Tag Archives: entrepreneurial ideas

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.

Ten Good Reasons to Clean Off My Desk

3 Sep

10 Good Reasons to Clean Off Your Desk As a solopreneur who works at home, I usually have a cluttered desk. While I know it’s not good, it’s easy to let it stay that way. Here are the reasons I’ve used to convince my mind to declutter this desk and, most importantly, to keep it that way.

10. Save time

I save time because I have what I need at hand.

This was the last straw for me as I got ready for a trip and was rushing around at the last-minute because I couldn’t find something very important that I needed to take with me. Now that I have implemented my system and am keeping up with it, I find that I am much more effective and thorough.

9. Find lost items

I am able to find what I need to get my work done.

Once I removed the clutter, I could see exactly what I have done and what I need to do. I am less overwhelmed when there is order. As I removed layers of clutter, I found the charger for the video camera that I had lost. (Plus many other things that I was able to release.)

8. Share with others

I have had so much fun finding others to bless with my extra office supplies.

I was wasting money and time by buying supplies that were in my office somewhere. It’s a good feeling to help others as well especially as we get close to the start of school.

7. Make better decisions

As I get rid of what I don’t need, I hone my decision-making skills.

I held on to stuff for two reasons: 1)I might need it one day; 2)I can come up with a creative way to use it. I’ve given myself permission to give it away and buy the supplies later if I find I need them. It’s quite likely that day will never come. Every time I make a decision, I feel stronger and more capable. It may sound silly, yet I know this will help me in the days ahead.

6.Delegate effectively

I can decide how others can help me.

When I am overwhelmed, I can feel like no one can help me get out of this hole. Now I am beginning to make a list of how others can help me. I am ready to delegate and am looking for a Virtual Assistant.

5. Get your work done

I give myself permission to ignore my desk while working on a project.

My new habit is simply to clean up as I wrap up my work day. That, in itself, requires discipline.

4.Maintain easily

I maintain a cleared desk by putting my things away each evening.

This saves me time because I no longer have to dedicate a day (or week) to going through things.

3. Promote life balance

I now clean up my work project before starting on my personal ones.

When you work from home your work and personal life often blend together. While the flexibility is is nice it can lead to being overwhelmed and afraid to take time off.

2. Multiplied energy and enthusiasm

Walking into my clutter-free office makes me smile.

When I smile I have more energy and enthusiasm to focus on all that I want to carry out today.

1. Sense of freedom and happiness

As I have everything that I need (and want) I am free to accomplish my purpose.

I am not sidetracked by ‘stuff.’ A clean desk is more a sign that I am free because I no longer have the need to hang on to things that I’m not using.

Let me know the progress you make in your quest to keep a clean desk. Also, did any of these reasons resonate with your situation?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. She is a certified facilitator with Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching to accelerate your personal and professional growth.

Ten Ways to Increase Enthusiasm

12 Feb
Successful entrepreneurs maintain a high level of enthusiasm and energy. When you meet people and share your passion you will begin to see doors open in unexpected ways. Here are ten ways to increase your level of enthusiasm:Enthusiasm-Regain energy by someone else succeed.
  1. Get moving because activity will get the creative juices going.
  2. Revisit your convictions so that you can get back on the path to fulfilling your vision.
  3. Regain energy by helping someone else succeed.
  4. Start talking to someone about why you love what you do or you want to start your business.
  5. Laugh – really laugh until your sides shake and you can’t breathe
  6. Set your doubts aside and move forward anyway.
  7. Get involved in finding creative solutions to problems that arise.
  8. Get up early enough to enjoy a sunrise and start the day with fresh exhiliration.
  9. Write about three things that bring you joy.
  10. Relish the warmth of spending time with family and friends because they are who really matters.

Which is your favorite? Do you have other ways to increase your enthusiasm?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to receive one-on-one coaching. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur.

Why should I blog?

3 Jan

Get started on your blog todayWriting can be difficult for many of us. If you are one who finds writing challenging I would like to urge you to start blogging. I have discovered that my writing has improved as I draft my weekly faith-based blogs under the name of HopeGrams and my more prolific blog for HOPEpreneurs (the one you are reading right now).

