If there’s one thing we know at Girl Tribe Gang it’s that running a business teaches us new things on a daily basis. In #TheLearningCurve series, we ask female founders to share the five greatest lessons they’ve learned since working for themselves.
In this feature we’re talking to LaurettaIhonor, founder of TheAmbitionPlan and speaker at our first Girl Tribe Gang ‘Get Together’ LIVE event happening on 3rd November.
After a 10-year journey to find fulfilling work – a journey that spanned five career fields, four degrees and a lot of student debt – the realisation that the only way to find my dream job was to create it finally hit me. And, after giving myself the biggest pep talk of my life, I quit my job and started my business a few months ago.
I created The Ambition Plan to support and encourage women to find the creative career that will give them the sense of fulfilment, passion and direction they’ve been crying out for.
Starting a business has been an incredible journey – from launching the digital advice platform to getting industry experts on board for the insider event series.
It’s been a rollercoaster of late nights, asking strangers for help and wondering if what I was doing would help the women who needed it most. I‘ve gotten so much advice and support from smart and tenacious women along the way, it only feels right to pay that forward.
So, if you’re thinking of setting up on your own, or you’re in the early stages of your business, here are a few tips I wish I’d known before starting my own business.
Best advice for women starting out on the entrepreneurial rollercoaster..
The fear of spreadsheets, accountants and meetings with bank managers can prevent even the most ambitious woman from getting her business off the ground. But planning your finances early on is the best thing you can do. That’s what will tell you what you need to do to make your business as profitable as possible and prevent any shocks down the line.
Also, start saving while in your current job. Squirreling money away now will give you a much-needed safety net for the early days of your business and it’ll motivate you to follow your business dream.
Ask for help
Something I’m fast learning is the importance of asking for help.
No successful women I know has reached her goal on her own. Help can come from family, friends, someone within the industry and through a support network.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers you admire – I do this all the time and have found that they are usually flattered and willing to help. Mentors and coaches who have travelled the same road as you are also an amazing resource. Not only can they reassure you that the highs and lows you’ll experience are normal, they also keep you accountable and on track.
You don’t need to be perfect
I started my career journey in a traditional field (I used to be a doctor). As such, I always thought I had to retrain, get a degree and be an expert in a field before I could start working.
Is education important? Absolutely. But after many bites at the cherry, I’ve realised that you don’t have to know everything before you get started.
Perfection is an illusion that keeps the brightest and best women stuck. You’re going to make mistakes, but you’ll learn from those mistakes and that will help you grow your business.
Get business besties
Everyone had to start from the bottom to get to their goal. All the support in the world from your friends and family can’t beat getting some insider knowledge from the industry your business is in. Seek out similar local businesses, join support networks in that industry, network at industry events and ask questions.
Stick to your values
You know what makes you get out of bed in the morning, what fills you with that sense of joy and what will keep you smiling in years to come.
When you start planning your business, take time to think about the values that matter most to you – be that authenticity, creativity or fun – and ensure they complement your business values.
What have you learned since quitting the 9 -5? Has becoming a business owner or spinning that side hustle taught you any new skills?
As a doctor, journalist, TV producer and one-time fashion stylist, Lauretta is no stranger of searching for a career with passion and purpose. She created The Ambition Plan to help women gain the clarity, professional connections and confidence they need to break into their dream career fields.