print or digital. How did you build your readership?
EN: There are no over night success stories.
It started one night, I believe it was in December 1st, 2009 when I got online over the weekend and started just writing. And really it began with me myself sharing the things that I had learned as an entrepreneur and giving insight and tips that I was learning along the way. It caught on. I believe [it did that] for two reasons: (1) when you have a purpose and you are clear about your purpose and your vision, you’re going to be successful. What that means practically is that I began to share it on social media networks; I believe the content aspect was a huge, huge driver. (2) Also, early on we developed a strong grassroots approach from a lot of our folks that championed our message to make entrepreneurship accessible—that’s pure and simple; we wanted to make it more accessible. From there it caught on traction. We then caught the eye of national advertisers like Google and started to develop partnerships
So I would say really focusing on strong content, being consistent as well as utilizing social media to grow your influence within a space is really critical to early success.
EBONY: What is one major mistake—or rather opportunity for learning—that you’ve made thus far when going about executing your entrepreneurial vision?
EN: The biggest lesson learned for me was to take more risks and execute non-stop. In this market, especially in the digital market, where things are changing so fast, it’s very important to execute non-stop: take action, take action, take action! Even if it’s not perfect it’s important to get your idea and your vision out into the marketplace, and then you’ll receive customer feedback that will help you to build on those ideas and help you to refine your offering.
So if you have that vision then you have everything within you that you need to bring it to pass. You just have to move forward.
EBONY: I love it! As a young black, female entrepreneur especially, would you say that you’ve encountered unique challenges as result of the aforementioned?
EN: I look at being a female, an African-American woman, and an entrepreneur as all opportunities. I don’t ever look at it from a negative standpoint. If anything, it gives us the ability to really make a mark in the marketplace. I’m sure there are stereotypes but I don’t concern myself with that; I move in my vision through my thoughts, I don’t move in anyone else’s thoughts.
EBONY: Chiie, I couldn’t have said it better! Do you have any advice for the Black, Fresh and 20-Something entrepreneur?
EN: Put your blinders on and focus on exactly what your vision is and everything that you want will come to pass if you don’t give up, persevere and execute non-stop. YFS Magazine is built on the proverb: Without a vision the people perish. That is the key, key thing for me. It helps guide me. You have to know that whatever you’re meant to do, in time, will manifest itself.
Are you a young entrepreneur? If so, visit www.yfsentrepreneur.com/ to check out YFS Magazine today!