KIPP Alumni Entrepreneurs Share Advice For New Business Owners

If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, it’s always good to get some advice. You’ll be joining the wave of 600,000 new business owners from 2019 to the first half 2022, according to the Center for Economic Policy.  The biggest motivating factor for entrepreneurship was the desire to be their own boss followed by wanting to follow their passions. We caught up with some business owners at our KIPP Alumni Summit pop-up shop this summer to learn about their journey so far as entrepreneurs. Check out the advice they shared for new or aspiring business owners.

“There is always something to do and there is always something to figure out. When you are working for yourself, there is no go-to person or supervisor, so a part of being a good leader and good CEO is to keep going through those roadblocks. You can always have a plan but sometimes in life and in business, you may have to pivot or alter those plans. Just keep going and figuring out solutions.”

– Jeremey Brooks, Good Day Scents – KIPP DC Public Schools 

“You have to keep it up and be consistent. Nothing is going to happen overnight but it’s the work you put in overtime. People will recognize it and they will start supporting you but don’t expect to get 100k in your first month.”

– MarcAnthony Walker, PhWealthy Productions – KIPP Chicago Public Schools

Alexis Russell, Inspiring Experiences LLC

“One thing I’ve learned from being an entrepreneur is that it’s not for the faint of heart. If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur know that it’s a lot of hard work but if you are passionate about it, it’s worth it.”

– Alexis Russell, Inspiring Experiences LLC – KIPP DC Public Schools

“Plan and plan immediately. Even if you don’t have funds put your ideas on paper and write what you want to see happen on paper to create that reality.”

– Jessica Hinesman, Eshé Apparel. Co – KIPP Metro Atlanta Public Schools 

“I find there is so much opportunity in entrepreneurship.  My advice is to take a risk and put yourself out there. It is so difficult to believe in yourself initially when you are first starting a business you may feel you don’t have that much experience, or you don’t know if it will work. Believe in yourself and have that support from family, friends, and strangers. You would not believe how many people support you just for doing what you love.”

– Kayla Posley, The Loving Lash KIPP St. Louis Public Schools 

Zahir Miller Finesse Clothing

“Take your time, your journey is your journey. Don’t rush it, be patient with yourself,  love yourself, and understand this is a marathon and not a sprint.  Today you might win and tomorrow you might lose but over time as long as you keep improving you will have gradual growth.”

– Zahir Miller, Finesse Clothing – KIPP New Jersey Public Schools 

“I battled with starting, I would push it all to the side and one day I just got up there and started shooting and the more I shot and the less uncomfortable I was. I think it’s having that comfortability with your skills you have to practice every day and I try to go out and practice every day.”

Cedric Dent Jr Photographer and Author

– Cedric Dent Jr., Photographer & Author – KIPP New Orleans Public Schools 

To find more KIPP Alumni-led businesses check out the KIPP Alumni Business Directory.  If you want to see your name listed on this website, please reach out to Jamelfrey Pacheco at  jpacheco@kipp.org.