Women need to shift from ‘I’m not ready to do that’ to thinking ‘I want to do that and I’ll learn by doing it’ – Sheryl Sandberg COO of Facebook absolutely nailed it with that quote.

I for one have always learned by ‘doing it’. No one ever told me how to set up a business. I never went to business school or learned as an apprentice. I just knew I wanted to do something for myself; took a deep breath and learned as I went along. Yes, I had doubts, but I always had a voice in my head that said ‘what’s the worse that can happen?’.

I was ridiculed by my so called business associates and corporate colleagues. Who ever heard of a girl setting up shop with more than a handful of designers in my employ. It was definitely the domain of men – with women being second in charge. Well, I look back now and think, yeah who said I couldn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t? It is now my turn to say to any woman coming out of a difficult divorce, bereavement and other life changing trauma or challenge to take a deep breath, relax your shoulders and take your time – you’ve got this!

You may not feel confident and feel you should know your place. No one has ever believed in you and even worse has always underestimated your power inside of you. Here are my personal tips on becoming the entrepreneur that is beating to come out…

  1. Tell yourself you are unique and amazing
  2. Find something you have always had a passion for (not necessarily a business idea at this point)
  3. Talk to a friend or mentor about your ideas. They won’t judge you, but will listen and encourage you to think further. Two heads are generally better than one
  4. Research the market whether it is a business idea, social enterprise or philanthropic endeavour.
  5. Write down and record who else is in your space. It’s great when you don’t have to reinvent the wheel sometimes, but it is very exciting when you can.
  6. Create a vision for yourself, how you want to change the world, make money, rejuvenate a market in some way. This will get under your skin, get the adrenalin going and you’ll feel very excited.
  7. Sit and work out an idea using a mind map or SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) it’s simple and effective.
  8. Make a plan using using SMART objectives (be specific, how will you measure it, how achievable is this idea, how realistic, and what’s the time frame?)
  9. Start today. Say ‘yes’ and believe that ‘done is better than perfect’.
We learn as we go – absolutely.  It’s not a race and only release that entrepreneur inside if you feel passionate, have a vision and will commit to working really really hard!
If you can see yourself becoming an entrepreneur, no matter how late in life, then get in touch with me for more advice and support.
Anita Brightley-Hodges
Founder, Saphora Private