Four Things Entrepreneurship Taught Me About Myself

I’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time. I mean, since I can remember I’ve had that spirit inside of me.

As a little girl of no more than 6 or 7, I can remember the feeling of ‘resonating’ I used to get whenever I’d put on this specific t-shirt that my Gram had bought for me. It was the ‘Rosie The Riveter’ inspired Iconic ‘We Can Do It’ tee that tied just below my waist that went with a pair of black leggings. It was my favorite!

I’d wear that tee while selling to my friends back home in the neighborhood in Hollywood, Florida. I used to make kool-aid popsicles and sell them during the summer, in that Florida heat.

I used the old school ice trays + wooden sticks as the handle. Sold’em like hotcakes!

In the 7th grade, I started a magazine. I was the Editor in Chief, obvi. And my friends were all given their colums + instructions to contribute. There was the gossip column, sports, news around our group, and I wrote an editorial — although if I’m being completely honest, I had no idea what compelled me to do this.

It just felt right.

In high school I wrote poetry. Every Sunday I’d go with my parents after church to Pearl’s Arts + Crafts store. They had a huge collection of stock blank gift cards that I would choose from. It was my favorite time of every week! Although there was a very cute boy that I met who I’d sneak around to different parts of the store to talk to that heightened the experience.

Even then, I was a creative — and I just loved the smell of the paper and all of the different designs. Crafts + art are still on the top of my ‘things to do’ list each week.

I’d use the different cards to actually type out my very own greeting cards, which I put in local boutiques to sell.

In college at Florida State, I did nails…you get the point.

I was always up to something of my own. And that just intensified as I grew.

The very first thing I learned about myself at a very young age — is that I can create something out of absolutely nothing.

In the early 2k’s I started my first ‘for real’ company, PoshLifeBling. Again, if I’m being honest here — I had no clue what I was doing. I’d eloped hella young and I’d now found myself in a position where I had to depend completely on someone else. We’d just had our first son, and I knew there was no way I was going to allow someone else to spend all day, everyday with him, while I missed out on his first moments and milestones.

The only problem is we hadn’t thought out the plan on how I’d be a stay at home parent.

As you can imagine, when you don’t have a plan and money and emotions are involved, shit went left fairly quickly.

I wasn’t bringing in the income — so I was now completely dependent on him for what I needed, he needed, and the new bundling baby boy needed.

That didn’t sit well.

The very first time I wanted something for myself…which happened to be a little pink crystal cell phone — he said no.

The rage I felt at him for not caring what I wanted — and ultimately at myself for getting into this situation — made me feel hot and fiery from the inside.

I started researching how I could get the materials to design one for myself.

But again, the same problem loomed. I had no money.

eBay was pretty new still, and I thought about the type of things I could sell to get the money I needed to make the phone I wanted.

I found handbags that I felt I could sell really well and found a few vendors for sourcing the products.

Made my own eBay account and used some pretty nifty marketing strategies that I’ll share at another time. Sold my first item on the first go…keeping in mind, I didn’t actually have the product in hand.

When I got paid for it, I ordered the bag from my vendor source. It arrived a few days later. I inspected it, packaged it up in my own packaging, and off it went to my customer.

By the time I’d shipped that one, I had 13 new orders to fill.

And I did this, on repeat, for a few weeks until I felt I had enough saved from my profit to get the materials I needed to make my bling!

I did finally order the Swarovski crystals I needed for my bling, and applied them directly to my phone. That gave me the idea to figure out how I could do this for other people without them having to ship their phones out to me…and PoshLifeBling was born.

So the second thing I learned about myself from Entrepreneurship — is that I’m scrappy! I can come up with a way to make things happen, no matter what work it takes to get to it.

I took my business to the Red Carpet! Literally — I’ve designed for the most ICONIC names you can think of from the last 10–15 years. From the original reality tv socialite, Paris Hilton, to Khloe Kardashian, Rihanna, The Diane Von Furstenberg Fashion House, Project Runway, and the incompraprable Queen Bey! I’ve even collaborated with Gary Vaynerchuck!

Been backstage as celebrity swag — legit one of less than 20 companies — on site at the BET Awards for 5 days, the AMA’s, Latin GRAMMY’s, MTV Awards, and more…from a little bling phone that I designed in my living room.

Created MRR of $10–25k/month.

All while raising my two boys at home…to see it all come to a screeching halt.

