22 Female Entrepreneurs in 2 Months: Three Lessons
Guest Blog by Coterie Member, Hollie Tkac
I interviewed 22 female entrepreneurs in 2 months, here are the 3 lessons I learned from what they had in common...
How do you define when an entrepreneurial journey starts? Is it the point when the dream is born in the mind? Or when the first dollars are invested? What about when the first sale is made?
When I look back at my own journey, there were over two years between my first thought to have a business and when I actually started investing, and another 9 months before I got a paying client.
Two plus years to go from idea to paying client seems like both a short and long time. For me, it was felt longer than it needed to be, especially while I was also telling myself I wanted out of my cushy corporate gig--desperately. I spent my free time in a state of dreaming, hoping, wishing, listening to endless podcast episodes, and subscribing to tons of email lists.
When I put on my magical hindsight goggles, I could see that there was one critical ingredient missing that made this period last for so long: action that led to actual momentum.
I became obsessed with this topic - taking action. Why did the process to get from dream to actually creating a business take ME two years when it took others six months, and some five years?
I was determined to figure out all the ways women could take action to create and sustain their businesses, so I used this topic as inspiration for an online summit. During the summit I interviewed 22 female entrepreneurs about taking action, and what that looked like during their journey up to the current moment in their businesses.
These women were all across the board, in their early twenties to forties, with and without families, with businesses ranging from wildly successful blogs, to a stock photo site, to coaching practices, and more. They appeared different on the surface, yet some strong common themes emerged, and I want to share those with you today.
1. Every path is unique, yet similar, and there’s strength in community.
Interview after interview, I saw that every woman’s path was her own. What worked for one woman flat out didn’t work for the next, and what another woman needed to sacrifice to get to the next step, others were able to keep. Despite these differences, every woman experienced massive evolution. No woman was selling the same thing she sold when she started. And every woman had received some form of support, whether from a coach, or from a networking group.
They reminded me of snowflakes, each one different when you look super closely, but from far away looking at a collective, they seem similar.
We all have unique entrepreneurial journeys, so if we do something different than the people around us, we can feel safe to honor that calling. Yet at the same time, we are similar enough that finding a group of entrepreneurial women for support during the highs and lows can make all the difference.
2. Optimize your time by saying no to the greater yes and creating win-wins.
We women are multi-taskers and caretakers by nature, and some women have a hard time saying no. Managing these tendencies came up time and time again in the interviews. Each woman found her own way to deal with their schedule and create win-wins.
For some it looked like hiring a maid or other household support, for others it meant delegating to a team, and sometimes it was just getting super good at time management. Either way, everyone put energy into figuring out how to optimize their time.
Take a look at what you currently spend your time on, and assess what activities are closest to generating revenue. For example, conducting a sales call is closer to making a sale then planning a social media post. Also look at the tasks you like and don’t like to do. Keep doing those tasks closest to generating revenue that you like. For anything else, find ways to delegate or automate those items.
3. Act like the person you want to become… right now.
In every interview, whether explicitly stated or otherwise, I could feel the courage and strength these women had to get to their current state. Some of them faced tough scenarios in their outer world, like bankruptcy scares, and others had internal battles to overcome, such as feeling like they weren’t enough. They all pulled strength from that area within themselves that believed their future vision would come true in order to surpass these challenges.
Acting like their future selves came up a lot for these ladies especially when making investments to grow a business. Often times, there were points when these women had to invest money they felt like they didn’t have. What got them over the hump? They channeled their future selves. They said, for example, “I want to grow my income to X next year. How would someone making X deal with this situation? They wouldn’t think twice about spending money on something they know would get them to X so let’s do this!”
If there is one lesson you take to heart after reading this, let it be this one... Whenever these women persevered, they pulled from something greater than what they had in their current reality. They pulled from their future self to propel them forward, and you can too.
Hollie Tkac is a Messaging Strategist for female entrepreneurs who want to want unleash their inner messages so they can get paid doing what they love. She supports women with established businesses as well as new entrepreneurs and even ladies looking for a way out of the 9-5 grind! She believes every woman has her own magical unicorn message inside waiting to get out!