Today, more than ever, African American women are setting a new standard for success both personally and professionally. Rashea Barnes is not accustomed to settling for mediocrity in her life, career, and entrepreneurial endeavors. A full-time educator, Barnes is also pursuing her Ph.D., and building her online platform Oops I Spilled the Tea as a media journalist. BlackEnterprise.com had the opportunity to speak with Barnes about balancing career, education, and entrepreneurial aspirations.
You are working full time, pursuing your Ph.D., and working on your entrepreneurial endeavors. How are you able to balance all three?
Honestly, I don’t know to be quite honest! I know that God has a vision for me that I can’t even begin to imagine, but I just take it one day at a time because, if not, it becomes extremely overwhelming. I focus on my teaching career first and then shift my concentration to Oops I Spilled the Tea. Anyone who is looking to either start a business or further their brand presence has to be well-organized, practice strong time management skills, and most importantly, remain consistent in whatever task you are completing.
Tell us about Oops I Spilled The Tea, and how it differs from other blogging sites.
First off, I am NOT a blogger, and that is a misconception that many people have. A blog is a website that normally (with a few exceptions) reports from secondary resources about things that are current, and trending or hot topics about their own personal interest. I am a media journalist who actually travels and interviews people from all walks of life. From celebrity makeup artist, professional athletes, singers, and rappers, I have interviewed them all. The purpose of the term “spilling the tea” is to shed some light on how some of our favorite celebrities became who they are today. In a world that glamorizes everything, Oops I Spilled the Tea is a platform that shows you the trials and obstacles they faced while pursuing their dreams.
What are you able to apply from your entrepreneurial work into both your current career and school?
I think in both the entrepreneurial world and school you have to have the “survival mentality.” A sense that if you don’t grind then you don’t eat. Nothing was willingly given to me, therefore I had to work, and still am working constantly, to accomplish every dream that I have. That is another thing that I want to make very clear in this interview for anyone who has a goal or aspiration. You have to set goals, and not only set goals but you have to write them down somewhere that you can see every day.
What challenges have you experienced balancing these three important pieces of your career and life development?
I think the hardest thing would be not becoming complacent. Many times when we reach a certain peak or level in our lives we become stagnant, and that goes for work and personal life. Never settle or be OK with the bare minimum. If you set goals and accomplish them, create more goals. Rejection is another obstacle that individuals like myself face in the foundation years of building a brand and that’s OK, but never give up. You might get one hundred rejections for media or press events before you get that one big interview that can make or break your career. You have to be OK with failure and rejection because it will happen, but how you respond after it happens is what’s most important. Do you give up or do you keep pushing?
What pieces of advice do you have for people pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors while managing their career and education?
The main piece of advice that I would give is to surround yourself with positive energy, and have a strong team of people around you. Vibes and energy are everything. You do not have time to waste dealing with negative individuals. Understand that negativity is contagious and will eventually infect you. If you are building a brand the people you surround yourself with should promote your brand as if it is their own. As cliché as it sounds do not give up on yourself EVER! Never let obstacles that you have faced in the past be the barricade that blocks you from the future you deserve.