Start Up

Startup Lessons: Don’t Get Lost In A Sea Of Opinions. Stay True To Yourself.

Networking means you’re constantly bombarded with different personalities. You can easily become lost in a sea of opinions.

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

sea-931164_640Continuous behavior is what builds trust. People don’t like people who flip flop. The greatest way to build trust and respect is to be who you are and stand by your word. Doing that takes self-exploration.

Take the time to learn and love who you are. Have a clear set of values and ethical behavior. Don’t let new circumstances or people shake your values and your foundation. This is very important, especially if you’re going to take my advice from Startup Lessons: How To Meet The Right People and meet a lot of people. Networking often means you’re constantly bombarded with a slew of different personalities – from the way they walk to the way they talk to what they believe in. If you’re not grounded in who you are, you can easily become lost in a sea of opinions.

As you set out to gain the knowledge that you need to make your business a reality, you’re going to be getting advice from a lot of people all of the time. As people willingly share their experiences and ideas, it’s important to be open to receiving them. However, it is also just as vital to shift through those ideas and see what makes sense for you. Many businesses never hit their stride because they try to be everything to all people. Your business and its services are not for everyone. You need to define your target audience and then test it to see who your audience really is. Just because John said A and B made sense for his business, doesn’t mean A and B is going to make sense for yours. You need to keep your business and its mission on task and pivot when necessary.

Some of the world’s most successful moguls initially found success in one arena and then added other successes to their portfolio.

Whenever someone gives me valuable suggestions, I write it down, take it home and dissect it. I do research on what they are recommending and see if it makes sense for me at the current stage I’m in, in the future or not at all. I can only make differentiations between the three, because I know my long-term goals for my startup. I try not to make short-sighted decisions that sound good at the time. Be clear on where you want your business to end up, but stay open to how you get there.

Next Up: Need help keeping track of all of the startup advice you receive? Download this easy to use Startup Tips Manager template to help you prioritize those handy tips.

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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