I have been running Eating with Erica for officially six years now, and it truly has been one of the biggest and most rewarding adventures of my life thus far. I have decided to open up a little more to you over the next few months so that you can get to know the woman behind the food.
Each month I will be releasing a personal e-mail newsletter, from me to you, which will touch on life, love, and really almost everything. This letter will highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to share and, hopefully, encourage and inspire some of you. I definitely believe in being genuine and authentic; therefore, I am not going to be addressing or sharing anything with you that I have not experienced or witnessed. This month I will touch bases on entrepreneurship. Like myself, I know that you-all are busy, so I promise that I will keep this short and sweet going forward.
Presently, entrepreneurship is glorified and encouraged. But don’t get it twisted, entrepreneurship is HARD work! There are days and times that you will doubt yourself and your own abilities. There are days when you celebrate the wins, but then the deal falls through. But no matter what it looks like, you have a dedication to yourself and your dreams, and that is what will keep you going.
I was working on Eating with Erica for three years while working a full-time job. I would go to work from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., and then come home and work on my blog from 5 p.m. till 9 p.m.
One day I received an offer to work for a competitor. And because I had a great working relationship with my boss. I decided to share the offer with them of what was presented to me from the other competitor. I was nervous because other departments in the company that I was working for were experiencing layoffs. Upper management assured others and myself that our job positions were safe. So I declined the competitor’s offer and kept working. And I’ll be darn that three weeks later, I was laid off.
Shocked was an understatement. I couldn’t believe I had been so foolish and passed up a position. I must admit that upper management took great care of me by providing me a generous severance package, and I was able to work an additional three months with pay.
After the layoff, I was looking for jobs and my boyfriend, who is my now fiancé, suggested that I go forth with Eating with Erica full-time. We sat down and agreed that I had to hit a quota, and if I did well for six months, he would continue to support me. That was two years ago, and I am still pushin’ and hustlin’.
I am sharing three tips you should know before jumping into entrepreneurship.
1. Have a plan and SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!
Make sure that you have a plan on how you are going to generate income on a monthly basis. Ask yourself these questions:
* What is it that I do? And do I love what I do?
* How much do I need to live, monthly?
* How much does my business need to survive, monthly?
* What is the monthly marketing budget?
If you notice, a lot of your favorite full-time bloggers and influencers are married or have live-in partners. What I have learned is that there will be months in which invoices or checks are a bit late or extremely delayed. That is when I am so thankful and blessed for my mate. I recently received a significant check for an invoice that I sent out back in March 2018! So pack on your patience when awaiting payment for your services.
I am thankful that I had a bit of a nest egg before jumping into blogging full-time. So if you are planning on getting into entrepreneurship full-time, it is important to have at least nine months of expenses saved. Also, have a plan for health care, emergencies, and life’s events. Life happens and you want to be able to take care of yourself.
2. Be prepared to work HARD — REALLY HARD!
There are no days off while being an entrepreneur. There is always something that needs to be done, fixed, or started. There is never enough hours in a day, which can mean long nights and early mornings, which is why it’s super important to have a true passion for what you are doing. Passion is going to keep you going when you feel like giving up and throwing in the towel. Unless you love what you do as an entrepreneur, you will quit. If you’re considering becoming an entrepreneur because you’re seeing other people’s success, the lavish trips they’re taking, or because you can work for a brand, then stay working full-time for a corporation, my friends. You cannot compare your book, which may be at Chapter 1, to someone’s Chapter 15. That person may have worked a few years before you or pulled all-nighters to make a deal happen.
One of my quotes are: Treat your business like a business, and it will pay you like a business. Treat your business like a hobby, and it will cost you like a hobby.
3. Surround yourself with people who encourage, motivate, and inspire you.
When you first jump into anything new, it’s really scary, and you often wonder, “How am I going to pull this off,” or “what did I get myself into?” But when I am feeling my worst, my tribe encourages me and brings me back to reality. When I have new ideas, bad ideas, and crazy ideas, I have a group of friends who are honest and transparent. I have made some wonderful, authentic friends who understands that the camera eats first, or that I may not be able to attend an event of theirs because I have a deadline to meet of my own. It takes a village, and I truly am thankful for mine.
I hope that you enjoyed the first Eating with Erica: Food for the Soul series.
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