Tag Archives: beneficial relationships

5 Keys to Success for Women Entrepreneurs

30 Apr

Women entrepreneurs in Botucatu, BrazilI had the honor of traveling to Brazil to speak to women entrepreneurs who live in Botucatu, a city that is a three hour drive from Sao Paolo. Silvia Sasaoka, founded Instituto Botucatu a place where women can learn design skills and gain business acumen. The women in this training program were chosen because they are serious about the success of their endeavors and came eagerly to learn and network with potential mentors. They enthusiastically embraced the following keys to success:


Believe in your dreams

You start a business because you have a dream that excites and motivates you. Too many women tell everyone in the early stages about their dreams. Many do not understand and may even try to talk you out of your idea. There is a time to get realistic input about the challenges ahead and we will address that in a moment. Now is the time to believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish.

Write down a clear vision

This is the stage where you gain clarity around the implementation of your dream. What does it look like in the near future? What does it look three years from now? What are the next steps that you need to take to get traction and movement in the right direction? In a sense you put feet to your ideas and begin to work it out.

Take risks

Too many women hesitate when it comes to taking calculated risks in their businesses. Often there is the fear that the risk will be too high. To succeed you need to be willing to move forward consistently. Don’t let your business take the back seat in your life. Get the funding you need to take your venture to the next level. Begin to look at risks as opportunities to expand and grow your business.

Ask for help

One of the greatest hindrances that women face as entrepreneurs is the lack of examples and mentors. One of the exciting part of the session in Brazil is that potential mentors attended the networking breakfast and the keynote. During the workshop that afternoon, I had the women who are starting the training program think about specific areas where they needed help. A strong network is essential to growing a thriving business endeavor. You need to reach out of your comfortable network to expand and grow connections.

Own your future

Ultimately, you need to own your future and how you implement your dream. Taking full responsibility to move forward consistently empowers you to overcome barriers and view them as challenges. This is no time to put your plans on the back burner. Take steps every day toward making the vision of your dream a reality. Ask for help as you take calculated risks. If you don’t believe in your dream, who will?

Author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. To increase hope and make difference in your business, click here.


Taking Steps to Build Community

26 Jan

Building Community

Build your community

One of the most difficult areas of entrepreneurship is finding those who will help you move ahead. Often, those who are closest to you do not understand why you want to do the things that you do. It may feel that they are trying to get you to ‘settle’ for less than you know you can accomplish in life. Seek out those who will encourage and mentor you.

Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Look around for successful business women and set up a time to meet for coffee or lunch
  • Prepare your list of questions to ask before you meet
  • Connect with business owners online
  • Remember etiquette – send a thank you note and keep in touch
  • Expand your network every week

What suggestions do you have to build a strong community of Hopepreneurs? What help do you need to succeed in your business?

Author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. To increase hope and make difference in your business, click here.

Five Secrets Used by Master Networkers

28 Dec

We all know that networking is a key to get us the job that we want or to promote our business. Are your networking efforts paying off? Here are some secrets gleaned from master networkers:

Networking connects you with many different types of people1. Always carry your business cards

Be on the lookout for interesting connections. They may come from unexpected places and venues. Be ready to succinctly communicate your passion and leave your card. For this reason, you must also remember that YOU are your brand.

2. Show interest in others

The purpose of networking is to promote your business yet, at the same time,  be careful to not come across as someone who is always self-promoting. You want to be memorable and the best way to do that is to be willing to help others meet their goals.  Once you have finished speaking with the new contact, write down a detail or two about them before you forget.

3. Listen carefully

This networking secret is possibly the most important.  It’s far too easy get distracted in group settings. Once you connect with the new contact, use your entire communication process of body language, tone of voice and words to convey your interest in what they have to say.

4. Follow up immediately

What are you going to do after you gather your business cards? Many people simply collect them and hope for the best. You need to select two or three and follow-up. Networking is about establishing mutually beneficial relationships. Send them an email or give them a call to thank them for their time.

5. Schedule the meetings

How many times have you said, “Let’s get together soon.” Instead, suggest the best time for you and even suggest a place. The sooner you schedule the next meeting, the more likely it is that you have a networking connection that is going to work.

Networking is a skill that takes practice and time. Go after it diligently and you will begin to reap the results in increased opportunities and added valuable connections.

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

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