“Conterfeit Concepts” of What it Takes to Be an Entrepreneur

Over the years, I have been amazed at how some people are misled by counterfiet concepts about how black entrepreneurs live and work. Most people are very comfortable with the stability they have on a job they may hate but get paid every 2 weeks.

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They look at the benefits, pay, vacation time, etc. The first difference between Entrepreneurs and the 9 to 5 workers is we understand the benefits AND the limits of working for other people. Working in the music industry, I always HATED politics, butt-kissing, and people literally getting screamed at when they don’t do their job.

I have seen it time and again, and I am not cut out to take that, but I liked working in the industry, so the ONLY way for me to do it was to own my own business. If you are thinking about making the switch to being a black entrepreneur, there are a few things you should know off the bat. Please consider these things BEFORE you make the leap.

We Make a lot of Money

Ideally, you can, but not initially. You are learning how the operation works, hiring and firing, organizing, getting your taxes in order buying supplies, finding clients, and getting everything in order. For the first two to five years, unless you have a BRILLIANT idea and funding, you will probably struggle for a while, but all is not lost.

The benefit and the “high” of working for yourself are worth it if you can hang in there. Typically, the rules for minority black entrepreneurs are different.

We don’t often have a lot of financial resources, and if we make the leap to being a black entrepreneur, the last thing we want is investors breathing down our necks but there are some ideas where you MUST get investors involved.

As the old saying goes, when you start-up uses OTHER people’s money instead of your own or your family’s.

We Do Nothing All Day

Yeah, nothing all day but WORK. Don’t I wish? Eventually, you do get to a point where you learn the rhythm, but I know many black entrepreneurs that work 8 to 18-hour days.  

The wise ones ALWAYS keep an eye on the bottom line even if they are able to work less and have people in place to watch over their businesses, but we work, and we work a LOT.

Once again, the high of knowing the business belongs to you and the fact that you are doing what you really WANT to do makes the time go by VERY fast.

Anyone can be an Entrepreneur

Not so. It takes a lot of discipline, patience, creativity, flexibility, money shifting, savvy, selling, control, relationship building, and determination. Few people can do all those things and still find a way to pay the bills when a client is and will always be late payment.

You Set Your Own Schedule

Yes and no, it all depends on what you do and how you do it. Eventually, you can, but not initially; the business sets your schedule for you.

You Only do One Job and Hire Other People to do the other ones

In a perfect black entrepreneur world… absolutely in the real world, HELL NO. You do ALL the jobs for the first couple of years and there are certainly some things you are not going to be good at and hate but they have to get done.

The first couple of years is the true test for the black entrepreneur to see what you are made of. If you can do all the work and still reach your bottom line, you are where you need to be.

Great Entrepreneur Think of Ways to Make Money First

Nope, those are usually the ones who fail miserably. If you are in the business of buying and selling businesses, then yes, this will work.

If you are in the business of keeping a business for at least 5 to 7 years (the realistic amount of time you should grow, maintain then sell a business to accumulate wealth), then no, thinking of money first won’t work. So what makes for a successful business?  

The key is PASSION… plain and simple. You can’t make a great cheesecake and run a bakery if you don’t have a passion for baking. The end result will be a disgusting cheesecake.

There is the old saying, do what you love, and the money will come. Some people say, “Do what you love and find a way to make money with it.” I agree more with the first one. When you do what you love, people will see it and, if they like it, offer you money for it.

If you are doing something right now and people are willing to pay you for it, you have a potential small business.

You Can Create a logo, and you are an Entrepreneur

These kinds of people actually make it hard for legitimate black entrepreneurs. It takes a LOT more than that. Getting an email with a gmail.com extension is NOT a foray into being a black entrepreneur.

A complete presentation is key, and if you don’t take the time to get your presentation in order, you are not legitimate.

If you are a beginner and you have a great idea, and you are making money, every bit of that money (and you may still have to work for someone else in the process) should go into building your business, not new shoes or a new car.

Getting a professional site done, registering on all the social networks, having a professional logo, etc all add up to you having a successful business.

Some Entrepreneurs Fail

MOST do. They are not prepared for the amount of work that goes into it. They don’t plan, they don’t grow, etc. The black entrepreneurs who succeed are always ahead of the 8-ball, learning new skills and technology and maintaining relationships with clients and/or customers.

There are also those who “sustain” this is where they are neutral in their success, but if they get sick or something happens to them, the business could literally fold.

They are the ones who never hire anyone to help, and they keep every penny to themselves.

You eliminate stress when you work for yourself.

Yes and no. It depends on how you determine what Stress is. I think stress is doing what I don’t want to do for work and even owning my own business. There are parts of it I don’t like doing, but I realize they have to be done.

Others may be stressed out because they can’t pay their rent on time if they work for themselves. Initially, that will happen.

Being an Entrepreneur is Always Fun

It can be, and it SHOULD BE, but many of us take ourselves too seriously, and we don’t enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Time is very limited, and if you are in a relationship or married, it’s even more difficult to balance your time and energy, but for the most part, yes, it is fun because you are repeatedly investing in yourself sans permission, politics, and BS.


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Kevin Ross
Kevin Rosshttps://blogwallet.com
Kevin "KevRoss" Ross is a music and radio industry expert. He is a 20 -plus year entrepreneur with the leading most successful industry trade publication and site Radio Facts (www.radiofacts.com). He has also published various books, magazines, performed marketing and promotions for major corporations and recording artists and he is on the advisory board of several industry organizations. This year Ross introduced his non profit organization LOMARI (Leaders of the Music and Recording Industry) to help teach young minority students how to market and manage their music and products.



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