By Assia Riccio
As emerging female entrepreneurs, we have so much power to make this world a better place by just being careful in choosing what kind of impact we want our business to have.
Keep your financial goals in mind but focus as well on what you consider to be a noble mission. Find the way to do good through your business. If your enterprise doesn’t have a positive impact, work towards creating one. When there is a genuine cause, one you truly believe and invest time and energy in to, one that drives you to achieve something greater than simply financial gain, you will find overwhelming support. People have an innate desire to do good and you will quickly discover support from individuals, businesses and organizations to make an even greater impact.
I have recently joined the entrepreneurial community and defining my mission was only the beginning.
One of the hardest challenges is to start believing in yourself despite of what you hear about your capability to drive a business and the profitability of your idea. When you have a full time, well paid job the jump into entrepreneurship, into the unknown is more frightening still. When I was made redundant I felt strangely fortunate, someone had made the decision for me.
Another challenge was also to find the right business set up solution that would provide the infrastructure I needed to launch the business. An incubator has been the perfect option for me and provided office space, branding, software development, media exposure and a team of qualified people who believed in my business.
I think women who are planning to start a business are in a much better position compared to a few years ago, incubators and Angel Investors are growing in the region at an incredible rate. In truth the region is bursting with people who wish to support emerging entrepreneurs and women who wish to start their entrepreneurial journey should find a group of trusted people who mentor and sponsor them until they succeed.
I always talk about the importance of having a VISIBILITY BOARD because a person on his/her own is unlikely to have the knowledge, skills, or time required to guide and nurture you to reach your goals.
Sponsorship and mentoring are priceless, honesty from those you trust and respect will allow you to accept not only your successes but perhaps more importantly will help you accept failure as a feedback on what worked and what didn’t.
Every time I have fears about my failings, I think back to when I was a toddler. If I stopped getting up every time I fell, I would still be crawling on the floor. Every time I fell I discovered how not to walk. Failures can sometimes be the greatest gifts when it comes to learning the right way, how we need to progress in order to finally succeed.
When I told people that I wanted to set up a business, I was often asked what my plan B was. I spent far too much time thinking and putting into place my plan B, making sure I had a contingency plan, what I was actually doing was losing focus on my primary goal and in doing so was in danger of sabotaging my primary goal, my plan A. I decided there could be no plan B, instead all my efforts, my determination and my focus would be on achieving my goal. I remained however open minded in regards to my timescale for achieving my goal knowing that flexibility to adapt my idea, to maintain an incredible network of people who would offer me a part time job if I was short of cash could also prove essential to achieving my desired results.
When you start this journey you have to deal with everything and anything, from business planning to financial planning, marketing, PR, legal and client accounts…this really allows you to develop horizontally across more disciplines. This is a something I learned when I was a gymnast where to build bodyweight, strength, endurance and flexibility I had to cross train and develop skills in other sports, including swimming and running. In a global digital economy where fields and areas of expertise cross over and rely on each other to survive, developing vertically is no longer realistic. This doesn’t mean we need to be masters in different fields but it is important to have a general understanding of how they would or would not affect our business.
I invite all emerging female entrepreneurs to believe in their business. I have always believed in Evolvin’ Women and it was always a matter of making it work instead of forgetting about it.
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