How To Become Your Own Boss
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Melinda Emerson

You must hire smart people and empower them to make decisions, even if they are not the decisions you would make. Remember: It’s not always about you. It is about your family, your employees and your customers.

Be a family first entrepreneur. This means that you always have options not obligations, and your family is always your number one client. Don’t let your business become your mistress. Try to compensate your family for the fact that in the beginning of your business, you’ll have to work very long hours.

Key to thinking like an entrepreneur is remaining focused. Here are some tips to motivate yourself:

  • Develop a daily routine. Get up at the same time every day, take a shower, and exercise before you start work.
  • Convert one room in the house into an office. Be aware that using a room with a bed makes naps inviting.
  • Schedule breakfast meetings and early morning conference calls to get yourself going early.
  • When you feel your energy getting low, take a walk around the block or get on a treadmill for thirty minutes.
  • Avoid procrastination; perform follow-up activities right away. Send thank-you cards and e-mail follow-ups quickly.
  • Ask a friend or fellow business owner to call or e-mail you to remind you about things you said you really needed to get done.
  • Isolation is the enemy of entrepreneurship. You must not let the silence or boredom get to you. You may need to figure out how to change your work environment to get your work done. At the same time, you need to make sure you remain disciplined.
  • Find a secondary workplace outside your home, e.g., a coffee shop, a bookstore, or the public library.
  • Schedule your time. Plan when you will make sales calls, write checks, return calls, write blog posts, read e-mail, and open mail.
  • Make an action list at the end of every day to drive work activities for the next day.
  • Do not make or accept personal calls until after 6 p.m., unless they’re urgent. Explain to your friends and family about your work hours and make sure people respect them. “I need to call you back,” works just fine to clear the line.
  • Do not run errands until after 6 p.m. Politely inform those who ask that you are working.
  • Invest in a two-line telephone with speakerphone and a headset so that you can multitask.(Continued on Page 4)

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Alfred Edmond, Jr.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is SVP/Editor-at-large of BLACK ENTERPRISE. He is a content leader, brand representative and expert resource for all media platforms under the BLACK ENTERPRISE brand, including the web site, social media and live networking events. From 2008 through 2010, Edmond was SVP/Editor-in-chief of BlackEnterprise.com, helping to lead the transition of BLACK ENTERPRISE from single-magazine publisher to digital-first multimedia company. From 1995 through 2008, Edmond was chief editor of BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine. He has also hosted The Urban Business Roundtable on WVON-AM in Chicago and Money Matters, a syndicated radio feature of American Urban Radio Networks. Edmond is also an entrepreneur, speaker, author and amateur natural bodybuilding competitor.


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