7 Money Moves for Entrepreneurial Black WomenJun 30, 2022
You can't be everything for everyone, and you don't have to be the strongest or the prettiest to get started. There’s another way, and we discuss specifics within my membership subscription, Business Development and Content Writing for Black Entrepreneurs, but I'm going to give you a solid foundation for growing your finances - right here and now.
Keep reading to learn more about the perks of being a member and how it can help you take all seven money-making steps (in no particular order).
Self-Care for Your Finances
Your pictures are cute, but most of you tell me you're depressed - and I know you've wondered why the effort you put in doesn't yield the type of rewards others reap.
Perhaps you think it's about hard work, so you figure your time will come sooner or later. Maybe you think it's White people's fault, and there's nothing you can do about it - or you feel like you've exhausted your options.
But in the back of your mind, you wonder, "why aren't I reaping a return for the work I put in?" It's a confusing dilemma, but I'm here to break it down for you AND give you seven heavy hitters to help you get back on track.
We'll first cover the need for business consultants of color, followed by the answer to your prayers, and finally - those money moves I promised.
The seven steps we'll discuss:
- Replace Self-Care Products with Discipline and Investments
- Re-evaluate Relationships
- Wear Your Clothes Longer
- Find a Business Consultant
- Introduce Music into Your Daily Routine
- Switch from Time-Blocks to To-Do Lists
- Use Physical and Digital Planners
When it comes to succeeding in business, it's not about working harder; it's about working smarter. And considering your existing talents, the smartest thing you could do is develop a better understanding of how business and culture interact in the U.S. economy so that you make better decisions and keep more of the dollars you earn.
Black Women Need Qualified Consultants
So, you want money?
Below, I've excerpted a paragraph from the webinar I wrote entitled, The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Freelance Business Consultant. If you feel moved by my words and want to learn more, enter your email at the bottom of this blog because that's how the magic happens - by taking action. You'll be signed up for the FREE webinar and qualify for a significant discount.
More importantly, however, you should take action instead of waiting on the universe to act in your favor because some people seek to actively and deliberately attack your wellbeing. Without your intervention, you're destined to get the short end of the stick.
In 2020, “Black women represent[ed] 42% of new women-owned businesses—three times their share of the female population—and 36% of all Black-owned employer businesses”, according to Forbes.
Now, despite a staggering 17% of Black women in the process of starting or running new businesses (compared to 10% of white women and 15% of white men), only 3% of Black women run mature businesses. To be sure, a mature business is one with stable systems and predictable growth.
So, it’s clear that black women are taking more advantage of economic opportunities today than ever before. But, with most of the population floundering, stuck in a moment of perpetual drowning, it can only mean one thing – these women must adjust their strategy or join the 45% of businesses that fail within their first five years.
So where can you find a solution that meets your needs?
Inside the Membership
My creative agency, Orchids Octopi LLC, hosts a membership designed with Black women in mind. The modules and lessons are tailored to issues faced by women and minority ethnic groups, and updated every month - so for newbies, this is what the inside of the membership looks like:
In the membership, we emphasize responsible planning and spending habits to ensure everyone has a solid foundation for their business. This is especially important since women of color are more likely to be their family's breadwinner than White women, for example.
More importantly, however, I know it’s expensive to be poor – and Black bodies are incredibly talented at doing more with less – 1.2 trillion-dollar buying power good at it. This membership will show you how to retain more of your dollars and appropriately budget projects so that you come out on top.
Step One: Replace Self-Care Products with Discipline and Investments
Even though we only represent 14% of the U.S. population, in 2018, Black bodies accounted for $151 million of the $679 million spent on luxury non-essentials such as perfumes, creams, and jewelry. If that doesn’t shock you enough, you should know Black bodies spend 1.2 trillion dollars a year on goods and services, but when surveyed only 38% of us answer financial literacy questions correctly and only 3% of businesses owned by Black women are mature.
