I'm back with Dawn Andrews--mom, business strategist, life coach, and successful entrepreneur. Today she talks about women getting into business, what holds them back, and how to juggle being your own boss and the boss of your family at the same time. What Holds Women Back
Permission is the biggest thing. I find that for many women, it’s almost as if they are waiting for someone outside to tap them and say “Yeah, you can do this. Go for it!” Thankfully, because of growing up in an entrepreneurial family, and I’m not saying I don’t experience permission issues in other areas in my life, but when it came to that “go make your own thing,” that has never been an issue for me in terms of getting something started.
Pretty, Polished, and Perfect
The phenomenon is that men, because they don’t generally have that permission issue, just go out and do stuff, ask for stuff and forge forward with an initiative without much concern until they bump into something. They they figure out how to get around the rock that got in their way. Women want to have everything laid out. They want to know they have a clear path ahead of them before they even begin. And no path is every going to be clear. So we will spend time spinning, making sure everything is pretty, polished, perfect, and organized, so we know all the steps. But that isn’t how life works. What kills their possibility of going into business is that they’re looking for a sure thing and anything that is worth pursuing, as everyone who is a mother will know, is a dam hot mess.
Parenting is a hot mess. Some days it’s great and you’re crushing it and you’re the paragon of motherhood and other days you couldn’t be more ashamed of yourself. The same is true with business. My business exploded when I became a mother. I think it’s because it started to crack off that shell of trying to have things organized and a linear path to follow, knowing that one step was going to lead to the next step. Because everything was like a rodeo once my kids came out. Parenting is a great place to practice. With your kids, you need to ask and be clear about what you want. I’ve also found that has helped me in my business. I have no compunction about asking whoever I need for whatever I need. Maybe they will say yes and maybe they will say no, but I have my toddlers to thank for giving me that skill set.
On Being a Mom and a Successful Entrepreneur
There’s no balance. It’s just what wins the day or what I hope will win the day. Early on, I made a list of the things that were important to me to be connected to and involved with for my kids at their various stages and ages. They are about to turn seven and nine right now. It’s important to me to be able to take them to school, pick them up from school, go to award ceremonies, special activities, or any special event or field trip at school.
It’s also important for me to get sleep, take care of myself, and have a sense of joy in my life—and not have it just be either work or kids. So what that looks like now is there are certain days I take the kids to school and certain days I pick them up. We definitely are all about having a team. I don’t have a full time nanny, but I have a team of people. I definitely have somebody help clean the house once a week because I would lose my mind. We have somebody to help do the gardening. Recently I’ve added in an assistant and some other team members to my business because it’s growing again in a big way. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed, I look at how I can add some team. What would it do if you added one more day of babysitting or added one more day of preschool camp? Start to think incrementally, especially if financially you’re not in a place where you can go to all the way towards what your dream scenario would be. Start piecemeal adding in team members to live the life your looking to live. We totally move in a pack.
You Have an Idea for a New Business--Now What?
You need to get a community. The challenge is finding people who are as action-oriented and dedicated as you want to be. Often times, the first place we’re looking to is the other moms in our moms group or our closest friends and they or may not share the passion or enthusiasm for starting a new business. So you do need to find preferably other women and other moms that are interested in getting businesses off the ground and get a community together so you have others to help hold you accountable. Use that group of women and other people in your life to start testing if that idea is interesting or not. Sometimes you have to just engage in the mess and giving the idea a try. Get really clear on who you want to serve. What’s your really specific niche of people you want to work with? The more specific you can get, the better—age range, location, etc. Start to narrow down the demographics of your audience and once you have that, you have the seeds of something you can really start growing.
Growing Your Big Idea
Grow Your Big Idea is a small business incubator and it’s for inception of idea to making your first money for what you’re doing. It’s going to be offered two times a year. The next time I’m going to offer it will be in October or November of this year. It’s a five-week program to move you from that idea piece to making money with your business and you will do it with other women. I’m giving you all the behind the scene details of of how to develop your idea, how to protect it, how to raise money for it, and how to package it up and get that first version out into the world and get paid. It takes care of that community piece because you can use the other women as your focus group to help and hold you accountable. he next round is going to be $997 for five weeks. That’s includes the training and to be part of the community ongoing. What I’m looking to build is a community of women who go through this process and are looking to play the game of business together.
You can find Part One here.
BIO: Dawn Andrews is the trusted advisor to more than 250 individuals and businesses in the world of entertainment. Her company, Free Range Thinking, is credited with cultivating extraordinary leaders, and she is committed to transforming leaders from the inside out. She’s an intuition based thinker who teaches you to Grow Your Big Idea (tm), reclaim your time without sacrificing results, improve communication skills and leadership performance through organizational effectiveness, and, most soulfully, to find your passion, work less and make more.