Building your own business is not for the faint of heart. It can be a daunting task to embark on the journey of entrepreneurship. I often found myself wondering how I would be perceived and if people would take me seriously. I knew at that point that in order to ‘stay the course’, my business would have to be about much more than just revenue.
1. Define Your Mission and Connect Your Purpose
As a millennial and a woman of color, my goal is to encourage those especially in my peer group to find deeper grounding and vision in order to launch a meaningful and lucrative business of any size. My business platform is and always will be Service, Education and Thought Leadership. My business is founded on more than just revenue. It’s about serving and building up communities, leaving a legacy and influencing thought for the better. My journey into the world of writing and the launch of Tephra Miriam Publishing resonated very deeply, and started with a cause. My cause turned into my business, and my business gave birth to publishing the first book in my Clown Town Adventures series for youth and young adults.
I view business like an eco-system that requires balance; almost like farming. If you take from the earth and never plant seeds you will deplete your resources. As businesses we cannot only consume. We have to give back.
2. Make Your Own Path
After I decided on the direction my business would take, my next dilemma was to figure out what makes me different than other companies out there. I had to create my own value proposition that was unique to me. My value proposition is that I do more for less. Under my communications brand I do not only writing but graphic design, creative direction, photography, media, production and much more. I see it all as the way that brands and people communicate with their audience and I’ve learned to do it all.
There is a need to change the way people think about and utilize communications. Many times communications and PR initiatives are bulky….flashy; lacking of depth and detached from the organization’s mission and core values. What makes Tephra Miriam Communications a little bit different is that we understand how the business side works which helps us to reduce the ‘white noise’ and create impactful resources that organizations can utilize over and over. Here at TMC we view communication as far more than just the written word, which is why our services offered are so diverse. It’s about communicating your vision and mission through the written word, imagery and media.
3. Develop Metrics That Make Sense
It’s important to be able to measure the growth of your business in more ways than just revenue. Developing metrics that reflect your amount of exposure, reach and overall digital foot print is vital. For example, when I started TMC I wasn’t coming up when you Googled my business. Now I’m number one. That’s progress!
4. Paint Your Own Picture of Success
It’s difficult to gauge what success is in your business but as a business owner you have to have vision. A lot of times we consider a successful business as one that makes lots of money. In my case it wasn’t so clear cut. I could make a lot of money doing projects that I don’t particularly care about. For me that is not success. A successful business is one that allows me to engage in a holistic and meaningful way with clients, and work on projects that make the world a better place. This is my definition of success and we all have to create our own rationale.
5. Build & Innovate
Starting a company is like building a skyscraper. You start with the foundation and add from there. Once the frame is solid, then you can add walls and windows. From there you have to add plumbing, electrical and dry wall. Even after all that the building is not habitable unless you add paint, insulation, furniture, heat, air conditioning, etc. It takes endurance, vision and resilience to build something durable and tangible.
I’ve learned that resilience is highly underrated, yet it is necessary to stand strong in the face of endless disappointment and limited opportunity. It’s not about falling down, it’s about growing the resilience in ourselves to get back up.