How are these women I would see on my Instagram feed doing it? I remember starting my business seven years ago and thinking this to myself everyday. At the time, I was following every Black Woman I could find who was making moves in the business world to glean any insight I could about how I could start and grow a successful business.
Each day as I scrolled down my feed, I saw them “DOING IT!” and I had no clue how. I saw them getting up everyday and getting to work; that’s motivation and dedication. I saw them sharing their trials and how they kept going; that’s tenacity and commitment. I saw them juggling life and business; that’s time management. How did they know when it was time to hire team members and how did they fund it? How did they decide whether to be a sole proprietorship, an LLC, an S-Corp? What motivates them and not the cliché answers we’ve been programmed to give? How did they learn how to manage their money if they had grown to have poor money management skills? Who would they recommend I get to know to better myself? How do they protect their intellectual property? How did they choose a banker? How did they choose whether to self-fund or seek out investors?
There were so many questions I wanted to ask and so many deeper conversations I wanted to have but I had no way to access these women to be able speak to them. Little did I know that God was making a way for me to have these conversations on a daily basis in my very own make-up chair.
As I put my head down and began to do the work to build my business, the women that I prayed to learn from began to book appointments for services. These women would come to my studio and for one hour, and we would have profound conversations about life, love, work, growth, empowerment, business and politics— you name it and we discussed it.
We debated and encouraged. We shared what we learned and the mistakes we made. Resources were exchanged and connections were made. There were tears and laughs; joys and pains. But, no matter what, I left these sessions better than when I started. I knew more. I believed in myself more. I grew more. I was empowered to live in my “magic” because I had a front row seat to women who were living in theirs.
I began to call these beauties, my Business Besties! And over the years my tribe has grown, to not only include women who were sitting in my chair, but women all around the world, in every industry, at every level from the C-Suite to making sweets. These women keep me grounded and motivated. I can call them with any question or concern and I can count on them to give me the push I need to be my best self. They don’t mince words and they don’t accept mediocrity. These women expect nothing but greatness and are a living example of how to get it done. And, now, I get to share these conversations with my Business Besties with you!
I hope you will join me for deep conversations with my Business Besties about our journeys and how we navigate them in my column in The Baltimore Times. Be ready for tangible action steps that you can take to start, grow and scale your business. Be sure to grab a pen to jot down ideas, as our conversations may help to spark your creativity and prepare you to get to work. And, get ready for a few laughs, lots of love and a good good conversation along the way!
Takia Ross is the owner of Accessmatized Make-Up Artistry, home of Pretty Mobile Baltimore, DMV’s First Mobile Make-Up Studio; and creator of KiKi Thunda Cosmetics, a small batch cosmetics manufacturing company. She was named one of Baltimore’s Top 25 Women to Watch; one of the DMV’s Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises; and one of Baltimore’s Top Community Builders.