What would you do if years into your business, you found out you needed to change your business name because of a possible trademark infringement? This happened to Gwen Willhite, owner of Cookies By Design, and she still turned her venture in to a multimillion-dollar business.
What would you do if your husband, who also was your business partner, died and you were told that the business model you created could never work and that you didn't have the money to start the company? That happened to Mary Kay Asch, and she built the country's largest direct-selling cosmetic company.
What would you do if you were turned down multiple times for the financing you needed for your business? This happened to Lisa Hammond of Femail Creations, who is now the owner of a thriving direct-mail gift business and the author of a book.
Here's the point: No business exists without obstacles. If it were easy, everyone would do it. If you speak to any successful entrepreneur, you'll find that they all have one thing in common. They are unstoppable. Give them an obstacle and they will go around it, dig under it or climb over it.
Does that mean if you're fearful of these challenges that you shouldn't move forward with your business? Not at all. We all have fear.
Fear is probably the biggest thing that holds people back from starting their own business. Fear of failure, fear of losing money, fear of not knowing what to do. For a mom entrepreneur, the fear factor is probably heightened since we're even more concerned about the impact of the business on our family. The only thing that separates those who become entrepreneurs from those who don't is moving forward despite any fear.
Over the years, I have found that learning how other entrepreneurs have tackled various challenges gives me the strength to keep pursuing my own goals. When you realize the amazing challenges that some entrepreneurs have overcome, it makes you feel like you can do anything.
First, examine your fear and figure out if there's an accurate base for it. For instance, if you're afraid of failure, ask yourself, What would be so bad if I failed? Many hopeful entrepreneurs are fearful about losing a steady income. It's certainly understandable. One way to overcome this fear is to have a plan. Maybe you'll need to put some savings together first or reorganize your finances.
If you focus on your fear, then you will probably never launch your business. Instead, change your attitude so that failure is not an option. When you feel like it just can't get any worse, read about women who have overcome much greater obstacles. Here are some of my favorite books for energizing my spirit:
Business As Usual (Anita Roddicks, Founder of The Body Shop)
Miracles Happen (Mary Kay Asch, Founder of Mary Kay)
Dream Big (Lisa Hammond, Founder of Femail Creations)
Secrets of Millionaire Moms (Tamara Monosoff, Founder of Mom Inventors, Inc.)
If you need even more inspiration, here are the stories of a few mom entrepreneurs who overcame big challenges.
Chub Rub, organic Chub Rub lotion for women and babies; founders Aneisha Howard and Brandi Glaske
Howard and Glaske are the founders of Chub Rub, which you may have seen recently on Good Morning America. They turned a $100 investment into a booming new business. Their biggest obstacle was trying to figure out how to get started on a nonexistent budget. They had quite a hurdle to overcome since their idea for a liquid powder product had never been executed before.
They consulted with anyone they could find and did a ton of research online. They talked with scientists at universities and local pharmacists, and everyone they found told them that it couldn't be done. Although discouraged, they kept trying to create the best concoction they could.
In the meantime, both women were raising three kids and holding full-time jobs. They would meet nightly until about 2:00 a.m. trying different ideas in the kitchen. They both wanted to show their children through example that if you believe in something and you work hard enough, anything is possible.
Lisa Druxman is Entrepreneur.com's "Mompreneur" columnist and the founder and CEO of fitness franchise Stroller Strides. Druxman is also a nationally recognized speaker and author, and is considered an expert in the field of fitness, particularly pre- and postnatal fitness. She hosts a free monthly webinar during which she answers questions from fellow mompreneurs. If you are interested in participating, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.