“I started a successful business before the age of 30,” is not a sentence I ever thought I’d say.
Being an entrepreneur wasn’t my lifelong dream, it wasn’t what kept me going through school and college, and it certainly wasn’t the plan when I picked up my life from a small town in Maine and moved to Florida 5 years ago.
But somewhere along the way – like many entrepreneurs, I’d guess – owning my own business became my dream.
Growing a small business from nothing isn’t easy. Not even close. It’s grueling, it’s exhausting, and it’s downright terrifying most of the time. But even on the hardest of days, it’s well worth it.
And as I come upon my 3oth birthday in just a few months, I wanted to share what I’ve learned thus far.
Here are 5 lessons I’ve learned as a female entrepreneur.
1. A powerful network of women is the most important one you can build.
I’ve officially been in business for over three years. Over that time, I’ve built an incredible network of collaborators, mentors, and awesome people. But it wasn’t until the last year that I’ve made some important and beneficial contacts. Over the course of that year, I’ve connected with a ton of different entrepreneurs, business people, and just local people to learn more about what they’re working on and what they’re doing with their lives.
Sometimes, the relationship bodes in work for one – or both – of us. Sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes simply having a “meeting of the minds” inspires you enough to get more done than you ever thought possible. Sometimes it doesn’t.
But no matter what, the relationships I’ve started – and built – have been valuable. Specially, those with other business women.
You see, for women, knowing other women that have your back is crucial. Knowing (and seeing) that other women are going through what you’re going through is even more crucial. And sometimes just building the relationship itself is powerful.
2. You’ll get exactly out of your work what you put into it.
Another lesson I’ve learned by being an entrepreneur is (most of the time) you’ll get exactly the same level of result out of the work you put into something. In other words, you work hard and bust your butt, you’ll see wonderful return. If you maybe don’t work as hard (and ahem, half ass it), then you’ll get a product you’re probably not happy with.
The lesson? Work your ass off.
Very rarely will you ever hear someone say “I worked too hard today.” Sure, “it was a long day” or “I’m exhausted” are common phrases business owners will say, but rarely that too much effort was put in.
Spend the time to do good, quality work and it will always pay off in the end.
Stay tuned for the next 3 lessons…