As a person of color in business, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to navigate the often-unwelcoming waters of entrepreneurship and trust me they are unwelcoming! Especially in places where you stick out like a sore thumb in your industry. Networking events, conversations and even clients may have you feeling "othered". Once thing I've also learned though is that that my unique perspective of being a black immigrant woman is one of my greatest strengths.
In a world that often values conformity and sameness, it's easy to feel like your differences are a liability. But the truth is, embracing your unique perspective is essential for success in business. As a person of color its easy to feel like you have to conform to a world that only values you when you look the same but speaking out and being yourself authentically may have bigger value than you've ever known. When you bring a diverse perspective to the table, you're able to see problems and opportunities in a way that others might not. You bring fresh ideas and innovative solutions to the table that can help your business stand out from the crowd. Being a person of color in your industry means that you have a deep understanding of your community, its reservations and its needs. This can be incredibly valuable when it comes to marketing and building relationships with your customers.
Here are 2 ways to embrace your difference:
1. Don't Shy Away From Telling Your Story First, recognize the value of your experiences and perspective. Know that your differences are what make you stand out and bring value to the table. Identify key areas of who you are that you're willing to speak about, share about and tell stories about. Your experiences, your black or brownness is one that shouldn't be exploited but celebrated. This means taking your power back from the hands of those who wish to discredit you due to your color by telling your story first, boldly and authentically. It could be as simple as inserting a story about your childhood experience as an anecdote to a business problem or speaking up for your community by asking questions at an event.
2. Networking Is Your Friend
Seek out opportunities to connect with other entrepreneurs of color. Communities are safe havens and when you connect with like minded individuals, you quickly realize that some issues are not as specific to you as you may think. In these communities you may uncover systemic issues as well as share coping strategies that will empower you. Those who have been in the game long before you can provide you with invaluable support and advice. 3. Don't limit your perspective to just conversations
Your diverse perspective is needed in many aspects of business from operations to customer service. Don't be afraid to hone in on that as a tool for business growth. If you have a business that aims to be purpose driven, this perspective will be key in shaping assets for content creation or media. Use your experiences to inform your decisions and bring a fresh perspective to your work.
Remember, your difference isn't a liability – it's your strength. Embrace it, celebrate it, and use it to fuel your success in business. The world needs your unique perspective, so don't be afraid to share it!