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Being an entrepreneur, sometimes you try and fail, sometimes you have no idea what you are doing, sometimes years go by and you aren’t sure if you are on the right track.
The trick is to KEEP GOING. That’s the secret… That’s it!
The one thing entrepreneurs have in common is they keep getting up, they keep pushing and they don’t stop. I have interviewed MANY women business owners, and when I ask them to use one word that best describes being an entrepreneur, 80% of the time they say “Journey“.
Why is that? because there is an ebb and flow, there is no manual and you will never have it perfectly figured out. It’s constantly moving and changing, and it’s your job to keep up with it.
When times are tough, fight or flight comes into play – entrepreneurs will fight and claw their way back up on their feet. It’s something inside of them. Some are born with it and others learn it along the way – it’s the fire of not knowing boundaries and not believing in being incapable.
It’s knowing that when an idea fails or becomes uninspiring – you are not a failure nor flaky. You are creating and experimenting. Do you think that if researchers don’t get it on the very first try, it means they should give up? No, a researcher is constantly investigating and trying new things and doesn’t stop. The same thing goes with entrepreneurs. We are the researchers of the business industry.
Keep trying, keep making mistakes, keep succeeding, keep failing and never ever stop.
The beauty is in the journey.
So what is it? What is the thing that helped shape my entrepreneurial career?
There was one particular day where I sat down and took time to look inward, which we all know is incredibly difficult, and put together a list of my strengths and weaknesses. I knew I had a dream to run my own business, but so far my business ventures where not “sticking”. The businesses I had created in the past were always based on a strong foundation, with a really unique concept. I had no fear in launching them, investing my time in them and creating all of the processes for success. But every time the business took off, I found myself slowly drifting from it. And I didn’t know why.
So, looking inward and trying to figure out what I could change or improve upon, I set out for creating a plan that would work WITH my strengths and WITH my weaknesses. I didn’t try to change anything, just become more self-aware. When I put it all down on paper, I had to face it head on and I couldn’t run away from it. I had no choice but to figure out a way to make it all work to my advantage. (That’s right, make your weaknesses work to your advantage, I said it.)
What did I discover? That I had an amazing skill at developing a streamlined way to run business logistics, I loved implementing and managing organization, I knew how to take calculated risks and I had a strong sense of creating an experience for others (whether that was for staff or for clients).
What were my weaknesses? Designing a business past maintaining the everyday process logistics, implementing long-term marketing strategies, taking risks that made me step outside of a safe box, and envisioning a business’ growth on a large-scale. Then you have your typical personality weaknesses: I worked best in a team environment, I *knew* I needed accountability for my best results, and I needed someone to push me beyond my safe space.
I came to the conclusion that I could only gain from aligning myself with a business partner, no matter what entrepreneurial avenue I took. That was my lightbulb moment. I knew that if I found someone who complemented my weaknesses, that something great could happen. I was holding myself back and I could thrive with someone who could see past what I couldn’t.
You’d think that the story started there, that this lightbulb moment triggered a series of events in a great and epic search – but that’s not this story. I created this big self-awareness moment, but then let life get busy and actually forgot! What I did do, is create a vibration for myself that manifested when it was the “right time”.
Six months later I stepped outside of my comfort zone and attended a Women’s Networking Event. That night, I met a woman who would literally change my life. We had a few coffee meetings, I took on a new job in the meantime, we met up a few more times and then like a wave it came all at once – She had an amazing idea for a business and I knew I could help. I jumped in with my entire being and before I knew it, we became partners and created magic together. And the kicker? She complemented ALL of my weaknesses, I complemented all of HER weaknesses! We were yin and yang. We understood each other just as we were. She was the accountability that I needed, the push that I needed, the companion that I needed and the visionary that I needed. What it took, most of all, where two people who were equally committed and equally ready.
When you have a partner, you have no choice but to show up everyday and push through everything, no matter what. For me, getting a partner has changed my entrepreneurial life and has brought so much clarity to what I can accomplish, by being aware of what I can’t. By accepting this for what it is, awareness lifted everything that was holding me back.
I started writing this thinking that gaining a partner was best business decision I ever made, but now I see that it was also accepting my weaknesses as they are.
–To Katie, Thank you for everything that you do.