5 Mistakes I Made as An Entrepreneur

Starting Without a Vision or Strategy

In 2016 I thought that this mompreneur thing would be easy and my oh my was I wrong. I was just winging it until I realized that my vision was too broad and I had not niched down enough. Yes, I am a teacher but my skills as a mom are what help me organize my day to walk into my classroom more prepared. I need my working women with business aspirations to know that while you are working, raising your children, planning a wedding, or being a wife, you can still chase your dreams. Life happens and even when you survive divorce; knowing your mission and why will carry you farther than the obstacles that you face. Those trials become a part of your story and fuel your purpose. So be clear when you set out to make a difference. Be the problem solver to those that need to hear your voice and don’t give up until you make an impact.

My Mission: I help working moms find balance between their career and home life as they gain clarity in pursuit of their dreams.

Once I sat down and did a business plan and really thought about what I was trying to do and my message, things began to click. Even though I have been trying for a few years now, once I gained clarity, I can better see the direction I’m heading in for 2020.

Branding Myself Properly

I thought that by merely saying, “I am my brand” was enough but I was wrong again. My personality, my quick wit, my authenticity was going to set me aside but I was nobody in the realm of blogging and entrepreneurship. Now don’t get me wrong, I have some faithful followers and listeners but as I aspire for a further reach I realized that I had to do more. I had to figure out I wanted to be recognized. Yes, I’m the tattooed teacher in my building as I teach throughout the day, but that’s not my ideal for my Mom|Author|Teacher (mompreneur) brand that I am working to establish for myself. And guess what, even after I find some comfort in my visibility, branding is ongoing and may even call for a re-brand down the road. So, LaTilya Rashon is my name in real life. So I did not over arch with something off the wall because my approach is to just be real with my message and what I create. Pieces of me will be ingrained in everything that I do. In these internet streets I will show you my dedication, my authenticity, and my perseverance (D.A.P.) through my storytelling. I love acronyms so you’ll see more of those in the future because they are easy to remember. Make sure your brand attracts your tribe. That’s the whole point!

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Ya’ll there are levels to being in business for yourself. Being a NOVICE, brand new and not knowing what to is the very first level. Your eyes are bigger than your follow through and you are more busy than productive and you just know you are getting things done. I had to tell myself to have several seats plenty of times between 2016 and 2017 because I didn’t have a clue.  I was not creating anything of value outside of my first book (My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching). Once those wheels starting turning, you are now in the DEVELOPMENTAL stage of business where you are connecting the dots and things are beginning to make sense and you have a better understanding of what you are trying to do. Your growth is beginning to show. Then ultimately, the EXPERT. We all aspire to be a household name in these internet streets because of our extensive knowledge and expertise. But you have crawl before you walk. Maintain your own lane and know that everybody has different skillsets so processes are not one size fit all and we are all essentially running our own races. Focus on what you are creating and less on others.  What you have inside of you is just as needed as to what the people around you are doing. NOTE TO SELF!

Taking on too Much

When you don’t have a vision you will easily take on too much too soon and it will leave you overwhelmed and ready to quit. You need clarity and this can’t be emphasized enough to avoid repeat failure. Now this does not mean that some things won’t launch as successfully as others, it just means that we will eventually get it right. Even if you plan properly it’s a 50/50 chance of things going wrong, so we have to prioritize our tasks as to not give up before we ever get started. What is urgent versus not urgent then go from there. Decide what you can DO now, what you can PLAN to do later, who or what you can DELEGATE, and truly ELIMINATE. We are what holds us back when we are sure, so be intentional.

Failing to Invest in Myself

Listen, you can google until your finger tips hurt but pretty soon you will find that in information overload, everything will start to look the same. I have downloaded so many free worksheets, ebooks, tuned into LIVE training, you name it and none of them gave me the clarity that I needed. Then I started making small investments in resources because I needed to streamline my message and my business. Find someone that speaks to your style and let them coach you.  I have following one particular author/coach for the past year and I am ecstatic about my latest investment of myself. You have to do your own research to determine who is best suited for your needs. You can only Free.99 to a certain degree but when you want results, you will begin to make the right investments. Even when you think you don’t have the money, you will find a way.

So with all of that being said… I decided that I no longer wanted to function in mediocrity. I want to scale up my message and visibility so that I can do great things in the months to come. I have set some very intense goals for myself and the steps I’m taking along the way have me very excited. Let’s just say as I’m approaching my 38th birthday, I have for certain two years to make some things shake and that is exactly what I plan to do.

~LaTilya

A Journey Into Creation

So back in September I thought that it would be a great idea to really map out my business and the direction that I want to go. I completed a full business plan and everything then I feel like I hit a brick wall.

My big picture is being able to run a successful business online and become my own boss. Creating ways for people to expand their creative abilities, speaking when given the opportunity and ultimately enjoying the things that I love doing.

2019 put a little bit of a fire under my ass, especially back in June when I spoke at the Teacher Self-Care Conference. I transferred schools. I became the Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) Coach. But I also began to experience the growing pains of raising teenage boys. They are night and day.  Needless to say I feel like I am behind, but then I think about all of the work that has been accomplished behind the scenes that I actually have to stop and give myself a break.

I have planned my brand content and though I am not as confident in it at times that I should be, I just ask myself a lot of times if I am doing the right thing. I totally get that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing, but damn they make it look easy. So I hit the reset button and told myself to not let the internet rush me. After all, this blog has been up for three years, semi-consistently. I have written three books. I do freelance academic writing and editing. I have been busy. But self-doubt creeps in and make me question everything.

I’m not experiencing burnout or anything, I just want to begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  That is such a cliché. And even though I’m building my own table and opening my own doors, the truth is that entrepreneurship is hard as hell. Luckily for me I have decided to partake in a “Secure the Bag” webinar because 2020 is the year to erase the doubt and just strike out.  I’m thinking “The Journey to Here” which is a compilation of themed story telling that explains my journey of living, reflecting, writing, and learning.

I told myself that I would devote six months to one book and I have been focusing on 12 Ways to Survive Your First Year of Teaching since June. It was a follow-up to My Fourth Year. I’ve enjoyed this ride, but I want to talk about some other things and I think now is the time.

I have dumped my brain a lot over the past few months and I am passionate about writing of course, goal setting, African-American youth (I don’t want to see them get lost in the system) and of course being a successful author with a message that I get to share through speaking engagements. I’m not stalling anything, I’m just being careful as I go back to look at drafts of all of my book titles. I have a couple books I need to finish or put the final touches on. I am definitely going to make it happen.

These are just my Tuesday thoughts as I prepare for my conference in the meantime. I’m a lifelong learner. So this journey continues.

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