Look, this journey is not for the faint of heart.
That’s why they say you have to love the work you do so much that you’ll do it for free. There will be times, many many times, when you won’t see a dollar come in, but you'll still have to work like you’re working for a salary.
I’ve built three businesses, Blossom, being the most successful thus far. However, the work that I put into the previous two businesses between 2012 and 2014 set me up to be the founder I am today.
In hindsight - it’s crazy to think that while I was in those businesses - I thought I was going to see them through to a million dollar valuation. I just knew they were going to be my exit! When the time came to give them up, it was difficult. But as I’ve built Blossom, I see how I’ve been able to apply what I learned during those times.
My previous businesses taught me how to manage a team, something I am still learning how to do today. They taught me how to build a community vs. build an audience. They taught me how to create valuable working relationships. They taught me how to lead.
Ultimately, they prepared me for what would become Blossom, a video-on-demand platform for Black and Latina women to find short films, web series and all forms of content based on their mood and interests.
We are building something BIG here. And the work is hard. However, from Blossom, I’ve learned my biggest lessons:
1. The importance of my well-being: I’ve battled an eating disorder for nearly 10 years. (Yes, Black girls get eating disorders!) It became so much of who I was that I didn’t know myself without it. All the while, I thought I was operating my business at my highest. But after going to therapy, I realized I wasn’t.
(Ya’ll therapy is IT, okay?)
2. Therapy taught me how to take care of ME. It’s taught me how to separate myself and my well-being from the well-being of my business. It has launched the best part of this come-up story - my ability to learn and become aware of who Diamonde is outside of Blossom.
It’s been beautiful. And I am still on this journey. I’ll honestly probably go to therapy forever because there is so much to dig into.
Because of therapy, I am a better founder, a better employer, a better girlfriend, a better friend, a better daughter and overall, just a better Diamonde.
I came up, ya’ll. There isn’t a dollar amount that could have have taught me a better lesson.