In honor of Women’s History Month, my colleagues at Crawford recently asked me this question: “The company you built from the ground up is now celebrating 11 years in business! What advice can you give to fellow women entrepreneurs like yourself who have big dreams but maybe don’t know where to start?”
First of all, I am both proud and thrilled that Crawford will be celebrating 11 years in business next Monday, 3/15! This milestone is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the Crawford team throughout the years. I must also salute my colleagues, clients, friends, and family – wonderful women and men – who have had such a positive impact and shaped this journey for me and for the agency. I am a firm believer in the fact that if we support one another, work hard, and remain dedicated to doing whatever it takes, we can find success in business and in life.
For fellow women entrepreneurs with big dreams, here are a few important questions that can guide you in the right direction:
First, what do you love? You need to think long-term and choose work that will inspire and challenge you on a daily basis – work that will continue to motivate you into the future.
Second, what are you really good at? What you love and what you’re good at aren’t always the same thing. What are you known for in your office? What professional skills do people often compliment you for?
And third, what will people pay for? The reality is that you must create a service that will allow you to make a living.
Next steps: I encourage you to draw out these three questions as circles intersecting in a Venn diagram. At the intersection of the three circles is potentially a great business idea!
Once you have clarity on your business idea and have summoned the courage to start, you must surround yourself with people who will encourage you and cheer you on. That is SO CRITICAL. You cannot underestimate the power of encouragement in the entrepreneurial journey! I have been fortunate in my career to be encouraged by women and men who have had a profound influence on my life – people such as Sandy Linning, Jane Robelot, Joe Erwin, Mary Wray Conner, my wonderful husband William Crawford, and so many others. I’m also proud to cheer on former Crawford employees who have gone on to start their own successful endeavors – such as LaceyHennessey (biz: Hennessey in the Home) and @Amanda Arscott (biz: The Scout Guide).
And finally, if you have dreams to start a business, don’t wait for perfection before you start or you will never get there. Get started and stay focused on getting better each and every day!