Empowering Authentic Growth: The Importance of Regularly Reevaluating Work Goals for Black Women, Femme and Nonbinary Creative Freelancers

In the ever-evolving landscape of creative freelancing, it’s essential for Black women, femmes, and nonbinary freelancers to stay agile and adaptive in pursuit of their professional goals. Too often, our professional development can stagnate if we do not intentionally take time to reflect on our work goals and make necessary adjustments. As we discuss in our book The Inside Scoop:​​ Working Differently as a Black Millennial Woman, cultivating an aligned professional journey often comes with unique challenges and opportunities that require a strategic approach. One powerful strategy that can foster success is periodically reevaluating work goals and breaking down long-term aspirations into manageable, time-bound phases. In this blog, we will explore why this practice is crucial and how it can empower growth and success.

The Evolving Nature of Creative Freelancing

Creative freelancers operate in a dynamic and constantly shifting environment. Industries such as art, design, writing, and entertainment are subject to trends, technologies, and societal changes that influence the demand for certain skills and services. For Black women, femmes and nonbinary creatives, these shifts may carry added layers of complexity as they navigate issues related to representation, bias, and the ills of late-stage capitalism. As a result, staying attuned to these changes is vital for not only surviving but thriving in the freelance world while maintaining one’s authenticity.

The Power of Periodic Reevaluation

Periodically reassessing work goals provides freelancers with an opportunity to take stock of their accomplishments, reassess their priorities, and realign their trajectories. This practice is particularly empowering for Black women and nonbinary creatives, as it enables them to confront any barriers or biases they may have encountered and strategize on ways to adjust their approach to finding additional clients or inviting more ease into ongoing projects. In addition, below are more benefits to periodic reevaluation:

Personal Growth:

Reevaluation prompts self-reflection, allowing individuals to identify their strengths, areas for improvement, and personal development needs. This introspection helps creatives hone their skills and enhance their creative prowess.


Industries change rapidly, and creative freelancers must evolve with them. Regularly reassessing goals enables these individuals to adjust their focus to align with emerging trends, technologies, and demands.


Breaking Down Barriers:

Reevaluating goals provides a chance to address challenges, confront bias head-on and make strides towards longer-term professional goals. Long-term aspirations can often feel overwhelming, especially when pursuing a multifaceted career as a creative freelancer. Breaking down these ambitions into time-bound phases creates a clear roadmap and prevents burnout. It also enables freelancers to celebrate incremental achievements along the way, boosting motivation and confidence.

Set Achievable Milestone:

Establishing smaller, achievable goals within a larger framework encourages steady progress. These milestones act as building blocks, propelling Black women, femme and nonbinary creatives toward their overarching objectives.

Enhanced Focus:

Focusing on one phase at a time prevents overwhelm and allows freelancers to channel their energy and creativity more effectively.

Flexibility and Adaptability:

Dividing long-term goals into phases provides room for adjustment as circumstances evolve. This flexibility helps freelancers remain resilient in the face of unexpected challenges.



In the world of creative freelancing, the journey to success is as unique as the individuals embarking on it. For Black women, femmes, and nonbinary creatives, periodic reevaluation of work goals and breaking down long-term aspirations into manageable phases is a powerful strategy. This practice fosters personal growth, adaptability, and resilience, enabling freelancers to navigate challenges, overcome bias, and thrive in an ever-changing landscape. By empowering themselves through intentional goal-setting and strategic planning, these creatives can forge their paths, leaving an indelible mark on the industries they serve.

The Rise and Fall of BET: Lessons for Black-Owned Networks to Better Reach Their Target Demographic

 The Black Entertainment Network (BET) holds a significant place in the history of black media, having provided a platform for black artists, musicians, and cultural programming for decades. However, as the landscape of media consumption evolves, it is crucial to examine the rise and fall of BET and identify lessons that can guide black-owned networks in better reaching their target demographic. Let’s explore the factors that contributed to BET’s decline and curate strategies for future success.

BET emerged in the early 1980s as a groundbreaking network, catering specifically to black audiences. It provided a platform for black musicians, artists, and entertainers, filling a void in mainstream media’s representation of black culture. The network’s early success can be attributed to its ability to connect with its target demographic, showcasing its skill at resonating with the nuances of black life.


As BET expanded its reach and gained broader recognition, it faced criticism for prioritizing mainstream appeal over authentic representation. The network began to air reality shows and content perpetuating negative stereotypes, drawing backlash from its core audience. This dilution of content, aimed at chasing ratings, compromised BET’s original mission and eroded its credibility among black viewers.

Over time, BET became heavily reliant on music videos, reality shows, and award ceremonies, often neglecting other important aspects of black culture and failing to cater to the diverse interests of its target demographic. This narrow focus limited the network’s ability to captivate a broader range of viewers and weakened its appeal.

With the rise of digital media and streaming platforms, BET faced significant challenges in adapting to the changing landscape. The network struggled to leverage emerging technologies and engage with audiences on new platforms. This lack of innovation hindered BET’s ability to compete with more agile and digitally savvy competitors.

In general, to better reach their target demographic, black-owned networks should consider the following strategies:

1. Authentic Representation

Prioritize the authentic portrayal of black experiences, showcasing a wide range of narratives that reflect the diversity within the black community.

2. Diverse Programming

Offer a variety of content that appeals to different interests within the target demographic, including scripted shows, documentaries, news, and cultural programming.

