Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tony Nabors, Founder of Racial Equity Insights, located in Arlington, WA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At Racial Equity Insights, we help organizations embed racial equity into their organizational DNA. We go beyond checking the boxes and going through the motions. We deliver workshops, coaching services, keynote speaking, and strategy development to help organizations create real transformation that results in more equitable outcomes for Black, indigenous, and other people of color. Our customers are any kind of organization committed to this type of meaningful transformation, including (but not limited to): governments, universities, nonprofits, community foundations, tech firms, art organizations, hospitals, insurance providers, and more!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Tony Nabors, and I am the founder/owner of Racial Equity Insights. I have been leading in this work for nearly 20 years in formal positions as well as informally in the community. I am so passionate about this work and dismantling systems and ways of being that disproportionately harm Black and brown people that it makes sense to take my own experience and expertise seriously enough to get organized and form a business around it. There is so much uncertainty and pain associated with racism. It brings me immense joy and satisfaction to see Black and brown people feel safe and empowered by my work. And it is very encouraging to hold space with white people who experience those “ah-ha!” moments that help them to see these conversations in new ways that empower them to participate in working towards a better world for historically excluded and marginalized people.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a solopreneur, I have several accomplishments that I am proud of. My first two clients were Harvard Law’s Women’s Law Association and the Harvard Review. I was able to build Racial Equity Insights into a 6-figure business in 3 years. I have an extremely diverse client list, which I believe speaks highly to how broadly effective my approach to this work is. My DEI strategy was sought after by PHADA (the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association) to be sent to the Biden administration, which was looking for a racial equity strategy for public housing upon taking office in 2020.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The mental and emotional work required me to consistently believe in myself. There is often a sense of uncertainty that comes with being a solo business owner – some months are more prosperous than other months, and it can feel disconcerting and stressful during slower months. I can feel tempted to go into hyperdrive and potentially burn myself out due to a fear of not being able to pay my bills or provide for my family. But when I remind myself of the quality of the services that I provide as well as the need for them in this world, it helps me to refocus and to believe in myself, which incidentally strengthens the quality of the services I then provide. And things continually work out just perfectly. Also, as a side note, figuring out health insurance is also a major headache!

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Figure out your “why” for starting your business first. When you have a strong and compelling “why” that is driving your business, this will help to sustain you powerfully, even in seasons where you may feel discouraged.
  2. Do not allow logistics and admin tasks to prevent you from actually launching. I run into many potential entrepreneurs who have a belief system set up in their minds that everything needs to be perfect and laid out before they will even take solid steps to launch. Don’t be afraid to build the plan as you are flying it! Steps forward that may lead to mistakes in need of correction/fixing are often much better than no steps taken at all.
  3. Get comfortable with social media. I have found social media content creation to be a profoundly powerful way of marketing my services. I share free, engaging educational content about race and racism on a regular basis, and this has been a phenomenal way of selling e-courses as well as attracting new consulting/workshop clients.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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