The Art of Never Giving Up

Quitters.

That’s what we’re not.

Our society has turned into one of instant gratification. We’ve become unable to wait because what we want, is apparently, only worthy if it comes fast. The concept of attaining a lifelong goal in years, not months, seems to scare most entrepreneurs. Even though those same entrepreneurs can probably agree that success takes time. Success is not a guaranteed outcome of hard work. Success is a guaranteed outcome of hard work + patience + proper timing + execution + team.

I challenge you to think about just how much your inability to wait, a growing impatience, has affected your ability to truly work towards your goals and dreams. I, Elise Woappi, started this business about a year ago, and it took me more than several months to get the ball rolling before I could confidently say that I was a business owner. What held me back? Not being able to say that I was a successful business owner from the very beginning. It was a fear of having to admit to myself and others that this entrepreneurial journey I embarked on, didn’t reap me rewards instantly. There’s still doubt in people’s minds about my potential to succeed. With the tech bubble and the growth of rapidly funded start-ups, it’s often challenging to operate a small business as I often compare my success to that of my peers. I want you all to know that measuring success should be internalized. You should work to be better than which you were yesterday. It’s okay to compete with peers to grow your strengths and develop stronger skillsets, but it’s not okay to admit defeat simply because someone around your age became a billionaire “overnight”.

Don’t give up. That’s my message to you today. Don’t give up despite the struggle, the overextended work hours, your exhaustion, the naysayers and copycats. Just don’t quit. Be realistic in your expectations and timelines, set concrete goals, act in ways that will advance you closer to your target goals. Surround yourself with motivators. Motivators can be people that will encourage you to keep going, or societies/clubs that you can attend to gather up additional resources. Motivators should always be things or people that can positively influence you towards a better path.

My Choice to Become a Black Female Immigrant Entrepreneur

WHY I STARTED MY COMPANY
By Elise Woappi

I was 10 when I got on a plane two weeks after 9/11, with two suitcases, to immigrate to America from Cameroon, Africa. My parents had won the United States Green Card Lottery, which meant that we were one very lucky family that was permitted to move to the United States with the support of the government. All we had to do was obey the law, respect the country, and commit 6 to 7 years as green card citizens and we would become U.S. citizens.

Our immigration to the states was one of the toughest moments of my life. I remember feeling so helpless and vulnerable as I navigated racism, puberty, and the aftermath of 9/11 as a young immigrant. We moved to a small town in Pennsylvania called Hanover. I have very fond memories of my experience growing up there, the church community that embraced us when we arrived, the African community in surrounding towns that took us under their wings, classmates that were both intrigued and fearful of my culture and background. I also have negative memories of my experience dealing with racism. An experience I first encountered once we moved to the states. Being black in Cameroon isn’t an issue, but being black in America is – at least that’s what I was conditioned to believe. I recall my first time being called the N-word by two white young adult men driving by as I stood outside the Hanover Public Library in 2004, my mother’s first employer in the states. I recall being in history class in middle school as the teacher and students debated my African culture. I recall feeling less than as I tried to make friends and talk to boys in a 99.9% predominantly white town. At that age, I didn’t quite understand just how much my parents had sacrificed to give us the American quality of life. I didn’t understand it until I was 22. Not until I graduated Penn State with a Bachelor of Arts degree and stepped out into the real world with student loans, a poor job market, and a death in the immediate family.

My father passed away when I was 19. To this day, his death has been the biggest emotional trauma I’ve undergone. I think the guilt and frustration of knowing just how much he scarified to provide for his family only to be met by cancer as his death verdict, has been too much to bear at times. If I had to summarize in one sentence what motivated me to build my business, I would simply say, “because I get to live a great life at the sacrifice of my parents’.” Uprooting their lives to a new country, moving to a new location with no financial backing and exposure to racism, all while having to start over completely as immigrants with children, was one of the greatest sacrifices my parents made. I simply want to pay them back, and to do so in a way that not only commemorates my father, but spreads the legacy of my parents’ sacrifice.

