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Business, Entrepreneurship

It really takes one step, one leap of faith, to grow something beyond what you ever imagined you could.

Our featured guest is Jeresha “Sherri J” White.

Sherri J is a young black business owner who started her first childcare facility at the age of 23. She opened it because of her passion for education and children. She never imagined becoming a real business guru, opening five more childcare facilities, and starting a business coaching venture. Needless to say, listeners should walk away from this podcast episode knowing that one baby step is still a step, and that one step could be the seed that starts your garden.

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KEY POINTS FROM SHERRI J:

  • I am most grateful in my life right now for my sanity; being able to process and deal with all of the stuff that I deal with on a daily basis, it has a tendency to drive you borderline insane.  So, I’m just glad that God has granted me the gift of sanity to be able to deal with everything that I deal with in the manner that I do and still be okay and come out on top. A lot of us take our sanity for granted.  Everybody does not have sanity.  There are some people whose minds are totally gone and they have genuinely, literally lost themselves. I’m just glad that mine is still intact and is able to allow me to perform the duties that I do on a daily basis.
  • While I was at my 9 – 5 I was planning. Every year when I got my tax return, instead of going to Walmart to buy new comforter sets, shower curtains and redecorating my home, I saved. For the entire time that I worked there I just was saving.  I wasn’t doing a lot of the stuff that I used to do, because I had a goal in mind. 
  • Sherri J on the challenges of navigating the intersection of being a young, Black, woman, entrepreneur:  “It was horrible! Nobody took me serious.  Everybody that was working for me was older than me, and everybody who was bringing their kids to my daycare was older than me.  The odds were stacked against me in both those areas because everybody that I needed to take me serious isn't taking me serious, more so because I’m so young, I’m attractive and I’m African-American. So, it was like, “where’s the owner?”
  • It was a learning experience for me.  I had to try to pat them on the back and pacify them into trusting me.  That was extremely challenging.
  • My business really didn’t start to grow until I was able to say, “I’m gonna have to do this myself.  The hard part is not over; it’s just begun.” 
  • Critical Step #1:  No matter how good your business is going or looking in the very beginning, don’t walk away from it or look at it thinking I’ve got it to where I want it now. That point is not going to come for a very long time.  
  • Critical Step #2:  Save every dime that comes into your business.  Don’t spend it. Put up a salary for yourself but save anything extra.  You’re learning the flow of your business, so you could have a great year, and then have a horrible two years. But what you did in that great year will set the tone for those horrible two years.  They won’t be so horrible.
  • I felt like I could have gotten through things a lot smoother if I had put my pride aside and asked for help.  Even if people weren’t where I wanted to go, that didn’t mean they didn’t have good advice to give me on my journey along the way.

 

ONE ACTION

  • To the current entrepreneurs, re-interview your entire staff to see if they are still where they were when you initially hired them.  People change and your company and you, as a business owner, you’re not the only person changing and growing.  The people that are working for you are changing — maybe they’re growing; maybe they’re not but that’s something that you’ll always need to know and stay ahead of.  This will allow you to visualize or get an early grip on a person that may not be beneficial to you or your company or a person that may just be going in a different direction that you need them to be.
  • To aspiring entrepreneurs or business professionals, find one person that is where you want to be and take notes on them this week and every week after this.  By the time you’re ready to start your business, go back to those notes, review everything that you wrote down and find a way to implement them into your business, so that you never lose sight of what was motivating you along the way.

THIS EPISODE WAS SPONSORED BY:

The Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Join, support and invest in this movement to help improve the life outcomes of our black men and boys.

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