I choose the people I want to work with – like minded individuals who lift me up and inspire me to learn and grow – they enrich me. I lead not follow. Life is too short, and time is precious. I build the table and invite others to join, not wait for crumbs. I am rewarded for doing what I love: this is because I live in abundance mindfulness. I/we get things done faster when we love the people I/we work with.
When I started growing the idea of taking my candle making from a hobby to a potential business with Ali my sister. I was so lucky to have mentors and friends who I could bounce off my ideas. My two sister’s Eileen and Ali were my champions that filled this space for me, because I trusted them and knew I could get honest feedback.
They helped me vision what a candle business might look like and of course they were always there to give feedback even if it was something I might not act on – the fact is having trusted people you can use as a bouncing board reflecting great ideas back to you is a blessing. My advice is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals, who have skills you admire. They can be from your family, people you currently work with, who you take classes with or just are trying to do something positive. That positive energy can inspire you to stay focussed and move you into action on building your idea.
Every good business idea should identify a gap or need in the market and seeks to meet it, by being new and innovative or done differently. Needs abound everywhere around us – during the COVID lockdowns it became clear to me that people wanted to make their homes restful, serene and a sanctuary – what a better way to give a lift to the home than some beautifully scented candles – small sales to my family and friends became commonplace – there was a need and I had a product that was needed – it was during this period that we realised an online store had the potential to thrive – so our energy to get that happening has been moving steadily. There will never be a time when all the needs we have would have been met. Starting up your own business begins from discovering a gap (or need) and seeking to fill it up.
Starting your own business is one big way of putting your creativity to work and thus developing it. When you know that your life depends on how much you make use of your knowledge, talents, skills, experience, etc, you cannot go to sleep. I am always full of ideas just before going to sleep – I have a little notebook by my bed that I jot ideas into which I can follow up on when the time presents. You know what they say about ideas – ‘If you do not capture them when they come to you, they flow on to someone else. You are always thinking and trying to produce something that will keep your business going forward. This will make you even more creative and force you to jump out of bed every morning.
Starting a business does start with you and your idea, but it does not have to be a journey you take yourself. Finding those who have made this journey before can help set you up for success – talk to other women/girls who have businesses or run a community group. Network with other professionals in the industry you have a passion for, and your business idea is similar to. Attend industry-specific workshops and events and reach out to thought leaders in your industry to learn their approach. Alternatively, you may want to consider finding a mentor who can give you pointed advice.
Learning directly from someone who has already taken the road you are about to embark on can help you develop your plan, your process you may take and importantly help you to sidestep potential disaster because these mentors can identify the problems, they encountered thereby informing you of what not to do.
You do not just become an entrepreneur overnight. It is a gradual step by step dance of informing, planning, learning, discarding what works and what does not serve you. Entrepreneurs cannot know everything about running their new venture. Tapping into seasoned professionals’ experience can ensure you are starting on the right foot.
Successful entrepreneurs and business leaders make excellent choices for mentors. Start with a clear idea of what areas you need help. If you need financial help, look for banker or money manager types. Maganda Makers is a wonderful place to get business start-up supports, knowledge, and helpful insights.
If it is sales or marketing, then aim for these skill sets. Be wary of bringing on people who are close friends. You need people who will challenge your thinking, and from whom you will not take criticism personally.
Your mentors should provide strategic advice and connect you with potential clients and resources that will fine tune your business idea so it is the strongest when you present your idea to potential financiers and this advice can grow your business.
Building a business is tough but it can also be a whole lot of fun – to watch your baby grow. If you have a minimal budget, you should start with basic business growth strategies. Once you have enough fund to expand your business, you can go on for an elaborate plan.