You may or may not know this already, but you are in the midst of a movement. It's huge. In fact it is reshaping our economy into a brand new economy where YOU can play a vital role. We are in, what I like to call the Entrepreneurial Era, and you either already are or have the opportunity to be a trailblazer in this movement. My passion and mission is to help you succeed as an entrepreneur and for you to truly tap into that trailblazing potential. And it's not just those of us that are starting businesses that are participants in this era. No. You can and are part of the movement whether you are a nonprofit leader or an employee in a small business, you just have to tap into and hone that entrepreneurial mindset. When you do, the sky's the limit.
I liken entrepreneurs in the new economy to fireflies. Small yet significant, trailblazing, and building community. When they all come together, what a beautiful result! I've discovered simple tenets for igniting the entrepreneurial mind-set and succeeding in the Entrepreneurial Era. Are you ready to step fully into that movement? Then read on...
Not too long ago, I was struggling to keep my head above water, trying to manage and do WAY too much. Unfortunately, this predicament isn't something that happens to me only. In fact, I know MANY businesses, organizations and individuals that have or currently are incredibly stressed out and exhausted due to juggling too many roles, hats, or whatever you label all of your work and personal life responsibilities.
I know that sometime, there just isn't any way out of it. Hiring someone is just not feasible. There's no time to recruit an intern, and volunteers, though great, just don't have the skills to do what you need done.
So what CAN you do when you are on the verge of "drowning?" You create systems. If you had systems in place, you would eliminate quite a bit of time explaining things, and doing work from scratch, or I'm even guilty of this, doing something totally different from before because I forgot how I did it last. Also, when systems are in place, then you do feel comfortable hiring someone and recruiting an intern or volunteer. You and they know exactly what needs to happen what they need to be accomplishing. There is less time spent in training and orientation because documented systems can serve as training material. So here are the top 3 systems I recommend you put into place as soon as you can.
We need plans. We need written plans in order make things happen. Meaning, they have to be outside of your head. The plan doesn't have to be elaborate. We don't need plans that are pages and pages long if we don't want them. We don't need to follow any templates that restrict our way of thinking about our plans. There, I said it.
You might be thinking..."Rubina, you create plans for people for a living, are you serious?" Yeah, I make plans, but I make plans based on what people want and what they really need. If I think you would do best with a visual plan with some important phrases and keywords on it, then that's what you'll get.
It is later than I wanted it to be for getting my last tip of this series out to you all. Today, I had all sorts of things I needed to get done and of course there just aren't enough hours in the day, right?! Well, in all honesty, I knew that I would be writing this entry later tonight. I had my day pretty planned out. Though the baby put a few hiccups in my schedule, most everything happened when I had planned to have them completed. So why did the blog get left for the last thing of the night? I write more thoughtfully and clearly when I am relaxed. I knew that if I had all the MAJOR things of the day done, I would feel relaxed and then write a worthy entry...one worth posting! I thought I would be writing around 10:00 pm tonight, but it's closer to 11:00 pm now. That's okay. I've learned that when it comes to managing time, there are often days when you have to accept what is dealt to you, or roll with the punches, or just go with the flow.
Really, being an entrepreneur demands flexibility. So, I am. But, being flexible isn't just relegated to entrepreneurs. This mindset and spirit needs to be adopted by everyone trying to make a difference in this world, whether you are a non profit, a small business, or an individual . I like to call this time in our lives the Entrpreneurial Era. We live in a time where we all need to think and act much like entrepreneurs. Consider this an invitation to start taking the entrepreneurial approach in life, business and the pursuit of happiness. So what does that look like exactly?
TIP 7: Learn to navigate through your days with an open-mind, flexibility, and the willingness to embrace change.
That's basically the entrepreneurial approach. Let's examine these characteristics a bit further, shall we?
First, keeping an open mind. This is a huge part of being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs usually learn as they go and so, keeping an open mind allows you to receive. You WANT to receive, advice, criticism, help, and support. The only way you will see these sorts of opportunity is to let go of the idea that you already know everything. So when you hear criticism you can see the point. When someone offers you help, you accept with open arms. When someone offers you advice you really listen t o what they are saying.
Second is flexibility. Being okay with things not going exactly the way you planned, can also open doors for an entrepreneur. It's in the failures and the set backs that we experience growth. That is true for our business as well. However, you have to be flexible enough to see these things and "bend" and go along with what's happening. You will either grow as a business, or grow as a person, knowing it's time to move on to a new business idea. Here's a tip inside of a tip...entrepreneurs don't give up when they fail. They try and try again. So closing one business does not mean they are done. They look for the next big idea. I would adopt this characteristic as well!
Finally, embrace change. This may seem a bit redundant with being flexible, but here is the difference. Being flexible requires you to bend and go along with what's happening. Change requires you step out of the way completely for a new way and then you fully embrace the new way of being. These changes can be transformational and provide an exponential benefit to you and your business or organization. It can also be very painful to have to move away from an original concept or idea. But, with due time, you emerge as a beautiful butterfly able to cover much larger spans of space because now you can fly, rather than crawling your way through life as a caterpillar.
When I was first starting my business getting tips on how to effectively run and market my business were so valuable to me. I would take every piece of advice and collect them like tips in a tip jar. These pieces of information were as good as getting paid, because they helped me to land some of my first paying clients!
So, I want to share my tip jar with you. Today I gave a presentation to a circle of moms who are looking to re-evaluate their skills and see how they can earn money while staying at home with their babies. Some of them were already in the midst of creating business plans or even launching their businesses.
It's not easy being a mom, and starting a business while taking care of your children takes huge effort to say the least. Hence why I want to share my tip jar with you. I hope these few things will help you focus and get your business off the ground a little quicker and little easier. I'll deliver each tip daily.
TIP 1: EVERYONE is NOT your target market.
As wonderful as your product or service is, everyone isn't going to buy it because as a start up, you can't market and communicate to everyone. It's just not financially feasible. So, it's in your best interest to figure out just who you want to market to, and exactly who will enthusiastically purchase from you. Another way to look at it is, for whom are you solving a problem by offering this product or service? You probably know this...don't judge yourself. Just write it down, share it with a few close friends and start marketing. You'll learn along the way exactly who your target market is. Just make sure you pay attention and market and communicate accordingly as you learn.
Young Women Entrepreneurs Circle
Are you a young woman that has started or is contemplating starting her own small business? Firefly Innovation Group is developing The Young Women Entrepreneurs Circle (The Circle). The Circle is an exclusive membership based group that will meet on a monthly basis as a method to help empower, build community, and build our economy one woman owned business at a time.
The group will consist of a variety of young women entrepreneurs with a varied backgrounds that serve as resources for each other. Specific topics that The Circle will learn and share upon will include business development tools, developing your marketing strategy, managing your business finances, learning how to give back to the community, how to achieve work-life balance, and much more .Another goal of the group will be to serve as mentors to other women and girls in the community. A strong principle of The Circle is the idea of sharing what we learn and to help others succeed as well! Given that, part of the "curriculum" for members of The Circle will be mentorship and leadership development. Fir
Each month Firefly Innovation Group will plan, coordinate, and facilitate these meetings at a determined location and snacks and drinks will be provided. If you are interested in applying or know someone that is, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.