Dear Africana Woman,
Heya, how are you hun? Hope you are fantabulous. This week is crazy. I'm actually typing this from a phone. Like someone typing with one finger on a keyboard. That's to say this will probably be a short letter. Lol.
So the highlight of the week. Hmm I can't decide between two events. There I was minding my own business when I receive a panicked phone call at around 15 from a fellow parent at my son's school. Turns out the school, which is a boarding school, had a suspected case of Covid-19. So they were shutting the school down and we ALL had to come pick up our children immediately. The child was being tested and the results would be out the next day. Hmmm. I beg tell me what you would do as a school? In my opinion, if Rona is our new normal we cannot be closing for every single scare. Isolate the child, wait for the results and then make a decision. The way I see it is if these kids were exposed, then you send them home to expose their families nafuti. How is this making sense? Anyway, like I said, tell me how you would react. As it turns out, the results are negative. School is closed for the rest of the week.*sigh*
Moving on. Pa Sunday, we had a delicious conversation called Sex, Sexuality and Pleasure with Tumelo Moreri. Disclaimer, I am not comfortable with the subject but I feel that it's a necessary conversation. So I was willing to take one for the team. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I had worked myself up before the talk but didn't die. Clearly I don't know my own vagina as I mixed up the clitoris and the labia. (Hand in face). Gosh I sound so cryptic about what we spoke about. We basically explored women's comfortability level with sex. As we grow up it's this thing called 'bad manners'. Then when you have your first bleed it transforms into sex = pregnancy. It has so much negative connotations surrounding it, that by the time a woman becomes sexually active, for example, in marriage, no one has gone back to reverse the stigma, and then performing the act is strained for the woman. Ultimately, do women feel like they have the right to feel pleasure from a sexual encounter? Do they understand that the pleasure is not just derived at climax but the journey to it is just as enjoyable? We also talked about the results of a sexually repressed being. Gurl it was deep. Not the basic, what is the best position conversation. I recommend you check it out when it does drop on my YouTube channel. Go ahead and subscribe so as you don't miss it. And if you want to be the FIRST to receive an invitation to juicy topics like this let me know here.
I have also been talking to a lot of women this week about what they need help with. One popular thing that has come up is to start some sort of business/side hustle. Now here is what I have observed. You have tried so many ventures over the years. Everything from events, selling hair, clothes, salons, to farming on a small scale. The list is extensive. Each time you have been burned by the situation, either people didn't pay what they got on credit on time, you were stolen from, an emergency came up so the profit was redirected. Like you started off excited but now you have been left quite frankly hurt and bitter. I'm sure a couple friendships died along the way. It even pains you to talk about it.
I want you to do three things:
Identify your purpose
Keep it simple
I didn't say it would be easy or you can do it in one day. Let me explain.
I really need you to grieve the loss and heartbreak around the side hustles and businesses that you attempted. Yeah, it means cry about it if you need to. Acknowledge the feelings you have around the experience. For example, because someone betrayed you, you may be feeling like you cannot trust again. So when you try a new business you are extremely suspicious of your staff and clients that it makes everyone uncomfortable and chases them away. Then you are left wondering why the business is not thriving. It's the energy you are bringing to the table. Don't get me wrong every business needs accountability systems but that is very different from the work culture. So you need to do some healing around your hurt and pain. Then let it go, forgive, learn … do what you have to do to move past that.
Now stop this business of looking at your neighbour and doing what they are doing because it looks profitable from the outside. Stop it. Stay in your lane. Some of you were meant to be teachers but you're out in these streets being marketeers. Some of you are artists but you are out here being administrators. Mm mm stop it.
Operate in your genius. Your purpose has provision.
I know its hard to imagine something you haven't seen modelled for you before. But you are so unique babe, no one can ever do what you do in the way that you do it. Sorry there is no blueprint. Just mentors and coaches to guide you. But you have to work out, what you are meant to do and the way you are meant to do it. Use your natural abilities to your advantage, trust your instincts and think outside the box.
Finally, preez stop complicating things. Start small. Humble beginnings are a blessing. Problem is we want to start off with a finished product before we actually master the business. So we end up putting ourselves in debt, just so as when we start the business it looks like we have everything. May I suggest that you build up to the big shop and dream. Start small. If you have to borrow money to start your project then you are on the wrong path. Ask yourself what you can do right now, that does not require any capital funds. Concentrate on the people you are serving. Build a rapport with them. Save up. Then when you are ready to expand, your customer base will support you because they have built a relationship with you based on trust. They will do the marketing for you by spreading the word by mouth. You just need to keep delivering a quality customer experience and value for their money. Then it becomes a beautiful exchange of energy. You benefit by getting paid for doing what you love and they benefit by receiving a wonderful product or service. Keep it simple. Know the vision because that's what you are working towards. Then take small steps to getting there. The most successful businesses did not become overnight successes. They were practicing consistency in obscurity. They have been in the game for years. Growing from a small scale to a large one. The key here is the mindset that humble beginnings are a blessing.
I hope these three steps bless you. Can you think of anyone this could help? Go ahead and share it with them. Let me know in the comments what your experience has been with trying to build a side hustle or business. Did this resonate with you? If you are a newbie, Welcome Darling. Please subscribe and check out the other lover letters to you. And my live-hard mamacita I love you girl. Btw its my birthday on the 13th. Please say a little prayer for me on that day. Okuur. Thank you. As always, my playground is Instagram, find me @chulu_bydesign. On Africana Woman we have a Podcast, Blog and Community. Feel free to follow any or all of them. And tell a friend about this safe space created for you. Gurly, you have an Amazing week. I lurve lurv lurv you. Always remember to love yourself flaws n all and attract the life that you desire.