You know the old saying: “It's always quiet before the storm?” Well, that’s how life can be, unfortunately. One day we are happily living life, carefree, enjoying our Starbucks Café Mocha without a problem in the world. Inspiration is near, we discover our purpose, a clearer vision for life comes into plain view and then, the next day, dark clouds roll in and life gets confusing and disquieting. Throughout life, we are taught to find meaning and purpose. For entrepreneurs, this means following our own path. But what we're often not told are the setbacks and tribulations that accompany purpose.
Life is a teacher. We are always getting graded. Yet, without a doubt, life is not designed to fail you but to test you.
Here’s a candid look at three of the biggest setbacks that stop most people from following their purpose in life and how we can overcome them. Hopefully you're see how setbacks are really designed for your ultimate set up.
1. Lack of funds
Let's just start with the obvious. The biggest thing that holds most people back from following their dreams and living their purpose is money. So, we use that as an excuse to not move forward. A lack of funds, to be perfectly honest, is a great excuse. But it should not set us back. Once you have a vision for your life, money will be the last thing you’ll have to worry about. Let me explain why.
With crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, you can rally financial support from across the globe. These sites are created for people to invest in projects and for those who have a vision and a plan of action to bring their ideas into the world.
It's not enough to just have a vision; you must also have a plan of action that looks promising for investors.
Let’s look at government contracts and grants, too. Grants are granted to people who have a specific vision. If you have an idea for a government program you want to fund, you’ll have to communicate your vision and detail a plan of action. People invest in people. What good are funds without a solid vision that informs you how to direct and use them?
Don't let the idea of not having enough money to start a business stop you. Instead, focus your efforts on fully developing your business idea and clarifying your vision. You'll find that people will be attracted to your vision and resources will soon follow!
2. No experience
This perceived setback never gets old. You graduate from high school, get accepted into college and graduate. You apply for your dream job and they kindly send you an email stating they are looking for someone who has more experience. Or maybe you have a great business idea and you’re sure it will be the next big thing. So, you start to research what it will take to startup. You are told by others, and maybe even yourself, you don’t have enough startup experience to become an entrepreneur.
Don’t let a lack of experience be the sole reason you give up on your plans. Many entrepreneurs who went on to create million dollar companies did not have “enough experience,” let alone a college degree.
One way to gain practical experience is to intern, shadow someone in the industry, seek mentorship or turn to e-learning courses. This will give you a chance to gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience. For example, ed tech is taking off. Platforms such as Skillshare offer a learning community for creators. Anyone can take an online class, watch video lessons, create projects and even teach a class themselves.
3. Little social proof
With social media playing such a major part in our daily lives, having a strong social media presence is important. Yet, you don’t have to have nine million Twitter followers to launch a successful business. Too many entrepreneurs get discouraged when starting a business or launching a product because they think customers won’t take them seriously with a fledgling social media presence. Instead, grow organically by creating a simple social content plan. Every chance you get to connect offline and online with a customer, let them know where they can find you on social media.
Numbers are important when it comes to social media, but engagement is more important. So focus on creating a following that boosts engagement. Social Media Examiner suggests, “three things big brands do very well that small businesses can emulate: Find where their customers talk and 'go deep.' Create content that people want to talk about. [And] use social media to listen to customers.”
There are plenty of social media accounts with millions of followers and no real engagement (which is pointless). The right social media conversations can let you know how your product or service is solving a problem, what you are doing right and, more importantly, what you are doing wrong. So instead of worrying about how many “likes” your Facebook brand page has, focus on building a relationship and creating value for those who follow you today. Do not let small numbers discourage you from doing business.
Do not let a lack of funds, experience or social validation hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Instead, put your time and energy into creating a vision for your business and figuring out the direction you want to go. Make the decision to be successful today.
What setbacks have you overcome to reach success? Let us know in the comments below, and share this piece with your entrepreneur friends!
Tony Logan is the VP of Liftbridge Publishing a publishing company used to publish independent authors and also the Creative Director for Abstract Solutions which is a marketing firm. When he's not working he can be found at your local cafe stealing wifi and sugar packets. Follow him on Twitter.
