We had the good fortune of connecting with Dupe Babatunde and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dupe, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
This is the question a lot of entrepreneurs wrestle with every single day! Let me say this, the answer is deeply personal. But here is what I anchor to at Black Social & what I think can be of value for every entrepreneur. You must believe in your vision, but you also have to be willing to pivot. Sometimes it can be hard to see when you need to re-work your plan because we become emotionally invested in these businesses. This is where KPIs and goal-tracking are a game-changer. At Black Social, having a strong vision that is tied to our strategic goals, helps me remain objective when making decisions on whether to keep going or change directions. The vision for Black Social is all about a Customer Experience that enables connections. So, the biggest question will always be: is this providing value to the customer? If I can logically see that the answer is no, my next question becomes: what will provide value to the customer and how do I develop it.
When it comes to entrepreneurship as a whole, I think we live in a hustle hard culture, where giving up is automatically seen as failure, but that’s not true – sometimes pivoting away from one thing (or even taking a break) can open up an infinity of new, and better, opportunities for growth! Make sure you always give it your all so that if you do walk away, you don’t feel regret; instead it feels like you’ve learned for your future endeavors.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a tech product manager by day and an entrepreneur by night, so customer experience has been a huge focus throughout my career. I think that’s probably what I’m most excited about when it comes to Black Social, the app is designed to make fostering connections within Black communities easy; not only through our dating feature, but also our business networking space & events / business directory. Managing a full-time job and Black Social hasn’t been easy, but I have learned that progress over perfection is important. There were times where I couldn’t go as fast or deliver everything I wanted, but it has been worth it to create a product that will be beneficial to anyone who downloads it. I want the world to know that Black Social is an app that everyone can and should use! Its purpose is to amplify Black voices and that means everyone should want and be able to access Black stories and support Black communities.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love showing people my version of LA! We’d definitely start with Runyon Canyon, the views are stunning and it’s a great early morning workout. There are a few other trails that we’d do throughout the week including Inspiration Loop & the Baldwin Hills Overlook. At some point in the week, we’d have to go to Crenshaw to visit Nipsey Hussle’s neighborhood, shop at The Marathon Clothing Store and visit his mural. Food is life so I’d take my bestie to Alta Adams (love their wine shop), Poppy and Rose, Post and Beam & Hilltop for some good eats (and to add them to Black Social as date night recommendations)! For some solid day-time activities, we’d head to Malik Books to discover some great reads and the California African American Museum to learn something new about Black history & culture. And for the evening, definitely Pips for live music. There are so many different things to do in LA – I love that when I host, I can do both traditional and more out-of-the-box activities with my guests. I also love that visitors can show me new things so that I don’t frequent the same places.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely my tribe! They are the reason Black Social has grown and why it will continue to grow and be impactful. Sometimes as Black women, we don’t do the best job at sharing our struggles / fears or letting others know that we’re not doing well. Being able to open up to my friends – old and new, watching how they rally behind Black Social, motivates me in ways that I can’t easily describe. Also, shoutout to a praying family, mine is my rock. To my tribe – thank you so much for believing, supporting, and praying for me. Black Social has become a movement because of all of you.
For the photo in the brown jumpsuit: Abdullah Shahzad @lyfeinfocus (IG)