In honor of Women’s History Month, Entrepreneur had the privilege of interviewing a Black lady founder who has one foot within the enterprise world and one other in radio.
Angela Yee is finest generally known as co-host of nationally syndicated FM talkfest The Breakfast Club, however not many notice she’s additionally a savvy businesswoman who operates three brick-and-mortar companies centering on vitamin, training, range, fairness, and inclusion (DEI). Yee’s espresso store, Coffee Uplifts People; juice store, Drink Fresh Juice; and hair-care enterprise, Private Label, all function with primarily Black workers employed from their native communities.
Here’s are excerpts from our latest chat interview on how this media begin/entrepreneur runs her manufacturers with DEI high of thoughts.
What’s one thing individuals don’t find out about you that shapes the way you present up on this planet?
Angela: I’ve all the time needed to be a author. I’ve been engaged on writing tasks in between my enterprise efforts for years. When I used to be younger, I used to write down fiction tales. I used to be the child who, when my dad and mom would make me mad or say no to me, I’d write a fictional story about them not being my actual dad and mom. I really like horror motion pictures; it’s my favourite style. I really feel that at some point, horror books could also be a theme in my work. Writing is how I channel my vitality.
I consider entrepreneurship was in me, however I didn’t have a reputation for it. From my first job working as an assistant for the Wu-Tang Clan, I had quite a lot of aspect tasks. I used to be all the time the queen of aspect hustles. One aspect hustle was writing biographies for artists. Charging somebody $500 to write down a bio was some huge cash for me again then. It was a cool expertise as a result of I acquired to interview artists and write a one-pager on who they have been. This was a prelude to what I do now. One of my jobs was working in a small advertising firm. I used to be working seven days every week, writing advertising proposals, securing purchasers and so forth. Then at some point, my boss yelled at me and I used to be shocked as a result of it had by no means occurred to me earlier than. I felt so disrespected that I picked up my laptop computer and by no means returned. That job began my entrepreneurial journey, as a result of shortly after leaving, I began freelancing. Many of the purchasers that the corporate had needed to proceed working with me. Once I left, individuals have been calling me and asking to rent me immediately. I ended up making extra money freelancing than once I was working in an organization full-time. I used to be charging purchasers month-to-month charges with out having to be in an workplace on a regular basis. It impressed me to know that I had sufficient worth to work for myself.
How can different entrepreneurs use writing to advance their careers?
Angela: Writing is without doubt one of the most necessary abilities you may have, it doesn’t matter what you do — particularly when you work in advertising, promoting or on the radio like I do. The capacity to write down a proposal or pitch or ship an e-mail to satisfy with somebody can actually make or break entrepreneurs. I’ve obtained emails from individuals who needed to work with me however misspelled my identify or used improper grammar. I wouldn’t take these inquiries severely. But, when you can write one thing compelling that’s well-thought out, that’s one thing that I’d think about.
Has being a lady founding father of coloration impacted the way in which that you just navigate the enterprise world?
Angela: Absolutely. It’s been exhausting as a result of I nonetheless battle with imposter syndrome. Sometimes I really feel that I’m not good sufficient or that I don’t belong in a sure room. Starting out in radio, I used to be checked out as a sidekick. Fortunately, I used to be given the chance to have my very own present, however I used to be thought-about an assistant for a very long time. I rebelled towards that notion as a result of I had a lot to show. Most of the roles I’ve labored at, I used to be the one lady. When we’re reside on “The Breakfast Club,” I’m nonetheless the one lady within the room. I do probably the most work as a result of I’ve to show myself. If I have been a person, I don’t assume I’d be the identical means. I really feel that I’ve to be extra ready than anybody else, but I nonetheless don’t get the identical respect. I do all of this work simply to be thought-about equal.
What’s been your greatest battle, and triumph, as a woman-of-color founder?
Angela: People assume you’re solely there to fill a quota, so they might not take you severely. That occurred to me even once I utilized for faculty. A person who wasn’t accepted informed me, “You’re solely there since you’re a Black lady.” I took a step again and stated, “Well really my SAT scores have been larger than yours.” He was upset as a result of he wasn’t accepted, however he actually believed I used to be admitted due to my race and gender. Early on in my profession, I additionally had individuals take a look at me and say, “Who did she sleep with to get that job?”
