“Black women are the fastest group of growing entrepreneurs.”
A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to be apart of this growing group of badasses and my mom thought I was absolutely insane. But honestly, who could blame her? I had a great job with good benefits, my pay was pretty good, and because of the type of work I am in, I barely had bills to pay each month. For some people, this may be #careergoals, but I’ve always had an itch to do more. Much more.
As a Communications major in undergrad, I dreamt of working in media in some type of capacity. A few years after graduation, after freelancing for a few digital media sites here and there, I decided to launch my own digital media platform, The Mogul Millennial. If you’re unfamiliar, The Mogul Millennial is a business and career website, dedicated to Millennials of color. On Mogul Millennial, we provide valuable career content, and highlight some of the most promising entrepreneurs of color, with hopes to inspire and educate other Millennials of color.
Launching The Mogul Millennial was a new challenge and a learning curve for me (and I’m still learning new things each day). In the beginning, the first challenge that I encountered was the courage to just start. Deciding to start meant I had to learn things that I had no clue about: copyediting, content marketing, email marketing, social media, and web design just to name a few.
During the process I also learned that launching your own business will bring on its own set of responsibilities and stress. At your 9-5, if you slack at your job, there will always be someone to pick up your slack and keep the train moving. As an entrepreneur, if you slack or don’t put in the work, your company won’t grow. Since launching Mogul Millennial, I’ve learned so much that has helped me sustain and grow my biz.
Here are the top items that has helped me drive my digital media company and that has helped me as an entrepreneur.
The Mogul Millennial said ‘hello’ to the world for the first time on August 28th, 2016 and boy, was she ugggglllllyyy.
After I purchased my domain, I tried to create my own website (emphasis on the word tried). I’n not a coder so I downloaded a theme and attempted to make it work. From YouTube videos to tutorials, I eventually learned how to create my website. While the original look of Mogul Millennial has changed (thanks to a friend), the biggest lesson that I learned was that I was the only person holding Mogul Millennial back from coming to fruition. Prior to then, the idea of Mogul Millennial was in my mind but because of my lack of web development skills, I refrained from starting. Nowadays, software like Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress makes it easy to develop a website. Purchase a domain, download a theme, or use one of their provided themes – and WALAH you have a website! Take time to look at videos on YouTubve or tutorials from your theme to customize it for your site. Or if you are ballin’ on a budget, hire somebody to make your website for you. Either way it goes – just start.
Pro-tip: Themeforest has plenty of dope themes if you are using WordPress.
Now that I developed my site and officially launched Mogul Millennial, there were a few web applications that I began using that helped me tremendously. In no particular ranking, here are some of the applications that I absolutely love for my business:
- Hubspot – As a business owner, sometimes sending cold emails are a must. Hubspot is my favorite plug-in that helps me with my email marketing (and see when my emails are being opened or not). This tool is great to help manage your email follow-up and tracking.
- Canva – Oh Canva, my Canva. This site is perfect for people like me – the creatively-challenged folk. Prior to Canva, I could not create a decent looking graphic to save my life, but Canva makes it so much easier. With Canva, I’ve created social media graphics, infographics, pitch decks, flyers, ebooks, and so much more! Also, unlike most sites, Canva’s free version is actually worth it.
- Mailchimp – At Mogul Millennial, we send out weekly email newsletters, filled with articles of the week and Millennial features. Mailchimp has made it so easy to store my list of email subscribers, create an email template, and send out my weekly newsletters. On top of all this, I’ve been able to create dope landing pages with Mailchimp.
- Sumo – Sumo has helped me collect email addresses for my newsletters. Sumo connects with popular email service providers including MailChimp and ConvertKit, and it allows you to create opt-ins that will capture the attention of your website traffic. Without a doubt, I wouldn’t have the growing email list that I have now without Sumo.
- Buffer & Schedugram – As a busy entrepreneur and 9-5er, who doesn’t have time to organically post all day is ME. With Buffer and Schedugram, I can schedule out my social media posts ahead of time with ease. For my business, I use Buffer for Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and I use Schedugram for Instagram.
(fun fact, you can schedule IG stories with Schedugram!)
I used to cringe at the term self-care because honestly I thought it sounded quite corny. However, as a busy entrepreneur and 9-5er, practicing self-care is what has kept me sane and well-equipped to run my business. In no particular order, here are my self-care practices that has helped me:
- Bubble baths – I know, I know, bubble baths aren’t ideal for most, but for me, it is EVERYTHANG. After a long day of 9-5 and Mogul Millennial work, there is nothing like indulging in a hot, steamy bath with essential oil-infused bath salts, a glass of wine, and the Erykah Badu Pandora station. If bubble baths aren’t your thing, a nice shower can hit the spot too (well without the glass of wine because well, it just doesn’t work the same). Nonetheless whether you are a bath or shower type of person, the key is taking that time each day with focus on you – and nothing else. In the past, I used to spend my bath/shower time thinking about work and it wasn’t soothing at all. Now I’m more intentional and my bath time is strictly my ME time.
- Saying no – The other self-care practice that has helped me tremendously is learning how to say ‘no’. In the past, the little free time that I would’ve found would be filled with going out, brunching, or listening to my friend’s latest “situationship” ordeals. While going out and spending time with friends is definitely its own form of self-care, sometimes you need time and space just for you. Every minute of your day should not be filled with the energy and thoughts of other people.
For many of us entrepreneurs, we can be selfish when it comes to our baby (business) and want to keep it to ourselves. The problem with this is that we try to do everything, and in the end our business (and our sanity) suffers. I had to learn this the hard way with Mogul Millennial, but luckily I didn’t wait too long to finally branch out and find a team.
Earlier this year, I posted a call for writers, social media assistants, and a newsletter assistant. To my surprise, the response was overwhelming high! I spent hours and weeks interviewing dope Millennials of color that wanted to help Mogul Millennial grow. After a few weeks of interviewing several people, I was able to bring on a few amazing people to my team. I am ever so grateful to each team member, because honestly without them, The Mogul Millennial wouldn’t be where we are today. With my team, I’ve been able to focus more on the business development and operations side, and watch us grow with the individual talents from the team.
PS: I am always looking for dope writers to join The Mogul Millennial – if you’re interested, hit me up @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each day that I wake up, I am filled with so much gratitude because I have another day to grow The Mogul Millennial. I encourage you, if you have a dream, don’t just keep dreaming, START.
From time to time as I am learning more as a startup founder, I will share with you the lessons I am learning, hustle hacks, and any dope podcasts/articles/videos that’s inspiring me and helping me to level up.