BASED IN: NEW YORK
What do you do? What is your mission?
Illicit Mind helps entrepreneurs maneuver their way through the entrepreneurial ecosystem. We do this through online and offline community learning sessions (workshops, classes, hackathons etc). Our mission is to increase the success rate of new diverse entrepreneurs. We focus on entrepreneurs who don't fit into the societal characteristics of an "average entrepreneur". Being a part of our tribe allows them to gain the necessary experiences, knowledge and connections in order to position themselves for short term and long term success.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I have indeed always wanted to be an entrepreneur. As a young girl growing up on the island of Jamaica I was greeted by entrepreneurs every day. Everyone in our community had their own “small business”. It didn't matter if they were service oriented such as tailors, teachers or caretakers of product orients such as butchers, farmers and drivers. Everyone for the most part was their own boss or worked together as a family to have their business thrive. When my family migrated to the USA I saw that American Entrepreneurship was a bit different. You had to have some form of social status, capital or invent something. This scared me away from entrepreneurship for a long while, but upon entering college I realized that I could no longer hide my entrepreneurial side.
Do you believe that anyone can become an entrepreneur? Do you think that everyone should try?
I believe that everyone can possess entrepreneurial traits but not everyone can be an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur, as rewarding as it is, is very difficult. There will be days that you are super depressed because your business isn't doing what it needs to, days when you blow all your goals out the water and there will be days that are between these two extremes. On the other hand everyone can have entrepreneurial traits such as thinking outside the box, being unique, and many others.
Is it important to have mentors and mentor other people? Why?
Having mentors is a very important part of entrepreneurship. This is because although there are book on entrepreneurship the true way to learn is from experiences. Your mentors will have lessons of experience to pass down to you so that you may learn from their experiences. Then it is your duty to pass down what they have taught you plus what you have learned on your own to other entrepreneurs.
What does success mean to you? What does it mean to “be successful”? Can it ever be fully achieved or is it something that comes and goes?
To me success means changing or impacting lives positively. Many businesses can make money but not every business changes or impacts lives. None the less success is a journey. You set goals, reach them and set new goal. You have to continuously be improving, changing and learning more at all times.
What is one (or more) piece of advice you can offer our readers and other entrepreneurs that are reading your interview?
One piece of advice I can offer other entrepreneurs is to “just keep swimming”. There will be a lot of times where you will feel like it’s easier to just give up, to just throw in the towel. But you have to kick your own butt and never give up. Keep swimming and you will reach a place of clearer waters.