2721 839 4839 karen@karenwessels.com
Try these 4 unusually interesting ways to keep your current clients loyal

Try these 4 unusually interesting ways to keep your current clients loyal

Try these 4 unusually interesting ways to keep your current clients loyal

Back in the day the traditional “thank you card” or even a postcard was a great way of telling your clients that you are thinking of them and that you appreciate their patronage.

Am I going too far back in time for some of you? J I remember that happy sensation of receiving a postcard in the mail, not to mention sending off a card via “snail mail” and then a few weeks down the line getting a thank you call for my effort. Such a great feeling!

Our clients want to be wowed, in fact, so do all of us! We love the way it makes us feel when we are made to feel special.

The question is, when last did you make your clients feel special?

You know the movie “Finding Forrester”? Sean Connery plays the part of the withdrawn writer named Forrester, who mentors a young man. This young man falls in love with a lady and wants to send her a gift. Not sure what to send he asks his mentor who advises “The key to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.”

Precisely! If you want to wow your clients then you need to do something out of the ordinary. What can you do in your business to help you stand out from your competitors and at the same time give your clients that warm fuzzy feeling?

Here are 4 unusual but interesting ways to keep your clients loyal:

1.     Give your client a shout out on your social media

Mention a happy client on your social media or website. Thank the client for their support and make the message personal. Where possible share a link to their website or one of their social media platforms. This will be great for their branding and for your credibility.

2.     Send that card!

I realise its old-school, but sometimes we want to reminisce, so send that birthday card, anniversary card, happy day card. Get a nice writing pen and write your client something personal in your handwriting. That will definitely win some brownie points!

3.     Surprise your client with an actual gift

There are so many platforms available where you can book and pay for gift boxes and treats. Naturally it would be good to know your clients preferences as far as possible. You certainly don’t want to send delicious cow’s milk chocolate to a vegan of course! Make sure you know your clients that well and personalise their treat just for them.

4.     Purchase Coffee for a Long Distance Client

Those clients who are based far away from your business could feel neglected at times. Why not purchase them a cup of coffee from their local barista and have it hand-delivered? If they don’t drink coffee send them something else, the point is to surprise your long-distance clients and make them feel important.

Bringing it together

Whatever you choose to do to wow your clients, make sure that it establishes brand loyalty, a natural love for your service offering and way of doing business. You’ll often hear me say that people buy from people, so keep that human touch going, it’s so important for the longevity of your business and brand!

Join Me on My Journey of Launching a Brand New Online School

Join Me on My Journey of Launching a Brand New Online School

Join Me on My Journey of Launching a Brand New Online School

The start of my Entrepreneurial Journey

I’m very blessed to have started my entrepreneurial journey in such a gracious and exciting way. I had just started a new position at a national company and a client from my previous employer frantically called me one morning asking me to please help out on his account. As I had started my new post less than 2 months ago I was less than eager to leave my job, so we come to a compromise where I would do work for him after hours.

As they say, the rest is history. From that one phone call my future path was decided. After years of working full-time and servicing this client after hours, I decided to take the plunge head-on to becoming a full-time entrepreneur. And I have loved every moment of it, both the yin and the yang!

Giving back and adding value

If you know me at all, you’ll be quick to identify that I love sharing my hard-earned knowledge with others. And I call it hard-earned, because it was through blood, sweat and tears that I am where I am today. Look, this journey cannot be done successfully without the support of your family and friends, colleagues and team members. But it still comes down to you, the entrepreneur, to take the risks, to work the relentless hours, to face possible depression, loss of income and so much more, because believe me, not everyone is willing to do the hard graft.

I love to give back, and I openly share my knowledge and experience to those who are coachable and will listen. As president of South Africa’s most formidable Virtual Assistant Association, I often give consulting sessions for free to those up-and-coming Virtual Assistants who have joined our association.

I give freely to most who contact me directly and give me a sign of commitment. And this is one of the many reasons why I decided to start my very own LMS, an online school for business owners and up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

The goal of my online school

Naturally the proportion of something of this undertaking takes time, planning, strategy and patience, so the online school is currently in production phase.

My goal and intention with this school is to help as many people as possible, to spread the business love and to help my fellow entrepreneurs where they are lacking and to avoid any possible pitfalls. You do need to fail to learn important business lessons, however, if I can make your path that much easier, it will be my pleasure to help out!

With this online school I can reach so many more aspiring entrepreneurs, virtual assistants and business owners across the globe.

