How do you know that you’re an entrepreneur?
For me as an inner city Detroit kid I didn’t necessarily know what entrepreneurship was at the time. As I look back I can clearly see that I had the natural inclinations, definitely creative and inquisitive.
Illustration by ggharmon
What makes an Entrepreneur?
My parents probably thought I was a curious kid. They had the inkling that I was creative and most likely thought I was weird or just an annoying kid with endless questions. My mom tells me that I could spend hours’ alone drawing.
My great aunt & uncle who bought me my first sewing machine could always make me laugh as they reminisced on the days when I would make them sit and watch my fashion show of paper dresses. One paper garment after another, I paraded down the stairs and twirled in front of them. The thought of this is embarrassing. I’m happy I don’t have a clear recollection of these events. Much of my inspiration for sewing and fabric remnants came from my great aunt who made a living doing alterations.
I quickly learn to create garments for myself, pillows, doll clothes and cool things for my siblings with those remnants. I had the knack to mix & match textiles. Yes, block coloring became my friend way before I new there was a term for combining bold splashes of color. As a kid I generated some capital by creating garments for neighbors and friends. In college I was most famous for my patchwork jean blazers.
Over the years even when I was employed full time I found myself doing freelance entrepreneurial tasks for hire and pro bono. I channeled my energy in several industries one obvious one was the fashion industry, retail management, business and manufacturing. I soon started honing my creative skills in graphic/web design and marketing.
What I learned from those childhood episodes working with remnants was invaluable. I’ve been able to work with the tools at my disposal no matter how limiting. This lesson has served me well throughout my career especially since 2009.
In 2009 after losing my job due to corporate cutbacks at the company where I worked, I began doing what came natural to me and launched Peace & Harmony Solutions, Inc. with a colleague in 2010.
Now the advice I give to my clients falls back on the lesson that has served me all these years. It’s critical to take a second look around you. Use what’s in your path until you can acquire all the things your business needs and wants. What do I mean by that statement?
Review your resources. Look to your team for support. If you hired well and trained well you should have employees that can assume greater responsibilities even advise in areas that are critical to you business. Small businesses and nonprofits have to be particularly savvy with expenses.
Because my business started at the height of the recession we had to adapt very quickly. So we offered coaching services for our clients. We advise, rather than hiring an agency to do all the work for your company or organization we advised our clients to hire an agency like Peace & Harmony that will coach their team into better times. Peace & Harmony would obviously do the work that the client team could not perform but we guide them through the other processes.
Offering this recourse to our small business clients with smaller budgets was ideal and affordable for clients. This storyline can easily slide into some other very important topics requiring several more pages to conclude. So let me close by asking you to join our Business Corner to the right of this post.