From time to time, I recognize other writers who pen pieces that are pertinent to my consulting areas of diversity and career development. Within diversity, as a certified LGBT-Business Enterprise via the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, I am very interested in diversity within the small business realm, and want to promote larger companies doing business with diverse suppliers, especially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our work life.
Recently, I published by first guest blog on my website from Marissa Perez, co-founder and head marketing writer at Business Pop, “Competing in Business as an Underrepresented Entrepreneur.” Marissa has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now shares her small business/entrepreneurial expertise through below.
Career setbacks can feel devastating at first, but how you respond and attempt to move on can make all the difference. For women and minorities, who can both experience more hardship in corporate environments, this could be the perfect chance to spread those entrepreneurial wings and soar. Still not convinced? Here are some small business facts that may just change your mind, and your life for the better:
1. Your Time Really is Valuable
If you have been stuck in a corporate environment for some time now, you’ve likely gotten used to hustling and pushing the limits on your daily schedule. This sort of mentality is common within corporations, with a primary focus on profits. While profits are important in business, Inc. points out time is really your most precious commodity. If you’re spread too thin, you can’t give your all to your top priorities.
Now you may need to spend more of that time getting your new business started, but at some point it may be helpful to take a step back and delegate some of your work. Upwork is an amazing resource when it comes to finding and hiring freelance talent, from graphic design help for your website to a virtual assistant to assist with administrative duties. You can post your job description within minutes and start looking for freelance help to expand and evolve your business, and to make the most of your valuable time.
There are a multitude of financing options available to new entrepreneurs.
2. Your Funding Options are Plentiful
Time is certainly your most precious asset when it comes to your professional and personal life, but there’s no denying that having the right funding can help any new business succeed. Thankfully, there are quite a few options that you can use to help get your business up and running, from business loans to angel investors to crowdfunding.
While any of these funding sources can be a lucrative way for entrepreneurs to secure the financial resources needed to start a new business, women and minorities should also consider using special grants and loans to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true, and the former may not need to be paid back. Many companies and organizations provide funding to businesses owned by women or minorities, so you just need to do a little digging to find one that will benefit your new business.
3. Your Setback Can Provide Opportunities
Career setbacks can feel like any other loss, so it’s important for you to take time to grieve any losses and process any negative feelings, especially if you lost your job. Feeling angry, unfocused and even a bit depressed is completely normal after being laid off, let go or quitting a job. When that work environment was toxic, which can often be the case for women and minorities who are working in the corporate world, you may need some additional time and self-care to recover and move on.
One of the most important things you can do to expedite this recovery process is to avoid internalizing any toxic behaviors from others and to recognize that those behaviors had more to do with your former boss, co-worker or environment than you. As Thrive Global explains, learning from setbacks is also an important step for ensuring your success as an entrepreneur.
4. Your Small Business Options are Endless
If you’re not sure what type of business would be best for your interests and goals, however, know that there are endless opportunities for both minorities and women in the small business world. If you have a creative talent, such as woodworking or writing, then you can always turn your pastime into a lucrative new small business. You can also secure licenses that can help propel you into a new career, whether that’s as a massage therapist, electrician, web developer or veterinary technician. Offering freelance services through Upwork can also be a good option and you can maintain a freelance side gig if you ever decide to return to a full-time position.
Working for a corporation can leave many women and minorities feeling unappreciated and left behind. Consider turning what feels like a loss into an opportunity to start your very own small business. Then you will be in control of your time and your success.
Stan Kimer operates Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer based in Raleigh, N.C.