You are probably thinking that's crazy! and you might be right.
As the proud owner of Cakewalk Chicago, a haven for aspiring bakers and cake decorating enthusiasts, I'm here to challenge the conventional wisdom of going all out on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday by keeping our doors firmly closed during these shopping frenzies. This might seem like an odd move, but it's not about turning my back on commerce; it's about reclaiming my time, my energy, and my narrative.
As a Black woman entrepreneur in a small business landscape often shaped by the pressures of constant growth and profit maximization - but only if you hustle hard enough. I know that success isn't cookie-cutter. The reality is far more nuanced. It's often about rewriting the rulebook, defying norms, and dismantling the idea that making money is the sole purpose of being in business. Do I need money to keep going? Absolutely! But I know that my success is also about the community I've built, the relationships I've nurtured, and the positive impact I've had on the lives of others. The in-person conversations and the growing number of 5-star reviews are testimony to that. Thank you!
If you pay attention to history you'll know that navigating the small business landscape as a Black woman means confronting a system rooted in colonialism and exploitation. While the allure of a seven-figure bank account might sound appealing, it's often a misleading and unattainable goal that sets many up for failure.
The narrative of success in the small business realm often revolves around events like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. (My personal inbox has been filled with PRE Black Friday discount emails for 2 weeks now!)
Small Business Saturday, while valuable, falls short of providing sustainable support for businesses like mine. Designating one day for financial backing perpetuates uncertainty. True support lies in building a resilient small business landscape that goes beyond transactional interactions.
While Black Friday and Small Business Saturday offer consumers the opportunity to jump on deals normally outside of their price range, it comes at a cost. The pressure to consume can lead to overspending, impulse purchases, and a sense of overwhelm. Moreover, the focus on discounts puts pressure on businesses to find ways to offer savings and can divert attention from the true value and quality independent businesses provide, perpetuating a cycle of unsustainable consumerism.
What if we redefine success to encompass more than just financial gains? What if we recognize the importance of self-care, community well-being, and challenging the status quo?
Instead, I'm redefining success beyond monetary gains, acknowledging the multifaceted roles I play as an entrepreneur, a community leader, and a nurturer. Taking a stand against Black Friday and Small Business Saturday is an act of self-care, a radical declaration of my worth in a system that often undervalues my contributions. It's a reminder that I don't have to conform to the relentless pursuit of profit at the expense of my well-being and the well-being of my community.
I have decided to prioritize self-care. In a system that thrives on perpetual motion, taking a pause is a radical act of self-preservation. Rest and reclaiming time for joy with loved ones is not a sign of weakness; it's an act of resilience and rebellion and it shouldn't be. It's a way to disrupt the hyper-capitalist narrative that perpetuates burnout and exploitation. By nurturing myself, I create a foundation of strength and vitality, enabling me to continue my journey with renewed vigor and purpose.
I need a support system that extends beyond the confines of traditional metrics and accolades. I need a community that recognizes the unique challenges faced by Black women entrepreneurs and celebrates our successes, no matter how small they may seem. I need a system that empowers me to rewrite the rulebook, defying norms, and crafting a path that aligns with my values and aspirations.
The journey for Black women entrepreneurs is paved with resilience, innovation, and a deep commitment to community upliftment. It's about breaking free from the constraints of conventional thinking and forging a new paradigm of success. It's about creating businesses that not only generate profits but also foster a sense of belonging, empowerment, and collective well-being.
So, I embrace this sweet rebellion, this act of self-care and defiance, as a catalyst for transformation. I redefine success in my own terms, reclaiming my narrative and charting a course toward a future that is equitable, sustainable, and deeply rooted in the values that matter most.
My version of supporting business transcends shopping days. It's about championing self-care, disrupting systems, and fostering community thrive. True support isn't filled with single-day transactions but with a sustained commitment to building a resilient small business landscape that prioritizes ethical practices, sustainable consumption, and community well-being.
Navigating expectations as a Black woman entrepreneur requires a community that understands. This call for self-care and system disruption extends beyond shopping days; it's about fostering a community that thrives on compassion, sustainability, and conscious consumerism.
Redefining Success Together
To be clear, the Sweet Rebellion is not just about closing the doors on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. It's about taking a stand against the unsustainable practices of hyper-capitalism and redefining success in a way that prioritizes self-care, community well-being, and ethical consumption. By embracing this rebellion, we can all work to create a more equitable and sustainable future.
Join the Conversation
What do you think? How do you define success in the entrepreneurial world?
What are your thoughts on the concept of a "sweet rebellion" for small businesses and consumers alike?
I want to hear your perspectives.
Let's redefine success together.
The Cake Lady
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