Knowing you’ll face both immense challenges and huge rewards as a business owner can help you stay positive, confident and grounded. That’s why we’re sharing some of your favorite and most dreaded aspects of working for yourself. Welcome to Worst Part/Best Part!
Entrepreneur: Monique Greenwood @AkwaabaInns
Business: Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns
Locations: Brooklyn, NY; Washington D.C.; Cape May, NJ; The Poconos, PA
You might recognize Monique Greenwood from her reality show Checked Inn on the Oprah Network, or her name might sound familiar because she was the editor-in-chief of Essence once upon time. But once you hear her story of building a bed and breakfast empire from renovated old mansions, you’ll never forget her insights on life, family and legacy. Monique shares with us the struggles and the joys she’s experienced as a successful businesswoman.
The Worst Part: “If you're a business owner, what you really are is a problem solver. My biggest challenge, perhaps, came when we purchased and opened a bed and breakfast in New Orleans one month before an unexpected guest named Hurricane Katrina showed up. Our inn didn't flood, but our business drowned as a result of the hurricane. No one was coming to vacation in New Orleans, and our expenses increased astronomically, especially our taxes and insurance premiums.
I've always been pretty good at making lemonade from lemons, but in this case, I had to make lemon meringue pie. I brainstormed about who could possibly be our guests/customers during this tough time, and I came up with insurance adjusters! So I called every major insurance company I could think of and told them we had beautiful rooms where their team members could stay when coming to New Orleans to investigate and settle claims. That worked for about a year. The next year I targeted homeowners who were returning to the city to oversee the rebuilding of their homes. We finally sold that inn five years later and used the proceeds from the sale to make the downpayment on our Poconos property.”
The Best Part: “Being able to provide stability for my family, helping to make a better life for my staff and making a positive mark in my community rather than leaving a stain.”
How do you balance the best and worst aspects of working for yourself?
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Loved that article @SarahGonzales. You are a wonderful writer.
Best part: I dictate what I do in my day
Worst part: I work too much
My family will attest to that to that worst part. My goal is to delegate (see if I put it out there, it may happen).
Hey @lynda - sounds like I'm right there with you on the delegating thing. By which I mean, I kind of struggle with it
Isn't it funny that we're so good at self-direction and may not so good at directing others to pick up the slack? Is it a self-employed thing? A type-A thing? Maybe a self-employed, type-A woman thing? (Guilty on all counts, btw.)
@EmilyCowan I relate. I've always been that person who does the entire group project myself because everyone else slacks off. Maybe it's a curse of capability!