I just finished a great interview with @Adrienne Graham of Empower Me. Just to recap, some topics that were covered were following your passion, motivation to think big, act big and believe big. We also shared best practices on starting out on your own, selecting an advisory board, finding mentors, stepping out of the comfort zone of “safe” businesses and really going for broke (so to speak). Pam Perry was also on the call and shared a lot of great advice as well. When the audio is available I will add a link so you can listen, but until then I just wanted to follow-up with some final thoughts and provide links to resources that I talked about.
In regards to setting up your own advisory board, some people relate to this others do not. Both are ok. Personally, I found that having a series of mentors worked better for me. I stay in touch with them individually and get regular feedback. I do enjoy being on others advisory boards. For those interested in an advisory board, I recommend the book, Pour Your Heart into It by Howard Schultz. Yes it is the story of the early days of Starbucks, but Howard does a great job explaining how he went about putting together his advisory board and why he took this approach.
Another topic that I think is vital is the planning aspect. Take the time and plan your business so you have a direction. This does not have to be done in the beginning, but it does need done. There are a lot of great resources out there to help you, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call (it sounds so simple). Some of these resources are SCORE, SBA, SBDC. In some cities, these are integrated and work together. They are usually connected to colleges as well. You can go to these organizations at any time in your business cycle and ask for help. That is why they are here—utilize them. In Pittsburgh, PA there is an organization called E-Magnify. E-Magnify is associated with Seton Hill University and offers a program called ATHENA PowerLink. The ATHENA PowerLink program is a custom panel tailored to the needs of a women-owned business to assist them in business growth.
As for other final thoughts, remember that life is a series of learned experiences, it is not about what went wrong but what you learned and how you will do it different the next time. Please never be afraid to ask for help. The worse that can happen is they tell you no. If you are told no, it simply means you have to learn what will get you a yes. No’s can be a very good thing! You have to try to be able to learn what works for you! Just because an approach, a style, a technique or a way works for someone else does not mean it will for you. Differences do not mean you are weak; instead, it is a strength that you were able to identify and accommodate for your own success. I wish you all the best and please let me know if there is any way I can help you!