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Business & Career, Uncategorized

Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs Talk the Importance of Self-Confidence in Business

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When it comes to entrepreneurship, there’s no one blueprint for success. The reality is, you can start a business at any age. You don’t have to have a lot of money to launch a company. And the ‘perfect’ timing to start your business is any day you decide to take action toward your dreams. If you need more proof, BlackEnterprise.com caught up with a few trailblazing millennials, to learn more about the unwritten rules of business.

Raven Robinson
At 24 years old, Raven Robinson is the founder of PR 2 Politics, a public relations firm handling public relations services for political candidates and organizations. She’s the vice president of Government Affairs for the Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network (WEEN). She was named one of the top 40 under 40 Rising Stars In Government by City& State Magazine. And she’s the author of Your Campaign: A Business owner’s guide to understanding public relations.

The traditional career rules you’re glad you didn’t follow.
I did not look for a job after college. I graduated from college June 1st and by August 1st I secured three clients! Although I knew there were things I needed to learn I figured I did a service for myself by building my own brand and portfolio. I had the opportunity to work on accounts in their entirety and enjoy the opportunity to take 100% credit for my work on behalf of myself.

Which rules in society would you like to change?
One rule in society that I would break is making interns “coffee runners.” ‘Society’ limits young professionals by giving them internships that do not provide opportunities for interns to fully engage with executive level projects. At 24 years old, I handle sponsorship, partnership, media, and more. Right now, if I were interning or working for a public relations firm, I probably would not be able to offer my advice or expertise. Until society breaks free from this traditional rule, more young people will have to take charge and take control of their own growth and future.

Meagan Ward is the founder of Creatively Flawless Branding Agency and a nonprofit organization, The Powerful Women, which provides a series of women’s retreats and meet-ups. She has an impressive client roster including a couture bridal designer, hair, skin and beauty clients and most recently worked on a September Vogue subscription ad.

The traditional career rules you’re glad you didn’t follow.
Two days after my college graduation, I started a job in business marketing. Although it was great landing a job so quickly, my gut was telling me to start my own business. Over the next 11 months, I worked full time and had my part-time business, Creatively Flawless. I contemplated managing my part-time business full time, but I felt like there were so many odds against me. I didn’t want to fail, I didn’t want my family to be disappointed, and I was just fearful of the concept of having a business.

But just shy of my one-year anniversary, I remember sitting in my boss’ office for my yearly review. He told me, “No, you won’t be getting your raise right now.” I went numb and felt like the room was closing in on me. I didn’t get the raise I felt I deserved. I returned to my desk with the thought of entrepreneurship still in my gut. This experience changed the game for me. So I put in my two weeks notice and transitioned into full-time entrepreneurship.

Photo of Meagan Ward, founder of Creatively Flawless

Meagan Ward, founder of Creatively Flawless Branding Agency

As an entrepreneur, I get to define my own success. I could have stayed at my job, but I was not willing to compromise my true dreams for the status quo. I gave up a $3 raise in my 9-5, to pursue unknown possibilities in entrepreneurship. It was completely worth it and if I could go back, I would have left my job sooner.

I find it empowering that I get to decide my future in my career. If I want a raise (or to meet monthly revenue goals), I set myself up to do that by working harder. I am more fulfilled than I have ever been. My career may not be in a 9-5, but my business has allowed me to seek my purpose and with that comes a deeper appreciation for life itself.

When you first started in the business, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
It was difficult being an entrepreneur and surrounded by so many people who were still working for a company. There is this unspoken prestige about having a job, even if you aren’t happy with it. My first couple months; people couldn’t believe I quit my “good” job for a life of uncertainty. Not everyone could see my vision, especially being a millennial who was fresh out of college. I looked like the young, daring, free-spirited creative who was acting on the impulse of starting a business.

I knew my business was going to be successful because I claimed and committed myself to it, despite what anyone else said. I learned that on this new journey I was going to have to trust my vision, be the trendsetter of my life and be unapologetic about it.

Many trailblazers find themselves making their own rules. What rules have you set for yourself?
Not only setting the bar of excellence but being the bar. If I can’t do it with excellence then I’m not doing it—that’s non-negotiable. I’ve also become very selective about the type of people I surround myself with, my clients and how I service them.

By Kandia Johnson

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About Lovely Haitian

I am a Haitian American Woman. I came to the United States when I was only 2 years old. Some may say I am Americanized but the truth is I was raised in the Haitian culture and I am proud of it. I am also proud of becoming a Citizen of the U.S. I love to laugh and meet new people everyday. It is interesting to listen to other people's stories and life experiences. I learn from each person I meet everyday and I expect new experiences in my life. I encourage everyone to "Live, Love, and Laugh." Life is too short and time is very precious. It waits for no one.

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