Guest Blogger: Yolanda "Poetic Flow" Jackson


MY STORY
I am a Senior Paralegal of 18 years, working in all fields of the law.  I am a Chicago Native (born and raised).  My late grandmother saw in me, what I didn't really see in myself and that was a POET.  I've been writing since 1986, but didn't publish my first book of poetry until 2008 and then my 2nd book of poetry in 2014 along with my first book of positive vibes also in 2014.  I have been featured on major radio stations, blog talk radio, newsletters, social media sites, independent artists music (poetic intro/outro on a track), etc.  Ultimately through the suggestion of my now ex-fiance, I begin doing personal poetic quotes on t-shirts for various celebrities.  Because she had been in the Entertainment business (writer, producer, actor) for over 25 years, I knew that her suggestion was a great one. 
As a result I did t-shirt quotes for Daphne Wayans, Shondrella Avery, Malinda Williams, Tichina Arnold, KeKe Wyatt, Michell'e, Cynda Williams, just to name a few.  In 2014 my ex decided that she wanted to open a television/film studio in her hometown of Kansas.  As such, in 2015 I relocated from Atlanta to Kansas and there began a newfound love of Entertainment for me as co-owner of NO BUDGET STUDIO LLC.  We had a flood of independent filmmakers come in and rent our studio to film their projects, as well as many film students.  What set NO BUDGET STUDIO apart, was that there was no television/film studio like ours in Kansas or Missouri.  We had a hospital room, nurses station, jail cell, doctor's office, bar/restaurant, court room, interrogation room, music studio, lobby, news desk or police station desk, office, park, class room, and more!  Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, NO BUDGET STUDIO eventually closed a year and half later.  But that triggered a new found interest in me and that is where this story begins...
WHY DID I DECIDE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR
Having been co-owner of NO BUDGET STUDIO LLC, I knew that outside of being a Senior Paralegal, my creativity as a Poet had been enhanced by this experience.  As a result, I incorporated Poetic Flow Productions LLC here in Atlanta, GA.  My love of directing and producing while co-owner of NO BUDGET STUDIO as well as my love of photography (which I did only as a hobby, but came to love it as a career) escalated.  I travel to where people need me to be as a photographer and videographer.  The thing that sets me apart from other photographers is that I am a mobile photographer, so again, I come to them, also, I don't do edits (personal preference, as I believe capturing the true beauty and essence w/o photoshop so it is authentic), therefore, providing all digital images I take to each client after the shoot. 
So if I take 500 photos at a photo shoot or event, before I leave, my client gets ALL 500 photos or however many I've taken within that hour (and if hired for more than 1 hour, they get all photos taken for the time that I am there).  I offer reasonable pricing as a result of it.  It is very similar with videography.  I am not an editor, I know some things and do some editing, but not a whole lot, as such, I will film an event and provide the raw footage to clients once done.  Getting back on track here, lol, I became an entrepreneur because it allows me the freedom of my creativity and time. 
As of right now, I am a part-time entrepreneur because I still work a 9-5
Monday-Friday job as a Sr. Paralegal, but my goal is to increase my entrepreneurial income above a 2 week paycheck in just ONE DAY.  I am continuously building up my clientele and once I reach a sufficient level, I will walk away from that 9-5 and be 100% Entrepreneur.  Being an entrepreneur allows you freedoms, but also challenges you beyond your limits because as an entrepreneur if you are not out there promoting and working, you are not building brand nor your bank account and we all know that we need to make money to survive, especially if you are the ONLY income in the home (be it because you are single or head of the household).  
Aside from the entertainment side of things, I take my business knowledge and provide it to other upcoming entrepreneurs through my JB Consulting business.  Having certain knowledge in the legal world, how to properly protect your brand, etc. and having a certification in Intellectual Property (copyrights, trademarks, patents), it has afforded me the know how to establish a business and how to protect your business (name, logo, etc.).  Now, I am not an attorney, so I DO NOT provide any legal advice, but I do provide business consultations that help new entrepreneurs get started on the right track.  Just look at me as the guide to placing people in the right direction to get started.  Because I am privy to such business information, I can help another prevent damage control as they are beginning and building their businesses.
