We all have “that moment” and I remember mine like it was yesterday.
I was working in corporate America, getting paid less than my male counterparts for the same work and knew I wanted more. I decided to take the leap and go into business for myself where I would not only have control over what I paid myself and others, but so many other aspects of my success.
That moment was the start of my dream as a woman business owner. Since becoming a member of NAWBO, my chapter as well as the national organization—and all the incredible people and partners who are part of these—have been helping to power it. They’ve provided everything I’ve needed to succeed, and even a few things I didn’t know I needed at the time.
A few short weeks ago, NAWBO held its National Women’s Business Conference, which was virtual for the second consecutive year, but as near in-person as an online event gets. There was fun, networking, education, inspiration, resources, awards, swag and more—all designed to deliver on the conference theme’s promise of “Power Your Dream.”
Whether or not you were able to join us this year, we hope you’re finding smart and creative ways to move your dream forward despite the challenges we’ve all faced these past two years. Here are tips from Inc. Magazine to inspire you in the weeks ahead to keep pushing:
1) Don’t be afraid to fail: Constantly move outside of your comfort zone and remember that failure is an inevitable part of success.
2) Seek feedback: Feedback is critical to your success too. This might come in the form of competitive research or input on an idea from your NAWBO sisters.
3) Keep learning: The most successful founders and CEOs are some of the most avid learners. Read books, listen to audiobooks and take online courses.
4) Become an expert: Look for ways to show off your expertise. Speak at an event, send out a media release or start your own blog or podcast.
5) Ask for referrals: As you navigate the path of entrepreneurship, you’ll identify things you need, from a lawyer to capital. Ask your NAWBO sisters to whom they’ve turned.
6) Minimize the negative: You’ll meet doubters along the way who won’t understand your vision. That’s okay—just don’t spend too much time with them. Surround yourself with people who inspire you instead.
7) Build your network: If you want to really power your dream, you can’t do it alone. Network like it’s your job because the collaboration that results is truly invaluable.
8) Dream BIG: Women often underestimate their potential and fail to dream big enough. Think about “why” you started your business and the legacy you want to leave.
9) Believe in yourself: Believe you can do it and you’re part way there. Your journey might be rocky at times but be confident the challenges are worth it.
Lastly, remember NAWBO is here for you. As the voice of America’s 11.6 million women business owners for more than 45 years now, NAWBO has the connections, advocacy, education, resources and more to help you meet your dream—or exceed it.
If you missed this year’s National Women’s Business Conference, there are other upcoming opportunities to power your dream. Join us in-person in January in Tempe, Arizona, for NAWBO’s Leadership Academy 2022. In addition to strengthening our leadership together, we’ll move from steps to strides in our diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging efforts. I hope to see you there!