Starting and running a business during times of normalcy can be challenging enough. Yet, since 2020, entrepreneurs have faced another set of challenges. Taking the plunge to start your own enterprise takes a great deal of courage, commitment and passion. It also requires the ability to shift and adapt swiftly in changing times. It’s thus not surprising that entrepreneurs who have decided to set out on their own, have insightful stories to tell and valuable advice to offer.
On Thursday the 5th of May, we brought together three local entrepreneurs during a networking event, to offer their viewpoints on the journeys of launching their own enterprise, and their advice to other entrepreneurs or to those looking to follow in their footsteps.
Shakti Callikan is a passionate social and cultural entrepreneur, who founded Fam Palab and My Moris. Diane Lautenberg and Julie Philogene are the creative minds that are among the co-founders of Double Life. Besides their positive energy and dynamism, they also have one thing in common: when asked what advice they could offer to other budding entrepreneurs, they had some pearls of wisdom to share.
Don’t think about doing the big entrepreneurship jump if it’s a “casual” interest because it is going to take a lot more passion to make it happen. You need to eat, breathe and do business in your sleep. On the other side, if you feel absolutely obsessed with solving a problem you identify with or feel passionate about, you will find all the inspiration, commitment and perseverance you need to go all the way to create the useful product/service that will respond to the needs of your target audience. Entrepreneurship will take you out of your comfort zone and you need to have the right drive to put up with all of it and enjoy the ride!
Being a solopreneur sounds great, but it’s actually more advisable not to venture alone! The entrepreneurship route is fraught with challenges, but with the right partners, these can be overcome. Choosing business partners are not to be taken lightly as they must be able to stick it out through the long haul. You need the right partners who match your passion, believe in your project and share your values. You must be able to entrust them with your financial investments, your goals, your time, and your future.
The road of entrepreneurship doesn’t need to be a lonely one! Or else, you might end up becoming a jack of all trades but a master of none. It’s practically impossible for you to master every skill needed to substantially grow. Running a business takes a lot of capabilities and different expertise (HR, finance, legal, admin, sales, marketing and so on). It is crucial that you surround yourself with the right people and ask for support. Bringing in external perspectives can be a huge added value to you by providing a vast array of experiences. They can be family, friends, investors, executive coaches and mentors who take an active role in shaping you and your business.
Taking time to celebrate small achievements is crucial to boosting your mood, energy, and productivity. After all, all these small victories are necessary pieces to complete the big picture! It’s important to reflect, appreciate, and share your achievements in order to keep on moving forward to reach the next milestone.
Don’t be scared to listen to your inner voice! Your gut feelings are a combination of wisdom, experience, perspective, and accumulated knowledge. A robust, intuitive ability does not replace the need for logic and analysis; it complements your ability to make smart decisions. You will know what is best for you.
Every entrepreneur knows that launching his/her own business means working more hours than in a regular job. However, some entrepreneurs put in more hours without stopping – and they can’t help themselves. It’s not healthy mentally or physically and it’s not as good for your business as you may think. Fatigue can wear down your willpower and reasoning ability. Whereas taking breaks can help you refocus your concentration as well as increase creativity and productivity!
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