Some of the most difficult things about working one’s way to good, if not great entrepreneurship, has to be getting access to sufficient information at the right time, for the right sources and for the right reasons.
Being female often brings up difficulties that one can’t get away form like – being female for one. There is always a judgement issue – Are you capable of doing the job? Shouldn’t she be at home looking after the kids? She’s in the wrong place. She’s doing it all wrong, or being taken advantage of, for being perceived as: innocent, weak, knowledgeless or just an easy walk over. You will come across a few more I am sure, but don’t let this stop you.
Getting your feet wet in the world of the entrepreneur can be no easy feat, but if you look hard enough, there is a place in the world for what you offer and the world is keen to step out of the way to help you bring your gifts to the tree, for easy picking.
However, one of the best suggestions I have used over the years, is absolutely and utterly get yourself a visible and accessible mentor. Now, given it is said, your net worth ends up the sum of the five people you hang around with most – you’d better seriously evaluate your list of contacts and ask yourself – Are they going, where I want to go? Do they help or impede my progress? Are they negative or positive sources of energy? …Picking yourself a mentor is just as, if not more important!
This person doesn’t have to be a person who sits down with you every day – though it would be nice – this individual can be someone you spend a good deal of time with from afar. In that, you spend time finding out who they; how they got to where they are; what were the tools they used to get there? Read up on every piece of literature, you can get your hands on and find out all the facts to their successes and emulate – big time!
I have a collection of a few that I pool for ideas, methodologies, wisdom and problems that have occurred at a similar time to my own and have found out how they overcame the challenges. After all, the cycle of life and business is just that – cyclic. It has seasons – ebbs and flows – peaks and troughs and not all of them will be pleasurable, but they won’t last and soon your spring will hit summer and your tree will bare luscious fruit.
Get yourself a few good friends of similar goals and values who you can bounce ideas off; test your theories; back you up when the seas of entrepreneurship get rough. Don’t take just their suggestions as the be all, end all. Go away - mull over the ideas that came to the platter and see if they fit for what you are trying to achieve. Either way, two heads are better than one and problems are often resolved far quicker over a good cup of tea or wine – whichever your vice. It will lighten the burden and recharge you for another bout in the ring.
Have at hand some great, networking sites that you either access for information & ideas or with whom you meet up with on a regular basis for a chat & connections. And P.S. you have to give this a good go. For the busy woman or quiet mum this is an indispensable allocation on your business-working calendar an puts fresh eyes on your situation.
Tap into business apps/sites that will not only save you time, but money. Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. I am still struggling with the idea of delegation and outsourcing, but if you truly want to make your mark on the world and grow your business, this is the way to go. Long gone are the frowns, on handing the menial tasks over to someone else who can do them more cost-effectively than yourself.
If you plan on scaling up your business, try to cut costs by starting at home in your living room or family garage. You can get into an office of your delight, once the $$$ start pouring in.
If you have kids under five, you can always give them grandma days or bring in a struggling Uni student willing to accept a few dollars to help you out – they have great minds you can bounce ideas off, too. If they appear really keen about what you are trying to achieve, offer them an opportunity to learn with a business internship. These will contribute to their lives, as much as your own.