Thursday, November 2, 2017

In The Red by Vanessa Abron

When I first ventured to become a solo PR practitioner, one of my main concerns was to not let my finances fall into the red.  I returned items for income, canceled my Netflix account, took money out of my savings and investments and sold some items just to make ends met.  When I told this to a friend, he said, “So what if you fall into the red?”  I scoffed at the mere mention of this and cringed at the idea.  I thought to myself, “How dare he suggest such a thing?!”

But, despite all of my attempts, I eventually fell into the red.  My heart was broken and being in that state was a dark moment for me.  I couldn’t participate in my usual activities with friends and I was beyond embarrassed about my situation.  Just a year prior I was able to write checks without a second thought, but now the tables had turned.  

I began to secretly share this shame with more successful and seasoned entrepreneurs and learned that this process is sort of a right of passage for all business owners.  A few told me about how they were almost evicted and some told me how they secretly got food stamps to survive.  While I wasn’t happy these individuals faced such tribulation, I felt comfort in knowing that if they could overcome, so could I.  

While I’m still not a fan of falling into the red, I now understand what my friend meant. When your back is against the wall, it’s amazing what you learn to do, figure out, and get over.  It was in this moment that I strengthened my hustle to get clients and build my brand.  At first, I was hesitant to put myself on a metaphorical platform and let people know I had ventured on my own and was in need of clients.  I was afraid of judgment and ridicule, and I had a sense of passiveness I needed to shed quickly.  Going into the red helped me to let go of the fear and brought out my hustle.  

Eventually, I finally climbed back into the black as I continued to secure new clients and projects. I’m not advocating poor finances by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, I still encourage everyone to act responsibly with their personal and businesses finances.  What I am advocating is embracing the hard times, which will inevitably come.  One of the cool things about going through difficult moments is that you come out prepared to handle trying times in the future with the understanding that it’s only temporary and that you will get through it.  

Embrace your drops in the red because they help you grow.  It’s like exercising.  When you start to work muscles you rarely use, it hurts initially and you may experience soreness so severe, it’s hard to move.  But as you continue to build and strengthen those muscles, it doesn’t hurt anymore, and you are stronger overall as a result. 

Learn more about Vanessa via her website at and follow her on Twitter @vanessaabron (personal) and @AgencyAbron (business)