My childhood goal wasn’t to become an entrepreneur. I grew up wanting to volunteer, spread joy to the world, and help people. I was never set on one passion; rather, I just wanted to help in any way I could. My first year out of college, I decided to become an AmeriCorps VISTA in San Antonio, Texas. I committed to the program for a year and learned as much as I could about the nonprofit world. After that, I realized that volunteering barely paid the bills and I needed to find a well-paying job. I embarked on a 4-year journey of working at various nonprofits, institutions, and businesses. At each one, I made sure to specialize my skills in development, fundraising, marketing, research, and technology to stay ahead of the curve. Four years into my professional career, I decided that I was seeking something greater.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a hard worker and always exceed expectations. Matter of fact, I was always viewed as an amazing employee and my former bosses and colleagues were devastated to see me go. Truth is, I wanted to build something on my own due to years of watching my parents struggle and work tirelessly to provide for my family. I had this chip on my shoulder to create for myself. To work for myself. To build for myself. For months, I wondered why that chip was so big on my shoulders. Then a year into my last employer, I realized that I wanted to create something tangible to implant in the United States. My family moved to the states with nothing but suitcases and each other. We grew up in this country whose history did not include the Woappi family. My amazing father lived an empowering life but died at 53 and the majority of the American public never got to know him. My wonderful mother has lived and executed such a powerful life, and for the remainder of her time on this earth, I want the world to get to know her.

I launched my business in August 2017 not only to provide value to millions of individuals and businesses around the world, but to create a legacy that embodies the struggle, sacrifices, and hard work of what it means to be a black, female immigrant trying to make it in the United States. This is my story to share, a story that I hope serves as inspiration for underrepresented groups, individuals struggling with sexism, racism, and homophobia. Let my journey empower you and find the strength within to push through.

Thank you to:
Christ Woappi (dad)
Annie-Laure Woappi (mom)
Loic Woappi (brother)
Yvon Woappi (brother)
Anne-Elise Woappi (twin sister)

Build a Beautiful Website for Under $500 by Hiring a Freelance Website Developer on Guru.com

We want to prove to you that running a startup or business doesn’t have to be expensive.

Tchuento was founded with the principle that pricing for design and marketing services was just too high in an over-saturated market. We realized that business owners and entrepreneurs, especially those starting out, do not and cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for services through a design or marketing firm. The whole purpose of our business model is to help you reduce your expenses so that you can focus on what you do best, providing services and products that impact an audience.

This post is not endorsed by Guru. We want to bring you value and are willing to give you free advice on how to develop an awesome website for less than $500.


Guru Freelancer Logo.pngFirst: what is Guru?

Guru is a global online marketplace that houses freelancers who can provide different services. Guru’s freelancers range in skill set and experience. Pricing for Guru depends on the type of project and timeline, and can range from below $100 to as high as hundreds of dollars.

Second: what services do freelancers offer on Guru?

Guru breaks down its services into 9 categories:

Guru - Services.png

Third: designing a website for under $500 on Guru.com

  1. Create a Guru account
    Log-in or create an account at Guru.com
    If new account
    You will be asked whether or not you want to hire (you) or do work (freelancer)
    Select I want to hire
    Once you have an account created, set up your Guru profile
    Guru - Account Creation.png
  2. Verify your account
    A verification email will be sent to your account email, click on the link to verify it
  3. Describe project, post a job
    Once you’ve verified your email, when you log back into Guru, you will be prompted to the job posting
    Input all the information regarding the type of project you’re looking for
    In this case, the project is related to Web, Software & IT
    Follow the prompt

