5 Min ReadBusiness 08 May 2020
Every person's entrepreneurship journey is not a walk in the park; for most of us, it is a leap of faith and requires at least a sacrifice or two... or ten. Some entrepreneurial journeys take a lot of time and some seriously difficult decisions before a person is even able to begin building their business. I'm talking about leaving a job that you've been in for years, telling your partner, children, and family that you are quitting a stable job to build a business, sometimes with nothing to go on but an idea. And let's be honest, people will look at you and say, "Are you out of your mind?" The answer is, of course, no.
You are not out of your mind for wanting more than a nine to five, living paycheck to paycheck, working for someone else, struggling to establish a financial future that will not only serve you but that will also provide generational wealth — not even in a global crisis. In fact, I believe that a crisis can be the perfect time to make the jump and establish your business and even make a profit.
The world is currently experiencing something unprecedented. It is not just the pandemic that is such a hard reality to face, but it is the magnitude of its impact that really has everyone devastated. COVID-19 has brought on so much loss and tragedy, and it is hard to be optimistic at times, especially as a budding entrepreneur when businesses are being forced to close their doors.
Let me first say, for anyone who is frustrated by this pandemic, your feelings are valid. Everyone has a right to say "I am not okay right now" without being judged or targeted. We are grieving, we are transitioning, we are recovering, and it takes time! There is a lot to consider and adapt to that we are not used to having to think about in such a pressing time frame. I, as a mother of six, had my children to think about — making sure they are well, safe, and that I am able to continuously provide for them and ensure they are not forced to become a statistic of a circumstance that is beyond their control.
You are not out of your mind for wanting more than a nine to five, living paycheck to paycheck
I knew that things were going to change soon, with all the widespread news surrounding coronavirus and I needed to prepare. So, I set a goal to make $1M dollars in 100 days. And, you know what? I did it. And you know what else? If you set a goal, no matter how big, you can do it, too. I am sharing my tips on how to help get you started.
For some people in the world, trying to grow a business during a pandemic is just too much, and it's important to understand that that is okay. No one is required to come out of this with a new source of income, with more business, more clients, or a new "dream." If you are like me and are interested in (and able to be) propelling your business and creating a plan of action to help avoid the financial impact of this crisis, the attitude of determination is one of the things that will keep you going.
It was not a simple journey but I was committed. Commitment generated results and those results drove me to set bigger goals.
I, as a cosmetology professional, knew how the shutdown could affect my industry. Of course, when essential workers are being determined by local governments, what may seem necessary to some may not be necessary for others. There are dozens of posts on social media either coercing people to be productive or shaming them for it, when truthfully the best advice is to allow people to do what works for them. What worked for me was deciding that I wanted to defy the crisis, in a sense. I decided that I wanted my company to blossom rather than crumble under pressure. So, I set a goal, I wrote out my vision, and I got to work!
But here's the thing. I am no stranger to struggle, hard work, and making something out of virtually nothing. I grew up in foster care and have experienced homelessness and living in shelters with a small child. I decided to go into business for myself, creating haircare line Arcani Coil Care in 2017. Although many have told me this was far-fetched and would be too difficult to accomplish, I knew that I was destined to build this business and give back to my community.
My products include vegan-based temporary hair colors, a men's beard care kit, children's curl mousse, edge control products, leave-in conditioners, lock cream, and more. It was not a simple journey but I was committed. Commitment generated results and those results drove me to set bigger goals. Not only making sure my children and family were okay, but also making sure my employee and their families had job security during this pandemic as well.
I decided that I wanted my company to blossom rather than crumble under pressure.
Back in January when the news of coronavirus began to spread, I noticed that my business started picking up significantly. I realized that I had to do something major to take care of not just my family, but my clients as well. With the implementation of #socialdistancing, I knew it was important to churn out more product in a short period of time. How could I do it? Consistency. I had to be consistent with the marketing and promotion of the products and their success. This meant setting sales goals, working longer hours, being relentless about what I wanted, and what I am capable of as well as being diligent with social media.
All I knew was if Madam CJ Walker could do it with her business at the time of the Spanish Flu, I could do it today. And, I did.
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It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.