My business coach Dan Paulson asked me to write a few lines on how do I get out of my own way as an entrepreneur. This is a good question, because I would wager that I am my own worst enemy sometimes. I grew up with parents who were super hard on me. My friends would tell you that I’m hard on myself as an adult.
1. I suffer from ‘perfect’
I will procrastinate because I suffer from the need for everything to be perfect. I’ve been this way since I was a kid. My Barbie dolls were placed with razor sharp precision in my bedroom and all my jewelry always had to match my outfits. So, today as an adult, I need the perfect chateau in the South of France to write my book. Or else I won’t write it. I need stars to align to begin raising capital for my small business. On and On. The way I have learned to get out of my own way is to shelve the obsession with perfection and just ^&*( ig do it. I put myself in a writing class for the accountability on my book. I’ve started to chat with crowdfunding platforms and people who have done private placements to understand the fundraising world. Just. Start. Somewhere. “Done is better than perfect” as Sheryl Sandberg says.
2. Don’t multi-task
Now that I’m an entrepreneur, its easy to live in the overwhelm and never get anything done. But that’s not a solution. The night before, I sit down and do an entire brain dump of all the things I have to do. Everything from ‘drop off Rent the Runway clothes at UPS’ to financial modeling for June 2020 gets put on that list. Then I rank the items in an app called ‘Wanderlist’ in the order of importance. And for the big creative projects, like write book, again—I time block chunks on my Google calendar and I don’t veer from that plan, even when happy is calling. “Plan the work and work the plan”
3. Be consistent.
When I knew I was leaving my day job to become a full fledged entrepreneur in November 2018, I started putting systems and processes in place for my exit. I got a business coach. I got a communications coach. I got a social media coach. And I determined the co work space I would work out of everyday. Daily, I show up at 8 or 9am at Luminary, and I work. Somedays, I feel like, what the hell happened to this day? But I’m consistently showing up. I also am consistent with my social media. And let me tell you that machine is EVERYDAY and it’s exhausting. But punching out content each day is critical to my brand. I always make sure I’m educating first and selling second.
4. You are the sum of the five people you hang out with.
This sounds so Machiavellian, but our ‘network’ determines our ‘net worth.’ I interviewed the CEO of Lively last Thursday. She launched a line of community driven lingerie that is giving Victoria’s Secret a run for the money. One of her mentors is Harvey Sanders, who founded the clothing line Nautica. She met him in her social circles and he is still her mentor today. I joined an incubator called “MILLION DOLLAR WOMAN” because I wanted to be surrounded by women who want their businesses to reach the million dollar mark too .
5. Lead with authenticity.
Folks often ask me “How can I build a brand on social media?” Tell us a story. Pretend your business is a film and you are taking us by the hand through the plot. Luckily for us, all the tools we need today to build a brand are free and available to us at our fingertips. We just have to engage in the content creation. Opening a salon? Start from day 1 and take me by the hand to share the ups and downs of starting it. How frustrating is it when construction doesn’t go the way you planned? Oh, you can’t find hairstylists? Why? When reading books, people are most drawn to characters who are flawed. Sharing the chinks in the armor and being willing to be vulnerable is who I am. ON the days that I share with authenticity is when I see the highest level of engagement. But that makes the good stuff that is going on, all the more powerful by contrast..