Hello Divas! Many of you come to us for advice on starting your own business. Here’s a quick check to see if you have what it takes:
Don’t do something you don’t love, just for the money. You need to be passionate about whatever you are working on because it will show in your energy, enthusiasm and excitement! Yes, these three E’s must be there to keep you going 24/7 because that’s what it takes to start a business and be successful. Ps…Anyone can start a business, but being successful is another story. Perseverance is key, since you will hit many bumps along the way to success.
2. Be PREPARED
We can’t say enough about being prepared! Yes, the nuns who taught me in elementary school scared us to death. If you didn’t have your homework done, you might as well have not bothered coming to school. Humiliation led to ALWAYS being prepared and has stayed with me to this day. Being lazy is not the sign of success so over prepare for any meeting or call and surprise your client/customer by not making them repeat themselves or by knowing more than they would even expect you to know. It’s easy, just do your homework!
3. Be Ready To PIVOT
Willingness to pivot is another key to success since your business may have to change with the times to meet the needs and demands of your clients/customers. Just because you were successful once, doesn’t mean you will continue to be if you get stale. Remember the Furbie? Your goal is not the flash in the pan success. This is your life and your goal should be long term success.
12 Other Rules To Live By:
- Say What You Do – Have your elevator pitch down to 30 seconds or less, and SMILE when you say it
- Do What You Say – This is a hard and fast rule. If you say you will return a call within 24 hours then DO it, and don’t be late. You will lose credibility. Too many people today forget this golden rule. I promise, this will make you and your company stand out. And if you still don’t have the answer, then make the call and reschedule. That’s much better than leaving someone in limbo.
- Be Fresh – No this doesn’t mean what it did when you were a teenager and driving your parents nuts. What I mean is stay current and dare to come out with something not seen or said before.
- Under-Promise/Over-Deliver – Just like doing what you say, this is imperative to building credibility in any market. Your clients/customers will be so happy to get more than what they expect!
- Grace Under Fire – This does NOT mean be a pushover but it does mean to try not to lose your temper. Nice counts and what goes around comes around. Burning bridges is bad for any business, especially when it’s your own.
- Be Confident- Hold your head high and exude confidence by reflecting on all you have accomplished, not the mistakes along the way. People can feel it and want what you have to offer if you express yourself with confidence.
- Smile – I learned from my Jesuit education that it costs nothing and can brighten someone’s day. Being happy makes people want to work with you.
- Listen – Make your client/customer know that he/she is the only person you have on your mind. They know you are busy, but they want to know that when you are with them, you ARE truly with them by listening to them, looking into their eyes and not on the blackberry prayer!
- Be Optimistic But Practical – Your optimism will help you see the light at the end of the many tunnels that will come as you build your company, but never jeopardize yourself or your business by counting your chickens before they hatch. Even the eternal optimist has to remember that not all dreams come true!
- Take Care Of YOURSELF – Your business and family count on YOU so you need to eat right, exercise, stay healthy and financially fit!
- Dress Up – You gain confidence by dressing up. We all know it. When we have a great outfit on we stand taller and prouder. This does NOT mean to fill your closet with designer clothes. It means spend time looking your best with an outfit that fits properly, is pressed, and is accessorized appropriately. Don’t distract with showing too much skin but being feminine is totally fine. Shoulders back, tummies in, stand tall and proud!
- Be Hungry – Dabbling in a business to keep you entertained will not lead to success. You need to be hungry, and this is usually because you have a financial need. Paying the mortgage or car payment is a real incentive to keep pushing when times get tough. If that’s not there then you may give up too early. Assess this before starting a business. Too many women open boutiques for the fun and not the need. Most shut down because it’s hard work and they didn’t need to success to feed the kids.
Now go out and live YOUR American Dream Divas! Have you started your own business or dreamt of doing so? Share your stories with us in the comments below! xoxo