Having to learn the business as I go makes me extremely adaptable and dedicated to finding solutions. I listen to feedback, and if it makes sense I try to implement it quickly. I take the advice I receive from vetted advisors and I trust myself to make the right decisions for my business.
The skills that I mention here are the real entrepreneur toolkit. It’s fantastic if you have an MBA or another advanced degree, but if you have an idea you believe in, you’re a problem solver, and you’re persistent, you will go very far in business.
Luvvie AjayiÂ is an award-winning writer and digital strategist covering everything fromÂ technology and social injusticeÂ to comedy and travel. She’s worked with a variety of major brands, such as XFINITY Comcast, Target, BET, Nielsen, HGTV, Verizon, and Toyota. She’s also co-founder ofÂ The Red Pump Project,Â a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women EntrepreneursÂ and girls.Â And she’s working on her first book, titled I’m Judging You, to be released in 2016.
When you first started in theÂ business, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was charging what I was worth because I thought people and companies would walk away from me if they thought I was too expensive. So I’d low ball myself and then end up getting cheated because it seems that during those times when you make concessions, people will ask you for more. They pay a nickel and want a dollar worth of work. I finally had to stand strong and realize that I bring a lot of value to the table, so I’m worth what I ask for, and people can walk away. Those are not the ones I should be working with, because when people come to me for anything, it should be because they know I am the best choice. It was a tough lesson in making sure people do not take advantage of you.
We have to learn to ask for what we want with an exclamation point and not a question mark. It’s a continuous lesson, though. It never stops.