In honor of Black History Month, I’m honoring 4 women in a special series on the podcast! These ladies are doing amazing things, and have been influential to me on my journey as a young, Black entrepreneur. In this solo show, I share what to expect in the rest of the series. I also share my best advice for when you feel uninvited in the entrepreneur space, and why the phrase “saving a seat for someone” is so special to me.
Obviously, there’s a lot of incredible people that I could have invited to be a part of this! And you’ll be hearing Voices of Color on this podcast every month, not just in February. So, how did I choose the guests? These 4 wonderful people have inspired me and helped me find my place as a brand new website designer. This series is my way of honoring and thanking them.
In addition to impacting me personally, they’re all so inspiring, and do good through their businesses. Here’s who you’ll be hearing from during Black History in the Making:
Through her organization, Miss Erica’s Reading Club, Erica inspires kids to enjoy reading and teaches them about diversity and inclusion. She’s also uplifted and encouraged me so much.
I don’t know many Black website designers, so I felt a little out of place when I joined the industry. Then, I discovered Bernel and Octavia! Seeing them succeed reassured me that there’s a place for me here. I’ve also been so inspired by the way that they serve and support other Black businesses.
Natasha is only a few years older than me, and she’s already been featured on the popular Goal Digger Podcast and spoken at Social Media World. Seeing her reach the level of success that she has as a young, Biracial Person of Color has been so encouraging. She also uses her platform for good to talk about topics that are important to her.
I’m so excited for them to come on the show and share their life experiences – not just when it comes to race, but also when it comes to entrepreneurship in general! They are all such talented entrepreneurs.
If you’re a fellow Person of Color listening, I hope that this series will be encouraging for you. But even if you’re not, I hope that you’ll still listen and be inspired by what everyone has to share.
Conversations about race are sensitive, so I want you to know that I’ve taken preparing for and creating this content seriously. My number one priority has been that all of my guests feel comfortable. A lot of thought has gone into deciding what we’ll share.
But even though this isn’t easy, it’s important to me to have these conversations. For one thing, I can’t speak for everyone – I only know my own experiences. Having them share their perspectives alongside me adds more depth to the conversation. (And even though we’ll be having these conversations together, our experiences are still limited, so we can’t speak for all Black women in entrepreneurship. I want to recognize that.)
Also, as I’ve navigated applying for jobs and then becoming an online entrepreneur post-college, I’ve had experiences that made me feel out of place or less than at times. Learning how to navigate that has been a process, and it doesn’t always feel like there’s a place to talk about it. It’s something that’s hard for a lot of people to talk about.
Seeing what these ladies I’m featuring are doing was encouraging. I would see them and think, “Okay, she’s doing it, she’s making it. This is possible for me too.”
So I hope that by us having this series, other entrepreneurs of Color will be encouraged and feel less alone. Especially other young entrepreneurs like me who are still figuring out how to navigate things.
I’m excited that we’re able to do this and celebrate these women who are doing amazing! They’re creating Black History right in the here and now.
A question that I’ll be asking the guests this month is “What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share about dealing with the challenges of being a minority in the entrepreneur space?”
While I can’t speak for everyone – and it would be unfair of me to try – I’d like to share my answer to this question as well.
Something that I had to learn (and am still learning, honestly) is to not waste time trying to be invited to a table where you’re not welcome. Enjoy the company of the people who are willing to save you a seat, and be willing to build your own table so that you can be the person who makes someone else feel seen and heard, too.