The first course will focus on Virtual Assistants. As one of the founding godmothers of Virtual Assistance in South Africa, I have witnessed first-hand how this industry has grown and matured. Daily I receive enquiries from working moms and executives who want to leave the rat-race and start their own thing from home. I know that learning from my mistakes and sharing my knowledge they can make a success of it.

The Virtual Assistant course will take the prospective VA through starting her own business, to formulating a winning strategy, keeping the sales funnel filled, what services to offer and so much more.

Please cast your vote : Which logo should we use?

As we build this beautiful beast and get ready for launch, I would love to hear from you regarding our logo choice. Which one would you choose, A, B or C, and why?

Should you assist in choosing the winning logo, one lucky voter will receive select course modules for free!*

Let me know your thoughts, and of course, how I can help you!

*Terms and conditions apply.

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.

Outsourcing is at it’s height this year. Here’s why

Outsourcing is at it’s height this year. Here’s why

Outsourcing is at it’s height this year. Here’s why

Being a Virtual Assistant right now is the best thing you can do

If you are currently a Virtual Assistant or you are thinking of starting your own VA business, man oh man, have you entered the market at a very hot time!

Here’s the thing, stats say that by 2020 more than 50% of the workforce will be working remotely. This also means that more and more business minded people will look at hiring Virtual Assistants to help them run their business and even get through their secular job! More and more employers are encouraging remote working.

Being a VA Agency owner I have witnessed firsthand how this industry has grown and matured over the last decade. Not to mention how much more in demand Virtual Assistants have become over the last 2 years. Outsourcing is becoming a big thing and as more businesses clamp down on costs and look at efficient ways to get the help they need, the more in demand you, the VA, becomes.

I’m blessed to run a very successful managed Virtual Assistant Agency, in fact, Africa’s largest Virtual Assistant Agency. So much so, that I am inundated with inquiries every day to help VA’s out with where to start, how to target their market, to join my team, to be coached and mentored, and how to close more deals. This is one of the reasons why we started VAASA, the Virtual Assistants Association of South Africa. The Growth Academy will also be launching soon, with it’s very first course focusing on starting your own VA business (more about this in my upcoming blog).

Becoming a Virtual Assistant in 2018

Been thinking about leaving your full-time job to enjoy the beautiful world of outsourcing? This can be a tough one. You’re looking at leaving your cushy corporate job, where you know what your pay will be at the end of the month, for months of stress and pressure, not knowing where your first client will come from and how you’re going to pay for everything until then.

Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship!

I always tell my coaching students that everything comes with a sacrifice. In order to see the stars the darkness is required. With light comes dark, it is the flow of life. To celebrate your passion, dictating your own rates and time is awesome, however, with it you will need to sacrifice something, be it sleep, your lifestyle, your social circle, the list goes on.

Know this though – being a Virtual Assistant and running your own business is deeply rewarding and highly fulfilling, especially when you do it right.

Start with your Why

Perhaps the greatest starting point is understanding why you want to do this. Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle is a great way to understand the why of your purpose and business, before anything else. I guess you could say if your why is right, that it is aligned with your vision and purpose, the teething and growing pains of starting your business becomes reduced in scale.

For the Entrepreneur Hiring a Virtual Assistant

I often have the opportunity to do keynote talks on Outsourcing. I reckon it’s one of the best inventions since, well, sliced bread! 🙂

International business owners have been outsourcing admin related tasks to Virtual Assistants for years. On our South African shores this has only recently become quite the phenomenon and I’ve seen the rise in inquiries for Virtual Assistants in the last 2 years.

How to make the outsourcing process easy

If you are new at hiring a Virtual Assistant, or even a dab hand at it, let’s show you some steps on how to identify the right VA for you and your business.

  1. Is the Virtual Assistant online? It should go without saying, all Virtual Assistant should have an online presence, how else will they be found?
  2. Credibility and testimonials. Does the VA’s website and online presence speak to you? Does their website share client testimonials? If the VA’s website doesn’t feel credible and trustworthy it’s going to be a tough task to bring them in on your team.
  3. Is the business owner easily accessible? I make sure that any potential clients have easy access to me as the business owner. I represent my business’s brand the best and I want to be sure that you can reach me.
  4. Can you speak directly to your potential VA before getting started? Remember, you are bringing this Virtual Assistant into your inner circle, giving them access to confidential information and IP, so can you chat with them before getting started? With my VA Agency I often assign the VA directly to the account thanks to years of practice, however, for those clients that wish to interview a shortlist I welcome them to do so. We also feature all our VA’s on our website, again establishing that credibility and trustworthiness.
  5. Energies and visions need to align. If the energy of your potential VA does not speak to you, or feel there’s no alignment with their vision and yours, move on. You are hiring an important team member and you need to be absolutely sure that this person fits your bill.

