How to Enjoy The Process of Entrepreneurship with Tia DorsettJun 10, 2022
Welcome to my conversation with Tia Dorsett. Tia is an entrepreneur, author of “Trust Your Dopeness”, and an overall beautiful human. Here's her story!
Q. Give us some of the backstory to how you got where you are today.
I have been working with middle school students for about three or four years. A lot of the issues I kept running into with them revolved around their low self esteem and I look for ways to be able to support people and not necessarily as a counselor or a therapist. I wanted to be a model for them to show them that there is a better way.
As far as entrepreneurship, I think I was born to run a business because my grandfather had one of the first Black-owned businesses. He had a masonry business and a gas station. The gas pumps used to have my name on them, “Tia’s Sprinkle”. The store got sold some years ago, so my name is no longer there.
Q. Your grandfather was an entrepreneur, so where did you get your drive from?
I would sometimes go work with him at the store as an eight year old kid and run the cash register. For me, I always thought I could get into it, but I didn’t know how to do it. At this point, I have so many different side hustles and I realized that my passion was to be helpful and to serve and make an impact on people's lives because I feel that there’s so much negativity out there right now and people are having a rough time getting out of it.
I always make the example that when the pandemic first happened, it was a fifty-fifty thing. 50% of the people got down and depressed and didn’t know what to do. The other 50% said, ‘I need to work on myself. What can I do to make myself better?” which is what I ended up doing. It has been an amazing journey. I took that time to write this book, start my online e-commerce business “Mackenzie Charlotte”, and I took the time to do the work. I admit that it was terrifying in the beginning, but once it started going, I was like, “Who am I becoming?!”
Q. What drives you? What is the ‘Why’ behind your passion?
Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money, and I wasn’t spoken to in a way that led me to believe that at some point I would have a lot of money. My relationship with money was that there’s never enough and I’m always going to have to struggle to get it. To combat this, I started doing the work: listening to e-books and Ted Talks, and all these things showed me that all of these things that spoke of greatness were indeed meant for me.
As far as my passion for it, it’s the thoughts of how I used to think versus how I think and approach things now. I mention the term, ‘unlearning’ in my book and it is everything! I found myself in situations where had I found myself in them years ago, I would have completely reacted like a crazy person. Now, I’m more into logic and realizing when other people have things going on that have nothing to do with me and there’s the compassion and the patience, which you can only extend to others after you’ve extended it to yourself first. Once you stop judging yourself, you’ll stop judging others.
Q. Doing the work really allows you to show up in powerful ways, what do you think about that?
I have a therapist and I’ve been seeing her for about two years. When I see people broken down and bent out of shape about things, my first thought is that they don’t have the tools and they would be so much better off if they had them. That’s where having patience comes into play.
When you think about if you had a young person come to you broken down, when they come to you, you don’t turn them away or treat them like crap, so the question is, ‘why would you do that to yourself?’ You have to start that patience with yourself so you can be of service to yourself and then to others. We also have to keep our ego in check and ask ourselves what we’re really upset about.
Q. How did you begin this journey to start unpacking and unlearning the pieces you learned?
I was tired of being sad all the time. I was tired of being mad with myself and I realized that the reason I was feeling all of those things was because I didn’t set boundaries for myself. I thought boundaries was a scary place because I felt that if I set the boundary, I was going to offend somebody and people wouldn’t want to hang out with me anymore. The funny thing is that once you start setting those boundaries, you realize that you enjoy being by yourself. You become at peace with yourself and don’t allow other people’s opinions of you to change your opinion of yourself.
Q. Unpack the idea of self-esteem and what it means to actually build that versus what other people are projecting.
Here’s the deal, I‘m the one that has to live this life, no one else can do that for me. If I were to constantly give my power away, I’m never going to grow and I’m never going to be satisfied with myself. I think the bigger part of that is to stop making comparisons. Me being forty and someone else’s forty are going to look totally different. They may have a big house and great job, while I may have hardly anything and be broken down. At the end of the day, I have to focus on myself and do the work for myself.
Q. What does it look like to find real joy on the journey even when it’s hard?
It’s not about when you arrive, it’s about how you arrive. I’ve seen people who have worked hard and constantly remind you of the hard work they did, and my question is always, “Did you enjoy the journey there?”
I have done a full 180 from a year and half ago. My therapist told me that she wouldn’t allow me to release my book until my life mirrored what I was writing about. That was ten months ago. I published the book on May 2, 2022.
If you’ve never heard of the wise mind, it goes a bit like this: Think about 2 circles or 2 rings. One represents your emotional self and the other, your logical self. When you put those circles together, they overlap to create an oval, that is your wise mind. That is the mindset you need to live in if you want to have a great life. Most times, people lean too much into emotion or logic, which can come off as cold or dismissive.
We have to be mindful of our responses and use our wise mind. We are allowed to feel the emotion of things. It’s ok to be mad when you’re offended by something, but then we have to move on.