READ NEXT: How to avoid the entrepreneur "Freshman...
The Phat Startup co-founder and tech entrepreneur Anthony Frasier released his first self-published book entitled "Don't Dumb Down Your Greatness: A Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Thinking & Being Great." In this book, Frasier gives the advice he says he wishes someone would have given him when he first started his journey in the entrepreneurial world.
Frasier's book provides tools to help young entrepreneurs of color find success in their ventures and maintain their mental stability while doing so; a topic often unmentioned in advice books of this genre. Some of the topics covered in the book, according to Frasier, are: creating a value system, dealing with failure, creating luck, morning routines, quitting, goal setting, how to think, being patient and much more!
Want to get your hands on this book housing major keys to entrepreneurial success? Head to Amazon to purchase a print or digital copy of Frasier's book today!
READ NEXT: Bernice L. McFadden explores the reliency of the human spirit in...
Blogging can be a full-time job. You are writing, editing and researching, all the while maintaining a blog. Heck, I ought to know because I am one. When I began blogging it was a hobby, a side-hustle if you will, but as it grew in size so did the responsibilities and the demand for more content and aesthetics. Many bloggers find the work tedious or overwhelming and give it up midstream while others go on to blogging greatness and fame. Not all bloggers stay in their lane though. Many successful bloggers find other aspects of the entrepreneurial spirit (a certain attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change) and create items for purchase.
Some create clothing, others collaborate with beauty or hair brands (like brand ambassadors) and still others create beauty products. I would not say it's a natural gravitation for all bloggers, but it seems it was indeed for the four mentioned below. And for good reason…they bring incredible products to the world that needed to be appreciated. Just like many creators of products before them, these four women found a need that was not being met, or at least not specifically sculpted as they saw fit. Some of the best products on the market are those that the creators knew were missing from the world. They brought to the masses an idea, product, or even a service that was not yet discovered. Does this sound easy? It might appear that way, but the behind-the-scenes formulations are rough, even cut-throat, as bringing your creation to life takes all guts but quite often doesn't give any glory. Despite the obstacles, Alex Elle, Kim Love, Rochelle (BlackOnyx77) and Nikisha Brunson made reality so much sweeter by gracing us with amazing products while holding down the fort in the blogging and vlogging worlds.
Alex Elle / Balm & Co.
Alex Elle didn't only create Balm and Co. She’s a natural hair blogger, jewelry designer, poet and author. She is a wondrous multitude of various talents she willingly shares. She’s an entrepreneur and a mother who believes in self-care practices and sharing the talents of local artisans. Balm & Co. was born in 2014 and the mission is the same to this day. Create natural, holistic, planet + people friendly skincare products to those near and far. Their products are vegan, handmade with fair trade ingredients and are 100 percent natural with no GMOs, fillers, parabens, alcohol, sulfates or unnatural preservatives. Every ingredient picked is included in the formulation for a therapeutic purpose. Many essential oils contain almost magical qualities that help the mind, body and spirit. From lip balms to activated charcoal cleansers, Alex Elle’s Balm & Co. takes every product and ingredient seriously.
Kim Love / Luv Naturals
Kim Love or Kimmaytube was a natural hair vlogging sensation when she began her natural hair journey in March of 2009. We walked through her very first video of a wash, tuck and go to today, when she’s incorporating her hair care line Luv Naturals into her styles, hair care and life. This talented businesswoman let us into her life and we were in awe of her very disciplined very well-thought-out procedures to grow her hair from ear length to hipbone length in only four years. She created the Luv Naturals website in 2010 selling hair accessories, but her hair care product line didn’t launch until September 2012 and was a four-step foundation line for everyday hair care maintenance and manageability. Today she has products ranging from detanglers to gels and has become a beloved line in the natural hair community.
