About two years ago I wrote a whole business plan, and I didn’t put it into action at all. It was a pie in the sky dream – something that I saw as a need in my community. I do a lot: I manage my daughter’s career, who is an artist; I am the President of the Peekskill NAACP; I have a 9-to-five; and I am a former singer.
In my journey with my daughter and going on tour in 2019 and doing ad hoc performances at local establishments, one of the things that we always struggled with was rehearsal space, recording studios that were not terribly high cost, but also nearby. I just kinda put it to the side. It gathered dust.
As the President of the Peekskill NAACP, I get a lot of information from a lot of different areas, one of which is Westchester County. When I got the email about Launch1000, I sent it out to my membership. I saw it probably two or three times before I actually said, “you know what” I’m going to go for it. Let me try it and see what happens.” And it’s been a GREAT journey so far.
Did I think that I was going to discover anything about myself through the program? Not really. I’m not one of those people that think that anybody is going to teach me anything. But learning more about myself and what my “Sweet Spot” is was an interesting process. I was able to verbalize what I had in my spirit.
My business idea was a two-in-one, two kinds of businesses in one building. Recording and rehearsal space. My “Aha!” was realizing this recording studio part of my business was something that people really wanted. People were overly eager to assist and be involved in what I’m doing. That was a big “Aha!” You know what? I’m not alone. I would ask, “What do you think about…? I was talking about Karaoke. And they said all the right things. But there wasn’t that excitement. But then I would talk to the musicians and about, “What was your experience like with rehearsal studios and recording studios …” and the information flowed like a waterfall! They would be so full of their stories and their experiences with THAT. The information was so much more voluminous than it was with just going out and having fun in a Karaoke bar.
I think I’m really close to seeing this as a reality. It was something I would probably have advised someone else to do and helped them along the process. Just listening to the workshops and some of the speakers – just hearing some of the success stories – makes it a lot more feasible for me to have my own business. Success means that it ends up kind of running itself; there’s not a lot of extra burden on my life and time to run the business; people are clamoring to get in; and that the steady stream of revenue that it generates will allow me to live my twilight years in a very comfortable state – stress-free! Yes!
Westchester County -Thank you! Thank you! And thank you. This is much needed, especially in a time like this where you lose all hope in many mom-and-pop businesses succeeding in this covid environment. I see a lot of black and brown people in the program, And I think that is a phenomenal thing to have happened. I am spreading the news as much as I can through my channels and my membership. This self-discovery and everything involved in the Launch1000 program so far has really lifted my spirits up. I’m not there yet. I don’t have a business yet; and, even if I don’t get that brick and mortar, it is still a valuable exercise to go through. People need to go through this to discover who they are as a person, what their sweet spot is, and if it aligns with having your own business. That’s not true for everyone.
Follow Valerie’s daughter @Briatheartist on Instagram
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