For the past eight years, we’ve been interviewing female entrepreneurs from all over the globe as part of our 1,000 Stories Project. Along the way, these women have provided some valuable insights into what it is like to start your own business. Whether they are making organic soap out of their own kitchen, starting a national beverage company supported by angel investors or coaching other entrepreneurs on their own business journeys — they know what it is like to take that first leap and start the project they’ve been dreaming about. We’ve rounded up six start-up tips below. If you’re looking for a little inspiration or motivation to get going, this list is for you.
Know Your Price
“The main challenge I have is marketing and sales – and to be honest I’m still struggling with it,” says Elena Darmenko of Global Expats Therapy. “I have to push myself to speak about prices and remind myself that I sell something that has value. But the more experience I get, the better the result. I think that all solo-preneurs should adapt to this mentality and learn how to say ‘I am remarkable.’ This attitude has really helped me become better at sales.”
Build a Smart Support Group
“My biggest tip is to build a community of safe and supportive people around you,” recommends Sally Murphy of Well Told. “However, make sure that there are people you can speak to or learn from who have experienced the success you want. Loads of people will tell you what they think you should do. But only listen to the people who stand out as having walked the walk, not just talked the talk!”
“Instead of asking yourself, ‘Can I do this?’ ask yourself, ‘How will I do this?,’” advise Meredith Krill and Carrie Sporer, founders of SWAIR. “You also have to accept that your idea might not work, and that’s okay. If you frame failure as an opportunity to reset rather than the end, it becomes a lot less scary.”
Just Get Started
“My biggest start up tip is to get started sooner than you think you’re ready. You don’t have to have your website completely built out. You don’t need a full product or service portfolio. Just start with a simple landing page and business social media accounts like a Facebook page and Instagram,” says coach Destini Copp. “It’s so much simpler to get started today than it was 15 plus years ago. Once you start, your audience and customers will help direct you on what they want. This simple action provides so much clarity.”
“Build giving into the DNA of your brand at the beginning. Don’t get trapped with pressure to have fast aggressive growth. It’s a marathon so enjoy the scenery,” advises Brook Eddy of Bhakti Chai.
Trust Your Gut
And finally, Priscilla Stephan of Soulfluent urges entrepreneurs to listen to their intuition. “Trust yourself and get really good mentorship from the beginning that takes into account your intuition, your values and vision. Just because someone has achieved financial success does not mean that their methods and their energy is the right one to support your business.”