Rochelle (BlackOnyx77) / Alikay Naturals
Rochelle Graham, AKA, BlackOnyx77, began her natural hair journey back in 2008 and has turned her YouTube channel into a successful resource for women wanting to go natural. She used YouTube as a platform to share her experiences during her natural hair journey and by the time she was 26 years old she was named “Black Beauty Pioneer” by ESSENCE magazine. At the beginning of her natural hair journey she had damaged her hair with harsh chemicals. While on the hunt for healthier products to use, she decided to make her own and reach her own natural hair goals. While still in college, Alikay was launched. With only $100 she and her husband earned from part-time jobs and through rigorous research she created her first product, Essential 17 Hair Growth Oil. Alikay Naturals has expanded into a formal company offering more than 60 products that focus on natural hair, skin, bath and body.
Nikisha Brunson / Folie
Nikisha Brunson, the co-founder of the beloved Urban Bush Babes, is an inspiration to all. Her life is an open book and as she accepts the challenges life has given her. She created UBB with her best friend to discuss natural hair, fashion, health and lifestyle while infusing music and art and culture into this world through their blog. UBB is a hugely popular blog with women who love and embrace not only natural hair but are comfortable in their own skin and refuse to apologize for it. Folie is a 100 percent natural and handcrafted teas, soaps, hair care and skin care line that was launched just this past October. Her line excludes parabens, synthetic preservatives, petroleum or mineral oil, silicones, sulfates or phthalates. As it continues to grow, so will the product line and creativity.
What bloggers-turned-makers do you admire? Let us know in the comments below!
Sabrina is a freelance writer and full-time blogger. She is contributing writer for a variety of publications on topics ranging natural hair to feminism and is the editor-in-chief of her own blog, seriouslynatural.org which has a focus on natural hair, beauty and wellness. Sabrina's background is in government regulation and she has been directly involved in local and national politics. She has a BA in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
READ NEXT: This NYFW model followed her dreams and is now a successful lifestyle...
On Friday January 15, 2016, the actual birthdate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It was only befitting that a I Have A Dream Summit be called by My Brother’s Keeper Task Force. The summit was a collaboration between President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, BLOC and Student Dream. This amazing group was able to pull together some of the best and brightest from the black community to discuss solutions and outcome oriented actions that could help propel all youth and young adults to pursue academic and professional opportunities in entrepreneurship.
Some of the speakers included Blavity’s own CEO, Morgan DeBaun who was able to share with the energetic group the story of how Blavity developed and the power of using various social media platforms to reach your core audience. Along with Morgan Debaun, participants were able to hear from Courtney Sanders or Think And Grow Chick, a website geared towards providing black women with programs that inspire them to live their best lives. Rounding out this great group of speakers was Andre Woodley Jr., creator of Quest, an app geared towards helping its users build memorable lives by discovering, connecting, sharing, or discovering their moment within 10 seconds. Woodley, a graduate of Tennessee State University, explained to the students that if big ideas and innovation can come out of Harvard it can also come out of an HBCU. The room had no shortage of HBCU alumni and students. Schools like Claflin University, Southern University, Howard University, North Carolina A and T University, Morgan State University and Lincoln University were well represented.
As the conversation about solutions and outcome oriented actions continued throughout the day participants were forced to ask themselves what part were they playing in pushing the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. That question isn’t just one for the participants to consider but one for us all to consider. How are we helping the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs? Hopefully we all can work towards answering that...
Last week, I spoke to a friend with a business idea. Months before, when he shared the idea with some people close to him, they discouraged him from pursuing it. I was shocked— it was actually quite a good idea! If he had pursued it all those months ago, it's quite possible that he would now have a product (or at least a prototype) that people could be benefitting from right now. It got me thinking: are there other people out there with great ideas but little or no encouragement? If you need some support, here are a few pointers.
An idea is just an idea.
Usually, when someone comes up with an idea for a service or a product, the conversation quickly turns to "starting a business." This can be intimidating. Indeed, it’s actually inaccurate. On day one, you don’t have a fledgling business — what you have is an idea.
An idea is merely a thought. It's a creation of the mind concerning what could be. Therefore, you can be very liberal about what you do with it. You can’t break it, you can’t lose it; it’s just an idea. So even if, like my friend, you encounter people who criticize it, they can’t really impact your idea in any way.
