Side Hustle Growth
Certified Business Coach for Side Hustle entrepreneurs is not what I do. It's who I am. It's how I roll everyday. My humble side hustle began at a farmers market in Watts just before Thanksgiving. There we were, me, my husband, daughter, mom, aunt and cousin every Saturday selling barbecue. We thought we were doing big things if we had a $200 day.
One Saturday the then food editor, Russ Parsons, for the L. A. Times ventured by. We didn't know who he was at the time but that was our first amazing write up. By the following February we were operating in six farmers markets and my husband had quit his job as an Investment Banker for Wells Fargo. By that summer my husband became the spokesperson for the now closed Fresh & Easy store chain. We almost got our own show.
Fast forward to two restaurants, a lot of best of list (including Jonathan Gold's), celebrity catering, appearing on Good Day LA multiple times, Man Fire Food and the Great Food Truck Race, our $200 a day business had grown to multiple six-figure years. During that time of growth our daughter was right there. As I learned how to grow our business she learned. When my husband cooked she learned to cook.
It was training my daughter to become a Chief Kid Officer and speaking at high schools that began my coaching career. With the support of my husband I began educating myself on becoming a business coach. As our business continued to grow so did my network and passion for helping others start start their businesses. When I said I wanted to leave the family business my husbands only response was, "We lived my dream now let's live yours." God I love that man.
And now here I am. Reliving the excitement of starting a new business with each new client. It doesn't get any better.
Embracing My Ghetto Country
Speaking at high schools in Los Angeles is what fuels my fervor for authentic brand. The first thing I would always tell them is that I'm Ghetto Country. That means I was raised hood adjacent by a country momma. That also means I'm not down for no bullshit but I got nothin' but love for you so let's hug it out after the fight.
I had to give myself permission to own my ghetto country and tell myself that I'm no less educated or accomplished because I say y'all and enjoy a loud laugh. I have a degree in business with an emphasis in personal finance. I took the class to become a licensed tax professional and now have over 15 years experience in the field. I am an alum of Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses and Leadership Long Beach.
Speaking in all those class rooms, telling my story over and over, and having kids tell me, "thanks for being real with us," is what continues to give me courage and inspires me to be authentic in my business. These are our future business leaders and they don't need or want falsehoods and pretend people.
In my younger days I didn't consider myself an entrepreneur but in hindsight I've been an entrepreneur off and on for over half my life. I didn't fully embrace it until 11 years ago when my boss told me I should quit. She meant it as a threat for me to do better at work. I took it as a challenge to get the hell out of there and I never looked back.
I ran off to join the circus, that is the restaurant business, with my husband. We had no real plan for growth, branding, marketing, nothing. The only skills I brought to the table were accounting and tax preparer. I handled the business and he handled the food. Unless you have an unbreakable bond I don't advocate working with your spouse (love you baby).
When the accolades and raves came we weren't ready. Our first feature was in the Los Angeles Times. We operated on southern bbq shop standards of when it's gone it's gone. California folks didn't like that. That was the turning point for me to get our shit together. I surrendered fully to becoming an entrepreneur and surrounded myself with other entrepreneurs. I followed breadcrumbs of information to educate myself. When I got my own business coach, the heavens opened up and I haven't looked back.