“As a Black woman…it takes an effort for us to take time on ourselves…We have to turn things around and see ourselves as an asset, see ourselves as worthy of investing in.” This is just one of many motivational sayings that can be found in Lisa Marie Goodson’s YouTube videos, which she started making in 2010.
A higher demand from her viewers for counseling on health and wellness led her to create the Black Berry Beauty Transformative Academy. Prior, her career involved creating and leading an after-school program to improve the disciplinary record of young African- American girls through band, theater, and dance classes. She was also in the midst of a 25-year long journey with veganism, inspired partly by a desire to take her healing into her own hands holistically after a bout of health issues. Growing up she believed that “anything that manifests [in your life] is a result of your mental state,” which she focuses on teaching her clients.
As for why she chose to specifically market to Black women, her response was straightforward: “I am a Black woman.” She also states that she recognizes the needs of Black women and the direct relationship between one’s health and diet, another reason prompting the founding of her business.
Goodson stated that the Black Berry Beauty Academy has allowed her to create relationships with her audience, online or otherwise, and guide other Black women “from A to Z” on starting their own businesses. Through one-on-one consultations, she also emphasizes the importance of considering the emotional aspects of entrepreneurship such as faith, health, food, and relationships. She stresses prioritizing these things because “if I’m feeling good…I can do more for others and, more importantly, I can do more for society, for the world.”
Through her business, she aims to combat the stigma that “Black people don’t do therapy” which often causes people to avoid getting the help they need. Goodson states that the first step is to “acknowledge that we need self-care” and decide whether we want to take the traditional or non-traditional approach. She also explained that in today’s culture, exemplified through the Black Berry Beauty Academy and Walker’s Legacy, we are now seeing a “backlash,” illustrated by more and more women are beginning to put themselves first, as a result of “not wanting to be like their mothers,” in the sense that they are more independent and losing the need to put the needs of the family, in a traditional sense, first.
Goodson expressed that because of her own self-healing as well as her entrepreneurial journeys, she has learned how to balance her career, love and family lives and that these things may not need an equal amount of time and energy in order to be well prioritized. Another meaningful lesson she learned about entrepreneurship came from Black Rose: The Magnificent Story of Madam C.J. Walker, America’s First Black Female Millionaire by Tananarive Due, which she says showed that “women could go out and be a boss.” She also says the book reminded her of the importance of looking towards our elders, or women that have come before us in entrepreneurialism. “Many people who think they can’t do it forget that it’s already been done.”
In closing, Goodson also offered advice for Black women who have entrepreneurial aspirations:
“Know that you can…Do what it takes and you’ll always get the goal. Putting one foot in front of the other will always get you the goal.”