What an inspiring and interesting woman! I really enjoyed her session at the Sage Conference called “The Girl’s Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business”. Beautiful, blonde, and strong in her stance and speech – she definitely had my attention. The session began with her inquiring “why did you go into business?”. Hands popped up with answers such as “to create something that didn’t exist” to “I wanted to be my own boss”. When the mike came to me, I answered “to make change”. What a surprise ha. She quickly swat everyone’s answers down and bellowed – “no…its to make MONEY!”. She proceeded to insist that women are incapable of stating that we want money just as much as men do. “Women talk about their husbands, sex, their kids, neighbors but you never hear women talk about money”. I’m not going into that topic but that’s where this lesson was headed. I find this topic interesting because I’m running Conscious Coconut as a social enterprise. Money surely is important, and yes I want to be successful but no – I don’t need first class flights every day. When I was a banker I made good money and could buy whatever I pleased, but I was miserable. And these last few years I’ve had very little income and I’ve been radiating happiness. So yes, I want to make money, but I also want to feed children’s bellies, design beautiful products, spend time with my loved ones and find balance in all of that.
Now back to Susan. I loved several points she made including her insisting we think “big, bold and audaciously”. She encouraged us all to be more assertive in asking for things we want. I’ve been working on this for quite some time, proud of myself for improvement but I could definitely do a little better. Secondly she would like to see women taking business-related matters less personally. She hit that one straight on the head – I can’t help but take things personally. I’m such a lover and I take it all to heart. I’m committed to working with people that share my values so I don’t find myself in uncomfortable confrontations to this point, but her “brush it off” speech was something I needed to be reminded of.
Lastly, she made the most important suggestion of the conference for me. As Conscious launches and grows I am the all encompassing employee. I’m handling production, manufacturing, shipping/logistics, accounting and finance, marketing and design, sales and PR and this is all in one day! It’s getting to that time where I need to start writing job descriptions and keeping my eyes and heart open for future team members. So Susan suggested that the first step would be to write our OWN job description. As an entrepreneur we have our hands in all pies and its hard to let go and give responsibilities to other people. So where does the founder see themselves? Do we want to be deep in operations? Or on the creative side? Business development? Write what YOU want to do everyday and all other responsibilities are no longer yours. They need to be filled so you can do what you WANT to do and what you do best. Because isn’t that why you started your business in the first place? Because you had the passion, confidence and idea to start a company that would radiate your authenticity as well as supporting you financially and emotionally.
So, I know letting go is going to be tough but this was exactly what I needed to hear. It is a clear answer to something that hasn’t been clear to me. To look at your business and know you’re capable of understanding all moving parts but in order for your company to grow, expand and become the business you’ve always dreamed of – you’ve got to decide where your talents are needed most and find loving, brilliant, reliable, people to do the rest. I’m grateful for the guidance from Mrs. Solovic and look forward to reading her book “The Girl’s Guide to Building a Million-Dollar Business”. You should too and let me know how inspirational it was for you!