    Input information
    __What work: Be specific for website creation (i.e. WordPress static website)
    __Provide more details: Be very specific in your description of what you want. You also have the option of adding files. If you have an idea on how you want your website to look, include an attachment of your website “design”. Keep in mind, you’re not the developer so your website design can be as basic as you creating tables using Word and laying out how you want your pages to look
    __Which category: Select Web, Software & IT
    __Essential keywords: select keywords that relate to your project (i.e. wordpress, website, web development, web designer)
    __Limit job to specific location: choose what you’re comfortable with, but our recommendation is for you to leave it as anywhere
    __Budget: select fixed price, choose either under $250 or $250-500
    __Exposure: leave as is, maximum (allow search engines like Google to index it)
    __Application deadline: select what you’re comfortable with, it depends on your timeline/how long the freelancer should take to finish building your website
    Post the job

  4. Select a freelancer to complete your website
    Once your job is posted, many freelancers will respond to posting
    They will inform you on their pricing, experience, portfolio, and timeline
    Select a freelancer who matches your targeted credentials:
    ____is the pricing within your range, at or below $500
    ____has the freelancer provided you with previous work done
    ____are you satisfied with freelancer’s portfolio
    ____can the freelancer deliver project within your desired timeline
    ____does the freelancer have good reviews
    Vet each freelancer that contacts you – visit page, read reviews, review portfolio
    You can message freelancers while deciding which one to go with
  5. Accept & Pay Freelancer
    When you select a freelancer and you come to an agreement, pay for project
    Guru requires you to make advanced payments in timeline increments
    EX: if your project is to be completed in 3 weeks – you can set up an invoice with your freelancer so that half of the cost is paid upfront before start of project and the second half is paid 1.5 weeks into project before its completion
    Your payment is always backed by Guru and the site provides payment security
  6. Finish Project
    Communicate and work with your freelancer throughout the duration of project
    Make sure to provide feedback and/or expectations on how you want your website
    Freelancer will finish your website
    Tips:
    __freelancers, when asked, can help you set up domain/hosting for your site
    __freelancers typically maintain open communication after project completion in case you need additional help
    __website developers can only do as good of a job as you describe to them. Don’t expect them to know exactly what you want. You have to guide them so that they can create your ideal website based on your vision
    __be realistic. You most likely won’t get an extremely multi-functional website for under $500. If you want a developer to create a website like Twitter or Facebook, you’ll have to pay more

 

 

Pay Less Than $10 for a Logo Design on Fiverr

You read it right. Designing a logo doesn’t need to be an expensive purchase. You can have well-made logos for less than $10 on Fiverr. This post is not endorsed by Fiverr in any way. We want to cut down your expenses as a business and if you are looking for an inexpensive way to revamp your brand, create a new logo, or revise a current logo, you can do so very inexpensively. We live in a world of endless resources, and we think you can reap the benefits of creative design without spending a crap ton of money.

 fiverr-logo-green-42ceb28536932bff125c8d478bec1c56First: what is Fiverr?

Fiverr is a global online marketplace that houses a variety of freelancers in different career fields. Fiverr’s freelancers range in skill set and experience. Pricing for Fiverr services can start as low as $5 to as high as a few hundred dollars.

Second: what services are provided on Fiverr?

Fiverr’s services can be broken down into 8 categories:
Fiverr Services

Third: how do I pay for a logo under $10 on Fiverr?

There are several steps that need to happen in order for you to receive a logo design on Fiverr for less than $10.