The same is true regarding the fear I hear from many budding entrepreneurs about someone "stealing" their business idea. The truth is, because an idea is merely a thought, it has little, if any, value. All of the value in a business idea is in its execution. It’s the same with fiction writing. The basic idea of "boy meets girl" has been utilized by writers from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Jane Austen. Similarly, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook are all social networks — platforms via which you communicate and share various forms of media with your friends and the world. The idea is essentially the same, but in each case, the execution is different.
An idea is a necessary, but insufficient, element of a business. You should share your idea, ask for advice and get opinions, but don’t let anyone decide whether your idea is good or bad; it’s just an idea until you do something with it.
You don’t have to start a business. Start an experiment.
Another word for idea is hypothesis, and this leads us into the work of someone who many of us entrepreneurs have to thank for helping us see our entrepreneurial endeavors in a new and revealing light. Eric Ries is the author of The Lean Startup, a book that proposes "every startup is a grand experiment" to test the viability of your business idea. No one can be sure whether an idea is viable. You can’t work it out in your head. You have to build something (even if it's quick and dirty) and see what happens.
Your experiment will center around what The Lean Startup describes as a minimum viable product (MVP):
"The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort."
For example, at a 2007 design conference in San Francisco, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia took pictures of their apartment, put them up on a simple Wordpress website and ended up housing three paying guests for the duration of the conference. Thus began Airbnb. One of the great things about this story? It demonstrates just how little you have to lose by testing out your idea. The worst thing that could come from Brian and Joe's experiment was an empty apartment with no guests. They would have learned the idea, or at least that particular iteration of it, did not work. The key, to paraphrase Eric Ries, is to build something with which you can test demand, measure the response of users and learn from your experiment.
That’s what I did with Books Africana. I had an idea: it would be useful to have a single place where you could find books by people from Africa and the African Diaspora. Within a week or so, I had the website up and I started testing my idea. It’s a little rough around the edges, but it proves the point that my idea is actually something people need, and I can work with users to make it better.
Just do it!
The truth is, it's easier than ever to start a business. Things such as email, cloud computing, e-commerce and social media put tools that were once only available to a select few in your hands. Website builders such as Squarespace, Wordpress and Wix enable you to build a good-looking site with ease. Signup pages such as Launchrock, Megaphone and Ontrapages allow you to cheaply test demand. MOOCs such as Coursera and Treehouse help you to develop the skills to build applications that people will use and hopefully love!
If you have an idea for a product or service or website or project, I encourage you to take a step and test it out. At worst, you’ll invest your time and effort in a learning experience.
Have you followed through on a big idea? Tell us about it in the comments...
When I was 16 years old I met Monte Lipman, the President of Universal Records. His personal driver dropped him off in an all black S-Class Mercedez Benz Sedan in front of my high school. It was a Saturday, and he was the only reason I would show up to school on a Saturday. He was there to speak to students at a special career day.
Unfortunately, I don’t remember anything he said that day except for his recipe for getting lucky. It’s the recipe he says he has followed, and got him to where he is in life. So, a struggling but curious kid like myself paid close attention. Here’s what he wrote on the chalk board.
Preparation + Opportunity = Luck
It was the first time I had seen the word “luck” in a not so magical way. When you think of luck you think of four leaf clovers, blowing out birthday candles, or throwing coins in a pond. Never did I imagine luck as something I can create with my own effort. But it made sense.
According to him, as long as you stayed prepared, whenever an opportunity would arise you would get lucky. I later found out that the quote originated from the old philosopher Seneca.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
I want to change that equation a bit and add a new twist to it. This time it goes like this:
Hustle + Opportunity + Optimism = Luck
What is hustle?
Hard work – Knowing something is going to be hard, makes it easier. Setting realistic expectations will better prepare you to exceed them. Many people think getting lucky involves no hard work, but that’s a big misconception.
Of course, there are people in the world who do little and get so much. But, either they had to do the hard work, their parents had to, or great grand parents had to. Somebody had to do the hard work at some moment in time. If you’re like me, and you don’t come from wealth, then your own effort is what matters the most.
