3 Simple and Essential Money Lessons for Women Entrepreneurs
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It’s hard to believe I have been running a business for 22 years. My business has taught me more than I ever imagined. Some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned center around money, which is an area where women struggle in different ways than men when it comes running and growing their businesses. Here are three of the most poignant lessons I’ve learned.
1. “Do what you love and the money will follow” isn’t really true.
One of the best business books I’ve ever read is So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. As Newport teaches, we've been sold a bit of a false bill of goods about following our passions.
When I started my career, I thought I was following my passion for music. As it turned out, however, I am an excellent communicator and effective at PR, marketing and social media. None of these skills had anything to do with my “passion.”
If someone had asked me what I was passionate about when I was just starting out, I would never have said communicating, writing press releases or talking to journalists. I was doing what I loved because I was around music, but I needed a lot of education about margins, projections and effective sales to drive my passion toward success.
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2. Practice the "art of living."
Why are you an entrepreneur? I have a sneaking suspicion that you are doing this for one of these two reasons: freedom or flexibility. That’s the lifestyle that an entrepreneur should live. I know you may not always be feeling either of these things, but there is something you can do. Even if you are working long hours, get into the "art of living" right now.
Don’t wait: It turns out life is short.
It's now well-documented that taking short breaks during your workdays makes you more productive. This could mean leaving the office for a two-hour break once a week, drinking a delicious beverage at 5 o’clock every day, or traveling somewhere to clear your head and work remotely.
Vacations provide rest and a number of other benefits that have great influence on your success and happiness. Here is a science-based article by Jon Levy about why vacations are vital. If you don’t feel like you have the "art of living" down, you need to reel this in ASAP.
If money is an issue and you don’t know where to start, I highly suggest ordering a magical little book by Victoria Moran called Creating A Charmed Life, opening it to any page, and practicing one of her principles. That’s the "art of living!"
This is not necessarily a money-generating practice, but it will make you feel rich and free.
3. You can monetize your halo effect to connect to your tribe, feel your self-worth and fund your next dream.
If you are like most business owners who speak, blog or share on social media, you have probably created a halo-effect that you may not be aware of. That halo effect is this: People like you, follow you, heed your advice and relish in your successes. One of the most powerful ways to bring this halo effect to light is by launching a crowdfunding campaign.
According to Fundly, $5.5 billion was raised in 2017 for reward and donation crowdfunding. There is no reason why you shouldn’t get in on this enormous action. It’s great for not only proof of concept -- as your crowd will indicate by how much they donate whether you are onto something that resonates -- but also for identifying people in your tribe who may never become clients, but who are your cheerleaders. This is an amazing thing to uncover.
My crowdfunding campaign changed the course of my business and allowed me, for the first time in my career, to have enough money to fund (instead of bootstrap) two books, an online course and a company rebrand. All things which continue to serve me years after my campaign is over.
I hope these three simple money-related insights are helpful to you.
(By Ariel Hyatt. Hyatt has been a fierce entrepreneur for 22 years and runs Cyber PR, a long-term planning, social media and content strategy company based in New York City.)