7 lessons I have learned from launching my business during a pandemic

I have been on an entrepreneurship journey for the past 18 months and I have learned a lot (and I am still yet to learn more). I am sharing some of my lessons

I don't come from an entrepreneurial background so it was so hard for me to really even refer to myself as an entrepreneur and even take my hustle-game seriously. Ironically what I do best is Career, however I never thought that teaching folks how to SLAY career would become a hustle that actually brings in an income.

I launched Career Slay Mama in May 2020 right when the pandemic had started: sidebar can you imagine that we are STILL in a pandemic?! I can't! Well towards the fall of 2020, I thought why don't I take this up a notch and really commit to the process. I had no idea where to start especially because the goal for me wasn't really to hustle through this. Career Slay Mama was an outlet for me after a prolonged season of parenting with small children, getting into and finishing up grad school and laughing out career-wise.

When I look back, I unconsciously was building a brand whether I admit to it or not and I am glad I took the steps to do that because it has made my journey easier especially because the entrepreneurship journey is not for the faint of heart.

1. Your passion can become a hustle

When I started out it really was for CSM to be an outlet. That being said, I realized that this is something I can talk about for ages without getting tired. It's easy to build on your passion and to grow it into a hustle because it is the thing you would do if you weren't getting paid to do it. It is what comes naturally and from the heart for you. Your passions can direct you into what you could invest in.

2. Passion is not enough to build a business

Building a business like building anything else needs more than passion to stand. It's not every day that you feel like showing up, or emailing folks on your email list or engaging on social media. If you only do it when you feel like it, you will be inconsistent and yoyo - posting often when you feel inspired and disappearing when you don't feel like it.

3. Newborn business stage requires your attention

As a parent, you know how demanding the newborn days are. You are constantly pouring into your baby the business and this often requires time away from family. Especially for me working full time and hustling full time either has meant me working late nights when the kids are asleep OR having my laptop/phone with me either making graphics or creating posts, packaging programs creating marketing products. The good news is that the newborn phase doesn't last forever. You won't always have to be as hands-on. It is also ok to take some breaks here and there.

4. Get the help you need

There some things I am good at, there are others that I am not. When I needed a logo, I reached out on my network and got an amazing young woman to work with me and conceptualize until we got there. Social media has been AMAZING as I have learned from very many thought leaders in the side-hustle space! I have learned actively and passively on marketing, building and connecting with my audience - hello 1.8K on instagram and I have really felt supported as I see other mompreneurs doing their thing! If you hate social media, you've got your algorithm all wrong and you need to curate your experience so you are bombarded with inspiration and encouragement! For me help has come in many ways including my hubby's support all through the way and my dear friend Towela's support to me. She's been an amazing person to bounce my ideas off of and a great person to vent to because she get's it as a fellow business woman!

5. You need to invest in your business

There is a season of your business where you need to invest - as I mentioned, getting the logo done cost me; I have invested in professional photo-shoots to elevate my brand; I invested in a phone that allowed me to do more; I have bought a new laptop; I have invested in a high quality DSLR camera; I have invested in a domaine for the business, I have subscriptions for my email management; I purchased teaching space on a platform. At some point it feels like TOO MUCH! However all of these investments have been necessary and they will pay off!

6. Before another purchase, assess

Investing in your business can be addictive. It can also be a way of delaying focussing on getting the word out and selling your products. At some point I kept convincing myself that I needed more, a more powerful camera, another lens, another subscription. However at some point I had to take a step back and focus on key areas. I had been spreading myself too thin trying to be all things to everybody so this year I am doing more with less. I am focussed on offering a program at a time and working one on one. I will be offering periodic masterclasses here and there. The better I am understanding my target clients and audience the more I am able to offer services that resonate and solve things in meaningful ways for those I have the privilege of serving.

7. Selling is hard but serving is easy

I used to struggle and still do about selling. This is mostly because no one wants to be harassed. The thing is as a business person you need to SELL. I've found myself shying from this and defaulting to referring to my hustle as a hobby - never mind that this was becoming an expensive hobby. What has been a mindset shift for me has been to view what I offer as serving rather than selling. To know intrinsically that I am bringing value to those I am serving. Hearing the satisfaction from clients who have worked with me and having folks return twice or thrice has given me the confidence to go out there and make the sale. It still is daunting though!

On that note there are 3 ways for me to serve you through Career Slay Mama:

  • Masterclass: The first way you can work with me is via a Masterclass. In these large group sessions I will go deep on a particular topic such as networking, mentorship, career transitions. This is a great way to test out Career Slay Mama and see me in action before you commit to one of the other programs. I am hosting a Masterclass on March 26th: Network in a pandemic and I would love for you to be a part of it.

  • Career Coaching: I offer you options for you to work with me one on one whether it is to give your resume/LinkedIn profile a Glow Up, or whether you want to Level Up your career and take it to the next level or whether you want a 1:1 Session with a specific issue you would like us to discuss/strategize on e.g. a conflict at work or having your performance conversation or if you're making a career transition. You can find all the coaching programs here!

  • Programs: I offer small group programs which involve LIVE coaching. I have a 2-day weekend program: Shift Your Mindset which includes 2 live coaching sessions. At the end of this program, you will shift from a fear to a growth mindset and have clear actions to take in order to move your career to the next level. I also offer the 6-module signature program: Vision to Action 2.0. In six weeks, you will go through the goal SLAYAH framework through LIVE group coaching sessions which are working sessions. You will get out of your head and develop a detailed action plan. We also keep each other accountable so you will be working on the action items during the six weeks.

If I have one piece of unsolicited advice it is this: START

👉🏾Start while it is still messy

👉🏾Start when you don't have it all figured out

👉🏾Start and re-start again

👉🏾Launch and re-launch again

👉🏾Build it as you go along

👉🏾Start while you are AFRAID


👉🏾Even when you get discouraged keep going!

Thank you for following me a long on this journey! I am learning so much but I am also so enriched by you being a part of this journey.

Let's Slay Together!