Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shontaye Hawkins, Founder and CEO of Profit Is The New Black® LLC., located in Dallas, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Profit Is The New Black® is a business coaching and training company that helps service-based women-owned businesses to double their revenue and build profitable 6 and 7 figure businesses without sacrificing their peace, power, or personal time.
Our clients are high-achieving women entrepreneurs who are ready to free themselves from the societal norms and limitations that keep them from accepting, embracing, and owning their true power and profits.
Tell us about yourself
At the core, I've always been that ambitious, sassy chic who friends and family call on for advice because they know I’ll give it to them straight. The girl whose infectious laugh, genuine spirit, and transparent demeanor break down the strongest barriers and allows people to get to their breakthrough. That’s my way - firm yet loving, in life and business.
The business bug bit me at a very young age as I watched my dad and uncles operate the family grass farming and landscaping business. I remember sitting in my dad’s office as a little girl, no more than six years old, playing on the ten key machine and pretending to log orders into the accounting ledger. Even then, I was completely enamored with the numbers. My eyes were always on the money, and frankly, that hasn’t changed much.
Before I answered the call of entrepreneurship, I made a few pit stops along the way. I played it safe and went to college, scored a “good, corporate job” in investment banking, and made my way to graduate school to further my education.
Needless to say, the “American Dream” wasn’t it... at least not for me. I was underwhelmed and highly disappointed to learn that there was no real security in corporate America. So, I decided to fully embrace the woman that the little girl was pretending to be many years ago and lay the foundation for what would become Profit Is The New Black®, LLC. I haven’t looked back since.
Today as a powerful Business Coach & Strategist, more than ever, I know my purpose is to help entrepreneurs, namely women, create insane profit and build their version of the “American Dream” - essentially, a life and business they love. I know the work I do (and the success I accomplish) has a ripple effect that inspires, empowers, positions, prepares, and guides other high-powered women to own their true power and become profitable, too.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Choosing me! Choosing to bet on myself fully so that I could leave Corporate America with no regrets. I'm blessed to run a successful and profitable business that I'm honored and grateful to call my own. And as a result, I get to help other women service providers achieve high levels of success and profit in their businesses and lives, too.
Some people think profit is only about the money that’s left over after they pay their business expenses. It’s not. It’s much bigger than that. It’s about the choices, options, influence, and impact that stretches into the lives of their loved ones, community, clients, and beyond. It’s a ripple effect. In other words, the more money they make, the more people they can impact.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Some will say making money or getting clients (or customers) is one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner. I believe this question is best answered by telling a short story.
Early one Saturday morning, while I was preparing for a half marathon, I noticed that I’d left home without my running watch. I started to go home and come back later with my watch, but deep down, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. So, I decided to stick with my original plan and complete my training run that cold, chilly morning.
After about a minute of trying to gain control of my breathing and watching my breath escape my body one puff of smoke after another, I saw the words "keep going" written in chalk on the sidewalk. I thought it was odd because I’d never seen anything written on the sidewalk before. Nonetheless, I kept running.
After about 10 minutes of running uphill, then downhill and winding through the trees, I saw those words again—keep going—in a totally different location. It finally dawned on me that it wasn’t a coincidence that I was seeing this message.
Although I would definitely need to keep going to achieve my goal of crossing the finish line, the message was much bigger than the half marathon that I was training for. I smiled because I realized that God was answering the questions that I’d been wrestling with in my business. “Will my business be successful? Will it really work? Should I give up?”
The answer “keep going” was simple but not always easy. That’s why I believe one of the hardest things is learning to master yourself - your mindset, emotions, and actions. The journey of a business owner is truly a journey in personal (self) development.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be good to yourself, always, and keep believing even when it feels like nothing is working.
- Don’t use other people’s social media posts to compare and measure your success. You’re exactly where you need to be to achieve your goals.
- Get a mentor, coach, or accountability partner to guide, support, and celebrate you on the journey as a business owner.
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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