As the founder of MalamaDoe, a Coworking Community for Women, I’m honored that I am able to hear and help female entrepreneurs to kick-start their entrepreneurial dreams. Unfortunately, so many of the women who have early enthusiasm run into daunting obstacles that prevent them from moving forward with their own business. Although it is a hard path to take with many challenges, it is a journey worth taking for those who are well-prepared. Following are some ideas and reading recommendations to help aspiring female entrepreneurs launch!
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Help.
Be prepared to invest a significant amount of money to start a business. Pay careful consideration to childcare arrangements, office space, financial plans and the impact it will have on family structure. Things will never be the same again, so getting some successful ground rules in place will prove beneficial. It’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed during this process, so seeking out a therapist or maybe even a family counselor will help with the inevitable tension.
As the owner of a business, you need to fit the part. Take a look through your closet and, if needed, professionally reassess your wardrobe, makeup and accessories. Now that you are the face of a company, investing the time and effort will help you make a more professional impression.
Beyond your own appearance, also take time to freshen up your workspace, as your office and how you arrange it says something about your approach and style.
It sends a message to clients that you take your work and them seriously. Companies like National Business Furniture offer some great contemporary and cost-effective workstation options for start-up businesses.
Read The 10 Laws of Career Reinvention by Pamela Mitchell.
I cannot say enough about this book. It drastically changed my life, and I felt that I have found a long-lasting friend in the author. In this book, Pam details factors that will come to fruition when rolling out a business. One very important tip is to realize that loved ones are afraid for you, as they do not want to see you struggle, and struggle you will! When you start a business, you will need another person to lean on who is not a significant other. This person will be found in the Career Reinvention Board outlined in the book. Pam also asks probing questions to help fine-tune the company mission to ensure it is in line with your values. This is truly a must-read!
Read Win in the Locker Room First by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith.
In this inspirational book about coaching the Atlanta Falcons, you learn how critical staying true to your culture is and how you must fight to keep it intact. As your business grows and you hire, you will be forced to make tough choices.
Read Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business by Luke Williams.
Set aside a few weeks to do the exercises and to understand the market you are aiming to disrupt. Business schools teach how to analyze but not how to create compelling, emotional connections. Design schools teach how to develop those connections but not how to ensure they are commercially viable. Successful businesses need to survive and thrive. In this book you look for things that you can scale up or down, move in the opposite direction, or completely do without. In the end, you come up with three brilliant, wacky hypotheses that completely disrupt the market you are entering.
Find a Supportive Community.
When you disrupt a market, get ready because you will be in for a wild ride. Find like-minded individuals who will lift you up when you’re down and will join you in celebrating your success. A supportive community like MalamaDoe will be there as you grow your business.
Sheila Long is the founder of MalamaDoe, a co-working community in Milwaukee which helps women use their talents to be the best they can be. She believes women are empowered by one another and role models build community, help society, and flourish. Sheila has an MBA in Strategy and Finance from the University of Chicago. This post is sponsored by National Business Furniture