We had a wonderful, fun and productive Entrepreneur’s Clinic last night. In 2 hours we sorted out six woman’s business branding from chilli sauce business to electronics recycling and new intelligentsia publishing! I had so much fun in the process. But the best part was when one of the lovely ladies sang ‘Happy Birthday’ in German to me! (Yes, it was my birthday yesterday. And yes, I’m 43 years old and I have no need to hide my age or pretend I’m younger.)
What warms me most, however, are the stories that are emerging from the group. In three months women have moved from dreamers to doers, from procrastination to getting their hands dirty.
Jane, who started Chilli Drops condiments company told us how before joining DrivenWoman in May she had been totally disillusioned and was hoping for a ‘big miracle’ to sort out her business. She said she realised she just had to stop waiting for the ideal situation and do the best she can with what she had. There were a ton of obstacles (there always is, it is not just you). The bottle she wanted for her product didn’t work. Her original idea was to have a bottle you could carry around in your hand bag so you could spice up your meal on the go. Now, three months on, she was able to bring us final bottles and samples to try in four wonderful flavours. She has started selling her first batches to pubs. One box here another box there. Negative cash flow has turned into positive. She knows her labelling is not ‘perfect’ and there is lots to improve but she has been able to make a start! She said she got more done in this time than a year prior to May. And now she has a product to sell.
Sounds trivial but I know a lot of ‘business owners’ who just keep developing and developing their product. They worry about production lines and covering all corners of the market with different variants… but as they keep perfecting their product they don’t actually get to the most important part of doing business: marketing and selling. See this TED talk by Seth Godin about sliced bread. The guy who invented it got the patent but he never sold anything. Only 17 years later other people made a killing when they started marketing it properly.
Making a start, getting things going is the most important thing in life. Whether you need to get your business going or sort out your relationship, being stagnant won’t fix your issues. You have got to push the boat out!
But why is it so difficult for many of us? Because we are afraid of failure and rejection! I promise you, everyone who has been rejected has lived. Oh yes. Rejection feels like shit but the only way to develop resistance and eventually become immune to it is to keep getting rejected and keep failing. One day you will emerge out of the storm victorious.
It’s your own choice whether you decide to stay your head in the clouds or face reality.
Let’s go girls. Don’t be afraid.
Have a look at what you have today, right now. Do you have a product that is almost ready? If you are going to sell indulgent pop cakes for special occasions, you don’t need a healthy version. If you have three business ideas, just pick one for now and make it work first.
If you feel you are stagnant in your life and everything feels a little lame, pick the bright spot. What is positive, what can you do well? If you are not happy with your body and try to loose weight, pick the part of your body that you are most happy with and focus on that. Beautiful hair or fabulous legs. Perhaps you don’t have to spend time loosing weight but glorifying what you already have.
Sometimes we work way too hard for the wrong things!
Just take what you have and make the most of your resources.