How Successful Women Entrepreneurs Are Made From Smart Women

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Calling all enterprising women. This article is for you! No, it isn’t about feminine products or brassieres. (Whew! Aren’t you relieved?) This article shows you how to get SMART and become successful entrepreneurs.

You know what “smart” means, doll, but you don’t know what “SMART” means. So doll, let’s make a toast to all the women entrepreneurs in the world. And now, let’s get SMART.

The SMART acronym tells you how to function at optimal levels as a woman entrepreneur. It helps you streamline your responsibilities, take charge of your time and resources, and hone your focus so it’s sharper than Freddy Krueger’s manicure. (We could say his “fangernails” since we’re in the South but “manicure” sounds oh so much more refined!)

So, what do you have to do to get SMART? Here are your SMART steps to success:

S = Simplify, Single-mindedly. Take an honest assessment of yourself and figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Then jump on in and start out on your newest (ad)venture!

As women, we are notorious multi-taskers. We need to unlearn that! Let me repeat, we need to STOP MULTI-TASKING and instead be single-minded. You can’t do everything for everyone, hon, and still have time to fulfill your dream of owning a successful business.

M = Market Research. You must must must (yes, doll, that’s three emphatic “musts”) do market research BEFORE you create your business. Go to surveymonkey.com to conduct a brief email survey or interview your friends and family in person.

I did that…with an eight-page survey. I went the old-fashioned paper survey route and got back all but one survey filled out. Yes, ALL EIGHT PAGES from over sixty people!

You want to know how? Chocolate! I handed out each survey with a dark chocolate bar and a note saying “Thank you in advance for helping me have success. I want to know what you think and can’t wait to hear back from you!”

Check out your competition too. Determine what you can do for others that is unique. What holes do you see in what the competition offers? Then ask yourself “Is there a market for this?” and “Is there a market that will PAY for this?” (a critical question that many folks overlook in their start-up enthusiasm). Ask yourself “Where are they? Are they the kind of people I want to serve?”

I figured something essential out just two years ago. Take it from my V-8 moment: The people you love to serve are versions of you! Don’t focus on every Joe and Joelle you meet–just on those people you most enjoy serving. And yes, hon, they have lots in common with you which is why you LIKE each other!

A = Ask for help! Let me say that again for all the misguided do-it-yourself-ers out there. Ask for help. You may think you’re an Amazon but you’re not! You need to ask for help.

Think of what you’re not good at and what you hate doing, and then find a way to outsource what you dislike or despise. If you’ve got limited funds, you can trade. If you do have some extra cash, you can hire someone to do the onerous stuff for you. If you don’t get some stuff off your plate, darling, you’re going to crack.

Every woman entrepreneur needs an adviser, a smart-as-a-whip tax adviser, a PR manager, a web designer, and a copywriter or editor. Hard to even CONSIDER getting all this help? You don’t cut your own hair, do you, doll? Look, you’re outsourcing already!

The only chore I do these days is laundry–and I’m even contemplating giving that up. Do you want your legacy to be a spic and span bathroom floor or a kick-a#&s business, girlfriend? I’ll take the business for a million, Alex. What about you?

R = Reward yourself! And not just for the big stuff. Reward yourself for the small things that you do every day. It takes GUTS to put yourself out there over and over as a small business owner. It takes boldness to leave a secure job, find your passion, and create work you love to do!

Let me ask you something. When you finish a task, do you just move on as fast as you can? My guess is yes. As opposed to jumping ahead to the next task on your list, why not pat yourself on the back for the one you just completed and give yourself a reward?

In big companies, people complain that they don’t get enough praise from their bosses and managers for the little things they do day in and day out. When you’re in business for yourself, guess who your manager is? So who’s got to reward you for what you do, dear?

The second “R” in “SMART” is for “Reach.” You need to reach beyond your comfort zone. You took the leap into a new business, now just keep reaching for the stars. The moment you stop reaching is the moment business slows down or comes to standstill.

Listen hon, reaching isn’t just reaching OUT to other people, it’s also reaching WITHIN yourself to figure out what creative project you’d like to do next. As a successful business owner, you’ve got to constantly scrutinize what you are doing and who you are becoming. When you stop growing, guess what? So does your business.

T = Take Time for re-creation so you develop both personally and professionally. If things are out of kilter in your home life, it impacts your career and vice versa. You need to create balance in ALL the aspects of your life. And you need to make time for yourself and your women friends, “me time” and “she time” as I like to call it.

Take heed sweetheart, it’s okay to ask for help. Rome wasn’t built in a day and fairy godmothers are pretty hard to come by. The only way you’re going to realize your dream of owning your own business is to catapult into action and do it!

It takes hard work, support, and strength of heart, all of which I KNOW you can create in your life. So, no excuses–Get SMART and get your start. Get SMART and join the other successful women entrepreneurs making an impact in our world!

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