Divorce is the sucker punch that knocks your lights out.

Leaving my ex was the scariest thing I‘ve ever done.

I was just a kid when we eloped. So everything we had, we’d built together.

Yes, even though I started my business because he wasn’t sharing and controlled what I could and couldn’t have — all my shit was his, too.

All the work I’d put in to create this business to give myself financial freedom and independence — was half his.

That meant that during this divorce we fought. A lot.

We’d purchased and rented out 3 homes and had several luxury vehicles by now.

Savings.

We were building our empire, as they say.

But the ending was like watching Rome crumble.

By the time it all came to an end, there was little to show for the decade of work it had taken to build it all.

I walked away from someone who can’t imagine the audacity of someone walking away from them…which means it didn’t end well. And there were years of rebuilding in front of me.

I spent my days crying over the keyboard of my laptop. When I was angry or felt like I’d wasted years of my life on that relationship — I replaced sitting in sorrow with action — planning, plotting, executing my next steps.

I focused on the future I wanted, and it was the anger, sadness, and rage from what I’d been through that fueled me.

I used all of the feelings as motivation for seeing what I wanted for myself and my boys, and pushing forward with everything inside of me to make that happen. Like the GOAT Michael Jordan spoke of whenever people thought he was done, or down and out, or attacked him… ‘I took it personal’ was my mantra.

I rebuilt my business. Created my signature case of the month. Stabilized my life.

Went back to school. Graduated with Honors. Got an invite to Delta Mu Delta International Business Honors Society. Built a 2 million follower network across my social media platforms sharing my experiences and expertise @ThePoshGirlsClub.

Making Income while making Impact.

Became Head of Brand and Community at a Silicon Valley Startup who’s mission is to democratize access to the tech industry, creating more spaces for women of color, just like me. SV Academy

Impact.

The third thing I learned about myself is that I Am Resilient. As f@ck.

re·sil·ient

/rəˈzilyənt/

adjective

  1. (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.

Something very magical happens when you learn that you have the power to create your life and experiences.

When you operate from a place of creation vs. experiences, you shift the Universe and Laws within to write your story. Sure, there are external forces that are out of your control. But practicing accountability, action, choice, intention — these are all methods you can use to shape the life you want to have, vs. the one you’re existing in daily.

It had been nearly 18 years since I’d been married, divorced, and now rebuilding. I would often think when I was going through my divorce, that I couldn’t ever rebuild. That I had lost everything and there was no way to ever have that life again.

Once I started using my mindset and focus to shift my energy, I created a new framework for how I saw the world; how I created experiences.

I used to tell myself the story that it was an accident that I was successful with PoshLifeBling.

I had convinced myself that a company just found me one day and invited me out to the Steve Harvey Hoodie Awards…and then back again for a second round at the American Music Awards (where I met Khloe Kardashian 6 months before Keeping Up With The Kardashians aired and got that classic shot of her with my bling that put PoshLifeBling on the map!).

I had convinced myself that all that hard work — all the foundation I’d built was just ‘luck’ or ‘coincidence’.

This is a lie we often tell ourselves…at least it was true for me. When people would ask ‘how did you work with all of these Icons, or get them to buy from you’…it was only then that I started to recognize the patterns in what I had done to create this success.

I’d had a life of having money with a terrible marriage — living in depression, anxiety + violence. Now I wanted to have it all. Happiness, family stability, money, beautiful experiences.

None of it was by accident. Every step was very intentional, fueled by grit and determination, driven by the desire to create a better life experience for myself and my boys.

The final lesson I learned about myself from entrepreneurship…is that

I am a force to be reckoned with.

Looking back at that 6 year old little girl, wearing her ‘Rosie The Riveter’ tee at least twice per week…inspired by the image I saw of a powerful woman…I know I am living in my Zone of Genius. There were all of these moments along the way where I felt little pushes, tugs, guidance and inspiration to move through my path in life. Despite or maybe even, because of what I was experiencing.

What I realized, was that I was open to the possibilities, and I took responsibility for the choices, then owned them and my own power. I became the most powerful version of myself.

And I pray that you will, too.

What lessons are the experiences in your life trying to teach you to become?

South FL Girl. Cris + Melo’s Mami. Serial Entrepreneur. Red Wine Lover. Brown Girl in Tech. Fierce Leader of a 1Milli+ Global Girl Gang @theposhgirlsclub

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