I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
To be honest, all startups start with little to no money. My story was the same. I used bootleg versions of design software so I wouldn’t have to pay for the license. I also charged way less than I should so that I could build my portfolio, sometimes even offering free work. I made almost no profit my first year.
Also, we don’t have a lot of entrepreneurs in my family so I didn’t really have mentors to show me the ins and outs of running a small business. I operated without being an LLC for a while. Didn’t understand how to file business taxes or understand what was tax-deductible or not. I pretty much taught myself all of it. Also, black business owners are stereotyped. So I had to put in the work to show my clients that not all black business owners are late on projects, unprofessional, and disorganized.
Eventually, my work caught up with my competitors and I showed that I could compete with other similar small businesses. The crazy thing is that I actually was getting so good it was hard to keep up with all of the projects. I started being late delivering graphics and websites to clients and so I realized I needed to restructure and manage my time better with the growth.