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How To Sell Yourself With An Elevator Pitch

Even if you’re not a salesperson, the day may come when you need to convince someone — anyone — that they should take a chance on you. This could be a job interview , when you’re jockeying for a promotion, decide to start your own business and are trying to make sales or secure clients, or if you need to lobby for funding . Whatever the goal, you need to give your target audience a persuasive reason why they should give you the job or promotion, shop with you over a competitor, or fund your business instead of another startup. To do this, you need to sell yourself. This can include creating a thorough presentation that outlines the benefits of someone aligning themselves with you. But you need a good elevator pitch to draw them in before you get to that step. What Is An Elevator Pitch? Once upon a time, people literally did chase after executives, corner them in an elevator, and essentially pitch themselves as a viable option. Whether this was to get a job or secure a business deal,...

These Co-Founders Turned Frustration into a Diverse Community of People Practicing Self Care

Shine co-founders, Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey are just two of a small few women of color who have received VC funding — let alone raise over $10 million in venture capital. Embracing their power as unicorns at the intersection of venture capital, wellness, and technology, the dynamic duo is committed to cultivating relatable self-care experiences for a diverse group of people. With a community of four million across 189 countries and an award-winning iOS and Android app, the Shine app provides support around your mental and emotional health. From accessing a community for support and searching a library of audio meditations to listening to a pep talk — the Shine app is your all-in-one self-care companion. While people of color are severely underrepresented in the wellness space, Shine is committed to letting users connect with other Shine members to share tips, motivation, and support from others who are working on being their most authentic selves. Recognized as 2018 Women’s...

Mar 2, 2020

How to Bounce Back After A Negative Review

Let’s face it, at first, getting a negative review can leave you feeling humiliated and demotivated with no energy to show up at work the next day. But here’s the thing. Whatever success looks like for you, making mistakes are an integral part of the journey to achieving your goals. Ultimately, the measure of your success isn’t determined by your mistakes, it’s determined by the way you respond to those mistakes. Throughout my career of developing and training leaders, I’ve met many professionals who transformed negative feedback into an opportunity for growth. Sometimes, negative feedback led them to innovate their offerings. For others, it helped them develop deeper relationships with their customers and colleagues. Whichever route they decided to take, the decision started with their belief that mistakes are inevitable and necessary for growth. It all depends on how you look at things. Give Yourself Time to Process Your Emotions Often times, the difference between successful...

Feb 10, 2020

Raising Capital? Know Your Value So You Can Communicate it to Investors

As a start-up founder, finding ways to raise capital is probably one of the top three challenges keeping you up at night. Whether you’re trying to convince a family member or Silicon Valley investor to give you money, one key element for success is being prepared to clearly communicate your value and plans for growth and profitability. So in the words of Will Smith, “If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready.”  Here are a few questions to guide you in clearly communicating your value: In 60 seconds or less, how can you convey the unique value proposition of your startup’s product or service? For an investor who’s pitched often, time is of the essence. Prepare and practice a 1-2 sentence compelling story which highlights: The problem you solve. The benefits that make this product or service stand out from the crowd. The key to winning a person over with this statement is to entice them to want to learn more. Most importantly, avoid catchy phrases and buzzwords. For instance, ...

Feb 10, 2020

Tips For Transitioning from Solopreneur to Team Leader

Transitioning from a solopreneur to a leader of a team can be a sign you’re on your way to building an empire. However, don’t get it twisted; while you may have built a solid reputation as a one-person show, poor team management can ruin it in seconds. When running a one-person business, you may be able to risk certain things like keeping all of your standard operating procedures in your head or waiting until the last minute to file your taxes. However, when you’re leading a team, who ultimately becomes the face of your business, you can’t leave anything to chance. Planning, identifying best practices, and maintaining documentation is key. One of the best ways to start documenting your processes and clarifying what you expect is to ask yourself: “If I went on a vacation for two weeks with limited or no access to the Internet, what would someone do each day to operate my business? ” Where would they find tools and resources to assist them with their day-to-day tasks? How would I...

Feb 7, 2020

How to Tackle Self-Doubt in the World of Entrepreneurship

At some point during your entrepreneurial journey, second-guessing yourself, procrastinating and feelings of not being good enough will take control of the thoughts in your mind. Welcome to the world of self-doubt. But believe it or not, self-doubt is natural. Self-doubt doesn’t mean you’re incompetent. It doesn’t mean you should stop what you’re doing. A lot of times self-doubt and feelings of anxiety comes from our desire to want to control everything.  Friendly reminder, you can’t control outcomes, you can only control your effort. It’s only when you allow self-doubt to push you into hiding from marketing yourself or sharing your work, resolving a conflict between team members or making business decisions that it becomes problematic. Even over-researching an idea and not asking for help is a sign self-doubt is getting in your way. Here’s the thing.  Sometimes when you have a desire to do something new, your thoughts of “What if?” paralyzes you from taking action. The reality is...

Feb 3, 2020

Family Matters: How This Mom Handles Working for Her 19-Year-Old Beauty Boss

While most parents think about starting a business to create a family legacy and have their kids work for them, imagine being a parent who works for their 19-year-old’s million-dollar business. At just 9-years-old, Zandra Cunningham started Zandra Beauty a plant-based skincare company with products in Target, Costco, Wholefoods, Wegman’s, and more. Now, with her mom, dad, two brothers, and nana working behind her, the beauty executive is also an author, a speaker, and change-maker using her career as a platform to teach other teen girls how to own and operate their businesses. Below, her mom Tamara Zantell talks about the steps she took to build and maintain trust with her daughter as a business owner and the family policy for navigating conflict. AfroTech: Regardless of a family’s level of success, disagreements about business matters will occur. What’s one piece of advice you would give someone for starting a family-owned business? Tamara Zantell: The advice I would give a family...

Jan 21, 2020

Six Motivational Quotes From Successful Black Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship can be a tough road yet sometimes it is wise, not to try to re-invent the wheel, but follow the path of other entrepreneurs who paved the way for you. Go from a pocket full of dreams to launching your first startup with some of our favorite quotes from these successful Black entrepreneurs. 1. “If you have a dream AND you have a job. That’s amazing! You can learn how to navigate both. Your employer, or as I like to call it your “investor”, gives you the money to invest in your dream, and pay your bills while you chase your dreams.” [Twitter] Getty Images Lisa Nichols shared her story with Mindvalley about how she went from having $12 in her pocket to being Mindvalley’s A-Fest keynote speaker for seven consecutive years. Nichols is the CEO of Motivating the Masses, Inc. which lists her as a best-selling author of six books with a motivational speaking platform that has reached 80 million people globally. She is known for her contribution to the law of attraction hit...

Nov 8, 2019

Six TED Talks That Every Black Entrepreneur Should Watch

TED has led the talking industry for 30 years. This nonprofit started in 1984 as a conference focused around Technology, Entertainment, and Design and has since transformed the way the world learns via spoken communication. Today TED has added talks on science, politics, culture, and just about everything else to its list of speaking points. Entrepreneurship requires staying abreast of certain topics and the general happenings of the world to analyze trends and develop new ideas. A great way to do this is to take advantage of the free knowledge. We’ve compiled a list of six TED Talks that will undoubtedly change some old perspectives that you didn’t know were holding you back and equip you with the knowledge you didn’t know you needed. Launching and Supporting Black-Owned Businesses — Mandy Bowman Mandy lists her as the founder and CEO of Official Black Wall Street, a digital platform dedicated to enhancing the visibility of Black-owned businesses. According to her...

Nov 7, 2019