  1. Create a Fiverr account
    Log-in or create an account at Fiverr.com
    You will be prompted to enter log-in information, follow the instructions
    If new account
    Once you have an account created, set up your Fiverr profile
    While setting up your profile, you can either set one up for yourself or a business
    Fiverr prefers profiles that are “anonymous”, as in the website won’t allow you to get too personal/detailed about who you are (this is for safety reasons)
  2. Search for your desired service. In our case, logo design
    Under the main page, you can either click on “find services” and type in logo design
    or hover over “Graphic & Design” right below the search bar and select logo designFiverr - Find Services.png
  3. Find a good designer/freelancer for your logo
    Now that you’ve searched for logo designs, scroll down the page until you get to the filters
    Fiverr - Filter Results.png
    Update your filters to:
    _Price Range: $0 to $10 and click on the right arrow to update results
    _Delivery Time: choose which option you’d like. Any is usually preferable
    _Style: choose whichever style you want depending on your type of business
    _Online Status: leave blank. Sellers will still complete orders regardless
    _File Format: always select JPG, PNG, PDF, AI, EPS
    _Service Includes: always select high resolution and source file
    _
    Seller Level: depends what you’re comfortable with. new sellers can be good too. Leave all fields blank if not sure
    _Seller Language: it’s best to choose your primary language
  4. Select your designer/freelancer
    Choose a designer with 4.0+ ratings. DO NOT choose any designer below 4 stars
    Go through each designer above 4.0+ ratings and search through their portfolio
    Narrow down options to 2-5 designers and read comments/reviews on each one
    Select a final designer based on:
    ____a portfolio that resonates with your desired logo
    ____positive feedback and/or reviews from customers
  5. Select designer package
    Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a final designer, choose design package
    Each Fiverr designer lists service pricing based on packages
    $5 or $10 packages are usually considered Basic
    Read the description of each package to verify exactly what you’re getting
    Make sure the $5 or $10 package includes all of your desired filters:
    EXAMPLE
    ___does the package include logo design in your targeted file formats (i.e. png, jpg)?
    ___does the package include high resolution or source file once delivered?
    You can read all about the package/gig description near the bottom of the page
    Once you’ve confirmed everything, click on “select”
    Fiverr - Compare Packages.png
  6. Pay & Complete Order
    Once you’ve selected a designer package, you will be asked to complete payment
    Payment will be required BEFORE you specify your order
    ___meaning, you will pay first before detailing how you want your logo to look
    You have the option of adding any extra features, but that will increase total cost
  7. Specify Order
    Once you’ve made a payment, you will complete a questionnaire/form to explain how you want your logo to be
    Each designer will ask different questions, but most will ask you to:
    __describe business
    __provide other logos you like so that they can get a feel of your style preference
    __detail style preference for logo (i.e. color scheme, pattern, etc…)
  8. Track Order & Wait For Order Completion
    You’ve done your part
    Once your logo is ready, the designer will provide you with a final draft
    Most designers offer free revisions (varies from 1 to unlimited)
    DO NOT approve final design until you are completely satisfied
    When you’ve gone through revisions, if any, the designer will submit logo file
    The logo, its design, files, and concept are now fully yours

The majority of designers will maintain open communication with you should you need to reach them in the future.

What Does Success Look Like to You?

Success in business is defined in many ways. We want all motivated, driven, and ambitious individuals to be successful in everything they do. We want you to really think through what success means and looks like to you – but most importantly, how you plan on achieving it.

Regardless of the type of entrepreneur or “wantrepreneur” you are, it’s important to narrow down what success means to you prior to launching an idea, product, or company.

Here’s how to do so:

  • Write down exactly what you envision to happen professionally
  • Describe specific achievements you hope to accomplish
  • Imagine, in the near and far future, how your accomplishments will be met
  • Identify deal-breakers in the way you operate life so that your accomplishments can be met
  • Envision an “end” goal and create a mental map to reach that goal

Having a personal and business vision plan will help you center and focus your creative and professional energy so that the decisions you make, the opportunities you accept, and the work that you perform are all targeted towards your success.

There are 5 key ways to help you come up with a long-term vision for your success:

  1. Identify the purpose of your business and your target audience
  2. Identify the goals, vision, and values for your business
  3. Create short and long term strategic steps to achieve each goal
  4. Measure, periodically, specific metrics to confirm progress of each goal
  5. Compare your strengths and weaknesses and work to improve your strengths while fixing your weaknesses

As you work towards your success, remember to celebrate every milestone and accomplishment you meet. Build momentum around the positive energy you infuse from your accomplishments.

