Women business owners talk about how they pushed past their own mental roadblocks.
The mind is powerful, and when a person’s thought process is governed by doubt and negativity, it can be a real hindrance — especially for female entrepreneurs who are trying to get their businesses off the ground.
However, when one’s mind is focused intently on a specific goal, it can also help you achieve almost anything, as several women business owners told us.
Melissa Mesku, the founder of Pure Cure Dental Technology (with locations in California and New York) had to coach herself through both fiscal and emotional issues in order to find success.
When she spoke with us, she referenced an incident that would influence her attitude toward the professional world for a significant portion of her life.
“My parents suffered a work injustice that skewed my belief in the workplace and the economy. As a young adult, already disenfranchised, I steeped myself in the culture of what later became the Occupy movement,” she recalled of her earlier years. “Eventually I decided that being a drop-out wasn’t making a dent in the world, and wasn’t paying the bills.”
This realization — and her father’s subsequent disability, which created a need for Mesku to provide for her family — led her to start her own business. Through her own hard work (as well as the assistance of the entrepreneurship community) she has tapped into an integral part of her inner self.
“I bootstrapped a company based around a life-saving product I developed (which also vindicates my parents’ injustice, bringing the story full circle),” she said. “Being responsible for a product that people really need has motivated me to remove all barriers.”
Kelly Niessen, president and cofounder of KANDY Outdoor Flooring Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia, started her business with nothing but her goals to push her forward. She put her mind to work in order to overcome the most significant hurdles she faced on her path to entrepreneurship.
“When I started my business, I had no money to invest. What it took to get it off the ground was resourcefulness, which has proven to be far more valuable than money. I learned how to do everything myself,” she said. “I’ve had to be creative, tenacious, and hold firmly onto my belief in the merit of my idea and my abilities.”
Jennifer Martin of San Francisco-based company Zest Business Consulting agreed that the path to entrepreneurship is difficult to travel — especially when doubt creeps in.
“When I opened my first coaching business in 1999, I struggled with not feeling like I could afford to charge very much because I was new at what I was doing and didn’t have a great number of satisfied customers singing my praises,” she said. “Upon opening for business, I reluctantly charged $75 per hour. Even though this felt like a lot of money, I knew that if I set the price too low, no business owner would take me seriously. Still, I was open for business, but nobody came.”
Her second time around as an entrepreneur, she went in with her eyes and mind open — she targeted ideal clients and set rates that were comfortable for both her and her clientele. Now, she’s helping solopreneurs and small business owners achieve their dreams after realizing her own.
But there are still hurdles to tackle, for both her and her clients.
Martin told us, “There are still occasionally things that I work through myself. And when one of my own clients can’t move beyond a … plateau, they realize that they might be self-sabotaging themselves.”
Related: Get Over it: Fear of Failure
Posted: August 6, 2014