Within the year 2020, we have seen one of the largest rises of young entrepreneurs in economic history; (Generation Z specifically). Even I, who was working towards a career in the corporate side of marketing, scrapped the idea of becoming part of someone's company. I wanted to keep my authenticity while establishing my own rules and culture, doing what I love.
What's even more impressive is the increase we have seen in young Black entrepreneurs in the Greater Toronto Area. As the world progresses, the spotlight on Black-owned businesses surpasses the opportunities that our parents had. The definition of what an entrepreneur is has been altered. I mean, kids are making millions off video games now!
As intriguing as the idea of owning a business sounds, young entrepreneurs seem to forget what it seriously takes to maintain and grow their start-up company. As a digital marketing specialist, my job is to scale businesses mostly through the use of social media. This has really helped me get a deeper understanding when comparing a prepared entrepreneur to one that might not understand the inner workings and technicalities it may take to have that successful brand.
Unfortunately, school doesn't teach you to be your own boss. However, that shouldn't be an excuse at all. Before you actually become an entrepreneur, understand supply and demand. Do people need or want your product? How large is the competitive field? These are questions that will definitely alter your perspective on how you should go about starting your company.
I think another important step for young Black entrepreneurs is to understand the importance of self-knowledge. I spend many nights learning every aspect of my profession from books, blogs, podcasts, and even YouTube videos. Learning something new will only benefit you. As innovative as Google is, they will not provide you with every answer you have as a new entrepreneur. This is where networking comes in. When I decided to start my agency I was fortunate to have met some of the most honest and selfless mentors/friends who through conversation alone, gave me more than enough knowledge.
The entrepreneurs of this generation crave independence which is amazing, but we have to understand that by asking for help, we can grow tremendously through our companies. Although I highly recommend asking for advice, not all advice is beneficial. As an entrepreneur, it's our job to take risks and to choose the right route that you personally feel will give you the best outcome. After creating a certain presence with your business (website, social channels, etc), you have to deal with inventory, customer help/care, money management, taxes, legalizing ownership, adapting to changes, and creating the best product to sell. Sounds like a lot? That's because it is! However, millions of people do it and the amount of work should never stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship.
The last truth about being a young entrepreneur is that you're going to lose friends. One of my mentors warned me that my circle would change, and I was prepared. I understood that not everyone my age will accept my absence at times but the rewards are so worth it.
It's a new era. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that life is too short. Becoming an entrepreneur will not be easy. You will be tired, overwhelmed, and have the urge to quit. In order to run a successful business create an effective business plan, then with the right passion and consistency, your burdens will be overridden. Running a business will get easier, and I'm sure young Black entrepreneurs can relate to me when I say, nothing is easy in life however nothing is impossible either if you put the work in!