Feel the Fear. Follow Your Passion. Be a Linchpin

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:

  1. Publishing
    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.
  2. Products
    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.
  3. Partnership
    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.
  4. Promotion
    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.

Let’s get this party started, one step at a time.

  • http://sustainablepursuits.wordpress.com/ Annalea Krebs

    Congrats Nat! Onwards and Upwards I Say! You’re an inspiration. :)

  • http://chrisguillebeau.com Chris Guillebeau

    Natalie! This is great. Congrats on your big, fearful, gutsy leap of faith. I’m looking forward to seeing the shape of things to come.

  • http://www.christinaerl.com christina erl

    Hi Natalie,
    Great post! Very inspiring. I am also reading Linchpin and understand completely from where you come. I wish you the courage to continue to be amazing because you simply are…
    Looking forward to more!
    http://www.christinaer.com

    Cheers Mate,
    Christina

  • Natalie

    Thanks so much Annalea, Chris and Christina. You’ve made my day and it’s great to see you’re enjoying the LinchPin Christina, I love how Seth just cuts to the chase and pushes us to make a better life for ourselves and for others.

  • http://theplanningcafe.com LoJo

    Congrats, Natalie! So great to see that you are leaping in with both feet! I have also started my own business and tomorrow is my first day being 100% in! I’m excited about the community you are creating, because we can all use each others support as we make the leap!

  • http://www.melissajoaquin.com Melissa

    Congratulations Natalie! I know you are going to do wonders with your new venture. Michael Fergusson made a reference at F5 that “entrepreneurship is falling with style” ;) I so believe it and it’s definitely something for us to keep in mind as we go through this crazy journey! xoxo

  • http://sethgodin.typepad.com Seth Godin

    well done!

    this is just the beginning. Can’t wait to see what happens

  • http://www.alexblom.com/blog Alex

    Hi Natalie,

    Even though we have discussed this I figured I’d drop an official word of good luck. Can’t wait to cook up some new ideas with you!

  • Judy Hamilton

    WOW Natalie,

    What a great way to share your new focus and set a very public commitment all at the same time! For what it is worth, I think you have made the best decision of your life :)

    …Judy

  • Andrea Shillington, Brand Coach

    Natalie,
    I love your latest post!
    Full of inspiration, vulnerability and genuine passion! I think you are going to experience a lot of great things coming your way, because women will want to believe in your success. I for one, will do whatever I can in my power to help you reach your dreams. You have found a real sweet spot in women’s hearts (you have in mine).

  • Andrea Shillington, Brand Coach

    Natalie,
    I love your latest post! Full of inspiration, vulnerability and genuine passion! I think you are going to experience a lot of great things coming your way because women will want to believe in your success. I for one, will do whatever I can in my power to help you reach your dreams. You have found a real sweet spot in women’s hearts (you have in mine).

  • http://blog.linkedtogether2u.com Sally

    Natalie,

    Great blog and picture! I just started following you and am excited to see this post. My business is scheduled to go live mid-May. I started a blog to track my journey of starting a company from the ground up. I am interested to hear more about your consulting services.

    Sally

  • http://www.seejanefly.com Erica

    Love this blog and love that you followed your passion.

    Nice work.
    E

  • http://www.empoweredbeginnings.com Justine

    Pursuing goals that scare the absolute crap out of you are generally the most rewarding ;) Congratulations on having the courage to jump in with both feet and live your truth! Your honesty,determination and passion is refreshing. I’m grateful to have landed on your blog (via twitter), and I’m looking forward to following your journey!

  • http://www.thecopywriteronline.com Munaiba

    Good luck Natalie! Following a passion and planning to make a living from it can be a double-edged sword. It can be the best of both worlds – getting paid for what you love – or the worst of both worlds – putting financial imperatives on a thing done for love. I hope you find the way to take the first path and avoid the second.
    All the best
    Munaiba

  • http://blog.allocadia.com/ Kristine Steuart

    Hi Natalie, congrats! I’m looking forward to reading the resources here and hearing about the growth of WomanzWorld :)

  • http://www.anides.com Stephen Shelton

    Natalie, I am sure success will find you, at the same time you find it. Be an visionary artist, the world needs more of them.

  • http://www.sandyksidhu.com Sandy

    Hi Natalie!
    I’ve been following your blog over the summer and just came across this post now. I want to tell you that I find that your personality shines through your posts and there is so much enthusiasm that jumps off the page. I look forward to following your journey as well as finding the courage to start mine.

    Cheers
    Sandy

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  • http://www.dbfotografy.com/ Dharmesh

    Thanks for sharing this article Natalie. “Gain Focus and Act On It” is my take away from this post.

  • http://stayhungrybefoolish.com Antonia Lo Giudice

    Hi Natalie, I just read your post…Congrats!!! I recently made a big change in my life to pursue my true passion (writing) and hope to inspire others to do the same…I left the corporate world, sold everything I owned, left my family and friends behind in Canada and am currently living in Buenos Aires. Your story is truly very inspiring…it is great how you express that with every change comes fear…So, this is where I am at now…a little scared, but exciting at the same time…I have learned SO much and continue to learn…I would love to hear more about journey:)

  • Natalie

    Thank you so much Antonia, and love the name of your site – Stay Hungry, Be Foolish. Great mottos to live your life by. Congrats on your big change and on going minimalist to support your new adventure and lifestyle in BA. I lived there from Dec 2010 to May this year actually so if you need any tips let me know.

  • http://www.GoodsWithStory.ca Ildar

    Natalie, this is wonderful, and it’s great that you made it to Canada!

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  • http://www.securitycamera-ny.com/ camera-ny

    I love the post .thanks

  • https://plus.google.com/+Intercomrepairny/about?hl=en ryan

    This is great! Wish you the best of luck with the project. I signed up and look forward to some great research.