12 tips for women starting a business
Readers talk back
Must reads site wide
Like my first tip below suggests, let's get straight into it.
Just get on with it!
If you've done your research, have an instinct your idea is good, you have passion and energy, what are you waiting for?
Get the personal help you need
Don't be afraid to ask for it, take it or pay for it.
I could not have stayed in business without the help I've received or organised. Yes, it's cost me a small fortune over the years but it has been worth every cent. My top helpers remain:
- organic premade meals (we call them our "signature dishes")
- decent bottle of vino
If you have a partner who supports what you do, it makes your journey more fun and allows you to take risks.
Without my husband's support, I don't know if I'd be where I am in business. Quite simply, I am not afraid to take on challenges others may call a "risk" because I feel if it doesn't go to plan, it's going to be OK. He's the first one to say, "go for it" and the first one to help put everything in perspective. Just quietly he'd easily fill our time together travelling the world. We go about our work and lives with gusto and purpose but we always have a "Plan B" to keep our feet on the ground. Together we are more than the individual parts.
- Create a Plan B
What if it doesn't work? What's the worst case scenario? Can I handle it? How will I deal with that? What will I do? Talk to your partner, your confidant/e, and see the bigger picture (see #1 & #3)
- Only results count
You can be lovely to deal with but if you can't achieve results, the client won't be happy. Determine what results are important and keep your eye on the game.
- Keep your circle of advisors small and your circle of inspiration broad
I've had the pleasure of working with celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump. I was surprised to learn that they both work with a very small team around them. While hundreds or thousands can be involved in their projects at any one time, they work effectively with a small and trusted team of advisors. Keep your circle small but keep your circle of influence wide and constantly evolving, taking in lots of different ideas from all areas of life.
- Remain positive at all times
Whatever the situation, you need to stay upbeat while others may not.
- Build a teflon coating
It helps to get on with the job and ignore the naysayers, even if those naysayers are close family and friends. Other people don't necessarily have your best intentions at heart. Just get on with it (see #1).
- Get motivated
When do you feel your best? Make that an important part of your day. In particular, if you have a big day ahead and you need to be seriously impressive, start out with an advantage and get into the zone. For me, I need to exercise first up and then have a decent latte. Even better if I can take in a beautiful view in the process and take a few minutes to focus on the day ahead.
- Get inspired
When you need it, boost your creative fuel tank by doing something that makes you feel fabulous. I adore popping into an art gallery - any will do - and just looking at a piece of art for a few moments. It also helps boost your motivation (see #9)
- Collaborations are the future
Think big and work back to the detail. You may need to collaborate with another person or business to punch above your weight. I collaborated with a good friend and business associate in pitching for Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure. The brief called for media relations and stakeholder management. I loved the former and my friend was better at the latter. Together we offered a greater service to the client. We won the business and feel proud that we proved collaborations can work well. We're still great friends and have wonderful memories of the project.
- Do the most important things first
This is an oldie but a goodie. At least start it and before you know it it's almost done. For women in business unexpected things happen in your day, that's simply not your doing but you have to deal with it (kid sick at school, husband has to suddenly fly interstate mucking up the family plans for the night, your client calls an urgent meeting, the office toilet blocks and the receptionist has run a mile).