Last but not least

Outsourcing offers a great solution to both the Virtual Assistant and the business owner. Virtual Assistants can now work from the comfort of their own homes, choose the clients they wish to work with and the hours they want to work. For the business owner you now have the flexibility to get the help you need that is within your budget helping you to become more efficient at business.

I’m a firm believer to work within your strengths and to always have fun. As the Virtual Assistant and as the business owner, play within your strengths, outsource the rest and keep it fun!

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.

This is why better presales can help your sales process

This is why better presales can help your sales process

This is why better presales can help your sales process

The call it the ‘art of the sale’ and if you think about, it is quite an art to have conversational skills, listening skills, to think on your feet, craft a deal that makes sense and at the same time is beneficial to both parties, and being able to make the client feel important and cared for during this process.

So, let’s chat about the art of presales. This is a topic that not many broach.

The art of presales

If you do the presale right, guess what, you never have to sell in your life again! Presales done correctly builds the sales foundation so beautifully that the entire sales process is negated. Now you can just close the loop. Sounds awesome right. So how do we accomplish this?

There are a few essential pillars to presales. I want to go through each one with you so that you can build a cohesive picture of what your presales should look like in your sales journey.

4 Pillars of Presales

Relationship building

Presales is essentially built on relationship building. You know by now that sales nowadays is based on relationships. We ensure that we really know our target market, that we can speak to our prospective clients on a level and in a manner that resonates with them. It’s almost like you should be able to have a cup of coffee and a chat with each & every one of your clients. You should be able to pick up the phone, find out how their day is going and not enter into any sales talk.

Building trust & credibility

Trust and credibility is built through sharing your entrerpeneurial story, your business journey, why you started your business, sharing testimonials and referrals. Having constant social proof is a new way of doing presales, but is so important for business because so much of our marketing and advertising takes place on social media. Be prepared to tell the world how amazing you are through meeting your team, understanding your business’ North Star and inviting prospective clients to engage with you and your team. Remember to always value current clients and thank them for being a part of your journey.

Objection management

Your presales is a modern way of managing objections before the actual sale is even done. This means that all objections are managed before they are raised, easing the sales process and basically negating a huge portion of negotiating. Find creative ways of managing objections.

In our marketing agency that is focused on lead generation we created an infographic that handles the top 5 most common objections we face from prospective clients and this infographic has saved us so much time over and over again.

Eduselling

This is a new concept to most of us, basically what it means is to sell to prospective clients through education. This is an important presale pillar, however, it does run through the entire sales process to after sales as well.

Keep educating your market through storytelling and value-add. Show your prospective clients the value you bring to the table, the benefits of using your solution and empower them with key factors to help with their decision-making process.

Use the power of video, social media, blogs and your website as a tool to educate your target market.

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.

How to achieve success as a Businesswoman in Sales

How to achieve success as a Businesswoman in Sales

How to achieve success as a Businesswoman in Sales

A Sales Masterclass that teaches it all

Imagine being so comfortable and simultaneously so great in sales that you achieve success after success as a businesswomen. And yes, this is totally possible!

Why is it that as businesswomen we tend to think that we’re not good with sales? Rubbish! Of course you’re great when it comes to sales! Are you not a mother who has to keep negotiating with her children regarding bedtime, pocket money or what to eat?

Are you not a wife that needs to have conversations about me-time and the benefit of this to the entire family?

Are you not a partner who openly communicates with her husband about how uncomfortable his mannerisms with her in front of his friends makes her feel and how best to deal with it?

Sounds to me like you are a stellar salesperson! You could write books on this stuff.

So now that we have that out of the way, here’s something I would like to share with you. If you asked me more than a decade ago what is the worst job on the planet, I would have said being a sales rep!! Ask me now? I would probably say having to sit behind a desk inputting data all day long – arrghhh! I love sales and I am a sales rep. It’s the highlight of my day to close another sales deal.

Sales Training, Speaking & Masterclasses

Over the span of my career as an Entrepreneur I have been so privileged to speak at various conferences, events, accelerator programs and the like about sales. Alot of our focus has been to boost women’s confidence when it comes to sales.

