Ready, Set, Launch! Live from BlogHer Biz 2021
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of BlogHer. The opinions and text are all my own.
Social media does a great job of romanticizing the life of an entrepreneur — making our own schedules, traveling, giving up our day job to pursue our passion. But let me pull the curtain back for you... The day to day isn’t always so glamorous. When I started my business, I didn’t know that the CEO title I envisioned would look more like CEO/Human Resources Officer/Accountant/Head Fire Putter Outer.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of traveling for work for the first time in 18 months to attend and moderate a panel at this year’s BlogHer Biz Conference 2021. During our panel, sponsored by LegalZoom, I was joined by some of the best and brightest fellow entrepreneurs: Danielle Alvarez (CEO of The Bonita Project), Briana Thompson (Founder of Spiked Spin & Wellness Co.) and Katina Mountanos (Founder of On Adulting). Together we discussed the woes and wins of their experiences starting their businesses. Here are some big takeaways:
👩🏽💻 𝐁𝐞𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭, 𝐩𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚𝐬𝐤 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟..."𝐂𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬?" To be clear, yes, you can do anything you set your mind to. But some important considerations the ladies recommended were questioning if there is a market for your product/service, where and how it can thrive, whether you are the person to make it thrive, are you prepared to be disciplined, are you prepared to fight for your worth, and the list goes on. While a business starts from a place of passion, passion doesn’t always generate revenue. Before diving in head first, each of the panelists took a lot of time to plan their every move with radical self-awareness.
👩🏻💻 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐥𝐚𝐰𝐲𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐝𝐚𝐲 𝐨𝐧𝐞. *shiver* I know. "Legal" sounds kind of terrifying. But it is critical to have a lawyer on your side to protect you, especially in the beginning. Many firms offer great deals as you start out with the hopes that they can stick with you and earn their money back later, as your business becomes a success. Pro-tip: If you’re unable to afford a lawyer at first, a basic rule of thumb in protecting yourself is to make sure everything is in writing. Yes, everything.
👩🏾💻 𝐇𝐢𝐫𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮'𝐝 𝐛𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐜𝐚𝐫 𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡. When your business gets to a point where you’re ready to hire a team member (or members), consider first who, then what. Seek out the person with passion for the work you’re doing, first and foremost. And that means not overlooking young talent. Take a risk on that person right out of college who is eager and curious. They may just be the best investment you make. Oh, and make sure you like them. You’ll be spending lots of time together.
These tips are only the (ahem) tip of the iceberg. You can hear what each of these brilliant women has to say about their trials and tribulations in business, and everything in between here! You especially don’t want to miss their quickfire answers on what they wish they had known when they started.