Makiah Green, the co-founder of Black Book LA, joins us in today’s episode to discuss how a blog post idea transformed into a thriving community for Black millennials in Los Angeles. Makiah is a double graduate from the University of Southern California with a Master’s degree in Professional Writing. She runs her fast-growing ‘side-hustles’ while also working at a multicultural production company assisting in the creative development of projects.
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Makiah comes from a family of women that are extremely hard workers. Growing up, she saw the women in her family giving everything to everyone else and being undervalued in the process. Makiah has learned throughout her journey that starting before you’re ready can push you into success and knowing who you are is incredibly valuable to building a business. Taking care of yourself should always be a priority – especially when you’re ultra-busy. You can help more people when you are able to give from the right place.
Building From an Idea
Black Book LA started as an idea to create a list of weekly events featuring black businesses.
Around the time the Black Friday boycotts were happening, Makiah felt it was important to support black owned businesses and wrote blogs about the 50 black business to support on Black Friday.
They now reach over 20,000 people and Makiah is working to create more Black Book LA events.
She credits her success to consistency – they would not have been able to build the family and network that they’ve created without being consistent.
Makiah has never had to pay for ads on social platforms and grew the network primarily through word of mouth.
Because of consistency, Black Book LA has become a reliable and trustworthy platform.
They only promote events, businesses, or places that they truly believe in.
Makiah went to a panel Ava DuVernay was on and she spoke about not getting wrapped up in the details and to just start whatever it is you’re working on.
That advice helped push Makiah and Tyree, her co-founder, to move forward.
Black Book LA started as an email list and it has evolved so much over time.
Don’t wait for perfection to start your dream. Just do it.
Challenges and Healing
Makiah works a full-time job in addition to running Black Book LA and she tries to find a balance between the two.
She has also faced personal challenges due to working with her now ex-partner, but felt passionate about continuing to grow and not give up.
Her healing process has shown her that she doesn’t need to give herself away for free and she has to advocate for herself and her value because no one else will.
Healing also meant finding a balance between her work and social life, she allocates Friday night through Sunday night as much needed “Turn Up Time.”
This has vastly improved her quality of life because she is actually enjoying her life and it has helped her return to herself.
You end up talking yourself out of starting your dream. ([17:31])
My healing process has looked like recognizing my own value and being okay with that and not feeling like I have to seek that out in others and not expecting someone else to provide that for me. ([34:06])
It’s its own advertisement. You don’t have to sell somebody on something they actually need. ([27:03])
We need to emphasize more, the importance of sitting with yourself and saying who am I, who am I to me? ([39:01])
You have to live for yourself and the people who will rock with it will rock with it. ([41:56])