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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Working for Myself

by Queen It Shall Be

5 min read

Word on the street is, you never work harder than when you work for yourself and I'm inclined to side with that. Being an entrepreneur is about as challenging as it gets, and in my experience, it's even more complicated when you just jumped out on faith to start your business in an industry you don't fully understand.

You ever seen an episode of Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay and there'd be a restaurant owner whose only experience in the restaurant industry was eating at restaurants? That was me, but with board games. Didn't have a clue (ha... made a funny).

I can laugh at it now because hindsight is 20/20 and I go over my challenges a lot since they've been a part of my journey toward the best me. I also want to help others that are in similar positions as I was to not run into the same hurdles as I did.

Here's 7 things I wish I knew before working for myself.

1. Understand the importance of budgeting and keeping track of expenses.

As a small black business owner, budgeting and keeping track of expenses is crucial for the success of your business. By keeping track of your expenses, you can better understand where your money is going and make informed decisions about where to allocate your resources in the future. Additionally, budgeting allows you to set financial goals and track your progress towards achieving them. It is important to regularly review your budget and expenses to ensure that you are staying on track and making necessary adjustments to your spending habits.


2. Have a solid plan for marketing your product or service.

It's so necessary to come up with a way to not just talk about your business but to do so consistently. Auto-posting to social media helped me with not only scheduling my posts in advance but also helped me to get loud about my products, services, and events.


3. Get familiar with the applicable laws and regulations related to your business.

To get familiar with applicable laws and regulations related to your business, you can start by researching the relevant government websites or seeking guidance from a lawyer or legal professional. You can also consider attending seminars or workshops on the topic, joining industry associations, and networking with other business owners to learn from their experiences. It's important to stay up-to-date with any changes in laws and regulations that may affect your business.


4. Take advantage of helpful resources and networks.

  • Join industry-specific groups and associations to connect with like-minded professionals.

  • Attend conferences, seminars, and workshops to learn from experts in your field and network with other attendees.

  • Utilize online resources such as blogs, forums, and social media platforms to learn and connect with others.

  • Seek out mentorship opportunities to learn from experienced professionals in your industry.

  • Consider partnering with other businesses or organizations to expand your network and resources.


5. Set realistic and achievable goals.

  • Start with a clear vision of what you want to achieve.

  • Break down your vision into smaller, specific goals.

  • Make sure your goals are measurable, so you can track your progress.

  • Set deadlines for each goal to create a sense of urgency.

  • Prioritize your goals and focus on the most important ones first.

  • Make your goals challenging, but realistic and achievable.

  • Write down your goals and review them regularly to stay on track.

  • Remember to be flexible and adjust your goals as needed to adapt to changing circumstances.


6. Have a good support system in place.

Having a good support system is crucial for the success of any business, especially for small black-owned businesses. Here are a few tips to help you establish a sturdy support system:

  • Build relationships with other black business owners in your community. Attend networking events, join local business associations, and engage with other entrepreneurs on social media platforms.

  • Look for mentors who can offer guidance, advice, and support. Reach out to successful black business owners who have experience in your industry.

  • Consider joining a business incubator or accelerator program. These programs provide resources, training, and mentorship to help you grow your business.

  • Build relationships with suppliers, vendors, and partners who share your values and understand the challenges faced by black business owners.

  • Utilize resources such as small business grants, loans, and government programs designed to support minority-owned businesses.

Remember, having a strong support system can help you navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship and increase your chances of success.


7. Develop a system to stay organized and on track.

  • Create a daily to-do list and prioritize tasks.

  • Use a calendar to schedule appointments, meetings, and deadlines.

  • Set specific goals and track progress towards them.

  • Use tools such as project management software or a task management app to keep track of tasks and deadlines.

  • Keep important documents and information organized and easily accessible.

  • Delegate tasks to others when possible to reduce workload and increase efficiency.

  • Take breaks and practice self-care to avoid burnout.

Remember to adjust your system as needed to find what works best for you and your business.


I hope this quick list helps you in some way if only to let new and future business owners know that while it's not easy... you are not alone. You got this.



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