Q. Talk about the process of your book, why did you want to write it?
That’s a funny story. It all started after a conversation I had with an old friend who wasn’t listening to my logical and sound advice concerning her rent because she was worked up emotionally. I ended up telling her to hang up with me and count to ten to get some oxygen to her brain so she could calm down. When she called me the next day and told me that my advice was right, I told her, “Logic and I were at your front door, but emotions fat ass wouldn’t let us in” and she said, “You have the best analogies and come up with them so quickly that you need to write them down.” That was step one.
It brought me to an idea that one of my friends told me a while back. He said, “You’ve got this thing, and I need you to make it lucrative” He said, “I don’t know if it’s a podcast or a TV show, but you need to do something.” From there, I went to my life coach, my business mentor, and my therapist and had that conversation because I knew that I needed a team to keep me accountable.
Q. Can you demystify the process of authorship and tell us how you went from the concept to having a published book?
Step 1: Started writing quotes. I took the quote I used for my friend as the first quote for the book and went up to approximately eighty-five because I knew if I didn’t stop then, I probably wouldn’t have published it. And you really have to have patience because when you’re writing something that is meaningful to you and that you’re passionate about, you have to take your time, which is something I didn’t do initially.
What I did, was write down the analogies and quotes, but I didn’t do a breakdown of each, which would explain why I wrote it, what it meant to me, and that was the conversation that I had with my therapist who said that the work wasn’t done because people weren’t getting all of me. So I had to go back to the drawing board and practice what I was preaching by taking my time with it.
Step 2: Started looking for publishers. I did my research and made price comparisons, but ended up going with a referral from someone I used to tutor.
Q. Breakdown the book for us, what is the format and what can people expect when they open it?
When people open it, they’re going to be surprised by my table of contents for sure. It goes from one through twelve and one of my favorites is number two, which says, “ Oh shit! You forgot how awesome you were. It’s ok. You’re lucky I’m here. Just go ahead over to page fifty-two”.
Q. What is a concept within the book that is currently challenging you?
I keep going back to the idea or concept of detachment. That means that I’m setting my intentions for what I want to do and have happen in my life while remaining in a state of harmony regardless of the outcome. That’s not to say that I don’t experience disappointment if things don’t go as planned, but it allows me to be open to new experiences and possibilities that I can make happen because things didn’t go as I originally saw them. It allows me to remain open minded and optimistic to life.
In the midst of learning this, I saw that I was still looking for validation from other people and I realized that when I asked myself why I was so mad that they weren’t excited by what I’m doing.
Q. What does it look like to be self-validating and still get the wisdom of others?
I have a quote in my second book that hasn’t been released yet, “Just because they’re not interested, doesn’t mean you’re not interesting.” When we’re talking about validation, you have to get so comfortable with “rejection” that it doesn’t bother you anymore.
There was a time where I was crushing on a neighbor who never gave me the time of day. We would say hi when we walked our dogs, but he never responded to my text messages, and I remember still feeling great even in the midst of this rejection.
Q. Your book seems so much more impactful because you have lived the things that you’re speaking about, what do you think about that?
It’s a lot of fun still being on the journey because I look at when certain things happen and how I react to it, which is how I know that I’ve been practicing what I talk about in the book. There are also times where I don’t do the right thing, and I know that’s ok too because I’m still unlearning so much behavior that there are definitely going to be goof ups.
Q. Tell us about this next business, Mackenzie’s, that you have coming up.
I started my first business at a flea market at about 26 years of age and I loved it, but a lot of women would come up to me and say that I didn’t have anything for the big girls. At the time, I was either a size 0 or size 2, so I was focused on what I liked and what I wanted to wear instead of thinking about what my customers needed. After repeatedly hearing that however, I told one customer to come back in two weeks, that I would have something for her.
I then stocked up on plus size clothing so when the women came back, I sold out on everything, but was still left with the smaller things that fit me. It taught me that no matter what your thing is, you can’t always be focused on yourself. We have to be mindful of others and their needs as well.
The concept of my brick and mortar is that if you come into my store feeling broken down, you’re not leaving that way. You’re leaving with some laughs, because I’m hilarious, and you’re leaving with some words of encouragement and wisdom. You’re also going to leave with some beautiful pieces because I have something for every size from XXS to 6XL.
Q. What do you wish you knew a year ago?
The fact that this book was really doable and that it was going to come together. There was a time where I doubted that it would be published. I thought that the process was going to be so difficult that I was just going to give up, but I did a kickstarter campaign and was surprised that people rallied around me.
Q. How do people get in touch with that work at Mackenzie’s?
The website is Mackenziecharlotte.com
Q. How do people get your book?
The website is trustyourdopenessbook.com. It is also available on Amazon, Mackenziecharlotte.com and Barnes and noble.
Q. How do people get in touch with you?
You can watch the full interview by clicking the link below!
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