Martin Luther King Jr. was a leader, a visionary, and an advocate who fought tirelessly to ensure justice, freedom, and equality for all. He was someone who worked to bring about social change in America. His work, leadership, and commitment to his cause have inspired all people, including aspirational entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, microbusiness entrepreneurs, and beyond. But what lessons can we take from Dr. King’s legacy? Let’s explore this further.
Know Your Worth
Dr. King refused to accept anything less than what he believed he was entitled to, even when it meant going against powerful forces that opposed him and his mission.
As an entrepreneur, you, too, should remember your worth and never settle for less than you deserve when negotiating with clients or charging prices for your services that reflect the value you bring to the table. It is essential to stay mindful of your capabilities so that you don’t undersell yourself or let fear get in the way of success.
Fear can be paralyzing, but like Dr. King proved time and time again throughout his career as a leader of the civil rights movement, fearlessness is essential when striving towards any goal – big or small.
As an entrepreneur working on projects independently can be scary because there is no one around to help support or encourage you if things get tough. Finding your entrepreneurial community is one of the first steps in addressing this fear. Network and collaborate. Once you know that you’re “not the only one” struggling with doubt or overwhelm (which stems from fear) will help propel you to move on, regardless of those worries.
Lead by Example
Dr. King showed us how far we could go when we lead by example, something all entrepreneurs should strive for in their businesses and personal lives.
For example, if you want your team members or employees to adhere to specific standards, then ensure that you set an example by doing the same thing first – this will hold everyone accountable, which is essential for any successful business venture.
Embrace Diversity & Inclusion
Another lesson from Dr. King’s legacy is the importance of diversity & inclusion in the workplace. As a first-generation BIPOC Filipina American, DEI is always top of mind for me. It’s essential to surround myself with people of all backgrounds. I want to learn from and embrace varying ideas and beliefs. Mainly, I want to honor people as people and stimulate my mind and life.
If your community comprises mostly one race, I’d recommend intentionally seeking out diversity.
Incorporating diversity & inclusion into your life is essential because it makes good business sense and helps foster an environment where everyone feels respected regardless of race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation etc. In business, this ultimately leads to more productive teams willing and able to put forth their best efforts!
Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy inspires entrepreneurs everywhere – especially solopreneurs who often work independently without anyone else’s support or encouragement along the way.
By remembering our worth, being fearless in our actions, and leading by example, we can truly honor Dr. King’s memory by embodying some of his most important lessons, such as knowing our worth, being fearless leaders, and fostering diversity & inclusion within our businesses! By following these principles, we can make meaningful progress towards success with our ventures while always remaining true to ourselves.
If you are an entrepreneur who embraces inclusion and intentionally seeks out diversity in all aspects of your life, perhaps we’re meant to coach together. Please reach out for a free consultation, and I’m happy to talk with you.
Janet Johnson is the author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money. Before becoming a coach, Janet gained seventeen years of experience in a family-owned manufacturing company. She also trained small business owners in Financial Management and Lean Enterprise through contracts with the State of Connecticut and the Small Business Administration for seven years.