Category Archives for "Black Business Tips"

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Do You Generalize All Black Customers?

So if you’ve ever had a chance to meet some of us from the #THEBAMMARKET you know we are PASSIONATE about supporting BOBS !

We absolutely LOVE #BlackOwnedBusinesses!
Problem is, there are many times we run into BOBS who do not value Black customers. For example, at an event we went to we ran into a new BOB that we hadn’t seen before. This business had some high-quality products that we wanted!  Setting our sights on a bag and some clothing, we first wanted to visit the BOB that told us about the event as we previously had promised to stop by and support.

So in the interest of being financially savvy and not overspending, we informed the owner of this newfound BOB that we LOVED her merchandise and would purchase from her, but we needed to run over to another booth to honor a promise. Whatever funds we had left, we’d spend with her AND more later if we didn’t have the money to buy both the bag and clothing we wanted. Immediately the look on the owner’s face when we mentioned stepping a few booths over was troubling…but not as troubling as her next move which was to completely IGNORE any other questions we had about her business or products.

That move completely erased any interest in shopping HER business ever again. Read that again… we separated HER business from all BOBS. She does not represent all BOBS… and she clearly needs a course in customer service…someone point her to @BAMBUSINESSACADEMY….coming soon! LOL
Anyway, because we value supporting BOBS, we still dropped $5.00 her way…she may have gained $5.00 but her business lost so much more than a better sale. #BlackCustomersMatter
That’s OK…we ended up spending more money with other BOBS who valued us…whether we milled around or not 😉
Just like you don’t want to be generalized as a business, don’t generalize Black customers as people who really don’t want to support you. You could miss out BIG!

We ♥ Black-Owned Businesses!™ Do You?!

What are your thoughts? Have you fallen into the trap of generalizing all Black customers?

Sharee’s Five Cents – Hidden Figures

Five Cents Friday, because it’s more than just about my 2 cents…

Soooo it’s been a whole week since the award winning movie,  Hidden Figures debuted. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you head over to your nearest Black owned movie theater and go watch now! If you don’t have a Black owned movie theater near you, maybe you can be the person to open one in your community. We love our movies! Just saying… 😉

Ok Ok, back to Hidden Figures.
This movie is a great big screen adaptation of the book Hidden Figures by author Margot Lee Shetterly.

It is a fantastic movie with so many inspiring scenes and powerful messages of hope for the Black community and for women in general.

My FAVORITE scene in the movie is when Ms. Dorthy Vaughn decided that she was going to help all the ‘colored computers’ she was ‘over’ (although not officially…) move right up along with her! That mentality is what we need more of in our Black communities. Yes, you can clearly see that Mrs. Vaughn was a strong leader. Even though at one point she was not officially the supervisor… the women she was working with RECOGNIZED her leadership skills and FOLLOWED her leadership without trying to undermine her or usurp her leadership role at every turn. They worked TOGETHER all playing their own parts…and benefited TOGETHER! I ain’t gonna lie..I cried. It was beautiful and inspired me even more to do what I can to get us back to this mindset. Everybody can’t be the lead… head rower or HNIC… maybe you are, maybe you aren’t…what I know for sure is EVERYBODY can benefit if we uplift and respect our REAL leaders and help one another…

What’s your thoughts on the matter?

♥Sharee

First Step is Attitude…

Attitude problems

Your attitude determines your altitude – in business and in life. You can’t change someone else’s attitude for them. However, this is a powerful reminder that you can put in front of anyone who needs an attitude adjustment. Let’s look at some of the ways each of us as Black owned businesses and our supporters can develop winning attitudes to use in every day life.

Maya Angelou, one of our great American poets and civil rights activist once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Ms. Angelou, speaking further on the quote said: “ Those dealing with cancer, death and real misfortune still remember to count their blessings.”

I’m not saying that we are to have a ‘head in the sand, everything is lovely’ attitude toward all our problems.  No. I know that life isn’t that simple. But I am saying – in the strongest terms – that we have to as a people, assume a more positive attitude instead of this negative one we have come to embrace.

Our mental attitude is the power that we hold in our heads. It is possible for our reality to be changed dramatically by a single thought. Because contrary to what people want to believe, outside influences don’t usually determine your happiness or success, rather it is how we react to those influences – negative or positive. So how do you change your reactions to those outside forces?

You change your reactions by making how you react a conscious priority, which means you do it daily until it becomes a habit.

