A little over two months ago, I jumped out of my comfort zone and embarked on this thrilling adventure, best known as entrepreneurship. I had the idea for my business for quite some time, but kept putting off the execution because a 401K and health insurance sounded so much more safe than the risk and investment my business would take. I finally took the leap and on July 6 began building my business full time (read more here).
On Tuesday, September 15, I served as the keynote speaker for the Wix Lounge Small Biz Breakfast. Small business success expert Ramon Ray moderated the discussion and asked thoughtful questions that jumpstarted a really impactful early morning conversation on entrepreneurship, confidence, fears, and strategies for success.
We kicked it off with an overview of my path. When I started my career in media, the digital space was still nascent and I took unpopular, less sexy roles focusing on digital strategy. As the space grew these roles offered a lot of growth and substantial learning opportunities. At 23, leaving graduate school, I had no idea that I'd be interested in running my own technology-based business. I certainly didn't plan it this way, but my experiences in technology, digital monetization, content strategy, and more, gave me the tools I needed to launch the business I envisioned.
After the overview, Ramon asked powerful questions about my learnings in these early stages, my preparation, my concerns, and my next steps. We also opened the floor to the audience and let them raise the questions that were on their minds.
Here is an overview of some of the most memorable lessons I've learned on this journey, that I shared with the Wix audience last Tuesday:
Success starts with having a vision. Anytime you are inspired, jot your ideas down, reflect on them, revisit them, and allow them to build over time.
Test out your ideas, on friends, family and even strangers. Sometimes we hold tightly to our ideas out of fear that someone may steal our vision, but the feedback you get from various sources can help build your idea and your pitch and make it stronger. It's rare someone will be invested enough to execute on your idea.
Entrepreneurship requires execution on a vision. Your idea may have existed before, but the execution is what makes the business.
"Don't let perfect be the enemy of good." I didn't coin this phrase, but I recite it often. Sometimes we wait for everything to be perfect. We may wait for the perfect amount of savings, the perfect amount of preparation, the perfect amount of experience. The truth is if we wait for perfect, we will always be waiting. Just go for it.
Reach out to your network in a targeted way for support. Be crystal clear on what you're asking for and save their time and yours. It is easier to help someone who really knows where they need help.
Get comfortable with asking more than once. 'No' just means not now. Sometimes your timing is off or your pitch needs some work. Whatever the case, don't let a 'No' deter you. Refine your ask and ask again.
Fear can be a very healthy motivator. Instead of letting fear cripple you, address your concerns head on and determine a strategy for moving forward.
I enjoyed the thoughtful questions and comments and was also really glad to have the support of some of my close friends and family. Launching a business has been a phenomenal journey and I wake up everyday energized about the decision I made to pursue my passion.
Stay tuned for more from the C-Suite Coach!