Dear Aspiring Entrepreneurs,
First step... ignore everything you've learned from formal education! The entrepreneurial route requires hustle and gumption. Don’t get me wrong; of course you want to use what you've learned and apply it, but not in the mindset as a worker — this requires you to be the leader. Once you figure out your plan, just know that you have to be flexible, as it will often change as you go. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and enlist the assistance of those more knowledgeable in areas you are not as strong. It's very important to not only focus on the money, but also focus on making the best product or providing the best service - the money will follow.
Most likely, you will spend countless hours and endless weekends pouring your time, hard work, and energy into your business- this is normal and necessary. You will have to sacrifice a lot of personal time and learn to balance your new lifestyle (as being an entrepreneur typically has no days off). Also, people may try to discourage you along the way, but don’t listen - everyone is not meant to see your vision. As a quick guide, I have put together 10 valuable tips to get you started:
1. Find your passion & create your vision
2. Don’t share your ideas with too many people (especially those you don’t trust)
3. Take calculated & big risks
4. Fail quickly & learn from your mistakes
5. Have a plan with no backup plan
6. Find a mentor in your same industry whom can guide you
7. Network & build a team
8. Know your competition & do your market research
9. Remember you are your brand
10. Always follow your intuition in making decisions
With all that being said, working for yourself can be one of the most rewarding things you get to experience, especially when you hit the pinnacle of success. Let’s be real - who wants to answer to anybody anyways? In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Now go spread your wings and fly!
Join Dina at this year's Women in Charge mentorship session!