As a woman entrepreneur, I can speak personally when I say it is not easy to find the courage to start a business.
I spent nine years fantasizing about the idea. My dream was that I would one day work for myself, create something out of nothing, be a great negotiator and a fearless leader. Then I would realize that these are qualities I haven't quite mastered. I wasn't born with them. So, for nine years, I told myself that I wasn't ready.
On my 27th birthday I formed my company, Sweet Note Bakery, with the goal of pushing myself to finally follow my dream.
After two successful years in business, I can see the three simple and powerful things that helped transform me into an entrepreneur.
1. Passion. I'm talking about the think about it all the time, amaze and even bore everyone around you with how much you talk about it and, in my case, literally eat, sleep and dream kind of passion.
My hobby has always been baking and experimenting with recipes. Given my areas of expertise and love for recipes, it was a good fit to start a food manufacturing company but my passion is challenging myself to become a successful entrepreneur and inspiring others. My company is a vehicle to live out my passion.
Find that balance in what you create and you will ultimately find success in the true sense of the word. Passion is what will keep you going when you break down occasionally from this roller coaster journey of entrepreneurship!
2. Persistence. People may say "no" to your product or service. People may doubt you, banks may turn you down for a loan. Equipment may break, plans may fall through, deadlines may be missed. You will encounter many roadblocks as a start-up.
For me, persistence paid off big time when my shared facility fell through. I had one day to pack everything and find a new place, or stop selling until I could. I called every client and every connection I had until I found a solution. By the next day, I had a new home to bake from.
By all means, it was not glamorous. I had to turn my living room into my storage facility, transport everything back and forth and move product to a freezer in my parents garage every day.
Through it all, I persisted. We now have a facility of our own. Persistence is what will make the difference. Persistence will help you find the solutions to every problem. Persistence is knowing that you will figure it out, not settling for anything less and adapting to any situation!
3. Red lipstick. Hear me out on this one. I'm not a big make-up person. This is more about the way that red lipstick makes you feel when you put it on. It's about being bold and going outside your comfort zone.
When I started my company, I needed to do some headshots. I thought about putting on red lipstick to match my red logo at that time. I found myself saying "I wish I could pull that off." I forced myself to do it.
That started my love affair with red lipstick. The more I wear it, the more I am reminded that I am a confident women who can take charge in a meeting and play in the big leagues. I and my powerful female team wear our red lipstick to help us take charge at all our events and meetings.
For you, the red lipstick may be those power heels that you always wanted to wear or finding that business suit that transforms you into the business woman you want to be. I encourage you to rock that red lipstick that you never thought you could pull off. Watch how it transforms your attitude!
These three things combined create the "recipe'' (couldn't resist my baker pun) for your success in entrepreneurship. Keep them in mind as you start your journey, they will carry you through the tougher times. Enjoy the ride!