Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Tamekia Scott, Founder of Edquity-Minded Consulting, located in Antioch, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Edquity-Minded Consulting, LLC (EMC) is a small business that helps create diverse, equitable, and inclusive spaces, support, and solutions that empower people to unleash their full potential. EMC’s services include but are not limited to coaching, professional development training and courses, and strategic equity solutions (auditing and consulting). As an equity consultant, I work with organizations to advance their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. I also serve as an equity and leadership coach for professionals who want to advance equity in their workspace through the implementation and evaluation of their DEI strategic plan. In addition, I work one-on-one specifically with women to unleash their full potential to navigate adversities while moving forward in their success journey.
Tell us about yourself
It has been through my education and career journey that I have experienced raced and/or gendered inequities that propelled me to learn more about employees and their work environments, specifically leaders hired to advance student and/or employee success. I’ve always loved the work of advancing equity. For almost twenty years, I served in various student-centered leadership roles within the field of education, where I have managed organizational policies and practices that directly impact the student experience. During that time, my equity work was through curriculum development, policy revisions, professional development training, and program engagement initiatives for leaders. My efforts draw from the argument that issues of “isms” are still happening in our organizations, schools, and communities.
It is from the shared stories of those that continue to experience injustices and other oppressive behaviors that require leaders to address the impact of ism-based ideologies in order to holistically advance equity. Through the shared experiences of injustices from leaders who were responsible for student/employee success, I have learned the importance of creating psychologically safe spaces to address injustice with a call to action to fix it. I believe by sharing such narratives, people feel empowered to speak up, meet/challenge adversities head-on, and develop future policies, practices, and services that implement needed change for our colleagues, our students, and the communities we serve. As a result of 2020, I started my journey of creating purposeful opportunities through coaching, training, development, and organization-specific solutions to address inequities in the workplace. In August 2020, Edquity-Minded Consulting was officially established.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Prior to 2020, I had created and implemented so many policies and practices for different organizations that are based on equity. I obtained a wealth of in-depth training in understanding equity and access law, as well as how to manage services and programs and generate reports to demonstrate compliance with these laws and how to advance safe and equitable spaces for learners and employees. I was so afraid to walk away from my career in education. But I did it!
Four months after my business was established as a business entity, and I had received too many to recall, the client no’s. I finally received my first contract with a federal agency. Where I was able to create a fourteen-day online training experience for approximately 1000 state employees who were equity officers. The training series was designed to educate participants on trauma, understand the impact of trauma on underrepresented communities, and how to reduce burnout as an equity officer. The project resulted in 85% of participants reporting back that the training content was relevant to the work they do and their lived experiences. Additionally, 91% noted that after each training session, they had more confidence in their capacity and ability to implement the training content in their work. I was incredibly happy that I finally obtained a contract like this. This contract allowed me to hire an incredible instructor from an underrepresented community who shared a similar story of inequity as an educator.
So, for me, my business’ biggest accomplishment to date was offering this trainer a sub-contract agreement with a competitive payout during a time when many people were being laid off and/or overworked and underpaid. Lastly, the success of the training experience began to open doors for additional opportunities and propelled me to expand my business service offering to where we are today.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a solopreneur, everything connected to running a business is my complete responsibility. There are aspects of running a business that, even as a senior leader for an organization, I did not know and I learn about them daily as I grow. It's not a bad thing, but learning, building, and doing all at the same time can be hard sometimes.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Give yourself time to learn the business side of creating an empire (business) if that is not your background.
- Start small (one offering/product) and build from there.
- Invest in a business coach sooner than later. I waited and lost money and time trying to figure it out on my own.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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