So, instead of literally pouring your dollars down the drain – by way of fancy conditioners, lotions, and scrubs - I want you to think of consulting as purchasing image and self-care for your business.
Alternatively, you could spend your self-care budget on other advantageous tools and services for your business, but I recommend you speak to a business consultant first.
Step Two: Re-evaluate Relationships
Relationships come in many forms, so you'll need to remain vigilant for any that suck more energy and resources from you than it returns.
An example of this is a boss that doesn't appreciate your contribution, a boyfriend or husband that expects you to become someone else for their benefit, or an over-bearing parent that expects their child to care for them emotionally or financially.
To my beloved family of women and minority groups, I cannot stress this enough - feeling like you owe your parent(s) is a generational curse. You can never repay them for life, but you *can* create a solid foundation for yourself and your children with the intention of giving back.
This may seem harsh - but I see so many of you struggle with this well into your thirties and beyond. It's not reasonable to put your life on hold for months and years because someone else isn't ready for you to move on.
If you want to establish a legacy, you must look onward and upward towards new possibilities. In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, "it's planting seeds in a garden you'll never see".
Step Three: Wear Your Clothes Longer
You should wear your clothes longer and avoid basing your style on fleeting trends.
- Zara, SHEIN, and H&M aren't doing you any favors!
- Fashion Nova is NOT your friend.
This advice may surprise you because I love dramatic clothes and have a reputation for wearing retro designer, but it's not for the reason most people think. I wear old designer because I'm encouraged to keep the clothes longer; the clothing is usually well-made and available at online thrift stores like TheRealReal for a heavily discounted price.
If you're like most of my readers, you're an environmentally conscious millennial. Fast-fashion has lasting, global consequences; it pollutes the planet, harms animals during production, and encourages you to buy clothes you'll throw out soon - meaning buying cheap clothes in the first place is a trap waiting to spring.
Step Four: Find a Business Consultant
If you're unfamiliar with the concept, a business consultant is someone that helps you reach goals and improve your business's operations in specific areas. The return on investment (ROI) of hiring a business consultant depends on how prepared the business owner is to solve problems. The more you know, the more we know - but that's tough if you don't know where to start. So, no worries, I've got you.
If you can't yet afford the hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars spent on business development and marketing campaigns, the membership subscription is a great alternative because for only $49 a month you get access to everything you need to succeed. However, it's important to note that eventually business owners need special attention - and that's where a 1:1 session comes in - lucky for you, prices are cut to $37 per hour for members.
Step Five: Introduce Music into Your Daily Routine
Sometimes people ask me how the essays I write about music relate to my overall mission. Much of it has to do with music's relation to culture, so I listen to music with lyrics to gain a deeper understanding of the artist's perspective. Alternatively, I may analyze the structure of an instrumental song to determine it's influences.
You don't have to do that, though. I want you to introduce music into your daily routine to increase focus while you work.
- Listen to instrumental beats while reading, writing, or otherwise outputting ideas.
- When the task you're performing doesn't require critical thinking, listen to an album that matches the mood you want.
Step Six: Switch from Time-Blocks to To-Do Lists
This may be controversial, because depending on how you learn and process time, time-blocking might make sense for you. When you time-block you commit to completing a certain activity or type of action during a given time no matter the circumstance.
However, if you don't have a preferred method of tracking your activity levels, I recommend creating a to-do list instead.
Unlike time-blocking, to-do lists aren't usually down to the hour, so if you finish early, you save time - which we all know to be a limited resource. The time you save could be used to get ahead or organize your systems.
Ideally, tasks are completed within a specified period of time, but unfinished tasks can be added to your backlog, then added to your next to-do list until the task is complete. Each day, you should conquer your most pressing task, then take on (at least) two more.
Step Seven: Use Physical and Digital Planners
I use a combination of physical and digital planners to keep track of things. The last thing you want to do is establish a habit of missing appointments - especially those that help you meet your bottom line.
You don't want to miss out on profitable collaborations and partnerships because others find you unreliable. Case in point, I've personally had clients and collaborators miss scheduled meeting times without providing any warning, so I refuse to do business with them again.
