Over the past 9 years since I launched my first business, I’ve discovered that you can learn all of the tactics and strategies in the world, but if you don’t have the right mindset, you are not going to accomplish very much at all as a black woman entrepreneur.
I have studied and mentored and coached with so many different leaders in several different industries and they taught me a lot. I learned internet marketing. I learned speaking. I learned how to sell. I’ve learned so much from so many, yet the biggest factor in my success has been my MINDSET.
This article covers 10 of the major mindset shifts that you’ll need to make along the way as you go from being a full time employee to working for yourself as a successful black woman entrepreneur.
(I have also created a 90-minute audio training for you if you’d like to dive deeper into this topic. Click here to download your free audio training and save it to your phone or computer so you can listen to these insights over and over as you build your business empire!)
1. They put themselves in the game.
You cannot win if you don’t put yourself in the game. Take basketball, for instance. If the players just sat on the sidelines, they would never make any points and they would never win the game. The problem with so many black women entrepreneurs is they want to be successful in business, but they never actually put themselves in the game. They never fully put themselves out there to win because they’re so afraid of losing.
If you just sit on the sidelines watching other people living the kind of life you know YOU are meant to live, you can feel jealous and resentful. You might feel some type of way when you see your colleagues getting speaking engagements, being featured in newspapers and media and TV, going on trips around the world, doing fun things with their family and making money doing what they love. Yet, all you have to do if you want to avoid that is STOP sitting on the sidelines and put yourself in the game!
2. They’re not waiting to be rescued.
If you want to be successful in business as a black woman, you cannot wait to be rescued. You cannot wait for someone to come along to save you, whether it’s a mentor or coach or even a man. There is no “easy button” for this lifestyle. There’s no shortcut. There’s no get rich quick.
You can’t be waiting for someone to give you all the answers so you don’t have to do it. To be successful, you have to realize that you are your own hero. There’s no other person who’s going to come with a superman cape and sweep you off your feet like a damsel in distress. You are the only one who can save yourself.
3. They take risks.
Every successful black woman, every millionaire, billionaire, six-figure business owner has been called crazy. That’s because you can’t create an extraordinary lifestyle of adventure, travel, freedom and financial abundance by following the norm or being status quo. You must understand that to have a different life, you have to do things very differently than most people do them.
As an entrepreneur, you are going to take many risks. You cannot be successful and NOT take risks. Oprah has taken risks. Beyonce has taken risks. Every successful business owner has tried things when they didn’t know how they were going to turn out. They didn’t know what was going to happen, but the key is that they were willing to find out.
4. They don’t spend, they invest.
You cannot be afraid to invest in yourself if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. It’s not that you are “spending” money on your website or you are “spending” money to go to this business training or you are “spending” money to attend this networking event. You are INVESTING in your business, in your future and in yourself.
When you have a mindset of INVESTING, you understand that every dollar you put into your business is going to reap benefits if not immediately, then down the line. I always had a mindset of investing in myself even when I was an employee. My employer certainly didn’t cover the cost of every conference that I wanted to go to. I paid for a lot of my own professional development and reaped the reward many times over.
5. They believe in themselves and their worth.
Before anyone else can believe in you as an entrepreneur, you have to believe in YOURSELF and your own ideas. You have to believe that you are worth someone handing over their credit card and paying you thousands of dollars. You are worth someone purchasing your products and services. You have to believe that before you put yourself out there in the world.
But when you are disconnected from yourself, it’s hard to believe in your worth because you haven’t spent a lot of time with your awesome, beautiful self in a while. You haven’t connected with how amazing you are and the value of your presence. Make it a priority to spend time with YOU so you’re always connecting with your inner power.
6. They walk their talk.
When you walk your talk, you are really practicing what you preach and inspiring people by how you live your life. As an example, I teach about creating your ideal life. I would be out of integrity if I was teaching black women how to create your ideal life and I’m not living MY ideal life on some level. You’re never going to be “perfect,” but you can be where you are and be authentic with that as long as you walk your talk. When there’s incongruency, your business does not take off.
For instance, there are relationship coaches who want to help others with their relationships but truth be told, their marriage is in shambles. It makes sense to get YOUR relationship right first before you start teaching others how to fix theirs. Is your relationship going to be perfect? No, but you want to be in a space of integrity so you don’t have to tell your clients, “do as I say, not as I do.” That’s the importance of walking your talk.
7. They say yes to their desires.
There’s no way you can be successful as a black woman in business if you are always telling yourself NO. No, I can’t do that. No, I can’t have that. Maybe when I get rich like Oprah I can have that. Maybe when the kids move out of the house I can do that. But if you live your life from a place of NO all the time, when do you ever get to have what you want?
We’re taught this culture of scarcity and be grateful for whatever you have, even if it’s scraps from the table. But I don’t want you to settle for scraps. I want you to have a seat at the table with a full plate and a glass of wine to go along with it! Stop saying NO to yourself and instead, start saying yes to your desires and see where they take you.
8. They’re willing to do whatever it takes.
If you are saying YES to your desires, you must be willing to do whatever it takes to get those desires. They’re not just going to come to you. It takes an action plan that you are willing to follow. If you are willing to do whatever it takes, then that means all of your desires and dreams and goals are attainable.
For me, it was never a matter of “if” I could make a million dollars. That was never a question for me. It was just a matter of WHEN it was going to happen. It was my goal and I was willing to do whatever it took to get there in terms of learning what I need to learn, investing what I needed to invest. When you believe that you are worth it, you are willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want.
9. They connect with a bigger purpose.
Your business is not about you – at the end of the day, it’s truly about leaving a legacy and inspiring others. If it was just about making money to replace your salary and quit your job, that wouldn’t be very exciting. It wouldn’t motivate you to truly go the distance in your business.
Every wealthy black woman that I’ve met and I’ve read about and I’ve connected with, has a bigger purpose. Oprah has built her academy in Africa. A lot of women strive to build an amazing life for their children. They take a stand for a specific cause. They use their platform when they receive awards on TV to call attention to what’s going on in the world. Once again, your business is not about you. You have been given skills and talents and gifts to impact other people. Use them!
10. They don’t live their lives based on what other people think.
Oprah and Beyonce are two of my biggest entrepreneurial inspirations. Not just because they’re wealthy, but because as black women they’ve been able to create their ideal lives based on what THEY want to do, despite what other people say or think about them.
Truth be told, if I lived my life based on what other people think, I would be running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I wouldn’t be able to focus. I would be so worried about what people are saying about me, who’s talking about me on Facebook, etc. You cannot get caught up in that because that’s not what matters! What matters is that you are fulfilling the purpose that you were created for. You have to know who you are, despite what anyone says or does not say.
That is the strength that we have as successful black women entrepreneurs. We DO NOT and WILL NOT get distracted by what’s going on in the world to the point where we cannot do the work we were created to do.
Leave a comment: Which of these 10 mindset shifts resonated the most with you?
90-MINUTE AUDIO TRAINING
As I mentioned, I created a 90-minute audio training for you if you’d like to dive deeper into this topic. This is a transparent conversation where I go deep into the 10 exact mindset shifts I had to make as I evolved from being a full-time nonprofit employee making $60K a year into a black woman entrepreneur generating over $1M in revenue. Click here to download your free audio training and save it to your phone or computer so you can listen to these insights over and over as you build your business empire!