Ashanti Buntil-Dhue

At last year’s supper club I stood here in this spot and shared my idea for my business. I launched into entrepreneurship with enthusiasm, optimism and drive.

Today, a year on,  I feel really compelled to share the mistakes I made so that you can all avoid them! This comes from straight from my heart: I did too much free work for too long. Please do not work for free. Controversial I know but working for free sets a bad precedent and can become a damaging habit which will cripple your confidence and competence in the long run. Know your value!/ Don’t build a community without thinking about monetisation. Likes, followers and clicks do not equal money. A jazzy website, and large social media following does not mean you will make money.

Ultimately you need a product, service or package with a price to offer a client or customer. It became apparent my business was not viable despite the fact I was helping other people make money in their business. I didn’t trust my gut instinct I made poor decisions with collaborations and joint ventures.

Only collaborate, joint venture or invest with peers who share your values and respect you. If there is no mutual respect and you don't have the same values, it will not work long term. I neglected my emotional and physical health. If you are not well and healthy, your business will suffer. Ideally build a business which does not rely on your complete presence but if that is the case, put yourself first and take care of you. Decide to Invest in yourself from the beginning. Like many people I spent money on a website and branding but I failed to get needed guidance and support from a coach or consultant. 

I networked with people who did what I did or in startup communities where we were all doing exactly the same thing – we were all looking for clients. Network and socialise in rooms and places where you know the most about your craft, expertise or industry and where there is an interesting variety of profiles ...just like Hub Dot! My name is Ashanti ....

Catalina Silva Griffin