Today’s guest blogger, Keenya, from Keenya Kelly, is a blogger with a crazy about of energy, drive, an entrepreneurial spirit! Today, she wants to share a look at her journey to where she is today!
Nine months ago, I stepped out on FAITH and started my business Keenya Kelly LLC. I always knew that I would be a business owner one day, but was never 100% sure what that business would be and how I would actually get it started. 3 years ago this month I decided to stop chemically treating my hair and to see what my hair would look like as it grew, and of course with that came a set of problems that I wasn’t quite prepared for.
For most of my life I was taught to stay away from water, use this product and this blah blah blah, so when my new hair began to grow, I thought I could use the same methods and still obtain great results. WRONG!! And with learning how wrong I was birthed utter frustration. I had to call a few friends whom had previously undertaken the same process to get tips and tricks. There were so many supposed tips and tricks that it sorta paralyzed me for a little while and I just stuck with gels for about 6 months, Finally my old roommate recommended that I visit some sites on YouTube.com and really get a better understanding of the process I had embarked upon.
I must say that the videos were VERY helpful and kept me from chemically treating my hair again, as that was next on the agenda. I watched videos for over a year and really began to get a hold of the hair that was growing on my head…but then my sales/marketing background began to kick into gear. I realized I wasn’t the only woman who had undergone this journey, but that there were thousands of women on the same path and really confused as to what to do, so 2 1/2 years into my journey birthed Keenya Kelly LLC and Return of the Curls.
It has always been a true passion of mine to help women with overcoming self-esteem issues, feelings of self-doubt, unworthiness..starting with their appearance. I think a number of women are always in competition with other women, trying to look like the images we see on television, then trying to portray this image to their jobs/friends and trying to please some men who really have no idea what they want or need in a woman…so this breeds a lot of problems in the long run.
So as a result of having this beating passion and a need for caring for my own hair, I started my company and haven’t looked back sense. I knew starting, owning and running a business would be time consuming, but did I know HOW time consuming?? HECK NO!! Some days I wake up and after praying and reading the bible, its around 7:30 am and I work until at 12 am…yes you read it right AM!!! Now I do take a break for lunch and for dinner, but its been quite a little while since I’ve ate breakfast at breakfast time and really worked an 8 hour day. Am I mad about it? Not at all!!
I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world.
How do I balance my life with my company? I have a personal philosophy that if you work your business like a job for 5-7 years then you will never work that hard EVER again. Before leaving my job I woke up this early and headed to the office and didn’t arrive home until around 6pm, so I figured if I could do this for someone else, then I could definitely do it for myself. Now typically after each show I take a day or a few days off to recuperate and do NOTHING business related, but I end up doing work any way unless Ive planned an out of town trip.
Now this event we are having in a few days
wasn’t quite as labor intensive as my summer Expos, but right after this event is over, I will begin working on America’s Next Top Model with CW Richmond and all of my 2013 schedule. It seems like a lot, but its such a blessing to be able to do it from home, while watching Food Network or HG TV all at the same time.
If you were to ask me how do you start a business my best advice is:
1. Find what you would do for the rest of your life if you never received any compensation for it
2. Find a TRUE need in the marketplace and research your audience to see if they would pay for what you are offering
3. If the time is right and God is telling you and giving you the grace to do so…then ladies & gentlemen start your engines.
And don’t quit until…NEVER.