The entrepreneurship adventure is filled with twists and turns. Here’s what an old hand at the game has to say to make the path more navigable.
From an idea to a profit-bearing business, the journey is not simple and easy. The ebb and flow involved in the process asks for a lot. As a woman entrepreneur some would refuse to work with you because they think you started from a kitchen table, and on the other hand, many would work with you for the reason that you started from there. The battle for “winning over” demands more than just working in your business, finding clients who would pay for services, and keep things going. Here is what I believe an entrepreneur must look after while she focuses on her business:
As women, we are very sensitive. It is easier for us to feel down, become self-conscious and take things too seriously. I believe every woman entrepreneur (and even men) should indulge, have retreats, relax and pep themselves up. The more we love ourselves, the more love and care we attract from the world. We can put our best face up when we are cool and happy inside.
Entrepreneurship demands us to be the best version of ourselves all the time. There can be many times in a week when team mates let us down, a cranky client becomes difficult, the supply chain is not as efficiently functional as we expect, or just the dog is sick. We cannot let all these things get to the best side of us. We will still be our great selves. We will be happy no matter what goes on in life or around us. We strongly believe it is an inward thing!
No battle can be won alone! Every entrepreneur must build a tribe that will surround her, support her, and uplift her when needed. Your tribe is your most reliable and valuable resource; it becomes more promising with time. Here is a great way to build your tribe:
- Surround yourself with passionate people who in some ways think like you and would want to grow with you. Remember, positive people who believe in learning and doing more are great to have around as they would bring positive energy.
- Help them. If you want people to like you and stick with you, you must help them. Support them where they are least expecting. The more hearts you win, the larger your tribe grows.
- Prune your network, purge it of negative people or those who are unwilling to help just anyone.
- Be consistently social; it will help the tribe to grow. Your network should find you in many significant places, playing a significant social role. This will help in creating a stronger social bond as obviously people like to connect with people they know and can approach. It will also build a sort of charisma that will keep people attracted towards you.
Remember, you should always do as you say. Your values should not just be a script, walk the talk and be very credibly you. Return calls and talk to people when they need to talk to you. Care for them so that they return the same care.
Have a road map for business. This will keep you going in the right direction, and you will be able to avoid traps, set milestones, celebrate achievements, and win more in less time. Every warrior needs a strategy. His strategy or game plan makes his success possible. If you do not have your road map, strategy, or game plan ready, you will find it hard to reach your goals. The challenges will get harder than they should be as your resources will likely be used inefficiently due to the absence of your road map. 75% of small businesses fail because they do not care about making a comprehensive map for their year. You must review your map during the year to update it to meet any new challenges. I set my game plan multiple times in a year: I have a yearly plan and a quarterly plan. The basic strategy remains the same, but minor evolutionary changes happen according to the external changes in the economic ecosystem.
I have observed, successful entrepreneurs are never ‘salesy’. Many entrepreneurs do not understand in their first three years that STYLE matters. If you will be pitching bluntly to whoever you meet, you will have ‘no style’. People avoid meeting those who are always trying to sell themselves or their services. If you are more friendly than salesy, you will win. If people find that you understand them, empathize with them, and are ‘willing to help’ instead of ‘too busy selling your services/products’, they will be more willing to have business with you. Working on your brand to attract people can sell better than your pitching to people to sell. Work on building your personal brand. Reveal how unique you are. This will surely increase the demand.
Nousheen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org