Do you know about Kwanzaa? If you’re not familiar with it don’t worry this message will still help you
Kwanzaa is a celebration of family, community, unity, and culture in the African American community; it involves a reflection of 7 principles for 7 days. I’ve celebrated since I was a kid and every year use it as a time of reflection on the past year and planning for the new year. Over the last few years, I’ve learned my reflections aren’t just personal but provide important lessons for my business and how I can help my clients with their business.
Whether you celebrate or not the principles are a message for all of us, especially entrepreneurs as we struggle the most with being masters of our own crafts and guides to our own path.
This year I decided to collect all of my 2019 thoughts to help guide all of my Visible Girlfriends on their business journey’s this year.
Day 1 Umoja Unity
First day of Kwanzaa as we wake from our day of Joy and love with our families remember that unity you shared with them throughout the year. Before the next disagreement or fight, remember how much fun you had eating, gifting, and wearing those matching PJs as a unit.
Carry that sense of unity with your extended family, community, church, sorority, even your Biz friends.
“A tide rises all ships” only together to we grow and prosper faster and stronger.
As business owners the more we unite and work together with the better we’ll become
Day 2 Kujichagulia Self Determination
As an online self-made business owner, the key to your success rests solely on what you do or don’t do.
You have the power to shape your destiny, your life and even your day. In all things, the only thing you can control is you and your ability to move you forward or hold you back.
What is the thing you are determined to do this year? What are the ways you can make it happen?
In all things in life consider what are the things I can do to change this because at the end of the day you have the power.
I know many people struggle with SEO and getting visibility and often the root cause is what actions have you taken.
Self-determination will be key to all you do and all you achieve this year so let’s embrace the principle of Kujichagulia.
Day 3 Ujima Collective Work and Responsibility
Today’s principle is about working together to uplift your community. No matter how far apart we are, if you moved out the “hood”, or you’ve Come Up in some way; we all hold a responsibility to reach back, give back, and help our communities and people to prosper in some way.
You guys know I preach about being an example and being the inspiration. Even if you can’t give financially or a bunch of time sometimes being unapologetically you, is what you can do to help your community. Don’t hide who you are and where you’ve come from because you are a shining example of your community collective work.
“Don’t just read them but live your principles and be an example for others to follow. “
I always say proudly I’m from Paterson because I am and without the lessons and people that raised me there I wouldn’t be here. I also want to be the picture people see when they see Paterson, not just the news stories, rappers, or the scenes for Lean on Me (although I love the movie). I want them to see Paterson also has business owners, speakers, authors, corporate execs, IT girls, they also have me 😁.
Day 4 Ujamaa Cooperative Economics
I don’t say small business, I say energizing.
Money is energy, money is a cycle you can continue to grow while sitting on your money and refusing to support the people around you who support us.
Today we drove downtown Paterson trying to find the African Store it was closed, but the drive did give us a chance to see an admire all of the businesses downtown some that have been there 20-30 years since I was a kid. And see all of the new businesses providing jobs and goods to the community.
Then we went to Guernsey crest and had ice cream in December supporting another local business that’s been in PTown for decades.
And finally, when I made it home I spent 2 hours having a virtual coworking/ brainstorming session with some of my favorite business, my WorkClub members, who are mapping out their plans to get visible and level up this year.
Starting and supporting emerging businesses that uplift our communities is so important to the economic stability of our people.
Day 5 Nia Purpose
Day 6 Kuumba Creativity
Even the uninspired is inspiring.
It takes a lot of dedication to create the life you want to live, whether you create a family, create a business, create relationships or create art we are constantly in creation mode paving our path making our way.
Turning our nothing into something.
Day 7 Imani Faith
Last day of Kwanzaa and the most significant.
“Faith without work is dead” but so is working without faith that you’ll succeed.
I coach so many women and so many business owners that have Faith in everyone and everything except themselves. Many are defeated in their minds before they show up for the battle or even worse they don’t show up at all.
So this year I’m focusing on faith in myself and helping others to have faith in themselves too.
The other day I shared this post about pitching and hitting send. People said they were going to do it this year but I know the one thing that holds people back from that send button is the lack of faith that they are good enough for the greatness they are trying to achieve.
This year get you some Imani!!