Avoiding cynicism and embracing humor is vital. When things aren’t going your way, keep everything in perspective and relax… (I know..no one has ever relaxed when someone says, ‘relax’). But throughout my life, I have found healing in laughter. Not the kind that brings down other people by calling them names or judging their character… the kind of laughter and humor that builds people up…and causes sides and smile lines to ache.

Another thing we  to facilitate a more positive attitude is to say “Bye Felicia!” to self hatred. Positive self-confident feelings not only will help you achieve more; they also make others want to be associated with you. Ever notice how people are drawn to others who have an upbeat outlook on life, who have a can-do attitude? Constant complainers don’t collect an easy following… and the following they do collect don’t bring value. I’m reminded of one of our great civil rights leader Malcolm X asking, “Who taught you to hate yourself…?”

As a Black owned business owner, you are now also a leader. One important job of a leader is to set a positive and self-confident tone. This is a cornerstone of leadership. It’s the same confidence that a quarterback, a golfer, or a tennis star projects every time they come out of the locker room. You need to exude the same tone when you open up your store or conduct business.

To gain strength from the positive and not be sapped by the negative, here are a few ideas:

Focus on the people who will run with your vision and your plan – don’t let the naysayers drain you or your team.

Respect spiritual guidance – use your spirit and your heart to move you and your work forward.

Break the negative energy cycle – if you see yourself spiraling down or getting caught up in some negative conversations whether on social media or in face to face life…breakup the routine and do something fast that lifts you up.  Business owners, when you see one of your team members in a rut of unproductive or unprofessional behavior address it, don’t let it fester.

Do Active listening – Work at it, to hear what your team and consumers want. Often just by being heard, problems can go away and people really make a big turnaround.

We must become the emotional managers of our lives and our community – not the media…or others who do not understand the oppressions we face. In a family, parents must be the emotional managers or chaos rules the home. In your business, you must bear that responsibility, even if you are reluctantly at times. It’s part of your leadership role and power.

If we take time to focus on it, as well as changing our reactions to external events, we’ll see the culture around us shift to the positive.

A negative attitude will pull us down and with it our results. A positive attitude will pull us over the rough spots, allowing us to reach new heights as a people – expanding our vision. Whether you need an attitude adjustment a couple of times a day, once a week or only occasionally, never forget that your attitude will determine your altitude so don’t let outside people or events bring yours down.

-Sharee-

The Excellence of Owning Up…

Taking ownership

Ok…so I’ve been seeing a lot of #blackexcellence hashtags lately.  This is a wonderful hashtag that expresses just how much the Black community excels in so many of the things we do.
Another way for us as Black business owners and leaders to excel and show #blackexcellence is by taking ownership and responsibility for all of our own actions.

Once you decide to ‘own’ your choices – fully accepting the consequences, then you’ll be viewed as a person who can be respected. Others  will see you as someone who they can depend on. This is one of the single  most traits we must strive for.

The easiest way to display ownership is to stop making excuses. For example, if you are late for an appointment don’t come up with some ridiculous excuse. Just tell the person you are meeting, why you are late and apologize. That’s it.

I know it’s hard being a Black owned business in today’s society.  It really is so easy to blame outside influences and the outright oppression we face – and make that the reason for our mistakes or oversights. While no-one can control one hundred percent of what happens, we as Black business owners can control how we respond to certain situations. This reaction can completely change our lives, our businesses and our communities.

Start taking ownership of your relationships, your education, your fitness and your social life… your decisions.  Own them outright.
Learning how to be more flexible is also something that is needed.  Are you willing to do things differently when something isn’t working?  Do you take advice and learn from others?  If you do you will begin to excel at business which of course will increase your confidence and self-esteem.

Becoming a flexible person means that you are happy to respond to a situation in a different way. When you are flexible you are not rigid and set in your ways.

Flexibility brings us to another important point in leadership and Black excellence… it brings us to the step of adding balance to your life.

Living a balanced life means you are focusing on those things that hold the most meaning to you.  However, you are still mindful of those around you. You make choices that are related to the way you feel and what you are thinking.

Balancing your life is knowing when you have to say NO and not go out with friends…because you need to  finish up an important project…because you recognize the importance of staying focused on the end game and therefore, act accordingly.

When you combine taking ownership, being flexible, and living a balanced life, you will be well on your way to leading a life where you are committed to excellence….#blackexcellence .

-Sharee-

Did this post make you feel some kinda way?
Drop a comment below and get the discussion going.