On the opposite hand, a few of my triumphs have been the assist from my sisterhood. There’s a false impression that Black girls don’t assist one another. It’s undoubtedly not true. My greatest supporters have been girls who’ve reached out to assist me, collaborate and carry me up. Of everybody who’s been useful and supportive to me, it’s been Black girls. There’s nobody else I’d quite be than a Black lady.
What recommendation would you give to different Black girls who wish to begin a enterprise?
Angela: Don’t be afraid to ask for assist. Sometimes, Black girls don’t wish to ask for assist as a result of we predict it’s weak. Truthfully, individuals do wish to assist us, and serving to us can profit them, too. When individuals need me to mentor them, I’ll have them do work for me and pay them for it. If you need somebody to mentor you, do your analysis on them and produce one thing to the desk. That’s extra precious to me. I’d additionally say write down your concepts. Every time I’ve an ideal thought, I overlook it in an hour. I consider writing issues down helps you keep in mind and manifest them. Also, learn to pitch what you are promoting and put collectively a deck. I really like watching “Shark Tank” and finding out everybody else’s pitch. Then when it’s my time to pitch, I can do it successfully.
You’re an enormous supporter of Black-owned companies and make a degree to make use of Black staff. Why is that so necessary to you?
Angela: Representation is necessary. I’m conscious of my presence within the neighborhood. I nonetheless reside in Brooklyn, and my companies are right here, too. People see me, I stroll round on a regular basis, and I’m approachable. When youngsters can come into what you are promoting and see somebody like myself because the enterprise proprietor, it evokes them. I inform my workers: I don’t need you to work right here endlessly. I need you to consider issues you are able to do to enhance the enterprise and let me know what we are able to implement. I inform them if they need extra accountability, I’ll give it to them. I need them to finally own their own businesses. For the espresso store I personal, the purpose is to make it right into a franchise. I’d love to assist my workers open their very own franchise. Being a Black-owned enterprise just isn’t a contest. I go to different Black-owned espresso outlets and juice bars, take pictures and share them on social media. There’s house for all of us to achieve success.
How else do you serve these within the surrounding group?
Angela: The companies I’ve in Brooklyn are all about well being and vitamin. Prior to the pandemic, my juice bar had quite a lot of in-person occasions. When I first opened, I envisioned it being a community-oriented house the place individuals would come collectively. We had weekly conferences and e book golf equipment with a complete library. People come and take the books, however I don’t thoughts. I assist studying and literature, and I even work with the New York Public Library. That’s me: studying and wellness. From my espresso store to my juice bar, I stress the well being advantages of espresso and freshly pressed juice. My juice bar is a labor of affection. It’s a spot the place you may see the distinction in individuals’s lives. During the pandemic, I noticed what an enormous distinction it made for somebody to convey a sick member of the family into my juice bar.
How do your roles as radio host and enterprise proprietor complement one another?
Angela: If you hearken to “The Breakfast Club,” I’m the one who’s all the time on time. I get to work earlier than everybody else and I do all the analysis. That self-discipline helps me in all sides of life. I don’t like feeling rushed or being late. Being late may be very disrespectful to our listeners, whoever I’m assembly with and of different individuals’s time. Even although I do quite a lot of time-consuming analysis, it’s good for me as a result of it makes me well-rounded. Whether it’s about health and tradition or finance and NFTs, it serves me within the grand scheme of issues. I do know lots of people who say they don’t know rather a lot about totally different subjects. It’s nice for me to have some information a couple of vary of topics. Knowledge is so necessary as a result of once I stroll into totally different areas and really feel imposter syndrome, a minimum of I really feel like I do know just a little one thing. It’s necessary for me to be round several types of individuals and know what’s taking place on this planet. Knowledge provides me an edge over different individuals.
Is there anything you need us to know?
Angela: I lastly began my very own nonprofit known as Well Read, which is about wellness and literacy. As you grow to be extra profitable, it’s necessary so that you can give again. Even when you can’t financially give again, type phrases and sharing about different companies on social media means a lot. Every little factor counts.
Help out your family and friends with recommendation, encouragement and assist.
Angela Yee might be present in Brooklyn at one in all her companies and on the radio.
This story is re-published with permission from Entrepreneur.com.