Persistence – They say persistence is genius in disguise, and now I know why. If you want to lose weight you have to diet and exercise consistently. If I want to be a good artist, I have to draw consistently. If I want to shoot a basketball like Steph Curry, then I should be in the gym shooting consistently. See the pattern here?
Greatness comes from practice. Whatever you aim to do, be consistent and persistent. This will separate you from the crowd. I always think of the “48 Laws Of Power”, when I approach the topic of persistence:
“Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work—it only raises questions.”
Perseverance – No matter how hard you work, and how persistent you are, life gets in the way. So what are you going to do about it? Quit? Perseverance is what keeps your engine going, long after you run out of gas. It’s your crazy factor. It can also be described as hunger. How hungry are you for your desired goal? These are the questions you won’t know the answer to until the situation faces you head on.
You might be thinking, “what happened to being prepared?” Nothing. If you are doing everything described above, you are well prepared.
“The genius thing we did was, we didn’t give up.” Jay-Z
What is opportunity?
Hustle creates opportunity – You hustle hard enough, people will notice you. When people notice you they want to associate with you, do deals with you, invest in you, partner with you, buy from you, or hire you. When we began to do events for The Phat Startup, we were doing them monthly. Those monthly events led to people writing about us, tweeting about us and landing even bigger and better guests. We created the opportunities to grow through consistency.
Vision – Spotting opportunities takes practice. Most opportunities come to you without you even noticing from your hustle. But, there are times when you can spot an opportunity as well. Without the ability to see opportunities, you can be sitting right in front of one, and pass it by like its nothing. The reason we often don’t see opportunities is because they look like the exact opposite.
You lost your job? OK, so your mind can either process that as a bad thing (misfortune) or a good thing (opportunity). No worries though, like Richard Branson says:
“Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”
What is optimism?
Faith – In the BIBLE it defines faith as “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” You don’t have to be a Christian to have faith in your own abilities. You may not have reached your goal yet, but having complete confidence that you WILL, makes all the difference in whether you do.
Meditation – Meditation doesn’t have to be what you think it is. Don’t think of it as something monks do every morning sitting with their legs crossed. Think of it as a way to focus on your dreams every morning/night, and as a way to keep yourself grounded among all the craziness of life.
Everybody has a “WHY?” Meditation is the 20 minutes a day you spend focusing on your why, and being grateful for everything you already have. Like James Altucher says“anxiety and gratitude can’t live in the same head.”
Personal health (what you have control over) – It’s hard to be optimistic when you are sick. Your personal health plays a huge part in your attitude, which plays a huge part in your effort, which plays a huge part in your success. As long as you are trying to get better at least 1% a day, your attitude will feed off your progress.
What is luck?
Luck is when you hustle hard to create opportunities, while always expecting to win. It doesn’t get any more technical than that. So now we can stop thinking of luck as the lazy man's dreams, and as the hustlers secret weapon. Uncross your fingers, and get to work.
Some suggested readings/links that will enhance your experience with the information in this post:
“The Obstacle Is the Way” by Ryan Holiday – This book is all about being able to spot opportunities in the middle of misfortune. It helps you transform the way you think, by showcasing historical figures who have done it. It profiles Abe Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Aurelius, and many more.
“Become An Idea Machine” by Claudia Altucher – Claudia is the wife of one of my favorite writers James Altucher. One thing James speaks about is how exercising your mind can help you spot opportunities. His claim is that if you write down 10 ideas a day, every 6 months your life will change for the better. Claudia wrote a book to help guide you through that process.
Posters by Joey Roth – Seeing is believing. Wherever your work space is, you need to have clear reminders that serve as not just motivation, but helps you think. Joey has a few of those posters in his store.
Perfect place to start with meditation. Recommended by Scott Britton.
Sign up for the Tech808 conference for more awesome advice like this. And take advantage of an exclusive discount with the code 'Blavity!'
WANT MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS? SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER BELOW.
[mc4wp_form]sex machines acheter les masturbateurs en...