I love reading about the entrepreneurial journeys of others.  I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for those who shared their wins and struggles.  Today I bring the full story of someone you might be familiar with.  I featured Nikki in a previous article where she talked about how the Compound Effect helped inspire the launch of her business.

Today she's back and sharing her entire story.  She was faced with the difficult decision of leaving her long-term career for her passion.  Stepping out into the unknown is never easy.  Especially when we have the comfort of what we already know.  I believe in learning from those who have experienced what we want.  Nikki is one of those people.  Let's learn from her journey to success.

Brows have always been my love, if I didn’t put on any other makeup my brows were always done. So when I decided to learn Microblading, it was no surprise to the people around me. I started this journey on a quest only to learn a new skill for a “side hustle”, but little did I know it would be the start of a new career path. My degree is in Biology and my background is in the oil and gas industry, totaling a little more than 10 yrs which includes working in goverment and private sector. Like everyone who graduates from college, I was ecstatic and extremely grateful for my new career, (I still am very grateful for all the wonderful opportunities I’ve been given). 
However, after about 10 years the thrill had diminished. The oil and gas sIump in 2016 did not make it any better. The morale at work dramatically took a turn for the worst. It was extremely stressful going to work seeing your friends, people you’ve been working with for years, get walked out by HR, and coming in to work not knowing if this was the day you would be laid off. For me this was my WAKEUP CALL! This stuck something in me, I was not okay with my job having this much control over my life. I felt like my livelihood was totally dependent on someone else which scared the crap out of me. 
I stared reading Bellemocha Blog in my spare time (it’s AMAZING!). I found myself super inspired by her posts, which lead to me to start making some new goals and dedicate my time to investing in myself financially, spiritually and physically. I started reading a slew of self help books and became extremely inspired to starting doing something that I loved. At the time I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do but I knew I was going to do something. Reading tons of self help books and being inspired by a number of new things led me to lots of new ideas to start generating addition income. 
I eventually enrolled in a Microblading Training (which was a horrible class by the way) but I was determined. These classes are not cheap, so I refused to let this be a waste of my money. I practiced, practiced, practiced read everything I could and and eventually mastered it. I did everyone’s Brows I could, sometimes free or for a really cheap to build my portfolio. With patience, hard work and consistency I was able to build my clientele in no time. It all happened so fast it was scary. I couldn’t believe the revenue I was doing my own thing, being my own boss. At this time I was still working my 9-5. On my off time, I focused on building my business. I ate, slept and breathed Brows. I eventually jumped out on faith and opened my own small brow studio and it was a success. 
I started being so busy with my business it was became hard to give both my career and new business the attention they needed. Needless to say after about 2 years of doing both Microblading and my 9-5 it came a time when I had to make a choice. I could not continue to do both and be successful. So I made the decision to resign in June 2017. This took much faith on my part, all I have known was going to school, earning a  degree, and finding a career. Entrepreneurship was never at the forefront of my mind. I never In a million years though that I would own my own business. 
In 2017 I relocated to a larger location, where I not only take appointments but also hold classes teaching the same skill that has brought me much success. I love what I do and it is truly a blessing. Being an entrepreneur is not easy but it is totally worth it. Nobody will pay you like you pay yourself. I have the joy of meeting amazing women and building all kinds of connections. I love making women look and feel fabulous. My clients are so awesome and I am so grateful for them. I also get the privilege to teach others this amazing skill, it’s a good feeling to help someone else generate additional income and be their own boss as well. 
I have truly been blessed with amazing clients who support me. What started out as a potential side hustle turned into my full time business. Resigning from my job was one of the hardest decisions I've ever made.  Little did I know it would come from my love of brows. I took the leap of faith, invested in myself and haven’t lookedback since.  My business is growing daily, and I’m excited for what the future holds for Lukx Brows.

I've had the pleasure of chatting with Nikki prior to her leap of faith.  She worked hard to build a thriving, profitable business.  But, at the same time, she felt a lot of resistance towards leaving the "security" of her full-time job.  Yes, her job provided a paycheck that arrived on schedule.  But, her livelihood was in someone else's hands.  Now, she has full control of her earnings.  Not to mention that she's earning more in just a few years than from 10 years in the workforce. 

Last night, I had dinner with two former coworkers.  I could tell that they were stressed out and wanting desperately to try something new.  But, at the same time, they were filled with hesitation and resistance.  I understand it because I was once in their shoes.  After realizing that fear was keeping me in an undesirable circumstance, I started working on removing the resistance.   And that's what we'll talk about next week.

By Michelby Coco Whitehead

January is all about new beginnings and executing ideas. For many women, that means finally saying bye-bye to the 9 to 5 and starting their own business. The National Women’s Business Council reports that there are over 1,500,000 black-owned female businesses in the United States. While sisters have always been capable of doing it for themselves, every new business owner will discover entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. Here are seven things to consider before you fire your boss!


1. Only offer what you excel at. 
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it really is something that you must be certain about. For example, potential customers will come to you looking for services that you don’t necessarily offer, but could offer. Let’s say you are a hairstylist that specializes in natural hair, but a client wants you to do a lace front installation. If that’s not your lane, don’t go there. Be confident enough to know that giving a referral will not cause you to lose out on anything.

2. Your ideal client. 
You cannot service everyone who has a need for what you offer. You’re probably thinking ‘Huh? That doesn’t make sense.' However, every bride is not interested in spending $10,000 on wedding decor. Some brides prefer to be frugal, and that’s okay. So, if you want to sell high-end services, target customers with higher earning potential. In turn, this will allow you to market your brand to the right clients for you.

3. Prepare to go virtual. 
The marketplace is so much bigger than your hometown, so brush up on your computer skills! You can reach more potential customers by offering products and services virtually. Many entrepreneurs are also presenting workshops and empowerment conferences online.

4. Pick a payment system. 
In 2018, we do not have time to chase clients down for payments owed! There are many systems and mobile apps for business. Test a few out to see what you’re comfortable using. Dosh, is the latest app and it has incentives for business owners to make money through referrals until January 21, 2018.

5. You don’t need to hire a business coach immediately.
Listen, I know social media is flooded with amazing business gurus who have incredible platforms, but take your time when choosing a coach. If you have your eye on a coach, take advantage of his or her Facebook group first. This will allow you to see how knowledgeable and sincere that person is.

6. Network your butt off. 
Your network increases your net worth! Attend events and mixers where you live as well as in cities you want to start building your presence. Opportunities will not fall into your lap on a regular basis; they must be created.

7. Celebrate your accomplishments. 
Celebrating the little victories in your entrepreneur journey will motivate you to stick to what you started, even when business isn’t booming!

Do you have any business tips to share?

A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator