"I'm rooting for everybody Black." Issa Rae
A few months ago, for a solid five minutes, I considered closing the business. Our sales were down, I missed a piece of mail from the city and our expenses rose. I was making tiny mistakes that resulted in heavy costs to both my self-esteem and my pockets. I was not sleeping, my hair was falling out and I was not present to family. In other words, I was barely holding on.
Then came the tipping point; there is always one. A family member walked pass the cafe as they have done on many occasions without buying a single thing or asking about the health of the business.
I sat in disbelief as I reckoned with the reality of what it means for folx to not support Black owned businesses. In a split second, my mind listed all the opportunities lost; money going to the business and not to retirement or time spent working versus with my toddler son. All I could do was cry. Not a soft, delicate, inconspicuous cry which would have been appropriate given I was sitting outside the cafe. I sobbed openly. My tears were not just for me; it was for all of us who are taking risks, forfeiting our futures for an idea today and sacrificing time that we will not get back. It hurts on many levels when folx do not invest.
Entrepreneurship is hard. Entrepreneurship as a womxn of color is even harder.