Entrepreneurship, many years ago, was regarded as a path less taken. Today, being a successful entrepreneur has become a prevalent career goal. But in essence, it takes true passion and real grit to power through a business venture sparked off from a desire to achieve a dream. Sacrifices are made. Rewards are gained. Lessons are learnt. Being an entrepreneur is more than just a title. You have to be more dauntless than that.
To kick off our inaugural ClozetteChats series — a monthly intimate get-together with our Community to exchange stories and wisdom — we decided on a topic that strikes close to home: entrepreneurship for women.
Focus on what truly matters
In the midst of chasing our dreams, it is easy to get lost in our ambitions and be distracted in our lives. Just like what Melissa shared, “Every waking hour was spent working.” All of a sudden, everything seems to be of utmost priority. In the end, valuable time and health are sacrificed, along with missed opportunities and experiences.
It is a continuous effort to declutter and refocus on what and who matters the most. For Cindy, it’s family first. “I spend pockets of time while I’m on the go to reply e-mails. Once I’m home, I put my phone aside and my time is spent with family.” So, pause and ask yourself this question: if the world ends today, what can’t you give up?
Not only will you allow yourself to take care of your well-being, you’ll also learn the true meaning of being humble. “You no longer feel the need to buy an expensive bag,” said Juliana. “You’d rather use the money to spend on experiences with the people who matter.”
Establish a strong support system
The Diane Von Furstenbergs and Oprah Winfreys of the world didn’t do it all alone. Whether it’s from a business partner, your parents or significant other, having a strong eco-system of support was a constant talking point throughout brunch.
For Cheryl, having a strong network of support means having close family members and friends help out with the “administrative stuff” — like taking her children for regular medical check-ups — so her time is spent on quality play. Juliana agrees. As a child, her mother was always busy with her salon career. Even so, the mother and daughter enjoyed quality time because those precious hours were spent on memorable moments.
Not everyone is so lucky, though. Most of the time, loved ones don’t understand the adrenaline rush that comes with managing a business for fear of failure. When faced with such objections, avoid turning a discussion into a negative conversation. Politely and respectfully explain your cause, and if all else fails, simply move on. Convincing takes time and effort, never just by words.
Fake it till you make it
When asked how she deals with doubts and fears, June’s candid answer rang true in every sense. “I just deal with it. Throw myself off the deep end. Fake it till you make it.” Many times, being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean you’re adept in every area of the business — and that’s okay. You just got to embrace and plough through unfamiliar territories and grow. For Audrey, growing meant developing a thick skin that helped build her self-confidence.
An “unfamiliar territory” that everyone around the table had in common is a fear of public speaking — but Cindy has a way to overcome it: “practice makes perfect.” Instead of memorising exactly what you’re going to say, highlight keywords relevant to the topic, then make sure you have ample time to rehearse before your presentation.
Do what you love & love what you do
“I never felt like I was working when I started Studio Petite with the girls!” shared Audrey. It may seem all very cliché, but as the saying goes: choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.
While some may argue that turning a hobby into a career is a bad idea, we think that you can still derive great pleasure while staying mindful of burn-outs. And judging from that enriching afternoon of learning and discussion with these inspiring young female entrepreneurs, we just know that their passion for winning and learning will empower them to journey through the odds.
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