I have been invited to host a Sales Masterclass for Women in Cape Town early July 2018. Details are being finalised as I write this and will be shared with you in due course. I’m super excited about this opportunity, as I have an innate desire to see all those around me succeed. Part of this success is imparting my knowledge and empowering other businesswomen to succeed in the world of sales.

In this particular sales masterclass we’re going to take a look at how to gain practical skills and boost your confidence in sales.

The topics discussed will be centred around your Elevator Pitch and the importance thereof. Understanding the Sales Process and how it fits in with your business. Sales Tools and implementing a Sales Action plan.

The idea behind this sales masterclass is for it to be as practical as possible and for each business owner to walk away with easy to use action steps.

Bringing it together

Sales confidence is such an important part of business success, why not invest in yourself and spend the time building your sales confidence?

I would love for you to join us at this masterclass and any future masterclasses that we’ll be hosting.

If you have any enquiries, need some sales advice or tips, or would like to know more about our upcoming sales masterclass, please feel free to drop me line on karen@karenwessels.com

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, visit her website.

4 Smart ways to get your business off the ground

4 Smart ways to get your business off the ground

4 Smart ways to get your business off the ground

Like many of us, you probably don’t come from a rich family and more than likely you don’t have access to funding to get your business off the ground. With every venture I’ve founded I’ve bootstrapped the business. My philosophy is sell first and then build.

I don’t want to waste time trying to perfect my product (or service) before taking it to market. As a startup you need to be agile and flexible in your approach, and as you learn from the market you’ll soon realise that your business is going to go through several iterations and phases before finding the “perfect” market fit.

Based on living through these iterations and thanks to my experience as a startup, I’ve put together four of my best recommendations to get your business off the ground.

1.   Always be selling

I may come from a sales background, which has certainly aided me loads in launching my startups, however, sales is a skill that can be learned. Remember, sales isn’t that staid old way of doing business where we force non-willing and non-believing prospects to purchase our products or services. Sales has evolved and now we talk about building relationships, developing a level of trust, proving credibility, ensuring brand awareness and then only do we enter into the sales conversation. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, make sure that you are always selling your business. You are its best and foremost brand ambassador. Your passion will shine through and it will be because of your passion that you’ll be able to bring on board great clients, never mind recruit an amazing team.

2.   Don’t spend money on unnecessary things

Right now you don’t have the budget to hire staff, or to buy that awesome CRM software. Be frugal and very savvy about where and how you spend money. You cannot afford to use your limited cash flow right now to outsource marketing or such like. Don’t rent that fancy office space or buy a new Macbook. These things can wait. And trust me, the last thing you want is added stress at the end of the month wondering how you’re going to pay for everything when you haven’t signed up a new client for the month. Don’t do this to yourself! Let YouTube and Google become your best friends. Use tutorials to teach yourself great marketing skills, how to build your own website and basic SEO for now until you can afford to outsource it. Use tutorials to teach you how to use open source CRM systems and take advantage of free project management software for now.

3.   Get down in the trenches

Be prepared to get your hands dirty. The best way to really understand your business and the processes is for you to start out doing everything. Don’t be afraid to get stuck in and work all hours when starting out. This is great learning ground and it offers you the opportunity to understand the kind of support structure you require and size of your support team. People buy from people and your market will love your work ethic, because it will naturally flow through the team. We learn by example and if your team sees you putting shoulder to the wheel and really getting stuck in to make this business a success, they will follow suit.

4.   Be coachable

Soak up knowledge like your life depended on it. This is not an easy journey you’ve chosen for yourself and nobody is going to come rescue you if it’s not working out, or does not go according to plan, or a client has shirked their invoice responsibilities, or a team member has done the dirty on you. This is you, all you, for now. So you’ll need to toughen up, learn to roll with the punches and ensure that you are strong mentally, physically and emotionally, so that you can build a successful business.

Be prepared to learn, learn, learn. Whether you are teaching yourself new skills, or learning how your market thinks, or learning business the hard way (because again this journey is not an easy one), be coachable. Be open to listening to what other successful entrepreneurs have to say. Learn to listen to your staff, learn to listen to your intuition. The more coachable you are and the more you are willing to learn, the easier the information and knowledge will flow your way. You need your team and support structure to make a success of this, without a doubt, however, you also need you. You need to be willing to put in the hours and you need to be willing to be agile and change direction without batting an eyelid. In the name of building your business into a success, do this as if your life depended on it.

