4 Reasons for Females, Minorities to Consider Entrepreneurialism After a Career Setback

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From time to time, I post guest-written blogs that are pertinent to my consulting areas of diversity and career development. Within diversity, as a certified LGBT-Business Enterprise via the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, I am very interested in diversity within the small business realm, and want to promote larger companies doing business with diverse suppliers.

Last month, I published by first guest blog from Marissa Perez, co-founder and head marketing writer at Business Pop, “Competing in Business as an Underrepresented Entrepreneur.”  Marissa has spent the last 10 years honing her marketing skills, and now is sharing her small business / entrepreneurial expertise through this second guest blog she has provided.

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Career setbacks can feel devastating at first, but how you respond and attempt to move on can make all the difference. For women and minorities, who can both experience more hardship in corporate environments, this could be the perfect chance to spread those entrepreneurial wings and soar. Still not convinced? Here are some small business facts that may just change your mind, and your life for the better:

1) Your Time Really is Valuable

If you have been stuck in a corporate environment for some time now, you’ve likely gotten used to hustling and pushing the limits on your daily schedule. This sort of mentality is common within corporations, with a primary focus on profits. While profits are important in business, Inc. points out time is really your most precious commodity. If you’re spread too thin, you can’t give your all to your top priorities.

Now you may need to spend more of that time getting your new business started, but at some point it may be helpful to take a step back and delegate some of your work. Upwork is an amazing resource when it comes to finding and hiring freelance talent, from graphic design help for your website to a virtual assistant to assist with administrative duties. You can post your job description within minutes and start looking for freelance help to expand and evolve your business, and to make the most of your valuable time.

There are a multitude of financing options available to new entrepreneurs.

2) Your Funding Options are Plentiful

Time is certainly your most precious asset when it comes to your professional and personal life, but there’s no denying that having the right funding can help any new business succeed. Thankfully, there are quite a few options that you can use to help get your business up and running, from business loans to angel investors to crowdfunding.

While any of these funding sources can be a lucrative way for entrepreneurs to secure the financial resources needed to start a new business, women and minorities should also consider using special grants and loans to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true, and the former may not need to be paid back. Many companies and organizations provide funding to businesses owned by women or minorities, so you just need to do a little digging to find one that will benefit your new business.

3) Your Setback Can Provide Opportunities

Career setbacks can feel like any other loss, so it’s important for you to take time to grieve any losses and process any negative feelings, especially if you lost your job. Feeling angry, unfocused and even a bit depressed is completely normal after being laid off, let go, or quitting a job. When that work environment was toxic, which can often be the case for women and minorities who are working in the corporate world, you may need some additional time and self-care to recover and move on.

One of the most important things you can do to expedite this recovery process is to avoid internalizing any toxic behaviors from others and to recognize that those behaviors had more to do with your former boss, co-worker or environment than you. As Thrive Global explains, learning from setbacks is also an important step for ensuring your success as an entrepreneur.

4) Your Small Business Options are Endless

If you’re not sure what type of business would be best for your interests and goals, however, know that there are endless opportunities for both minorities and women in the small business world. If you have a creative talent, such as woodworking or writing, then you can always turn your pastime into a lucrative new small business. You can also secure licenses that can help propel you into a new career, whether that’s as a massage therapist, electrician, web developer, or veterinary technician. Offering freelance services through Upwork can also be a good option and you can maintain a freelance side gig if you ever decide to return to a full-time position.

Working for a corporation can leave many women and minorities feeling unappreciated and left behind. Consider turning what feels like a loss into an opportunity to start your very own small business. Then you will be in control of your time and your success.

10 Success Principles from Barbara Corcoran, Real Estate Mogul and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire

It is amazing the things you can uncover when cleaning out piles of papers from over the years. While doing some New Year’s cleaning, I found some notes from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Business and Leadership Conference keynote delivered by super successful real estate mogul and entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran. I found that these 7 year old notes I took are still fresh and pertinent.

Someone who built a multi-billion dollar business starting from the ground up with nothing (no old family money, no super wealthy backers) but grit and her own business savvy is certainly worth listening to. Here are Barbara’s 10 principles to succeed:
1. Be great at failure, since success most often comes after trying and failing multiple times.
2. Perceptions creates reality – so don’t stray away from going after publicity.
3. Everybody wants what everybody wants – very important for marketing a product or service.
4. Expand before you are ready.
5. Shoot the dogs early. If something is not working, don’t drag it out. Stop!
6. There are basically two types of people – expanders and containers. Recruit skills that are opposite of yours since both are important.
7. Recognition often motivates people better than money. Be generous with your praise and recognition.
8. Fun is good for business. Creating fun in your business helps drive loyalty.
9. During bad times, stay positive and remember the best is ahead.
10. You have the right to be here. This was a particularly important message for LGBT and other minority owned businesses. We all have something to offer.

Yes – hearing from the super successful is certainly one of the best ways to learn skills and principles that can help each of us succeed. And every year, the National LGBT Chamber continues to offer their annual excellent conference with outstanding keynotes, workshops and networking.

NOTE: Consider attending this year’s NGLCC International Business and Leadership Conference in Tampa August 13 – 16th!

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Blog author Stan Kimer founded his own successful innovative diversity and career development consultancy in 2010 after a 31-year career at IBM. Check out my website and offerings … www.totalengagementconsulting.com and / or subscribe to my monthly newsletter.