Narrative of the Self-Employed Persona

Narrative of the Self-Employed Persona
Photo by Dani Hart/Pexels

My first full-time job was in commissioned sales. It wasn’t exactly what I thought my future career would be while I was a Spanish major in college. As my father would say, I can "talk the ears off a dog" if I find myself with a like-minded person with like-minded interests. But in general, I am rather quiet and certainly private. If fact, I have a distinct memory from my senior high school years of thinking to myself that there were two jobs that I’d never have: that of a waitress or a salesperson. As it turns out, however, a career in sales has a lot of the same appeal as the work I imagined I’d be doing while I was studying Spanish. I got to meet people from all walks of life and find out about their stories. As it also turns out, I thrived at it. I closed soon and often. Over a two-year period, I exceeded my sales quotas by approximately 25%. But towards the end of those two years, this nagging thought started to occur to me more and more frequently: I should be doing something better with my life.

 I left my sales job with a yearning to join the education field, but without a single firm plan for doing so. After a succession of customer service jobs, I decided one day to write a series of emails. They were to deans at nearby community colleges. One of them offered me the opportunity to volunteer in the student services center. At the end of the first summer, I was offered a part-time job in program coordination. And after I had earned a master’s degree, I was invited to teach. I was finally where I had thought I wanted to be.

 I am self-employed now. Or at least I am actively working on becoming self-employed. My career in higher education came to a close not long before Covid-19 nearly brought a lot of markets to a standstill. In addition to a pandemic, I met with a couple of other setbacks between the years 2020 and 2021 as well. The extended time off might have caused a real strain on my finances, not to mention my resume, but it did me some good as well. Not only did the free days yield me the opportunity to brush up on my French and pursue some free open access courses, but I also had a lot of time to do some soul searching. Maybe I should have been in sales all along.  

After a three-year career in higher education, the sales field is exactly where I again find myself. I am currently employed as a business development coordinator in the automotive industry. In this role, I secure new business opportunities; coordinate promotional activities; conduct digital marketing; and maintain effective relationships with customers. Apart from my vocational responsibilities, I am enrolled in the Google Career Certificate for Digital Marketing and E-Commerce. I am an MA candidate in Technical & Professional Writing elsewhere.

I have recently set up a website called I am hoping to eventually host a consulting agency from it whereby I can offer a combination of public relations and personalized digital marketing for nonprofits and freelance creative artists. Do these seem like disparate groups? Perhaps, but they also seem like me. I am hoping to do freelance work myself and I also still identify with a need to serve the greater good. Furthermore, these also represent two groups which might not have a lot of residual income left over to invest in marketing their work. That’s where I come in. Or it is at least where I am hoping to come in. After I have concluded my certificate and also gained some more on-the-job experience, I am hoping to offer economically priced digital marketing and public relations services.

My site isn’t quite yet a fully functional internet business. I am nonetheless already forging the connections that I believe will help me on my way. I have joined LinkedIn groups for small business owners including Small Biz Nation and eMarketing Association Network. I continue to search for the right group aimed especially at joining female business owners. I am also planning on starting a blog focusing on my perspective as a Black female trying to forge her way into independent business ownership. While I am still developing my skills as a digital marketer and public affairs professional, I can hopefully start building connections and potential future clientele by detailing my path toward small business ownership in the world that is digital commerce.








Chanel Brown

Chanel lives on the East Coast and is currently pursuing an MA in Technical & Professional Writing.
Along the East Coast