The Road to the Bag is Definitely Tied to Your Team and the Company You Keep…Diddy.
Coming off of vending in Chicago the last weekend of February, it feels necessary to discuss the importance of having a solid team.
Listen, I am a 30 year African American female entrepreneur and what I can tell you without any doubt is that I wouldn’t be where I am or doing any amount of what I’m able to do without my team and support system. My support system consists of my family and friends but my team involves my staffed employees.
I was one year into business when I realized that I needed help. Business was booming at a consistent pace and I was beyond overwhelmed. On average, I was working 16-18 hours and taking care of a baby in between. Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to describe the state I was in. I was still working the business out of my home so it was important for me to find someone that would be comfortable in my home and that I could be comfortable being that close to. Then it dawned on me, stay at home mom.
I jumped on the Nextdoor app and posted a brief description of the position I was offering. It read a little something like this:
This is when I received a message from Jooae. Our first meeting was so easy that I didn’t hold any other interviews, it felt good and I knew she was the perfect match to my crazy. She’s calm, reserved and focused, just what I needed. The icing on the cake was she lived two houses down so transit was not a problem. That following week, Jooae started to work and within 2 months, my sales increased 30%.
After a year of me and Jooae working out of my dining room, I decided it was time to start looking for an office space. I was nervous, scared to pay someone rent, worried about credit and everything in between. Needless to say I didn’t feel it would happen any time soon but you know when you throw things out into the atmosphere, God starts to position you. That’s exactly what happened to me. It took less than 3 months to find a space and get this, there was no credit check, the rent was affordable and utilities were included! GOD! Okay.
We did our best to work our normal hours but it became apparent pretty quickly we needed more time and more hands. I leaned on the help of family and friends as long as I could until one night a customer/friend came to help and unbeknownst to me brought her adult and teenage daughters with her. We worked until midnight and the entire time I felt a nudge that her oldest daughter could use a part time job and possibly even some mentorship. So as they were getting in the car, I blurted out “Do you need a part time job. If so, call me!” I received a call the next day and asked her to come in so we could discuss everything. She already had one job she was working at so it was understood that the position would only be on her off days. That quickly changed.
Brianna became my right hand. She was eager and willing to do the work that frankly I had grown tired of doing. I wanted to focus more on engagement and creating content and designing more products. Packing orders was no longer my calling and she filled the position with ease. Brianna became instantly like a little sister and I realized I was being called to teach her and show her all that the business entails. Daily she makes me so honored to have her working with Jooae and I. And yes, our sales increased again over 30%.
Because I was obedient and did not concern myself with the money and focused on growth and sustaining the business, I have been blessed with two amazing team mates that understand the vision and fully support it. I remember praying this prayer to God about the business as a whole,
“Lord, I don’t want anything or anyone that will cause me grief or hassle. If I’m meant to hire more people or do more things send them my way and let it be easy so that I will know.”Amen.
In 3 short years, by having a team, that little dream of Goldmine & Coco has quadrupled in sales. We’re now in discussion about seeking a bigger office space, teaching classes and even hosting community events. None of these ideas would have been possible without my girls. I remember the moment I realized that because of them, the business went from low 4 figures a month to high 5 figures in as little as a year and a half. With this realization, I’m excited about the possibility of hiring more women and building my very own Fempire.
So here’s my advice, if you’re in a position where you can hire help, do so. Don’t be hesitant because you’re worried about the money, the funds will come. Focus more on the work and less on the payday. When you do find help, treat them well. Do right by those that do right by you. Loosen your grip and allow them to flourish. You’d be amazed at the ideas and strategies that they come up with. I’m blessed to be in a position to bless and I owe a portion of that to them.
Until Next Time,
And as my old manager, Natasha, used to say,
T. E. A. M.