3. Embrace Digital Platforms

Embrace digital media and streaming platforms to reach audiences where they consume content most frequently. Leverage social media, online streaming, and interactive platforms to engage with viewers directly.

4. Invest in Talent and Creativity

Prioritize the authentic portrayal of black experiences, showcasing a wide range of narratives that reflect the diversity within the black community.

5. Community Engagement

Foster a strong connection with the target demographic by actively engaging with communities and amplifying their voices. Collaborate with local organizations and events to create meaningful partnerships.

The rise and fall of BET highlights the importance of staying true to the mission of authentic representation while adapting to changing media landscapes. Black-owned networks must prioritize diversity, innovation, and community engagement to better reach their target demographic. By learning from past experiences and implementing strategies that resonate with viewers, black-owned networks can pave the way for a thriving future of black media that celebrates and uplifts black voices.




5 Tips for Finding your Authentic Voice

This past Black History Month, we facilitated a discussion on authentic storytelling for the Sage Circle Series presented by the Southern Black Women and Girls Consortium. The Sage Circle Series is focused on equipping Black women leaders with tangible tools, resources, and learning lessons. Our session was entitled ‘Finding Your Authentic Voice: A Storytelling Masterclass with the Spoons Consultancy Cooperative.’ 

As an organization or brand, telling your story is critical to recruiting clients, partners, funders, and participants toward the goals of your work. However, developing an adequate narrative framework and storytelling praxis often feels daunting, and many leaders are unsure where to start. Therefore, we spoke with the Sage Circle members to share best practices related to storytelling and narrative development by using our brand as a case study along with insights from our client work. Below you will find a high-level overview of our conversation that includes tangible tips for Black women-led organizations and small businesses to consider.

1. Don’t Try to Be for Everyone

We are not for everyone. And we know that. In fact, our specificity is our unique vantage point within an, otherwise, crowded industry. Our focus on Black women and femmes shapes every aspect of our work. Although we do not solely work with Black women-led organizations, our cooperative and the Spoons network of consultants is composed of Black women, femmes, and nonbinary folks. The clients and partners that we choose to work with are focused on positively supporting Black communities and value our unique voice as Black women and femmes. This may look like supporting the work of Chicago African Americans in Philanthropy (CAAIP) with their rebranding, narrative development, and website redevelopment. Our work with CAAIP emphasized their specificity of audience and the unique role Black philanthropists play within the funding space and the City of Chicago. By staying specific, you help people know who you are and how they can engage with you. If you haven’t already, take time to look at your mission and vision statement to ensure you are clear as to who you are and who you serve.

2. Be Emphatic in your Language 

As Black women leaders, we carry unique perspectives and strengths that allow us to do our jobs with nuance, boldness, and intention. The language we use should reflect that boldness and convey our honesty, confidence, steadfastness, and decisiveness to those we work with and on behalf of. Without that boldness, your audience will not fully be able to determine your viewpoint on the very cause that brought them to you. In your work, it’s critical to not be on the fence on matters that mean something to your organization or business. For example, our work with the Illinois Black Advocacy Initiative (IBAI) revolves around supporting an asset-based narrative framework for the organization and the Black people who comprise its membership. We do not use language that centers on pain or trauma but rather language that positions Black community members as experts in the policy space and architects of their future.


3. Go Beyond your Words

While your audience will connect with a beautifully written story about why you are called to do the work you’re doing, they will also want to know the “how”. This means detailing your experiences in your field of work that demonstrates your skills and abilities. You can do this practically and succinctly by writing case studies that summarize what your client needs, your solution to that need, and the approach you took to generate that solution. Good case studies also include images, when possible, and a testimonial from your client expressing their satisfaction with your work.

4. Be Consistent

We are all familiar with those brands that change what they’re doing so often that it’s hard to keep up. Like that time IHOP randomly dropped pancakes and started pedaling burgers. It was weird. To stay on track and avoid adapting to every new commercial or aesthetic trend, develop key assets early in your brand development process. These assets should include a visual brand guide that outlines your colors, logos, and iconography, and a narrative brand guide that specifies your voice, tone, and copyediting practices (think: the words you use and don’t use to describe your work). Creating these resources up front will keep you focused on your brand’s core identity, even when you may feel tempted to bandwagon and adopt new trends misaligned with what your audience expects. This doesn’t mean that your business or project won’t mature over time, but any changes should be intentional, not spontaneous.


5. Keep Up with your Audience

Let Blockbuster be a lesson to us all… If you want to remain successful, you’ve got to make sure your brand stays relevant. This doesn’t mean, as mentioned before, that you are always following the newest trend, but it does mean regularly assessing if your audience is still interested in your offerings. You can do this by sending out short surveys, monitoring engagement if you advertise on socials, or having check-ins with trusted clients. It is also helpful to connect with your peers in the space. Having a community that you can bounce ideas off of and ask for advice is an invaluable resource that can help you innovate effectively.


We understand that these tips are easier said than done. If you find yourself needing more support, there are a few ways The Spoons Consultancy Cooperative can help! Here’s how:

  1. Dig into The Inside Scoop: Working differently as a Black Millennial Woman, a detailed guide for entrepreneurs.
  2. Subscribe to our masterclass series on topics including storytelling, marketing, and creative direction.
  3. Schedule a consultation with us for in-depth strategy sessions or long-term project execution.