This time last year I was diving headfirst into business. I walked away from a 13 year career in the public service, pulling the trigger on business and my happiness. With $76 in the bank, a can-do attitude and fearlessness in my belly I set off in uncharted waters.
What waited ahead for me as a business owner was the deepest sense of uncertainty, loneliness and imposter syndrome (I named her Rhonda). Fears that would play into my thinking and feeling daily.
Fast forward one year and… I’m alive! I made it! (Cue Destiny Child’s Survivor because we are celebrating. Hard.)
People, your sisters, our Business Chicks tribe and community will tell you – business is hard. They tell you it’s not for the faint hearted and you’re going to learn more about yourself in the testing grounds of an entrepreneur than anywhere else.
In the moments I thought I would go under or not make it through today let alone tomorrow, next week or next year, I tapped into what I knew would ground me, inspire me and push me: my culture.
This week is NAIDOC Week and it’s no coincidence that as I reflect on my year in business, I reminisce on the role my identity, connection to country, kinship and spirituality has played in my business over the last 12 months.
When I felt I couldn’t do this; like I wasn’t made for business, I was undeserving of the success I had created for myself, I remembered this:
I am a Barkindji woman from the Darling River and I have 60,000-year-old knowledge, wisdom, strength, determination and love in my DNA. How could I possibly fail?
Truth be told, there is an endless list of things that could go wrong in business but failing – there is no such thing. I have learnt over the past 12 months some of the hardest stuff you’ll face is believing in yourself, your ability to do this and being able to pivot from the energy that is trying to bring you down. There’s a scene in the TV show Birdbox where Sandra Bullock is rowing that boat, just hoping and praying they get to where they need. That is totally relatable as a business owner.
In 2019, we can still be underestimated as women in business, and especially underestimated as black women in business. Through this, we shouldn’t lose connection and knowledge of our brilliance and the contribution we make to our families, our communities and the Australian economy.
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Been sitting with some epic ideas. Last weekend with The Bridge, this week Connect and today with @businesschicks. Spotted this at #9tothrivesummit and it reaffirmed my intentions to create and contribute to my people. Mark my words, I will build businesses so fucking epic and generate enough money in this world to self-fund suites and midwives for my countrywomen to birth on country the same ways our grandmothers and great grandmothers did. The health of our mums and bubs have always driven me at work and it is the anchor of my why in business. Someone asked me this weekend about how I would describe myself in business. I said obsessed and unshakable. Words I’ll always live by 👣🌏🌿
Black women in this country: because of who you are, where you’ve come from and who walks beside you, you have the ability, the strength, the wisdom and exactly what is required to own and operate a business today and into the future. Even if business is unpredictable scary, or feels like you’re bungee jumping without rope.
From a woman who not only celebrated one year in business but has started a second, here’s the advice I have for you:
Sister, know your worth, be unshakeable in your belief of the problem you’re solving, surround yourself with the good women who will have your back, expand your thinking and push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Greatness waits on the side of this, go get it.
Dixie Crawford is a Barkindji woman, Director of Source Nation, host of podcast A Point of View, speaker, Premium member of Business Chicks, and fierce advocate. You can (and should!) follow her on Instagram, here.