Additionally, writing things down in a journal or in a digital notebook makes referencing ideas easier - because once an idea is gone - good luck! Trust me on this one - the further you plan to go in your career; the more important journaling becomes. Use the notes on your phone if you must.
The business case for this habit being that for your business to survive, your mission and product/services must be clearly defined, or potential customers will feel nervous reaching out.
Success Means Getting Out of Your Own Way
Plainly put - we have expensive spending habits, and although you may feel your predicament is someone else's fault, it is always our responsibility to create the life we've imagined. So, the 52% of Black bodies that report shopping as "relaxing" and enjoy wandering through stores should consider who benefits most when they spend money on consumable items. That momentary relief may be fueling your circumstance.
To elaborate, I'd like to share a story of love and family with you - one Black woman raising another when her mother couldn't.
My aunt taught me about tough love, a love for yourself born of discipline and focus. For those of you that don't know - my aunt raised me and for all intents and purposes she *is* my mother. When I was growing up, she was hard on me, and I couldn't understand why because I was a straight A student without a discipline record. It was especially hurtful because she'd protected me from homelessness and abuse and given me my own room.
What was the point if she was just going to give me more of the same?.. but young me couldn't tell the difference between abuse and discipline because I'd been abused so much. Still, whether I protested or not, my aunt taught me the value in building while others were playing, and through repetition, she taught me how to record important information, stack coins, and excel above my peers.
Before I knew it, my aunt taught me the cheat code to success - recognizing that self-care is a long-term game. The unfortunate reality for many persons of color is that they must start from nothing and make a way where there is none. If you intend to accomplish anything worth writing home about, you cannot allow this to be your excuse. I know you're underpaid, and I know you're underappreciated - but I see now what my aunt did for me, and I want to share the fruits of our labor with you.
So, I urge you to recognize that failing to build early on leaves you with nothing later; we've seen it time and time again. Take charge of your future. Let's break a generational curse together.
How can you take back your power? In the next section, we discuss services available to you.
Announcing This Season's Lineup
I’ve learned that if you believe you're not letting anyone down, you've let yourself down. - Sabrina Whittaker
In closing, I've given you a combination of advice and investment suggestions to grow your income, but what makes this list especially unique is that it's also a call to action. I want to empower you to decide today that you're the Black Women who no longer puts her money concerns on the backburner. You are ready, determined and willing to do whatever it takes to solidify your financial foundation - starting right now.
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned a membership named, Business Development and Content Writing for Black Entrepreneurs, created to help historically underrepresented groups find success in entrepreneurship.
The membership subscription is hosted on Buy Me a Coffee. In the membership, we share exclusive content, answer your most pressing questions, and explore the intersection of business and culture through Hip Hop. It's a whole lotta of fun, and your pockets will thank you.
After joining the membership, you can expect access to the following in addition to monthly perks, group coaching sessions, and impromptu lessons.
Standard Member Services:
- Private Meeting Channel for Members
- Subscription to a Weekly Newsletter
- Discounted Consulting Services
- An Upcoming Audiovisual Podcast
- Additional Monthly Perks and Toolkits
- Buyer Persona Exercises
- Customer Journey Outlines
- Social Media Audits
- Group Coaching Sessions
You can learn more about services available to you after using the opt-in form at the bottom of this article to join the next webinar, The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Freelance Business Consulting, this coming Thursday at 6:30pm.
Once you sign up, you'll be directed to a series of pages where you may explore services in more detail. This process is intentional; the extra step tells us you're serious. Those who do not follow the process to become a member will be charged full price. Thank you for understanding!
You may feel like you're running out of time, but that's the exact thought absorbing what little time you have left. Instead, ask yourself if you're making the best use of your time, then reach for a greater purpose through practiced focus and discipline. If that feels impossible, reach out to me.
Thank you for reading to the end!
Sincerely, Sabrina Whittaker