Let me start off by saying if you leave me a funky comment (lol), I’m going to assume you just read the title GOT really offended and decided to go OFF on me before I put You On to some things I’ve heard, learned, and experienced as far as working with black women online.
Now before I go any further, let me be clear (as I’m sure you already know this), I am a black women entrepreneur / blogger who works mainly with black women, but what a LOT of black women are telling me is that folks tell them “Don’t Work With Black Women (Period).” Sistas you know this, you’ve heard it, and maybe you believe it …. point being that’s what folks are saying.
The rub or the kicker here is THAT many black women that I work with, myself included feel compelled to work with other black women or women of color in general. While there is a stigma around it and not much money in it (on the surface it seems) we are driven to do it. The fact is that as black women we know that we aren’t as targeted by mainstream media as much as we would like, so many of us with visions of changing the world feel compelled to do our part to put black women in the forefront of the conversation. The only problem here is that we as all know words DON’T pay the bills, so while we are trying to DO PRO-BLACK WOMAN Things online that make us feel like our destinies are being fulfilled we are coming up against the whispers, worries, and the realities surrounding the idea ‘Don’t Work With Black Women (Period)’.
So what is the REAL Problem here and what is my point? I’m about to air out our dirty laundry y’all, so excuse me while I open the windows (because it’s going to get funky lol). With the recession and even a few years before it, we have seen a growing number of black women entrepreneurs (especially online). Many black women entrepreneurs online see the net as a space where we can afford to create our visions in the form of blogs, coaching, books, movies, fashion, etc. BUT many of us are having a hard time getting the job done. Either the large companies don’t see our market as a market that pays (so we can't get big sponsors and ad contracts like well let's be real - white bloggers online) OR we aren’t buying black amongst ourselves for an exhausting list of reasons. You’ve heard it before, everybody wants to work with you or be on your website BUT they can’t afford to pay or don’t THINK they need what you’re offering. SO in the end we just have a growing number of black women online with amazing ideas and absolutely no profit generators. A small group of us figure out how to rise above the pack, stick in there for years and keep going while the rest quietly fade away, because no one was really looking at them in the first place.
I had to get that out because that my friends is the truth. We groan about it in our homes, write about it on our blogs, vent about it amongst each other, but that’s how it is which is why folks keep screaming, ‘Don’t Work With Black Women !’ and you know what I do …. (lol) I work with black women. I am determined to work with this group on my terms because I know if I do anything else… if I fake it and focus on white women or just everybody so I’m more main stream, I’ll get frustrated like many of my sista bloggers and feel like I’m selling out. I know if I force it and just pitch to black women with corporate gigs and nice pocket books, I’ll look fake because that isn’t who I am. I know I’ll lose it all if I try to be anything other than who I am because in the end all the posers trying to sell things and be who they aren’t STILL aren’t making money so in the end isn’t it better to be happy by my own standards than try to live up to or fall into everyone else’s?
Yes! I say yes, because it’s working for me. No, I’m not a six figure sister yet and I won’t lie to you and say that I am. No, I am not getting even everyone on board, even with all my buzz. As a matter of fact, I started my SistaSense Circle
to focus on working with 10 black sistas who want to learn about this stuff and you know what… of the thousands of women in my circle I only have 5 sistas who are on board, but that’s OK… because I know we’ve got a lot of issues separating us… I know it is not easy even having a circle of thousands of black women to get us to support one another, invest in our businesses, and build up what we are doing because HELL we have had hundreds of years of poverty, slavery, and self-destructive negativity beat us down so much that it’s going to take more than just a few emails from me to convince sistas my circle is where they need to be. BUT guess what…
I work with Black Women (Period)
Because I don’t see it as out of thousands of black women online I just got 5 women in my circle. I see it as out of millions of black women in this world, these 5 women chose me. They believe in me, they are inspired by me, they are excited about what we are going to do together in the next 4 works and that makes me happy because this is what I want to do. And they are exactly the type of people I’ve always wanted to work with.
And what makes this absolutely fabulous is at the end of the day I am still working, and what I do is still working without big names to back me, without big companies to sponsor me, without a 9 to 5 job to balance me, without a friend or family member to finance me I have built something authentic that allows me to work with Black Women on my terms as an established business owner. I’m not free, I’m not cheap, and I’m not over the top expensive I’m just exactly the person I could afford which is why I speak to the women who need me and invest in themselves because they know working with me is a realistic option.
I’ve got no fancy dresses to put on. No glam shots or big house to stand in front of. All I’ve got is my brain, my smile, and my truth. My bills are paid; my car note is cool, my babies looking cute and my families doing fine. I think by those standards alone I am doing exactly what I know so many of my hard working, online black women are striving to do but cannot and for that alone I am truly blessed … truly thankful that God keeps giving me the vision and the strength to just be me. And along the way, if I am helping more black women work through these challenges and get the online world working for them, that means by my standards my destiny has truly been fulfilled.
I’ve been building black websites online for over 10 years now. By some folks standards I haven’t been seen yet, by my standards I know for my people I’m already in their line of vision. As my hubby always tells me, I am a pioneer and I guess he’s right. What I am telling you, Innovators do exactly what they are NOT told to do. So if you are struggling with your authenticity, if you are struggling with your visibility, if you are struggling to make it online and make online work for you listen to yourself, be yourself (period).
Related To This Post:
This is just the beginning of this conversation y'all... like it or not ... share your thoughts -lh