Bringing it together

Don’t think you know-it-all, because you don’t. Even highly successful people, the likes of Taylor Swift or Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx) will rather listen in a conversation than speak more. They will openly tell you that they don’t know everything and that they are willing to learn.

You’ve got this! You are your greatest resource setting out on this journey, so make sure that your resource is well-fed mentally, emotionally and physically.

About the Author : Karen has facilitated and hosted many sales masterclasses, workshops and training sessions to not only boost sales confidence however to also instill sales skills and tools that are personalised to each individual.

Karen is also a sought after speaker at Sales Conferences & Seminars, Secretarial Conferences & Symposiums and Entrepreneur Conferences & Workshops, where she engages her audience with story-like presentations of sales, outsourcing and business.

To learn more or to book Karen, email her on karen@karenwessels.com

Appreciating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Business

Appreciating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Business

Appreciating The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Of Business

Experiencing Gratitude on a daily basis

I woke up this morning feeling immense gratitude. This is not an uncommon thing mind you. I feel grateful every day, however, today I feel particularly grateful for this journey we’re on.

This entrepreneurial journey has taken me on paths never before imagined. It has stretched my comfort zones beyond recognition, it has helped round me as a person and a business person, and I keep learning, every day.

At the end of the day I guess it has to do with your mind-set and whether you choose to see the positive or the negative in any given situation.

With gratitude you choose to see the light, the possibility. As we’ve grown in our roles as business owners and entrepreneurs we have been taught to problem-solve. A simple thing, yet, taken for granted by most.

Why? Because most people don’t know how to problem-solve naturally. As an example, maths is about problem-solving, and yet, most of us did not excel at maths when at school. We weren’t encouraged to pursue that way of thinking and instead we were “allowed” to find alternatives to this subject.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of Business

When in business you’re going to see all sides of human beings, whether they are staff, fellow business owners, suppliers or clients.

Over time you become a better judge of character and you start realising the kind of energy and mind-set you want to align your business and culture with. It goes all ways. You need to be selective when you on board staff. You need to choose your clients carefully. You should align your business with the right kind of suppliers.

It may not seem important now, however, down the line you’ll thank your lucky stars for being so selective with the company you keep.

You’re going to see it all in business. How competitors try to do you in. How staff members take advantage of your kindness. How clients try to negotiate discounted prices over and over again.

Yet, you’re also going to see how your fellow entrepreneurs rally to support you, how your staff have your back and how suppliers will go out of their way to ensure longevity in the relationship.

There may come a time that you will need the services of a very good lawyer to help draft your terms and conditions, and proper paperwork.

You’ll need the help of an accountant, a tax expert, a web developer, an IT person and so on.

The point is this : You learn, you grow, you evolve, you become better at what you do. Have gratitude for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly that you’ll face in business.

These are the things that shape you and develop you as a stellar business owner.

Continue showing gratitude on a daily basis

Elon Musk famously said that being an entrepreneur is like “chewing glass while staring into the abyss.”

This is an immense journey that you are blessed to be on, so enjoy it, make the most of it and make sure that you make every moment count.

You’ve got this!

Do you have a can do attitude? Here’s how to develop one

Do you have a can do attitude? Here’s how to develop one

Do you have a can do attitude? Here’s how to develop one

In a mentoring session today with my top mentor, he made an interesting observation. He said that one of the things he has observed and admired about me is my ‘can do’ attitude. This got me thinking about our general attitude towards business amongst women entrepreneurs.

When it comes to finding new business, resolving client issues, keeping suppliers on track and upskilling staff, do we show a can do attitude?

Being an entrepreneur is tough and you’re going to face daily challenges. How you manage these challenges are entirely up to you. If you choose to have an attitude of “I can do this” then your success level will be higher than most.

Somehow displaying an attitude of anything is possible places you in the right mind-set and now it feels like you can take on the world!

Here are a couple of tips to help you on the path of facing business challenges with success and aplomb.

