Last week, media coach and brand strategist Zakiya Larry shared effective business marketing tips and explained why Houston is the next black business mecca in anticipation of the upcoming Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, in Houston.
This week, the self-described “Elevation Strategist” shares four essential tips that all 9-to-5’ers need to know before taking the leap into full-time entrepreneurship—a road that Larry has traveled herself. Before launching Quest Media Training—a strategic communications firm that provides interview preparedness, strategic messaging, crisis communications, and public relations—Larry served as the long-time director of media relations for T.D. Jakes Ministries. “For many years, I ran my media coaching and strategic communications firm while maintaining my parallel career as a PR executive for an international inspiration and entertainment brand,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE in an email.
Based on her firsthand expertise, she says aspiring entrepreneurs must be diligent about saving and managing funds while they plan to launch a business. “I think that it is really important to address entrepreneurial goals and mindset. There are different flavors of entrepreneurship and each one requires a different money approach. You can leap into full-time entrepreneurship or maintain what I like to call, your “parallel career.”
Larry, who will facilitate a branding and marketing lab at this year’s Entrepreneurs Summit, shared four essential tips for those thinking about taking the leap.
Tip 1: Plan for up to six months.
This is beyond having six months of expenses tucked away. This is about developing habits that will keep you afloat during booming and lean times. For six months, practice saving EVERYTHING from the change in your pockets, at the bottom of your purse, and even stepping up how much you funnel into savings accounts and any retirement plans.
Tip 2: Pretend while you spend.
Teach yourself to ignore the fact that you have a consistent check coming in from your “parallel career.” Decide on an amount (usually less than you would typically spend) for, let’s say…groceries. Challenge yourself to spend only the allotted amount. If the total goes over the budget, put something back. Resist the temptation to dip into your “regular money.” Remember, it’s not there anymore. Or at least, it won’t be, soon.
Tip 3: Keep Automatic Payments Going.
Years ago, I paid off my car. The loan company automatically withdrew the car payment, monthly. I knew that full-time entrepreneurship was my ultimate goal, even if I didn’t know any of the details. So, after I settled that debt, I continued having the same amount of money automatically withdrawn on the same day each month, but this time, the automatic payment landed in my savings account and not the loan company’s account. This tip is great for those who want to maintain a parallel career but still fund their entrepreneurship dreams.
Tip 4: Create Passive Income.
While working on your core business, it is helpful to create something that many people can buy at an easily accessible rate. A quick way to supplement your income is to sell knowledge along with your product or service. You can do this through creating coaching programs or coaching materials that would not require you to interact much with the purchaser, but instead, still offers residual income to keep you supported while you spend your time on your core offering.
REGISTER NOW to learn more about entrepreneurship and business success at the 2017 Entrepreneurs Summit on May 17–20 in Houston.
You can get a head start on what Larry will teach during her branding and marketing lab session at the Entrepreneurs Summit by downloading this free gift: tip sheets to Be A Media Maven at www.ZakiyaLarry.com. You can also chat with Larry about media, elevating your brand, and even your mood, anytime @ZakiyaLarry on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Selena Hill is the Associate Digital Editor at Black Enterprise and the founder of the award-winning talk show, Let Your Voice Be Heard! Radio. You can hear Hill and her team talk millennial politics and social issues every Sunday at 11 a.m. ET.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @MsSelenaHill.