Were you the little girl with the corner lemonade stand? Did you sit in your classes daydreaming about becoming your own boss? Were you in the middle of a difficult situation when you thought of a solution that would help you and others? Wherever your entrepreneurial journey began, these words of advice from accomplished entrepreneurs will remind you to nurture the inner spark that makes you an entrepreneur.
Start now and don’t wait!
No one ever wished they waited to launch their company. They may have regrets, but usually about the opportunity not seized or the step they missed, not the mistakes they made on the path. Starting too soon isn’t usually a concern, but waiting often is.
“My advice for my younger entrepreneurial self would have to include “Start earlier!” Entrepreneurship literally never occurred to my younger self. I always assumed that I was going to work for someone else and it wasn’t until I was forced into the position in 2008 that I started my first company.” ~Bobbie Carlton of Innovation Women
You are the answer
While others can inspire you and help to guide your journey, you are the one who creates the vision, leads the way and builds your business.
“I was looking for “the answer” when I started my entrepreneurial journey. My younger self mistakenly assumed that someone must have it, this magical secret or key that I needed to be successful. Many “experts” tried to sell me things along the way, like courses, books, masterclasses, you name it, professing that they had the answers I sought. I realized that no one had the answer; how could they? I am building something that has never been built before. You have to pave your own way and figure out the answers you seek. This takes patience, a clear vision, courage and vulnerability.” ~Theresa Melito-Conners, PhD (Dr. MC)
Do what you love
Work represents a significant part of your life and entrepreneurship means a deep personal investment. Grind for a cause you care about, a community you love or a solution that inspires you.
“Doing what I love has been the key for me to live a fulfilling and happy life. The kitchen and food have always been passions for me. As a little girl, I remember just enjoying myself with my grandmothers and mother when they were in the kitchen. It was so fascinating to see them cook delicious food and home remedies with so much love, intention and detail. I want my food to show these characteristics in every way possible. Doing what I love has created a sense of joy and fulfillment in my life. When I am in the kitchen, I truly feel like I am not working at all. I feel alive, happy and creative.” ~Massiel Infante of Mi Concinita
Embrace mistakes and what they teach you
Mistakes and failures are just steps on your journey to success. Learning is a process of trial and error, and it’s easy to struggle with the latter. But failure is an inherent part of success. Failure is not final.
“We don’t need more resilience in the world, what we need is what I received. Empathy and grace. People forget your mistakes almost as quickly as you do. My transition from corporate happened swiftly. I didn’t have time to waste to figure anything out. What I needed was income. Everyone told me to be a coach. And I sucked at it. One year later, with a brand identity refresh, I realized that I had yet to remember any posts I created in haste, and, in large, my audience didn’t either. What did happen was a celebration of my courage to share my journey boldly. Accepting me and what I thought went wrong.” ~Sybil Stewart of C-Suite Women
Trust your instincts. You know more about a situation than you may realize. You recognize a need and have a strong sense of how to fill that need. Perhaps others don’t see the vision, but you know it’s the right direction. Listen to your gut. And if it doesn’t work out as you hoped, see previous item.
“I became a career coach because I’ve learned to trust my instincts and discernment. I’d quit teaching and was chatting with a girlfriend about what my next career (my 7th) should be. She popped up with “career coach!” I had never even heard of career coaching, but, as soon as the words left her mouth, I knew that I would become one. Here’s the thing. No one knows us as well as we know ourselves. When we embrace those hits of “this is perfect for me” or “this feels so right” we’re trusting both our instincts and our discernment, in other words, our gut feelings. Honoring our gut feelings is the key to staying aligned with ourselves.” ~Becky Berry of Becky Berry Career Coaching
These entrepreneurs know that the key to success is you. Your vision, mindset and determination will allow you to build your business, making a mere dream into your reality. Being an entrepreneur is hard and reminders like this are important. You are the spark.