by Smita Singh
When I was just starting out being an entrepreneur, it was heady mix of excitement, confidence and fear. Taking the leap into entrepreneurship is not always easy. It is not a scenic route for sure. And once you get on it, the roller coaster ride of emotions is a guarantee. The one thing every entrepreneur wish they had is a manual. Working with entrepreneurs to help them achieve dizzying heights in their business is very rewarding but in the beginning most echo the same sentiment “I wish there was a manual”! I have to stop them right there and help them understand that entrepreneurship is not a job. It is a personal journey. What you do to become successful may or may not work for someone else. There is no one size fits all. It is a journey that you have to take, that you have to figure out and design for yourself.
Having interviewed and interacted with a lot of successful women entrepreneurs.I am always fascinated by their personal journeys and as a curious learner I ask them one question. What would you do differently if you had another chance? I want to learn from them. To not make the same mistakes they have made and maybe in the process accelerate my growth. Yes, It was for completely selfish reasons! But when I started seeing a pattern, I was naturally pulled in to dig deeper.
These are 3 things that an overwhelming majority of successful women entrepreneurs wished they had paid attention to or had done earlier in their entrepreneurial journey. These were game changers. Things that could have accelerated their growth and gotten them where they were much faster. The universal things that you can learn today and implement in your business to shorten your growth curve.
1. Get a business coach or mentor earlier than when you think you need one.
A business coach can help accelerate your learning curve. Many times entrepreneurs think that they can do it all. They can learn it all and do things on their own. Or that they don’t need a business coach until they attain some level of success. The power of having a coach that can tell you like it is, that has done what you want to do, that is ahead of you, can help you tremendously even if you think you are not ready. This was a concurrent thought that I heard echoed by a lot of successful women entrepreneurs.
When I had my brick and mortar businesses, although I really wanted someone to guide me and just be there for me. I did not know anything about a business coach. I believed that I could do it all. Well I did, but it probably took me twice as long to get to the pinnacle of success. When I started my online entrepreneurial foray, I decided I would get a coach as soon as I get some footing, not wait for later. And so I did and it is the best thing I could have ever done and I am so happy that I paid heed to the advice of the successful women entrepreneurs before me.
2. Don’t wait too long before taking the leap and be flexible.
Everything doesn’t have to be perfect right when you start. We tend to spend too much time getting ready to take the leap or trying to make everything perfect before a launch. No matter how prepared you are, there will be things that are out of your control and you will have to deal with them. Be more bullish out the gate and believe in yourself and your product. Be open to constant changes and tweaking in your business and most importantly don’t ever doubt yourself.
3. Hire help before you think you need it.
Several years ago, as a new retail store owner, I thought that I could save on payroll by being behind the counter at all times. That was probably the worst mistake I have ever made and I wish I had known then what I know today. It took me a little time to understand that hiring that one extra person gives me time to work on marketing strategy versus having to spend days in the business and nights on the business.
So get help before you think you need it. You will always think that you can do everything. You probably can but the real question is what are the the important things that you are not doing because of lack of time. You as the business owner need to be able to think long-term. Be the CEO of our business, think long-term strategy versus day to day operations. Don’t get me wrong, you have to do that sometimes, just not all of the time.
Successful women entrepreneurs wish they knew these 3 things before they started on their journey. Now that you know them, what will you do about it? Learn from the pros and their mistakes and shorten your path to success.
When Smita is not listening to podcasts while running or blogging while enjoying hazelnut coffee or being a mom to two active boys, she is helping women entrepreneurs think big, build powerful businesses, implement strategy and structure to elevate their business. Having built several small businesses and being in the trenches, she is able to bring her unique experience and knowledge to empower women to become bold and fearless entrepreneurs. On a mission to change the narrative for women entrepreneurs.