It’s not every day that you make the gutsy move to take a leap of faith into the world of full entrepreneurship.
But last week I decided to do just that and left the business I cofounded on an amicable note. I walked away from the blood, sweat and tears I’d invested into it to pursue my passion.
I figured I loved WomanzWorld too much to not focus on it full time and turn it into a real business – a movement.
What’s more I could hardly tell women entrepreneurs that this is the place to come `to court bolder dreams and turn them into reality’ if I wasn’t prepared to follow my own advice.
So here I am before you. Feeling scared, excited, daunted, overwhelmed, free and expectant of all that lies before me.
The Linchpin Lies Within
It’s been a tough 2010 by all accounts and one I’ve learned my best lessons from. I was hanging on to one business when I knew deep down I was passionate about developing this one, and at the same time growing others – yours.
It all clicked though last week, when Seth Godin told me (through his audio book LinchPin), that I owed it to the world to be indispensable. And so I decided then and there to do just that.
But how had I come to this point? Why had it taken me 33 years of my life to really become an entrepreneur?
The Real Story
I’d had the opportunity of a lifetime when I arrived on Vancouver’s shores in August 2008 to compete at the World Club Ultimate Frisbee Championships and start over in yet another new country.
I left behind a very well paid, high level job in London , my amazing friends and a house I’d just co-invested in to come to Canada.
It was all worth it when I met my business partner at a networking event and told him I was “a homeless, unemployed bum who wanted to start my own business”. In what was to become the best marketing line ever, I ended up as a co-founder of a tech start-up and the best 18 months of education that money could never buy.
Baptism by Fire
In no particular order I am honoured to have learned how to:
- Take an idea from concept to launch and build a team and a product
- Create a 1 page business summary, a 2 page investor teaser and a full business plan
- Develop a positioning statement (and change it again and again)
- Create a pitch deck and pitch to investors informally and formally
- Build a financial model based on assumptions and market research
- Help design, develop and launch an application in an ever changing social network platform
- Run a PR campaign on no money and combine that with a major business launch competition
- Work an integrated marketing launch plan into a dynamic development schedule
- Understand the mind of software developers and the art of agile development and much more.
More importantly I learned that:
- Feeling like you owned the world in the morning and were failing miserably by the afternoon is not abnormal
- Customers sometimes just don’t respond no matter how many times you reach out
- Product testing with customers is crucial to shaping your offering
- People don’t invest in the company they invest in you
- There needs to be more women owned technology startups and women investors
- Once you think you know everything about something you realise you know nothing
- Surrounding yourself with other entrepreneurs and mentors is a natural survival mechanism that works wonders
- Anyone who starts their own business deserves a lifetime award for sheer guts, tenacity and vision.
What now Natalie?
Why I’m glad you asked. I’ve been doing a ton of work on the future of my business and I’d love to share it with you. If you’ve heard of the 4 Ps of marketing – product, price, promotion and place, well I’ve come up with the 4 Ps of WomanzWorld Global Services Co.
Here’s my vision:
WomanzWorld.com is the Ultimate Resource for Female Entrepreneurs. It’s a blog that produces three to four quality articles every week covering the topics of business planning, marketing, social media, entrepreneurship and interviews profiling fantastic women in business.It also offers a tools and resources section that covers top websites, blogs and books that women in business will find extremely helpful on their entrepreneurial journey.
WomanzWorld produces a series of eBooks designed to provide women in business with bite sized chunks of knowledge to help them grow their business and their entrepreneurial skills.WomanzWorld also recommends and promotes the best products and services that cater to entrepreneurs.
WomanzWorld offers aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to become partners in achieving their business goals.The exclusive WomanzWorld Academy offers monthly programs to ensure aspiring entrepreneurs succeed in every aspect of starting a business and then growing it through a strategic integrated marketing approach. These courses include daily online learning modules, access to an exclusive community of women in business and motivating group coaching calls.
Natalie (that’s me!), Founder of WomanzWorld is an integrated marketer that offers consulting services to help aspiring entrepreneurs with their personal and business branding using social media and online tools. I’ll then be profiling their success on my site.Check out my freshly updated `About‘ page for more info and huge thanks to my first client on my first day of business.
There you have it. What do you think? I’d love your support. I’d adore your support.
You can spread the word to all your friends, you can sign up and receive this by RSS or email. Better yet you can sign up to my exclusive monthly newsletter. I want to build this into the most amazing online movement of kick-ass women entrepreneurs the world has ever seen.