Nine years ago, I made the decision to remove as many synthetic chemicals from my lifestyle as I possibly could.
That led to a moment in which I realized I had identified a gap in the skincare market. I couldn't find precisely the type of product I was looking for, and I realized I had two options. I could compromise, and settle for a product I wasn't completely happy with, or I could create it myself.
I chose the latter and embarked on the five-year journey to formulate my skincare line. Along the way, I founded my company, and officially became an entrepreneur.
This path hasn't been easy, but it has been an amazing journey. I know there are many women out there, of all ages, bursting with a brilliant idea for a business that they want to share with the world.
So, to all of you budding entrepreneurs, I have 9 simple and hopefully helpful pieces of advice, that I have learned from founding a successful business.
1. Be sure that you are absolutely passionate about your idea.
Starting a business and seeing it through is incredibly hard work, and you need to be sure that you'll never lose that passion and zest for the original idea.
2. Be ready to make sacrifices.
Everyone knows it's hard work, but it's a lot of time, too. Be ready to have to give up some nights and weekends to do what you need to do. Once you accept that these sacrifices get you closer to your goal, they're easier to handle, and you may not even notice it anymore. But at first, it's hard.
3. Surround yourself with people you trust, admire, and don't mind spending a lot of time with.
No great company was ever built by one single person; everyone needs support, and every great idea needs a variety of perspectives and skill sets.
4. Focus on your advantages, not your disadvantages.
It's all about attitude, and being fully confident about what you have that no one else has.
5. Read biographies of business leaders.
While it often seems from a distance like successful CEOs have it all figured out, these books shed light on the context of "success," and have taught me that it's very much about personality, perseverance and flexibility.
6. Always make time for learning more.
Even though my daily schedule is packed, I always factor in time to spend reading, learning or researching, because it keeps me inspired and up-to-date on what's happening in the world outside of my office. For example, I am always in the middle of a new book that's relevant to my business, whether it's on skin biology, aromatherapy, or nutrition.
7. Subscribe to the Harvard Business Review.
It always has something interesting, relevant, and thoughtful.
8. Love what you sell.
Whether it's a product or a service, if you aren't completely in love with what you're offering to the world, it's not going to be convincing enough. You need to be the ultimate evangelist for what you offer.
9. Don't be intimidated by those who are bigger than you.
Ask as many questions as you need to, and stand your ground.
It isn't perfect advice, but each of these points has been helpful for me to keep in mind. Do you have any bits of advice for women entrepreneurs? If so, I'd love to hear them. (I'm still learning!) Let me know in the comments below.