Published on May 19, 2015 10:02 am, by Jemma Enright
I’m feeling inspired and want to share secrets from this weekend’s League of Extraordinary Women RUN THE WORLD 2015 event in Brisbane.
When I started my own entrepreneurial journey with MoneyBrilliant 3 years ago I was like a deer in headlights, mesmerised by the brightness of opportunity but often frozen to the spot with uncertainty about what was coming or what I should be doing.
After hearing from 11 amazing female entrepreneurs at this event, here’s 5 things that may have helped me move faster, and with more confidence, in the beginning.
Moving is key. Move and you progress, fail, learn and grow. Do nothing and your dreams and ideas are merely specks of dust floating in a beam of light waiting for the car to pass. And who wants that?
1. There is no mould for a successful entrepreneur
I was so relieved to discover that there are many different styles, values and approaches behind brilliant female entrepreneurs. I admit, I was a bit worried I would find out that there is a specific set of skills and attributes that add up to being a success… and what if I didn’t have them? But luckily, there really isn’t. Some feverishly seek to educate and analyse themselves every possible second, while others let the experience itself shape them. Some go entirely by intuition, while others carefully join the dots before making a call.
What they did have in common was more in attitude and an openness to self-discovery and learning. Find a passion, believe in yourself and learn from your mistakes.
So secret number one is be yourself. Know what style works for you and use it to your advantage. Don’t try and be someone you think you need to be.
2. Nail your brand; personal and business
If you haven’t discovered Lola Berry yet, you need to. I am terrible at meditation, but her energy was what I imagined it might be like if you actually get yourself into that special place while meditating; like a feeling of peace and love. When Lola started her journey, she could articulate in a line what she would be famous for: “the Steve Irwin of fruits and veges”. It was the embodiment of who she was, her values and what she was passionate about. Her brand is authentic and true to that single statement, and her passion for discovering the delights of fruits and veges shines through to make her unique.
Can you articulate in a statement what your brand and business can be famous for? Give it a go.
3. Do some work on yourself
Every single speaker had clearly gone through both a business journey and and a personal one of understanding more about themselves. Getting a business from an idea to a success is a long road. Ten years seems to be a common time-frame before the business is truly rocking so being in the wrong one, for the wrong reason, can be disastrous; for the business and for your soul.
Barb di Corti from Enjo, the planet-friendly cleaning company, said “there is nothing more powerful than a woman who cares. Your passion and purpose will make your business grow”.
Find out what you care about, what your values are and what success looks like for you. How you do this is up to you. Some entrepreneurs journal, some have mentors, some sticky note and workshop, some just create the space to think it through.
Whatever your method for understanding what makes you tick, talk to peers and friends about your motivations and why your business fulfills you. If it feels good saying it, it’s probably real and right.
4. Your business is bigger than you
Here’s a funny little irony about entrepreneurs; they are amazing because they are wonderfully capable human beings who prefer to row their own boats than to sit in corporate structures following the rules and processes. Many get their businesses going because they are adaptable and can wear a million hats to get stuff done. But, what all successful entrepreneurs realise is that they need other people to truly find success. They have to let go of the reins and trust their team. They have to realise when they need a co-founder or partner with a different, but complimentary, set of skills. Lisa Messenger of Collective Hub deliberately stays out of the office so her team can be empowered to make the calls. Samantha Wills found a business partner relationship that brought valuable skills to her business. Enjo has “Enjo-prenuers” – people empowered to build the business like it is their own.
5. Remember to laugh. Loudly.
This is not new but it’s so important; keep your sense of humour. One thing is a given, you will experience great highs and many lows along the way. Your ability to keep going, and inspire others around you to keep going, is a key ingredient to making it and many of the entrepreneurs sharing their stories had this special quality.
Nothing buoys resilience like humour. It will give you a positive halo that is difficult to say no too. It will get you a good deal with a supplier, or service provider, when you haven’t got two bob to rub together. It will make people want to work with, and for, your business, even for free. More importantly, it will bring joy to your journey.
Amazing advice from extraordinary women.
Jemma is the CEO and co-founder of MoneyBrilliant. She understands and cares about the financial wellbeing of women because she believes that every woman deserves the opportunity to live life richly by living money well.