Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
On both sides of my family, there is this amazing history of remarkable women who have always inspired me. They have a seemingly never-ending legacy of beating the odds in business, academia, medicine and life. All of this was accomplished by women who were never initially positioned for success but who achieved so much while beating sexism, naysayers and even the mob.
What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
I remember the first time I heard “sales cure all.” I thought, “Hey, what a great piece of advice.” Unpacking those three words is the hard part. Making them a reality is even harder. But those words become more salient for me every day.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
It is easy to get caught up in the hype and excitement that surrounds your new company. At times, especially early on, this has caused us to lose focus on the key elements of a successful business. Starting a company is difficult and many won’t succeed. Keeping a clear focus on the company’s core value propositions as well as its biggest weaknesses is essential. If you lose site of what you are doing or potential threats, you are going to be in trouble before you know it.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
If I don’t work out before work, it’s just not going to happen. I’m up before 6 a.m. either at yoga or Orangetheory. I deliberately don’t check email until I am ready to start my day. There’s no point in reading messages unless I’m ready to take action.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Be stingy with your money and leverage your community and network to get as much done for free or at “mates’ rates.” By working within your network, you’ll get better results and save money while also getting honest and valuable feedback.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Since you’re an entrepreneur, you are probably already working way more than normal people. Think about the way you work and take frequent breaks. One of the advantages of working for yourself is you can step away for coffee or lunch. So do it!
This will give you a chance to decompress and talk over what’s on your mind with people you trust. The ideas, inspiration, guidance and clarity that comes from this is invaluable. It also allows you to be the friend or spouse you want to be. Running a friend to the airport while having a great chat is 100 percent part of your job.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
Success is enjoying your job and learning every day while also having a comfortable and rich life outside of work. If you hit those three points, the rest really is, as they say, just details.