What do you do when life unexpectedly happens as a widow entrepreneur
We went from “us” to “me” I have been an entrepreneur for 15 years along with my late husband Mr. Devan Johnson who we lost recently unexpectedly due to a motorcycle accident.
I helped build our business/brand side by side with my husband and we were the 1st Black owned/operated husband & wife team. Our Brand is very well known to the masses. And now I have been thrust into a whole new realm in life due to this extremely hard gut punch. So as I walk in this grief I have chosen to continue our very well established business. As well as embark on my new business.
It seems like everyone wants to be an entrepreneur not realizing how much it takes to operate under that title. It takes prayer, work, faith, dedication, prayer, prayer, work, prayer, focus and that’s just a few key factors. I never imagined being an entrepreneur without my Devan, my partner in all things. God allowed us to build this business together. Never once did either one us ever consider having it without the other.
~The reality is that building a successful business alone is harder than it looks
I have been running our business for two years as one. And I truly miss having my husband/business partner building this with me. Anyone running and building a business with partners understands that it is harder than what most people make it out to be. Therefore, you can imagine how hard it can be doing it alone. I’ve been asked by upcoming entrepreneurs for some tips. What’s interesting is that I didn’t fully realize that I am really doing this. People are asking me the “widow” of Mr. Devan Johnson so I would like to offer this insight.
It’s very important to work for someone that has the experience with your “vision” so you can gain the proper insight for what you want to do. I believe the best teacher was once a student and one major mistake most people make is that they don’t want to start at the beginning and you can’t skip steps. No one starts kindergarten then jumps straight to the 12th grade. You can’t expect to be the champ without proper training, dedication, and willpower.
To be a successful entrepreneur you must first develop a vision & passion for your business. No one is going to go harder than you and why should they? Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart especially a widow entrepreneur. One of my challenges is doing this all by myself without my husband. This was not part of the business plan nor the vision that was created 15 years ago. None of this was included in the talks we had when we were in our early 20’s as we laid in our bed and talked about what we were going to do.
Every decision basically falls on me, however, I am a praying woman so I consult God first. With that being said its imperative that you have a good team in place. I have had to rebuild my team because the team we had betrayed me after my Devan left this world. If you think about playing any sports everyone has their position. The coach is the coach and with the right team, you can become a championship team. Sometimes the coach has to trade players in order to win.
I would also tell newcomers not to allow money to be the driving force. Because money is always attached to purpose and vision. I had to learn that the money will surely come just stay focused on your “why” and do not allow yourself to get caught up in the comparison game. If you are a widow now operating your business without your partner and you know that you are supposed to keep it then continue. I have asked God many times if this is what he wants me to do and I receive. The same answer every time which is Yes daughter. I understand that our business is bigger than me it’s the legacy of my husband. One day it will eventually be apart of mine, our children, our grandchildren, and their children. It doesn’t matter how many people are doing what you are doing they are not YOU!
Losing my Devan has so many layers especially because we were so very intertwined with every aspect of our lives. One of the reasons I keep going out of the many is because I know he expects nothing less. I know he knows that I can do it. God is walking each step with me in Jesus Christ name. Therefore, I will stay the course and keep being obedient to Gods will for everything he has for me. This is bigger than me so this is what I say to others walking a similar path.
Keep going don’t stop you may need to take quick breaks at times to refuel and reboot but keep going, my sister!
“Moment By Moment”
`Kimberly Nicole Johnson