 

5 Meaningful Ways to Improve Your Online Presence

What It Means to Have a Strong Online Presence

We are asked this all the time,
“how can I increase my online social engagement if I have no idea where to start?”

Here are 5 tips for your business to increase its social media engagement


♦Post Regularly

Social media followers choose to follow your business account(s). The easiest way to show them that you actually care about their follow is to update them with new posts; periodically enough that they don’t wonder if you’ve fallen off the face of the earth but not too frequently that they wonder if you’ve been hacked.

Suggestions on what to post about:

  • Discuss your branding, what it stands for
  • Highlight specific customers (ex: customers with strong brand loyalty)
  • Discuss upcoming events
  • Share promotional materials or access codes
  • Highlight current staff (ex: employees with strong work ethics or achievements)
  • Does your business have any success stories to share?
  • Has your business recently gone through a happy, unexpected moment?

Frequency of post:

  • Post at least once a day in all of your social media accounts
  • A post doesn’t have to be original content
    It can be a re-share of another relevant post
    It can be from another similar company
    Should be relevant to your business
  • Visual posts with good written content are far more appealing

♦♦Engage With Similar Businesses

Competition is a good thing, but too much competition isn’t. One of the most meaningful ways to improve your online presence is by engaging with businesses similar to yours. Partnering or working with similar businesses will give your business an opportunity to see how your competition operates, analyze their customer base, and develop stronger community ties.

Suggestions on how to engage with similar businesses:

  • Collaborate with similar businesses to host or sponsor a community event
  • Help share and advertise a similar business’ upcoming charity or community event
    Event should not directly compete with an event you will have in the near future
    Event should not be held at the same time as an event you plan to have
  • Participate in challenges
    Set up friendly competitions to see which business will raise the most money for a given cause
    Host a sports or health tournament with local businesses

♦♦♦Appreciate Your Customers

Your customers or clients are one of the reasons your business can sustain itself. Don’t take them for granted. Often times, businesses don’t pay enough attention to their customers’ demands and wants. Not every demand or want should be met, but they should at least be heard. Take the time to survey your customers and to receive constructive feedback on products, services, and features on your website or social media accounts that your customers think should be improved.

Spend time greeting, celebrating, and highlighting your customers. Do you track your customers’ birthdays and send them a greeting at the time of month? Do you wish happy holidays to your subscription list in December or January? Do you offer discount codes or referral codes to repeat customers? Those are simple, inexpensive, methods in which you can really make an impact.

♦♦♦♦Update Your Content

Any well updated account is an account that posts frequently enough and shares accurate information. Posting every day to your accounts isn’t enough. You also have to make sure that the content posted is not only relevant to your current status as a business, but also relevant to your customers’ interests.

For example, if you’re planning to host a marathon to raise funds for a charity in December, you most likely don’t only want to speak about the marathon in the coming months. You want to update your followers with marathon information as well as upcoming holidays, projects, and/or events your business will partake in. The key is to focus on the present while advertising for the future. You want your followers to stay interested in what you’re presently working on, but also engaged for what’s to come with your business.

♦♦♦♦♦Keep Up With The Times

We understand that businesses can sometimes be fearful of quick change. We understand that we live in an instantaneous society where the world around us is rapidly evolving. We understand that it can be hard to keep up when you’re just trying to survive. But we also understand that the businesses that sustain themselves long-term are those who constantly innovate with the times.

Keeping up with society as it expands is extremely crucial for your business to grow. Think of your customers, your employees, your founders as individuals of a population that is growing wiser, learning new tools and technologies as the years pass. Now think of your business as the entity that houses all those individuals to provide a product or service to a target population. It’s important to understand that as society advances, so should your business.

Methods to keep up with the times:

  • Stay updated on current online trends via social media or networking platforms
  • Update technology equipment in your offices
  • Update online profiles so that each page is fresh, modernized, and relevant
  • Follow and stay informed with news that pertains to your business operations
  • Re-brand or re-launch a product, idea, or service to better fit your long-term vision