compiled 3/16 by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Read this wise counsel and you will see that different as the advice is from each female founder, there is a thread of caring & learning that runs through them all.
Rachel Maxwell of Community Sourced Capital1: is the Founder & CEO of this Seattle-based company, that exists so that businesses can access affordable capital from their community. If a business isn’t ready to access a Community Loan, the team at CSC connects them to a network of partners who can. Rachael says, “Start with the understanding that all businesses serve society. Be sure you deeply understand who your business serves and how. Before you start, be certain that you are passionately committed to that service. Consult with people who work in the field. Resist the impulse to please everyone. Step outside your comfort zone. Once you’ve done all that– trust your gut!“
Laura Bosworth2 of TevidoBbiDdevices: is the founder of a bio-technology company using 3D bio-printing of a woman’s own living cells – to build custom grafts for breast cancer reconstruction, and she says, “Know your numbers, know your market size, understand what it costs to manufacture, to market, to sell, know how many customers you need to make a living, scale a business, do your financial projections as early as you can. Everything can be updated in your plan as you learn more.“
Julie Fahnestock of bStorytelling: founded a Content Development company in Florida, designed to popularize the good happening through business. Her advice: ”Set boundaries and develop a set of best practices with clients & customers before you set up your first meeting or sign your first proposal. Be picky about the people to whom you give your creative energy & valuable time. Set hours, practice saying No and don’t be afraid to fire clients who deem themselves inappropriate. I never thought I’d have to explain to a male client why I didn’t want to meet at his home on a Saturday. In firing him, I lost several thousand dollars and several hours of time. If I had interviewed him more intentionally and not gotten lost in dollar signs, I would have seen his true colors and saved a lot of time & emotional energy.”
Merin Guthrie2 of The Kit Company: is the founder of KitMade, an e-Commerce company that leverages on-demand, USA-based manufacturing to solve the problem of fit for women’s clothing. Her advice: “Be prepared to iterate. Know going in that you will learn on your feet and make lots of tweaks very quickly. Listen to your customers, listen to your investors, and when its time to make a change, dive in and don’t look back.”
Caroline Nguyen of MomWorkforce: is the founder of MomWorkForce that aims to be the marketplace of choice – connecting employers & mothers in tech. She invites you to ask yourself three questions, and believes it takes careful consideration of these questions to get a good start.
1. What is my passion and how can I infuse my business with that passion? Even for motivated, well-educated women, personal & professional obstacles are inevitable. If you are not truly committed to your ultimate cause, mustering the perseverance to sustain yourself through rejections, technical challenges, & a multitude of other unexpected hurdles will be impossible. Use your passion as the basis for a project that has a purpose that is meaningful to you.
2. Where am I in life? Evaluate your current life situation carefully. How big a risk can you take at a given moment? Consider how your decision to undertake an entrepreneurial venture will impact other aspects of your life. Consider how not taking a challenge might affect you down the road. Would you regret not pursuing your dream because of proximate responsibilities that you feel are insurmountable?
3. What Resources do I currently have available to me? Do your research. Use reputable, well-established sources to help you find the most effective means of support for your project. Focus on initiatives for women in business – which have grown enormously in recent years. Tap into those resources and the community of women entrepreneurs they are helping to cultivate. It is a wonderful moment to be a female entrepreneur! Make the most of programs, networks, & funding sources that exist.
Dr Noa Ruschin Rimini of Grid4C: is the Founder & CEO that empowers all “energy value chain” participants by providing them the power to foresee – leveraging advanced Machine Learning capabilities to deliver accurate, granular predictions, which are crucial for tackling the rising challenges of today’s energy industry. Her idea is that, “There is nothing more exciting & fulfilling than building your own business from scratch and creating a venture that makes a real difference in the world. My advice is to make sure you are providing real value, stay focused. There will be many distractions. You will also have to make many quick decisions, Use your intuition & trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to say No, stand up for yourself and make it happen!“
Claire Wheeler of ReWork: and is also one of my graduates and founded her Vermont firm to translate, craft & deliver custom business solutions that free creatives, change-makers & community-based businesses to do the work they love. She advises, “Listen to yourself first, so that you know exactly what to say about who you are, what you do, and why you’re here. As a woman in our culture, I find myself falling into the habit of accommodating, adapting, & stretching to always meet the other person first. I think much of our dominant society perpetuates that dynamic – whether intentionally or subconsciously – and it’s time for the balance to shift. For me, running my own business challenges that dynamic. It is a platform where I can make the calls, build the relationships, & speak my voice with clarity & certainty.”
Comments: Is there any Advice you can add to this – from your experience?