  1. Believe in yourself. Confidence starts with you. You absolutely need to believe in your capabilities and your ability to manage anything thrown your way. You can develop your self-confidence by being open to learning and growing. Be ready to take on a mentor, read business books daily and surround yourself with like-minded people.
  2. Do not compare yourself to others. Instead of putting yourself down by thinking you could never be like them, rather ask yourself what can you learn from them and start implementing immediately. To be successful we need to emulate what successful people do. Don’t begrudge them, don’t compare yourself, however, rather use this as an opportunity for personal growth and development.
  3. Develop a strong inner voice. You know that inner voice that criticises you? Let that voice go! Replace it with positive thinking, daily affirmations and the belief system that anything is possible. If you don’t know how, Google it, YouTube it, ask a fellow business owner or seek guidance from a successful businessperson in your particular industry.
  4. Step out of your comfort zone! Oh yes, my favourite one this! If you know me, you’ll know that I often talk about becoming comfortable by being un-comfortable, because growth starts in the un-comfort zone. If you stretch yourself, you force yourself to face a challenge head on and this places you completely out of your comfort zone, therefore it necessarily follows that your confidence will soar. This is where the real magic happens.
  5. As always, remember to have fun. Learn to see potentially stressful situations as an opportunity to showcase your can do attitude, as an opportunity to learn and grow. Keeping it fun makes it easier to come up with creative solutions.

Bringing it together

My personal mantra is anything is possible. If I don’t know how, I’ll learn. You can do the same. It boils down to having the right mind-set and attitude. Always be open to learning, in this way you’ll keep growing as a business person and you will very quickly find out the kind of gold you’re truly made of.

You’ve got this!

3 Secrets an Entrepreneur will never reveal – until now!

3 Secrets an Entrepreneur will never reveal – until now!

3 Secrets an Entrepreneur will never reveal – until now!

Some things happen by accident and I guess you could say that my entrepreneurial journey was just that, a happy accidental happening. Although, I do believe it was always part of my path, I didn’t initially set out to be an entrepreneur.

And I’m glad it “just happened”! This has to be the most rewarding, most daunting, most uncomfortable and the most happy I have ever been – so yay to this journey!

For some of us the entrepreneur life chooses us and for others you have chosen it mindfully. Whatever the course, there are certain things that seasoned entrepreneurs have experienced but might not share that newbie entrepreneurs need to know about. Perhaps if I had known these points mentioned below I might have felt more mentally prepared, but then again, maybe I wouldn’t have become an entrepreneur if I had been forewarned ! J

1.   It can be a lonely journey

They say it’s lonely at the top and for sure it is. However, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey of self-discovery, discovering what your niche is, what skills you have and where you are lacking. It’s lonely because friends and family won’t understand this drive you have to succeed, no matter what, even if it means working 20 hours per day for 7 days a week. You are determined and focussed, and this could alienate your loved ones. You’ll notice how social invites start becoming less, how friends drop off your radar and it becomes you & this beautiful thing you’re building. If you’re okay with this, and you’re willing to make the sacrifices to achieve success with your business, then you know you’re onto a good thing. Keep going!

2.   Doubt can drive you insane

To the outside world there is bravado, “I’ve got this!” and of course there has to be. But internally an entrepreneur could be doubting themselves daily asking “Am I doing the right thing?”, “Why am I doing this?”, “Maybe I should find a job again, at least then I’m assured of an income”, “What if I’m wrong and the market doesn’t really want/need my product/service”. Endless reassurance from clients, advisors and the like cannot always quieten these voices. But remember, for an entrepreneur, it’s the unknown that drives them and makes the journey so exciting! Hear the voices, but don’t take heed of them, persistence and perseverance is what is going to help you succeed. (And of course not taking no’s personally J)

3.   We constantly worry about being broke

It’s hard, but it’s the truth! As an entrepreneur you are now financially responsible for not only your family but also of your team. Every business decision you make has a direct impact on the bottom line. You could be self-funded or have an angel investor, whichever way, you still need to stay on top of your numbers, constantly make sound business decisions and ensure that you pay your team at the end of the month. There are times that you need to spend money to make money. It could be that you need a small budget to market your business, or funds to develop an app or CRM specific to your business. Make the calculations carefully, but take calculated risk, because without risk there is no growth. Indeed, being broke is constantly on our minds, however, we focus on the future build of our business to make sure that everyone is taken care of.

Bringing it together

There are a ton more things we could chat about regarding this amazing entrepreneurial journey. The bottom line is this, it’s not easy, sometimes you need to make tough calls, you should be prepared to make sacrifices, and possibly lose friends along the way. If your vision is strong, your will is unwavering and you have the tenacity of a baby learning to walk, then you’ve got this!

As Melanie Hawken, founder of Lionesses of Africa, famously says (and there’s more to it than pleasantries) “Have yourself an inspired entrepreneurial day”!