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Many people say writing is a lonely profession, but being a solo entrepreneur is worse for you must self-impose isolation, especially in the start-up phase. I never gave a tremendous amount of thought to starting a business by myself. I just knew in life, people don’t always keep their word, and I often want to do things that “normal” Afro-American women don’t want to do. The first time that I really did me was participating in Semester at Sea without a friend/classmate. And it was that 100-day voyage around the world that set up my “5-Year-Break-From-Life” and eventually starting Mama California Tea House in northern Ecaudor.


sipping & typing in Mama California


So I’ve been doing me for a minute and have come to accept that I’m always going to be slightly “special” in my way of thinking, behaving, speaking and dreaming. Living in Seoul solidified my necessity not to be a hand-holder; I had to think & sip alone sometimes. As most people know, I highly enjoyed my time in Seoul (Shillim to be specific). The main reason for this fond memory is because I didn’t limit myself to only BSSK/Wagook/American-inspired events. I mixed it up and tried to befriend people from various backgrounds. And more importantly, I went to events and places by myself. If I wanted to hear jazz, I went to a concert by myself. If I wanted to bike along the Han River, I biked by myself. When I wanted to check out Taiwan, I traveled alone. I like myself so I’m cool kicking it by myself (because on the real, I can’t be bothered to fake liking someone).


2NE1 — “Lonely”

But this business thing has taken my isolation to a whole new level. Because there is so much to do, I must “think smart,” and thinking smartly sometimes means doing things differently. For example, my mom and bro laugh at my 10/10:30pm bedtime (However, Russell Simmons also goes to bed early). This is needed for I have the most energy and highest level of willpower in the morning. There’s something about the start of a new day that fires me up and makes me ready to go. (Obama’s last State of the Union is tonight.)

With that said, I’m an extreme social butterfly. I love hanging out with people, trying new meet-up groups, attending art/theatre events with people. Life is better with others, so I value relationships near and far. Yet with this entrepreneur thing, it’s extremely challenging to maintain my ability to socialize like I want. This leads me to realize that my two-year commitment to keeping my head down and building my companies is a truly faith with works. It’s the idea that anyone can make a place in this world through self-determination, belief in self, honing your craft/skill/talent and flowing with life.

Here’s to another 2.5 years of empire building, lol.

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“me time” in Mama California