Since Issa Rae stepped on the scene, she’s been adored by fans for her authenticity and creativity. With hit shows like “Insecure” and “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” — Rae is the epitome of a DIY entrepreneur. She started her TV career on YouTube, where she created her web series which later secured her a spot at HBO. Whether you’re a budding or established entrepreneur, the following words from Issa Rae accounting the lessons she’s learned along her journey can inspire and fuel yours. 

“For me, being on YouTube was just super accessible.” (1:30)

Don’t be afraid to start small. Rae started on Youtube, and now she’s at the top of the TV game. Remember it’s not how you start, but how you finish.

“My most successful web series was my third web series.” (2:14)

You may have heard the adage “Failure isn’t final” and Rae is a prime example of such. After two web series under her belt, Issa remained consistent and continued to work her craft. Her third web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” put her over the top and she hasn’t looked back since. Who cares if your first two business ideas didn’t work out as you had hoped? The third may just be a success.

“Stop finding the ways you can’t do something and find all the ways you can.” (5:01)

You might not have all the funding you need or all the high-quality equipment, but don’t let that stop you. Find a way to get your business up and running.

“One of my producing partners was a writing partner from college, and she came on board and was like, ‘Let me help and get my USC crew to work for free.'” (12:29)

While filming the YouTube web series in college, Rae reached out to old friends to help her bring her vision to life. As a founder, it might be useful to use this gem from and contact people who are willing to help and be down for the cause.

“I kinda lost what I was trying to say in the process because I was trying to make what they wanted me to make and at the end of the day they want you to just do you.”  (3:38)

Rae explains how she lost a studio deal because she didn’t stay true to her mission and her voice. She teaches us to take the adage “know thyself” beyond your internal framework and transfer it into potential business partnership opportunities.