As an entrepreneur, you live a life full of passion, following and creating your dream. I have been a serial entrepreneur – now doing my second startup. Just a few lessons I’ve learned along the way, which I would like to share – certainly biased from my own experience of having been an entrepreneur for most of my working years. Focused toward my own gender for sure!
1. You have 2 full-time jobs: You chose to be an Entrepreneur. You had the choice of taking a corporate job, get a plush salary and get planned vacations through the year. However being an Entrepreneur has no perks till at least the first couple of years of starting before your business is established. You continue to have the other full time job of mom, wife and daughter. That’s the real world! I think being an Entrepreneur gives you the opportunity of creating something of your own but there will be moments when both worlds merge, collide and sometimes don’t integrate together. Be prepared for this for the first few years of starting up – the outcome will be truly worth it!
2. Practice Tough Love at work: The best advice I got from my mentor in the last few months is “Practice Tough Love at work. Resolve conflicts early to avoid bigger conflicts later”. As a woman, we tend to avoid conflicts at the workplace ( I tend to do that) – there have been many studies that confirm this. We tend to look at conflicts with a higher degree of EQ. However, to build a strong organization and draw boundaries, you need to resolve conflicts early to create a winning team.
3. Choose your founding team with care: Being an entrepreneur you will be stretched at work – whom you choose to build the company with is probably the most important part of this journey. I cannot emphasize this enough – having a core team whom you can share your smaller victories at work, be able to create an environment of trust and be able to share challenges easily will go a long way in feeling supported at work.
4. Don’t let go of your BFF: I contribute a large part of what I have been able to achieve to my family, and my friends outside work. They keep in grounded in reality, they support me with just being on the phone when everything seems going downhill, and they celebrate my small successes. Nothing can replace the conversations over cups of coffee when you need to get fresh perspective on anything at work.
5. Stay away from men who patronize: As an entrepreneur, talk to mentors, advisors, friends when you need help but keep away from people who play the gender card. You know them when you meet one – don’t allow others to tell you they can help you because you are a woman. For me, it’s a no starter during conversations – you will meet a lot of them in your entrepreneurial journey. As a woman, if you decided to start on your own and follow your dreams, you are already empowered enough to find the answers as you go along.
These are just my opinions on how I like to look at my entrepreneurial journey. I feel blessed to be always supported in everything I have done – at LetsVenture the first few months of starting up saw my friends coming together to help me kick start my dream.