My apologies for the late response.
That’s how I start most of my emails these days. Not because I’m perpetually late – I am, but because I’m an entrepreneur with a full-time job. And that’s just how it goes most times. I didn’t grow up wanting to own my own business, though I do have a bossy streak. Teaching wasn’t my dream either, in fact I’m still shocked that I’m a college professor. And I certainly couldn’t have guessed that I’d be both. None of this was planned and my to-do list has not yet caught up. So in the event that you reach out to me sometime in the next decade, my apologies in advance for the late response.
I was supposed to write this last week. If I’m being honest, I’m lucky to be writing it now. Two years ago not completing something on a self-imposed deadline would’ve driven my Type – A personality into a full downward anxiety spiral. I’m smart of course, but it was always my organization, my ability to successfully manage one more thing than anyone else around me that helped me succeed. The art of letting go is not my thing.
That’s not to say I didn’t realize entrepreneurship would be a struggle. I do, and it is. But entrepreneurship doesn’t fit everyone the same way, or any one at a given time. Or ever, it feels like sometimes. And yet, it is all the same inexplicably for me. Working on The Hues Company with my mother and younger sister is a release, even as it constrains my time – and sometimes my sanity. It provides an outlet for ideas that my academic consciousness is trained to ignore. An opportunity to experience the highs and lows of absolute responsibility. A looking-glass whose reflection builds self-confidence in ways not usually afforded a black woman like myself.
I extract power from being an entrepreneur. Every day is different, and I love that – some days. I get to define the boundaries of my work, often working well into the next day out of sheer drive. Not that I could sleep if I didn’t finish enough. The power comes from being able to define when enough is really enough. I get to create my to-do list based on our internal timeline for global domination, not a predetermined tenure clock (though I plan to get that too). The lows come, but they can’t lessen the power I’ve already built up, instead acting as a shield from whatever this paths throws at me next.
One year ago this month we launched The Hues Company with HuesBox because we wanted to work with other entrepreneurs of color to stimulate connections and support small businesses in the Health, Beauty, and Wellness (HBW) space. We never dreamed of the response we received. We’ve been met with so much love, support, and positivity, it is our sunshine on the cloudiest days. So please consider this soliloquy a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported HuesBox and The Hues Company on our journey, and a simultaneous, “we see you,” to all those other entrepreneurs grinding before work, after work, during work, and on weekends building your power. The journey is worth it, keep going. We’re going to do the same.