Starting a business is full of ups and downs, where you meet challenges every step of the way. To succeed, you need to have passion, skills, knowledge, chutzpah, and lots and lots of luck. But it all starts with you.
I have come across a very interesting article shared by Alicia M. Forest, a business breakthrough mentor, on the lessons she’s learned as an entrepreneur. Alicia is in the business of teaching women entrepreneurs through her website http://AliciaForest.com how to attract more clients and create profit-making products and services. The lessons she shares are very insightful, yet sensible and practical. According to her, these nuggets of wisdom came to her after a very fruitful women entrepreneurship conference that she attended.
Here are Alicia’s lessons for women small business entrepreneurs:
1. Opportunities come through people, not your computer:
Think about that for a minute. Yes, you can build good relationships with people over email and social media. But when it comes to the really juicy opportunities, those are going to come through meeting people and spending time with them IRL (in real life). That’s one reason why it’s so important to get out there at least a couple of times a year.
2. BLT – Believe, Like, Trust:
We often hear and I say it myself – that people need to know, like and trust you before they will buy from you. But I liked this version better – that people have to BELIEVE you, like you and trust you. So the more YOU you put into your marketing, the more authentic you are, the more people will get to believe, like and trust you, and the more sales you’ll make.
3. When you are yourself, you have no competition:
4. No Plan B:
If you have a Plan B, then just do Plan B. Otherwise make the commitment to Plan A, with no other option.
5. Your best ideas don’t come from sitting at your desk:
My best ideas come to me in the car. Or sitting on the dock in the early morning of summer. I created this business under a palapa in the Turks & Caicos. Where do your best ideas come to you? When you’re stuck or need to hit the refresh button, go where your best ideas are able to pop into your mind.
6. You’ve got to be comfortable with being uncomfortable:
Being an entrepreneur will bring up all your stuff. Most of the time, that’s going to make you uncomfortable. You have to be ok with that and recognize that it’s just an indicator that you’re moving through whatever you need to in order to grow and reach the next level. If you can remember that, it’s actually pretty exciting, isn’t it?
I always say there’s no such thing as balance, that there’s an ebb and a flow but no such thing as balance. So it was empowering to hear two of the speakers say the same with their own spin: “Life if not about balance; it’s about resilience.” and “Balance is for ballerinas.”
8. Eat that frog:
You may have heard this idea before – to do the thing you most do not want to do first. Eat that frog and get it over with. Once you do, your energy is free to work much more productively and enjoyably on everything else.
9. Focus on your zone of excellence:
If you’re still trying to be all things for the people in your market, I’m going to make a coach’s request that you make a commitment to stop that right now. Spend some time focusing on who your ideal client is and what is the ONE thing that you LOVE to do in your work with that ideal client? Start re-designing your message and your offerings around that.
10. Business happens at the bar:
…or on the shuttle from the airport, or while waiting in line for the restroom, or when you step outside on a break for some fresh air. If you’re taking the time away from your business and your life to attend a live event, then you need to be talking to people, engaging with them, and letting them engage with you. Let me be clear – I don’t mean selling to them and I’m not fond of the word networking, but just talk to people, have a conversation. The best business relationships I have were built from a simple chat over a drink.