Here are some steps to get you started:

Pick a blogging site

Both of the blogs are on WordPress. I discovered that it was easy to use and customize without knowing the techie stuff. I am very comfortable in that venue now but have learned on my own. I am starting a new blog on Tumblr called The Power of Hope 4 Caregivers. I’ll let you know how it comes along as I progress. It seems pretty simple so far and adds the benefit of providing a way to connect with others who are also writing Tumblr blogs. They have created a community for bloggers and it is growing exponentially.

Set up a simple blog

Pick your theme and get going. This is one venue where you won’t want to wait until you have perfect. I realize as I’ve gone back to read some of my original HopeGrams that my writing is improving. I’ve even had comments from others. The most important thing is to share your heart. It will also get you in writing mode because of the deadlines you will set up in the next point.

Create a writing schedule

Determine how often you will write in your blog. It is a real turn-off to click on link to a blog and see that it’s been months since the person posted in their blog. It is possible to create drafts when you have time to write and then simply go in and publish them according to your schedule. I have written a HopeGram almost every week for a year and half. It is now part of what I do. The great part is that I am always looking for topics which are also stories that I blend into my keynotes. It works both ways.

Be consistent and respond to comments

Set up the notification to get an email when you get comments. I have mine set up where I have to approve the comments. This is a good idea because you can get spam. On the flip side, it’s important to respond quickly to the comments you receive. This begins to build your online presence and sense of community.

What are waiting for? Let’s start a dialogue around your experiences in setting up and writing in a blog. We will talk later about how to find topics and ways to promote your blog. I look forward to hearing from other HOPEpreneurs. You have a life message inside of you that the world needs to hear. I would love to promote your blog. I will also be thrilled to gladly help you in any way that I can.

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.

Copyright © 2012 Picture Hope International, Inc.

How can I overcome my fear and just go for success?

12 Dec

I recently asked a question on the HOPEpreneurs Facebook page about the biggest challenges women faced when starting a business. You get to add more options and someone entered fear. This started me thinking about what fears have prevented me from being successful in my business. Often these internal struggles become my biggest barrier to success. Now that I have HOPE – confidence in taking the next step – my fears are not paralyzing me.

Failure

A lot of times I would project what I wanted to see happen. I’m not talking here about a vision for the future because that is important to have. What I mean is the step-by-step play book where others would respond exactly like I anticipated and I would quickly reach my goals. I would get discouraged and consider myself a failure.

HOPE Antidote

I now tell myself that no matter what happens, I have not failed if I change as a result of the experience. When I take a step back and look at the chain of events, I can have a different perspective of what did not work and try different approaches. What did you change this week?

What others will think

I used to discuss my entrepreneurial ideas with anyone who would listen. I am an idea person and love brainstorming. Unfortunately, I did not choose my listeners wisely. As I would jump from one idea to the next their eyes would glaze over. When I asked, “What do you think?” I would get anywhere from a lukewarm, “Sounds interesting,” to a “I’m not following you.” I would feel deflated and wanted to give up on the seed of my idea even before it had a chance.

HOPE Antidote

Share selectively. Start the conversation with: “I’m in brainstorming mode about an idea for a business. Would you please be a sounding board?” When they give their comments consider that you asked for it. Ask clarifying questions and improve on your idea.

Success

As strange as it may sound, I have found that I have hesitated to fully commit to a new venture because of what it would take to make it successful. What can make this worse is when we receive negative feedback from significant people in our lives who have good intentions because they don’t want to see us get hurt by ‘getting our hopes up.’  Many women, in particular, fear being lonely if they are successful. Other times we see people who act like jerks because they let their success go to their heads. We promise ourselves that we will never be like that.

HOPE Antidote

Make steady progress toward your goal through small wins that get you going in the right direction. Take a look at what will happen as you succeed in your business venture. Keep in mind that success will not change you if you stay grounded and surround yourself with those who will speak truth into your life. In fact, you can do a lot of good with your success. Take others with you on your journey.

Let me know how it goes this week as you face your fear and make forward movement to overcome the barriers and obstacles that stand in your way. I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog. Let’s make forward progress this week as HOPEpreneurs!

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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