Start Up

If You Want To Launch A Startup, You Have To Start Making Yourself A Priority

If you want to launch a startup, don't think finding capital is the number one thing on your to-do list. It also means making you a priority.

Startup Lessons is an ongoing series where Lioness Founder Natasha shares tips as she continues her journey in startup land.

If You Want To Launch And Grow A Startup, You Have To Start Making Yourself A Priority - Lioness MagazineAs women we give so much of ourselves to others around us. We run carpools, office parties, lead projects, act as therapists to our girlfriends and referees to our kids. If you want to launch a startup, you have to start making yourself a priority.

Leading like a lioness takes investment. Over the last few years I have invested in myself like never before. First of all, as startup founders we’re broke. I launched Lioness with my own capital. I invested my earnings from my 9-5 gig into my company, which meant I penny pinched.

I recycled money that I earned directly into my business or indirectly by investing in books, workshops and opportunities that would help make me a better leader and business owner. I started to think about what I wanted my life to look like and it meant pushing past my boundaries of comfort.

Don’t be fooled by the fabulousness associated with the word startup or entrepreneur. I’ve made many sacrifices – missing cool events, drooling over shoes in a store window and making decisions like buying a cheap, used Pontiac Sunfire to avoid monthly car payments.

While some days those sacrifices hurt, waking up and being my own boss is priceless. On July 31, 2014 when I became a full-fledged startup big girl (by kissing the security of my day job goodbye) and followed my passion of serving women entrepreneurs, I knew there were some things that were going to change when I woke up the next day.

The most pressing one was my finances. Holy cow, I am responsible for my own income! Sometimes the realization still gives me chills. But I knew there were things I was going to have to do away with in order to get by until my startup generated a proper cash flow.

Each day I think about how NOT to spend a dollar and in the process I’ve discovered there are so many ways to waste your hard-earned cash. Check out the top ways I did, here.

About the author

Natasha Zena

Around age eight Natasha Zena was told it was a woman’s job to take care of the home and since then she has built a career out of telling women they can do whatever the hell they want to do. She is the co-founder of Lioness, the go-to news source for everything female entrepreneur. Natasha was recognized as an emerging leader in digital media by The Poynter Institute and the National Association of Black Journalists. She has mentored women entrepreneurs and moderated panels at a number of national accelerators, Startup Weekends and conferences such as The Lean Startup Conference, the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Women Empower Expo and Smart Cities Connect. Natasha is also the author of the popular whitepaper, "How To Close The Gender Gap In Startup Land By 2021." In her spare time, she writes short fiction and hangs out with her son, Shaun.

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