Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shamica Latrice Baxter, CEO and Founder of The Baxter Initiative LLC., located in Memphis, TN, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
The Baxter Initiative LLC. specializes in aiding start-up businesses, college students, as well as graduates by creating individualized success strategies. Many individuals desire success but haven't figured out where to start. That's where my business comes in.
Tell us about yourself
Knowing that there is a need for support for college students/graduates and start-up businesses to have "strategic success" motivates me. As I reflect back on obtaining my undergraduate degrees, I realize I didn't have any of the skills necessary to gain employment. I thought my degrees (B.A. in Mass Communications and B.S. in Psychology) were enough to obtain instant career entry. Sadly, they were not. With no resume, report-building skills, effective networking experience, or internship, I went from graduating with two degrees to becoming a warehouse associate at a temporary agency making $9/hr. The warehouse industry had nothing to do with either of my undergraduate degrees. Not only that, I didn't even have enough experience to be a permanent employee. Being temporary meant no paid time off, no holiday pay, and no benefits. Initially, I felt defeated and disappointed. I truly felt college was a waste of time because I'd spent 5 to 6 years accumulating debt for no immediate payoff.
Over time, I gained the skills necessary to be successful in my career. I gained excellent experience working with youth with behavioral issues, which taught me rapport building, and then I was tasked with starting up a company for an organization. The biggest skill I gained from the company was strategic networking. This job taught me how networking could open major doors. The work I'd done with partnering with various organizations was evident because they went on to win major contracts in the city of Memphis. The knowledge I've obtained over the years has made me realize how much I want to help and support college students and start-up business owners in obtaining success. This motivated me to get my Executive Master's in Business Administration and obtain my LLC because I knew that it was time to pour my heart into those who truly needed a "success strategy."
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I've been afforded opportunities to speak at educational institutions, in magazines, and on podcasts about my business. I also won my first business pitch competition recently and will be doing a workshop in the next few months on goal setting. Also, parents of upcoming high school graduates have reached out for advice on helping their children obtain success in college. This gives me great joy.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
The hardest thing about being a business owner is having patience in regard to your success. When you work a job, you get an immediate payoff through a check. When you're a business owner, you have to work without the guarantee of an immediate payoff. It may take years, it may be immediate, who knows? But you have to keep going despite whether what you view as success is immediate or not.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Have realistic expectations of what is required to be successful in business. Everyone does not experience viral success.
- Be prepared to do the work. Even if you experience "viral success," you still have a maintenance stage.
- Have a success strategy. Be concise in your goal setting. Make sure you use SMART goals.
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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