Hi Ebony , appreciate you sitting with us today to share your wisdom with our readers. So, let’s start with resilience – where do you get your resilience from?
My journey as a single mom and serial entrepreneur without financial support or a safety net has been a testament to the power of resilience, faith, and determination. There’s a story that stands out, one that vividly illustrates how I developed these crucial skills and values.
Imagine this: It was a chilly winter evening, and my son was fast asleep in our small apartment. I sat at on my bed, surrounded by bills, a pile of unpaid invoices, and a sense of overwhelming uncertainty. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any tougher, a close friend and my business partner unexpectedly pulled out from being involved with the Vegan Vegetarian Love Life app, leaving me as the sole owner and solely responsible for the venture. Balancing entrepreneurship and single motherhood had drained my savings, and I was in a tight spot financially.
There came a point when I had to make a difficult choice – either give up on my dream of entrepreneurship or find a way to make it work. I chose the latter. I remembered the motto from my alma mater, Clark Atlanta University: “Find a way or make one.” It resonated deeply with me and became my mantra.
With my back against the wall, I decided to get resourceful. I began reaching out to potential investors, seeking advice from mentors, and exploring every avenue to secure funding for my app. Simultaneously, I tapped into my network, leveraging relationships I had cultivated over the years to find opportunities for collaboration and support.
The journey was far from easy. I faced countless rejections and sleepless nights, but I refused to give up. As a single mom, failure was not an option. I knew I had to be a role model for my child, demonstrating the importance of perseverance and faith in the face of adversity.
A significant breakthrough from an external investor never came, so I continued to invest in myself. With the unwavering support of my dedicated team, who shared my vision and worked tirelessly alongside me, I managed not only to keep the business afloat but also to expand and grow it. The Vegan Vegetarian Love Life app started gaining traction, and my other ventures, including Cha’Rose cosmetics and my writing projects, began to flourish. This journey reinforced my belief in the power of determination and collaboration, demonstrating that sometimes, the most significant investments are those we make in ourselves and the team that stands by our side.
Looking back, I can confidently say that it was my faith that carried me through those tough times. Faith in my vision, faith in the value of what I was offering, and faith in my ability to overcome challenges. Without that unwavering belief, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. And I know that as time continues, I will only get better, because I’ve learned that with resilience, determination, and faith, there’s nothing I can’t achieve. My journey as a single mom and entrepreneur has taught me that when you have a dream, and you’re willing to work relentlessly for it, you can indeed find a way or make one.
Appreciate the insights and wisdom. Before we dig deeper and ask you about the skills that matter and more, maybe you can tell our readers about yourself?
I’m thrilled to share some exciting updates with you! The Healthy Dining app has undergone a remarkable transformation and has been rebranded as the Vegan Vegetarian Love Life app. This revamped app now offers even more features and a broader selection of vegan and vegetarian businesses worldwide, making it easier for users to embrace a plant-based lifestyle. We also launch our first round for our grant program. Visit www.healthydiningapp.com/grants for more details. Good luck!
In addition to my entrepreneurial pursuits, I’ve also ventured into the world of writing. You can find my books and motivational journals on Amazon by searching for “Ebony McCormick.” I’m passionate about sharing knowledge and inspiration with others, and I hope you’ll find value in my writings.
As for my son, he’s now in high school, and I couldn’t be more excited about his future. He continues to excel academically as a straight-A student and has a deep passion for science. It’s truly rewarding to see him pursue his interests and grow into a well-rounded individual.
And the journey doesn’t stop there! I’m currently collaborating on some exciting projects with some incredibly talented individuals. We have some major announcements in store, and you can expect to hear more about them in Spring 2024. Stay tuned for some big things on the horizon!
Looking back, what do you think were the three qualities, skills, or areas of knowledge that were most impactful in your journey? What advice do you have for folks who are early in their journey in terms of how they can best develop or improve on these?
Looking back at my entrepreneurial journey, three qualities that I believe were absolutely instrumental are resilience, faith, and a commitment to continuous learning.
Resilience: Entrepreneurship is a rollercoaster ride, filled with highs and lows. Resilience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks and keep pushing forward, has been a key factor in my success. It’s vital to understand that setbacks and failures are not the end but rather stepping stones towards success. My advice to those early in their journey is to cultivate resilience by developing a growth mindset. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. Surround yourself with a support network of mentors and peers who can offer guidance and encouragement during tough times.
Faith: Faith in oneself and the vision you’re pursuing is paramount. There will be moments when it seems like the odds are stacked against you, and it’s that unwavering belief in your mission that will keep you moving forward. My advice here is to take time to define your “why.” Understand why you’re embarking on this entrepreneurial journey, and let that purpose be your guiding light. When you have a strong “why,” it becomes easier to weather the storms and stay committed to your goals.
Continuous Learning: In the fast-paced world of entrepreneurship, staying stagnant is not an option. Continuous learning is crucial. I’ve made it a point to never stop seeking knowledge and skills that can help me adapt to changing market dynamics. For those at the outset of their journey, I recommend embracing a learning mindset. Be curious, seek out new information, and be open to feedback. Invest in your personal and professional growth, whether through courses, books, or networking. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions and innovate.
In summary, resilience, faith, and a commitment to continuous learning have been pillars of my entrepreneurial journey. To those starting out, I’d say: Embrace challenges as opportunities, believe in your vision, and never stop learning. Your journey might be tough, but it’s in overcoming those challenges that you’ll find your greatest achievements.
Thanks so much for sharing all these insights with us today. Before we go, is there a book that’s played in important role in your development?
I’m delighted to share that “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson has been a profoundly impactful book in both my personal and entrepreneurial development, as well as in my son’s life.
One of the most valuable nuggets of wisdom from this book is the importance of embracing change. In the business world, change is constant, and one’s ability to adapt to it is often the key to success. The book’s metaphor of “cheese” being a representation of what we desire in life and how it can move or change is a powerful reminder that we must be agile and willing to navigate through transitions. This lesson has helped me remain open to new opportunities and pivot when necessary in my entrepreneurial journey.
Another significant takeaway is the concept of not getting too comfortable with the status quo. Complacency can be a roadblock to growth, and “Who Moved My Cheese?” emphasizes the importance of continuously seeking new avenues and exploring beyond one’s comfort zone. This lesson has driven me to continually innovate and expand my horizons in the business world.
For my son, the book has served as an excellent introduction to handling change and uncertainty. It has taught him that change is a natural part of life, and instead of fearing it, he can view it as an opportunity for growth and learning.
In essence, “Who Moved My Cheese?” has been a guiding light, reminding both my son and me that change is inevitable, and how we choose to respond to it can make all the difference in our personal and professional lives.