Happy Monday Mamas! As you guys start off this beautiful spring week I wanted to chat with you about a topic that I was recently asked to write about for my weekly Instagram Video Series, “Mamas Making Money Mondays!” A fellow mama and soon-to-be mompreneur asked me to talk about “The first step to becoming an entrepreneur.” When she asked me to shed more light on this subject matter I knew that this was a topic that I just simply couldn’t pass up because I remember what it was like when I first started my own business and the many different things that I had questions about in terms of getting my brand out there and the essential keys to getting started. There are so many mamas who have dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs but still need help identifying the necessary steps to get there, while also developing the right plan of action to help them ultimately grow and become successful long term. Check out my six tips on “The First Steps to Becoming An Entrepreneur!”

1. Know Your Why and Identify What You Want to Do to Fulfill Your Purpose: For me, it was making children’s bow ties because I knew that I wanted to offer a unique, yet stylish fashion brand for children while still making a difference and an impact for children because of my son’s situation and my duty to help and give back to others. I absolutely love children and I knew that once I became a mom that I wanted to create a brand that would make me feel good as a mother while also allowing me to pursue my professional career dreams and passions. So I created a line of bow ties that gives back to kids and helps bring awareness to special needs children and their families. In this case, “My Why” was creating a brand that was so much bigger than just putting out products and making money. It was about having a vision to be a part of a bigger mission and using my son’s testimony to help those in need. So I used bow ties to promote that and spread positive messages of unity, hope, inclusion, and healing for children just like my son Noah. No matter if you’re just starting out or have been in the business for the past 10 years, always know your why and make sure that you are fulfilling your purpose and doing something that you truly have a passion for.

2.  Have Your Goals Written Down & Create a Plan of Action: Yes, it’s true that our plans can change and that things will not always fall in line just how we anticipate, but it’s still important to have a set list of goals in mind and create a plan of action that we can follow. This will help give us structure, keep us organized, and help us manage our tasks, while also holding us accountable!

3. Understand the Competition and What Your Market Looks Like, While Identifying What You Can Do Differently: Let’s take hair extension brands for example. As we know, many of them are very profitable and generate millions of dollars in sales annually! But what is one brand doing differently than the rest? What kind of impact are they making that their competitors are not? Why should customers shop with you, spend their money on your goods and services, and support you over your competition?

These are the things that you want to have in place before starting a business because if you can’t answer these questions now they will only come up later. So prepare now, identify these concerns, know where you stand in the marketplace, and be able to identify the value that you bring to your consumers that other brands cannot.

4. Know Your Value Outside of Price and the Benefits That You Can Offer for Consumers to Motivate Them to Want to Support You Long-term: It’s so easy to start a business with great intention behind it, but if you aren’t taking the necessary steps and aren’t thinking strategically enough for your brand to last long-term in the marketplace than what’s really the point in starting something that won’t finish strong? You have to make sure that what your brand offers will benefit your consumers and get down to their bottom line needs. And those bottom line needs have to be more beneficial than just simply price! Consumers buy from brands that they like and brands that they can trust to add value in their lives. And many of them are willing to spend more money with brands that will offer them the most impact and the most value. Focus on appealing to your consumers value and using your brand to speak to their needs. This will motivate them to want to support you and return back in the future, as opposed to shopping with you just one time or never giving you a chance at all. 

5. Be willing to make some sacrifices: For me, being an entrepreneur means that at this present moment in my life, there are sacrifices that I will have to make in order to get to where I want to be and I am honestly ok with that. I don’t get to take my money and travel all of the time or shop until I drop. And I don’t get to have my weekends completely free where I can just lounge in bed all day and do nothing. I have big plans for my life and goals to fulfill, so I will always have to make some sort of sacrifice to get to a place that I have always dreamed of getting to. I have sacrificed vacations with my best friends, date nights every weekend, killer shoes and bags that I wanted, and even common things like sleep, in order to get to where I want to be. And I’m still making sacrifices as we speak.  As an entrepreneur you have to know what you’re willing to give up in order to get to where you need to be. If your mission is to grow your brand to a fortune 500 company, then do that and be willing to make the sacrifices that you need to along the way so that your vision can become your reality. Ask yourself this question, what are you willing to give up in order to get to where you need to be?

6. Surround yourself with like-minded people: Surround yourself with individuals who are willing to support you, back you, spread the word about you, mentor you, and ultimately help you grow. If you have anyone in your life that’s not supportive of you, they bring toxic energy, and they are not willing to help you, then remove them from your life. The last thing that you need when you’re trying to succeed and reach the top is someone hating and puling you down to the bottom with them. Leave people alone that do not have your best interest in mind and cannot help you get to where you want and need to be! I have removed certain relationships and friendships from my life that I felt did not have my best interest and were not condusive to my success. Making decisions like this can be difficult, but when you are truly focused and invested in getting to where you want to be, it’s easy to see what you need in your life and the people that are going to be the most valuable for you to keep around.  

Talk to you ladies soon,

Genesis A. Emery