element of starting a business has sometimes distracted people from actually looking at the realities of starting a business in a practical and pragmatic way. Yes you deserve to live a life that you love, your dreams do deserve to come true, you should believe in your dreams but what do you need to consider to make this happen? Motivation and self belief will only get you so far, there are other elements to starting a business which will ensure that you not only grow but you thrive.
Do you need to be passionate about your business? Passion is great but it should not be the only reason that you start your business. Scott Adams gave a great speech on what is better than passion in business. You can be passionate but will that sustain you if you don’t make a profit? What if you become bored of your passion, many people stop pursuing their business goals because of inconsistency and boredom.
Have you done the basic research into your sector? Do you know your customers? Do you know what they like and why they should work with you/buy from you? Take the time to consider who your customers are and how to reach them.
In this video I provide some useful tips on what you should consider when you’re thinking about starting a business. You might have a great business or it might actually be better to keep it as a hobby and hobbies are actually great, we need more hobbies for our self care. But if you’re thinking about starting a business it’s time to make a clear distinction.