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As we continue to be conscious and proud of our Blackness, most of us have decided to become more intentional with supporting Black-owned businesses. As I reflected on my own experiences and passion about Black businesses, I realized that most of my jobs have been with Black business owners.

I was excited just as any young teenager to start my first job. After relentless applications, I finally had an interview for a dry cleaner about two miles away from my home. My mother had prepped me and made sure I had on business attire for the interview. As I walked in, I was greeted by a Black gentleman and he directed me to the office. I walked in the office and was interviewed by Ms. Vivian, a vivacious and straight-forward Black woman. She was the co-owner of the cleaners and hired me to work for her.

Yes, I saw a Black woman in a leadership position at the age of 16. Little did I know how that image would impact me for the rest of my life.

Through that job and others that followed, I learned a lot. I will highlight four valuable lessons I've held close that are worth sharing for Black business owners and employees of Black businesses.