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Supporting Small Businesses

Plenty of people look at a public company, non-profit, or private company and forget that it started as a small business.

No one started large. Therefore, when others undermine my starting points, it's actually offensive. Large companies by and large do not hire the majority of employed people.

The United States has thrived due to the emergence of small companies. Nevertheless, in this day and age, people laugh at the efforts that many immigrants and people of color make in order to provide for their families without clocking in and out of a large organization.

In the past, when I worked for other people and started divulging details about my personal life, many would look at me as though I was not stable and totally negate my attempts at financial freedom.

With time, I began to understand that when people cannot do something themselves, they question anyone else that tries or continually gets back up after every failure. Whether we declare bankruptcy, start and fail at business, or struggle academically as well as personally and professionally, there will always be those that undermine our desire to self-improve despite every reason to stay down.

When I speak of entrepreneurship, people reinforce the lack of experience I possess, mention my skin color, or ethnic background and perceive me to be living a fantasy. If every entrepreneur listened to the constant feedback, then they would not be successful today.

Now, I am stating very fiercely that people can either stand by me or get out of my way. However, they have very little right to nit-pick and tell me that I will never be successful at something, especially when they have not been doing anything constructive to ensure their own financial freedom.

New Businesses and new Outlook

Unless you've been living under a rock, I've changed quite a bit in the past year. In the past, I was always going along to get along and doing favors for people with nothing being returned. When I finally explained to myself that I deserved better and should charge for all my services, there was a great deal of push back rather than understanding.

I am an artist. This does not mean I will work for free, I have bills just like you. Thank you for understanding.

When it comes to my photography, I've traveled with clients, listened to their life stories, and even edited quite a bit. However, now I'm going to ask for a deposit upfront because when I release the edited photos, depending on the number of photos requested, then there will be an additional fee for the package released. A small commitment device is not asking for much.

People need to understand that I do not have unlimited time and means to do favors for people without any sort of compensation in return. People also need to understand that if I did everything for free, then I wouldn't be able to finance my artistry. Every business starts at the bottom and strives to come up in the world. Some people would rather keep me at the bottom, which is not okay.

Art is subjective and those that have benefited without paying may think that this is okay; however, would never think it was okay if the tables were turned. Furthermore, I've worked as a personal assistant, consultant, web designer, and singer as well as actor for free. As I mature and work more in the industry and in any profession, I now realize the importance of getting paid what I deserve. I will no longer do non-union work as an actor, model, or singer. I will no longer pick up the phone unless the person on the other end has something tangible to provide monetarily. I will no longer design sites for people, family, or friends without expecting payment for my services. As I prepare to launch my websites, video blog, book, and jewelry as well as clothing line it's crucial that I count every penny. In order to excel in business, I must be a wise steward of my limited time and resources.


How do you recover from a huge failing, either moral or financial? 

Many grew up saying, "That will never be me," in regards to certain situations.

One of my colleagues grew up with drug addicts for parents. However, that didn't prevent this individual from bar hopping and smoking it up repeatedly. 

Although the person eventually quit their bad habits, it took years and the birth of children to slow that party train down. 

Why do we not honor the promises that we make to ourselves? 

When we see a counter example and tell ourselves that we'll never model our lives after that person, why do we regress and wind up doing exactly that?

Oftentimes, the most intelligent people make the most irrational decisions. Decisions that could have easily been avoided if we had stayed true to our promise of never making certain errors in life. 

When it comes to budgeting and finances. I've definitely made a great deal of errors that were completely avoidable in hindsight. For whatever reason, I keep asking myself, how did I end up so far away from the place that I wanted to be? When years ago, I reassured myself that would never be me. 


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