Young entrepreneur Dara Huang explains the steps she took in her journey as a Harvard graduated architect, to gain the experience she needed to establish her own unique architectural business.
I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. It most likely runs in my family because my mother did too. She owned a restaurant, amongst other ventures. I've always admired female entrepreneurs. Especially because I know what it feels like to go to a meeting and be the only woman there. Being a woman in a male dominated industry, such as architecture and property is tough, but the challenge is also part of the appeal.
Adele Woodthorpe explains how she came up with the branding for her PR Company and shares the lessons she learned along the way.
My father has been my business mentor since day dot. I have run almost all of my thoughts, silly and serious, by him. It’s great to have someone who has had several businesses, and who cares, to discuss ‘business’ with. So when my father asked me on my 25th birthday what my plans were, I replied: “climb up the PR ladder, get married and have children”. He said “why don’t you set up your own PR agency?”
Needless to say, I barely slept that night thinking about how I would do it. My thinking at the time was “why not? I am good at PR, have great contacts and understand it inside out.”
Skyler McCurine explains how she felt upon leaving her corporate job; what she learned at a strategic planning workshop; and her plan to get the First Lady’s attention (we hope this article might help!)
I created my business in a Starbucks four years ago. I was sitting in my usual corner table, chugging Chai Latte in the hopes that a caffeine induced haze would help me with my final project for my graduate Business course.
My final project for this class consisted of a business proposal. I had a vision of creating a company to help individuals craft their personal brand and message through style. I realized the excitement I felt whilst writing it and wondered if I could really create a business.
Krissy Charles-Jones explains how being adaptable and evolving her business plan in response to changes in the market enabled her to grow her online training company from 4 to 70 staff in 2 years and her turnover and profit by 600% in the last year. See Krissy’s first Startup Diary entry here.
By the end of summer 2011 Bright Assessing had settled into the Alcester office and 4 new staff members had started. Sales were improving each week and the marketing for the company was really coming together.
In a tribute to US mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell, who asserted that all mythical heroes experience the same 12 steps on their adventures, Ondina Montgomery draws parallels between Campbell’s Hero’s Journey and that of the entrepreneur.
Part I of the Hero's Journey describes the protagonist's Ordinary World before they embark on their adventure.
Anita Mirchandani shares 6 quotes which help her to stay focused on her entrepreneurial journey in times of stress.
We all have days where we need a boost to charge forward, keep it up, and stay focused. It’s not always easy. Sometimes you just want to punch a wall, scream, cry, vent, you name it… and believe me, I know I have. I thought I’d share 6 quotes that help me take a minute, reflect, and recharge.
"People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year". Peter Drucker, Social Ecologist and father of modern management.
My takeaway: Risks are scary. As an entrepreneur, I realize that pursuing this route is time or money that I’ll never get back. However, if I don’t pursue it, I’ll live with all the “what ifs” and as it is, I have enough of those.
Jessica Elliott takes us through the early days of her dance school business, which is now opening its third franchise, and her hopes to provide a supportive community for her franchisees.
Starting a business can be the most exciting time for any entrepreneur. New ventures always bring an air of fascinating uncertainty which is incomparable to any other experience. The journey of starting out has allowed me to learn so much about myself and how determined I am to succeed.
In 2007, I launched J’s Dance Factory, a dance school for children aged 3-11. I started in a church hall with just 12 children. I had quit my retail job and could just about afford the rent for the classes, but it quickly grew, and soon enough I had seventy children coming to the school. I was able to do shows and exams, and opportunities soon started to flood in. The business began to flourish at a steady pace, and I fell in love with the beauty of having the freedom to do anything I wanted to do (within reason), because it was mine!
Leah Goold-Haws shares her unfolding entrepreneurial journey and the strategies which enable her to enjoy the twists in the path.
This entrepreneur’s journey requires the absolute leap of faith that is required when you are taking the unknown path. You don’t have any answers and it feels like you are only feeling your way in the dark… but slowly, tiny lights up ahead indicate you’re heading in the right direction.
Okay – so maybe I’m waxing a bit philosophical here, but truly there have been many times when I felt so unsure and all I could do was let go and believe this journey would somehow take me to where I am meant to go.
I left off my last entry having described how the Xerox copy of my board game came to life after piloting a high school course last year. From there we were soon asked to create a full curriculum and it seemed I’d found my calling. Working with the public school system to implement entrepreneurial training.
Gertrude Forson explains how she has
overcome her natural shyness to launch a successful self-funded
domestic staffing agency; she shares some of the lessons she’s learned along the way.
For the past three and a half years I have had real trouble finding a job. None of the job agencies would help me; I was rejected because of my origin. When I did get invited for a job interview, they would laugh at me, sometimes making comments right in front of me, such as "Oh, she's African. Does she really think we are going to hire her?" I felt slighted and dejected. At the time I was a very strong and confident person but these experiences changed that. I lost my confidence and eventually developed an aversion to applying for jobs at all.
I decided to start calling from home to apply for jobs rather than visiting the office in person. I thought it might increase my chances. This did work better; the owner would be pleasant and polite until I mentioned that I was born in Africa. As soon as I mentioned that, they would tell me that the position had already been filled or that I didn't fit their profile.
Britt Hogue explains how she transformed her business by applying to herself the same advice that she gives to her clients.
Eat Your Own Cooking
As some of you may know, I am approaching my one year anniversary as a business owner. I am a strategy and operations consultant to nonprofit organizations, and I haven't been shy about admitting to friends and family (and pretty much anyone who will listen) that I've been struggling to stay organized. Most people respond saying that I appear to have things fairly under control, or that it takes time to get settled into a new career – especially when that new career is entrepreneurship.
And yet, having spent the first 10 years of my career in traditional jobs, I have found the crazy and hectic life of self-employment to be rather challenging.