My name is Kevin Ross, and I am a CEO. I have a site called Radio Facts. I became an entrepreneur many years ago. I saw very few black-owned businesses in the industry.
Radio Facts is a music industry trade publication. In doing an industry trade, I have created other businesses like this one, Black Top 10s. The point is once you create a business, you can create another business from that business and so on. The sky is the limit. Where do you see a hole? What is your passion and what you want for your future are all critical questions to ask before starting a business.
I’ve been in business for 26 years now and would not have it any other way. Entrepreneurs don’t often get recognized or honored, but it depends on how you play the game.
Most entrepreneurs are operating in their passions; they have little time for politics or making appearances at events unless that’s part of what you do as an entrepreneur, and that’s fine because you’re free. No award can compete with that reward.
Once You Know, you Know!
Once you learn how to run a business, you can stop or start, keep going and run another business. I strongly suggest doing so because you WILL get tired of doing a business around the seven-year mark.
You are not dependent on corporations or paychecks but on enjoying what you do, and as the old saying goes, if you love what you do, the money will come.
The MOST money will come because you don’t have to share it with anybody. Ironically, all of my close friends are also entrepreneurs. You will realize entrepreneurs are a unique group of people.
We always encourage each other, have the most incredible conversations, and have lunch and dinners many times, and we’re all successful. Entrepreneurs are in a class by themselves and rarely (truly) understood.
I don’t have a hard time showing younger people who want to get into it how to do it as well as long as they are willing to put in the hustle (not work).
Some people say everyone can’t be an entrepreneur, and that’s correct, especially if your focus is on making a lot of money. That’s almost an immediate recipe for failure because it’s not sustainable without passion.
I started my business out of anger. I was tired of being fired from radio jobs. I’d move to a city where I didn’t know anyone, then a year later, I was fired, lived out of a suitcase, and ended up in many places I didn’t want to live. Then I had to start the whole process over. A lot of DJs experience this early in their careers.
Then after moving to Los Angeles, a place I had wanted to live since I was a kid, I started my business, and after being in it for about five years, I realized I didn’t like doing radio anyway.
I did it because I could do it but not because I wanted to. Sound familiar? That’s what many people face every day in their 9 to 5 grind for the most part. For me, radio was not a career, it was a job, and there is a difference.
I love music and the business, but I wasn’t a radio guy. So being mistreated by a station in LA towards the end of my career was actually to my advantage because I wrote about it thinking I was just eliminating stress. Still, it ended up being the best thing I did.
I emailed that letter that I titled “Radio Fax” out to some friends in the industry who, unbeknownst to me, sent it out to a lot of other people, and many of them agreed with what I was saying, and a magazine was born, that’s the quick version, and that was 26 years ago. That’s my story, what’s yours?
Are you an entrepreneur? Generally, there are tell-tale signs, and I will tell you a few of them here. I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts.
You enjoy a hobby that you’re very good at
Whatever we spend the most time doing when we have free time is generally what we love doing the most.
You may immensely enjoy Blues music, primarily classic Blues music. You may even be an aficionado of sorts when it comes to Blues music, and you’d be surprised at how many other people of all ages also love Blues music in many countries. What if you did a podcast or a blog about Blues music?
You may enjoy helping older people with shopping, keeping them company, driving them around, and spending time with them. Caregiving is one of the most stressful and challenging things for most people to do as parents get older.
Many people will be more than willing to pay you to help out.
If you enjoy making cheesecakes and experimenting with different cheesecakes, and people enjoy your cheesecakes and look forward to you making them, this is a potential business.
I once knew someone who charged $75 per cheesecake. He would take them to work at the gas company with people would always look forward to his creations. After a while, he spent his entire weekends making cheesecakes and loved doing it.
But, like most people, he feared leaving his job security at the gas company even though he didn’t like it.
People ask you to do your hobby, and they’re willing to pay you for it
Continuing to use this person, I was talking about who makes the cheesecakes. His coworkers would ask him if he could try different versions like Peach Cobbler Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Lemon Cream Cheesecake, Pound Cake Cheesecake, and other recipes.
He was always curious to see how it turned out. They usually turned out very well. After a while, people were willing to pay him to make specific cheesecakes every weekend.
It feels like you’re not working whenever you do this hobby because you enjoy it so much.
When you see people living in their passion and doing what they want to do, it’s like not working at all. You will often hear actors say, “I’m so blessed to be working and doing something that I love.”
If you’ve ever been on the set of a movie, you would see that for someone who doesn’t enjoy it might be boring as all hell, hours and hours and hours of hurrying up and waiting, but this is what they love doing. The ends justify the means.
Moreover, I’ve seen people who want to be behind the scenes running their businesses as producers, directors, or photographers. You can also enjoy it just as much.
But the sky is the limit for producers and directors, for example, because they are not waiting for anyone to give them a job. They are usually fielding jobs, especially when they’re good at it.
You can spend all day doing the thing that you love
When you love what you doing, it never feels like work. That’s how you know you’re living in your truth. If being creative is what you enjoy, you could do this all day and all night versus putting windshield wipers on cars in a factory which doesn’t take a lot of skill and may pay well, but it’s not what you want to do
You find that you’re very relaxed and content and happy when you’re doing this thing
You’re at your greatest peace when you do whatever you enjoy doing. You look up, it’s 2 o’clock, and it seems like a few minutes later you look at the clock again, and it’s 9 o’clock. As the old saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun but also flies when you’re doing what you want to do in life.
You feel like it’s a natural fit, and it doesn’t take much effort to do this.
Whatever the thing is that you love to do that you’re very good at, it feels effortless, like you don’t have to learn much because it’s something that comes to you very easy you may even take advantage of it and people may be in awe at how well you do it.
My mother is a great artist, and I remember as a child watching grown men cry when they saw the pictures that she did for them of their mothers or whoever else.
Even though I have been blessed with the same talent, I don’t have the patience it was great learning how to be an entrepreneur from here, and I don’t think that was even her intention; she just loves to draw.
If you could make a living doing this one thing, you’d quit your job in a minute.
Most people are afraid to take the leap and start their own business, but at some point, if you’re doing something you love, like another friend who likes to make soap, enough people are coming in saying hey can you make it for me?
Either you’re going to get exhausted or you’re going to realize that there’s an opportunity here for you to start a business, and you’ll never have any freedom like you will when you run your own business.
I will not lie; sure, there will be ups and downs, but the highs are very high, and the lows are not that low.
Having a special skill is not enough because everything depends on your hustle.
Whatever you loved doing as a child is probably what you’d be good at as an adult unless it were jumping rope or Breakdancing.
Yeah, that may not fit well into your schedule if you’re in your 50s, but who knows? You could start a club of 50+ people who enjoy breakdancing, LOL.
If it weren’t for not having money, opinions of others, or Struggling … You would do it in a minute.
Once you take all of the fear out of it, if you give it some thought, you probably would jump onboard into the thing you want to do without giving it much more thought, and it will undoubtedly be a well-lived life.
You can start small, do it part-time in the evenings and on weekends to test it out. It’s wise to go from point A to point B and not just quit A FOR B before you get it off the ground.
Are you an entrepreneur? We will just have to wait and see, won’t we?