Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with James Joyce III, founder of Coffee With A Black Guy, located in Santa Barbara, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Coffee with a Black Guy (CWABG)™ is an interactive experience rooted in convening an authentic conversation about issues of diversity, inclusion, race, privilege, and perspective. Bridging those conversations to specific communities — be that corporations, educational institutions, or nonprofit boards, CWABG consulting aims to help organizations identify and reach genuine goals towards diversity, inclusion, and better intercultural understanding.
Starting simply with one black man extending himself to hold Coffee with a Black Guy office hours, has now grown into a movement, yet remains simplistic Coffee. Connection. Conversation.
Tell us about yourself
I am a former award-winning newspaper reporter and runner-up in the 2021 Santa Barbara mayoral election. A Maryland native and Ohio (Bobcat) educated, I have spent the past two decades directly engaging the public throughout the country as both a journalist and public servant.
Through that, I have had the opportunity to hone on several skills that are vital to convening difficult conversations, such as observation, communication, analytical and strategic skills. Being able to put my experience and skillset to use helps motivate me to do this work.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Continually feeling useful. That is when I am reminded that this work is essential for moving us forward as a community. Having the work featured on forbes.com was pretty cool too!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Anything outside of the thing. At the core of CWABG is convening and facilitating conversation, so when it comes to projections, planning, budgeting, and following up on invoices, none of that is the thing and presents a challenge. I've tried to surround myself with partners who have more experience in those areas, you know, to cover the blind spots.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Incubate your idea and launch. That is, do your market research, maybe even discuss your idea with a trusted circle of individuals, but don't overthink it and get after it. You may make some mistakes, but that's part of it; you'll learn what you don't know.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We've got a YouTube channel that has many of the community offering conversations.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.