By: Victoria Kennedy
Many women who have navigated the corporate world with flying colors decide to take the entrepreneurial route later in their careers. This makes sense. You’re smart, you’re driven, and you know your skills will take you anywhere you want to go.
I meet strong, successful women with brilliant business ideas every day. But these women often get stuck when it’s time to apply their skills outside of climbing the corporate ladder. It’s one thing to fit within a structure that you’ve inherited. Having to build the structure from the ground up is a whole different thing requiring a whole different set of skills.
Let’s look at four steps for building a sustainable, successful, soul-driven business.
Step #1: Set your sights inward.
Anyone can start a business, but not anyone can build a business that is both successful and soul-driven. The key is setting your sights on what you want and then building a business that will support you in achieving your dream.
We need to change the narrative around the idea that success in business means sacrificing yourself. Success in business doesn’t have to mean grinding away and sinking all of your time into a cold, impersonal machine. Your business should be an expression of your identity — a true passion project that gives you an outlet for making a difference in the world.
Laura Hurubaru, Founder of the From Scratch to Cash FAST 1×1 Coaching Program, puts it well when she says:
Start with you. You are the backbone of your business. Get clarity around what you could offer to clients using the skills, talents, and passions you already have.
Step #2: Think investment, not expense.
Our money mindset influences every aspect of our lives and businesses. Either your money beliefs support your success or they hold you back. The choice is yours.
Fears around money are the biggest obstacles women face in launching a business or hitting their revenue goals consistently. Financial empowerment starts with understanding that money doesn’t control you.
The first step? Set the intention by reminding yourself daily that you are the boss of your money. Then, it’s time to act like the boss. As Laura says:
Instead of, ‘I can’t afford that business coach’ or ‘That mastermind weekend is just too expensive,’ look at your finances and ask how much you can invest in achieving your business goals.
This simple mindset shift can make all the difference.
Laura’s entrepreneurial journey started with smart investing, related to both time and money. Her dedication and persistence led her to the creation of the Fastest Route From Scratch to Cash method, which equips her clients to transition from desk jobs to full-time solopreneurship in the fastest possible way, and gives them the skills to pursue sustainable growth. That growth does not necessarily require financial sacrifices, but smart investment solutions that will help your business get where it needs to, faster.
Also, if you think about money as energy, you can see the investments you make as energy you’re sending out into the world, and you can expect that energy to flow back to you. Make smart investments and you’ll see a strong return. We ALL need energy to thrive.
[Related: Entrepreneurial Skills No One Can Teach]
Step #3: Go further with others.
Women business owners who consistently thrive know that they need others to help them go further, faster. Gathering your support team as well as a team of go-to freelancers will put the “sustainable” in your sustainable, successful, soul-driven business.
Here’s how to build your personal board of directors:
- Keep a running list of subject-matter experts who can guide you as you learn your industry.
- If you want to start a digital marketing agency, find someone who has been wildly successful at online marketing, for instance.
- Connect with experts running similar businesses, as well as experts in all key areas of business: marketing and sales, business operations, finance, and leadership.
- You can make connections through LinkedIn, ask for introductions from your own friends and colleagues, or even cold-call by doing a little Internet stalking.
It’s also never too early to start outsourcing. Even if you haven’t quite got your cash flow system up and running, you can hire freelancers on platforms like Upwork or FIVERR to take small tasks off your plate. A Virtual Assistant can often save you time and allow you to focus on building your business, too. Learning how to lead and delegate is key to scaling your business in a truly sustainable way.
Step #4: Keep your eye on the prize.
Many businesses fail because the people who launch them don’t see results fast enough. They get disappointed, convince themselves it was never going to work anyway, and just give up.
Avoid the sad fate Laura mentioned above by keeping your eye on the prize.
If you find yourself getting stuck in the weeds on a project — trying to pick the perfect font, tag lines, and visuals for your website — ask yourself how much money each of these choices could possibly make for you. Will your choice of Arial, Calibri, or Roboto as your font cause you to lose a client? Not likely!
There’s a time and place for worrying over details, but when you’re in the stage where you need more clients or you are launching a new product, this is NOT it. Instead of losing yourself in insignificant (right now) details, focus on unlocking and unleashing your special sauce. It’s your talents and skills that will transform your clients and make you into an entrepreneurial success!
You’ve got a successful entrepreneur inside of you — you just need the steps to help you build this new ladder!
Victoria Kennedy, CEO of Victorious PR, has helps dozens of entrepreneurs become the #1 Authority in the niche and has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Yahoo Finance. Find out more here: victoriouspr.com/vsl.