WHAT DO I WISH I KNEW BEFORE STARTING MY BUSINESS
I am probably one of the very few who can say that when I started my business as well as when I was co-owner of NO BUDGET STUDIO, I was well equipped on how to market, promote, establish, incorporate, etc.  Obviously along the way I did learn many things, but I knew a lot about start-up businesses, mainly due to my experience and knowledge as a Paralegal and having worked in Business Law, Contracts, Intellectual Property, Corporate Law, Real Estate Law, etc. 
I definitely had a hand up in knowing intricate details that someone else would have no idea about.  My organizational, communication and leadership abilities in both the corporate and legal world, well prepared me for when I started my business.  I can definitely say that I am one of the fortunate ones who knew what RIGHT directions and steps to take, even if right now I am only a part-time entrepreneur, I will become a full-time entrepreneur very soon.
WHAT DID I LEARN FROM MY BIGGEST FAILURE
I am not sure I have actually come face to face with my BIGGEST failure, but I definitely have had failures along the road.  If there is ONE thing I can share it would be TIME.  Time waits for no one, if an opportunity is presented, you have to be ready to take it head on because opportunity doesn't always make its way back around and especially not THAT particular opportunity.  Also, make sure that you take the TIME to learn, build, create and nurture your business.  When you do this, you are allowing the proper growth of the birth of your business to flourish properly.  One thing to know for sure is that FAILURE is simply the path to SUCCESS. 
Don't give up when things are not going your way, don't give up when doors are constantly slammed, don't give up on what has been purposely placed inside of you to give powerful and positive light to the world.  Anything that makes you stay awake at night, anything that drives you, anything that becomes your motivational focus, is the thing that you have been gifted with.  If one path doesn't work, choose another, but make sure that the goal never changes, and that you don't put limits on yourself by giving yourself a "destination" because LIFE and Entrepreneurship is and always will be a "Journey."
WHAT ADVISE WOULD I GIVE TO AN ASPIRING ENTREPRENEUR
Ironically, I think I gave that advice in my above answer, lol.  Just never give up on you, on your dreams, on your aspirations, on your goals.  Everything won't always go as you want them to go, but it always goes the way we need them go.  Many times we get discouraged because what we wanted most at that TIME we did not get, but then something MUCH GREATER is presented to us and when we look back, we become grateful for some of those "No's."  Grant it, if an opportunity presents itself that is amazing, be sure to research it, give it thought, don't just jump into it and if it is a legitimate opportunity, whomever is presenting it will give you sufficient time to think it over. 
Now as I stated earlier, we must be ready for certain opportunities when they present themselves because we don't always get that opportunity again, HOWEVER, it is extremely important to know that this opportunity benefits your goal and journey in your entrepreneurialship.  Some opportunities are not meant for you even though they are presented to you.  Just be cautious, careful and meticulous, because afterall, we are talking about your
brand and your business. 
In order to be effective, you have to be smart about the business moves you make and with whom you make them with.  Make sure, as a facebook friend of mine ones posted, "be sure the people in your circle are also in your corner."  This could not be any further from the truth!  Just know everyone around you, is not always FOR you.  Be aware of your circle and if you can determine those who really are for you, trust and believe, they will help elevate you to levels you didn't even entertain reaching.  Last, but not least, if there was one word I would encourage any entrepreneur to hold on to and implement in daily life, that word is HUMBLE.  You must be humble along your journey because humbleness will take you places above and beyond belief.
Thanks Tara Seals for giving me this opportunity and platform to share my insight with other entrepreneurs.
You can find my websites and social media sites below:
Websites:   
INSTAGRAM:  
Twitter:   
Facebook:   
Poetic Flow Photography
Poetic Flow Productions
JB Consulting
Official Fan Page of Poetic Flow

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