For those who don’t know, I work a full time job in radio as a producer in Kelowna, making the commercials for all of our stations in Canada. Photography is what I do the rest of the time. We’re going to take a sidestep from the photo world to talk about female entrepreneurs for a minute. Last week I got to work on an inspiring set of promos for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (today). There was an intro / extro and then a section in the middle featuring different women in business sharing their story. All the women were asked a series of questions while being recorded and I had to go through and pick out the best pieces to include. Two questions they were asked really stood out to me: What does it take to be successful? And what piece of advice would you give to other women in business? Being a female entrepreneur myself it was wonderful to hear their thoughts and I was so thrilled this project landed in my lap. I was very inspired and I wanted to share their words of experience with all my fellow women in business for those not in the Duncan area to listen.
What does it take to be successful?
Say yes to those strange opportunities that come by whenever possible.
If you're looking for a 9-5 job, this is probably not the world for you. Being in your own business means you're working 24 hours a day, or at least on call 24 hours a day… if the alarms go off, someone calls in sick, the toilet backs up… It's hands on 24/7.
It takes courage. It isn't the absence of uncertainties and fears, it's action despite them. The willingness to get back up every time you experience setbacks. Learn and try again.
A strong work ethic, have tenacity, to do whatever it takes to change with the times, care for your staff & to be respectful.
Focus, drive, ambition, compassion for themselves and other people, and a sense of social responsibility.
Be grateful for customers and staff, learn to make a good team, walk in other people's shoes and share a good experience.
Creating a customer service where people feel valued.
Certainly financial success means your business can continue, but for us success is more about making it possible for local runners to connect with each other. So every time I hear of two runners meeting outside of our local run group, on their own time, my heart grows three sizes.
What piece of advice would you give to other women in business?
The only thing you have complete control over is your attitude.
Don't doubt yourself. Remember that you've got this.
Be real with your clients. You have to tell them everything, the good and the bad. If you have those discussions upfront, it makes the rest of your dealings with your client so much easier.
The rewards are worth more than the risks.
With all the chatter out there, remember to listen to your own intuition.
Don't do it alone. Ask for help and turn to those who will help you to get you back up when you fall. There's a lot of resistance along the way but you have to keep trying.
Prepare to work very hard. Lead with kindness, and never give up.
Be passionate about what your doing and always enjoy it.
Ensure that you establish firm boundaries.
Ask yourself what would a man do. As in, if you're writing an email, instead of writing “sorry to bother you but...” I catch myself doing that a lot and men are much more direct and I think we have a lot to learn from them in that way. So instead of going “sorry to bother you,” I say, “hey, do you have that information I asked for?” And I find I actually get a lot better results that way.
Pursue something that is near and dear to your heart so that you always maintain your drive and focus.
Have no fear. Jump in, start swimming, you're stronger than you could have EVER imagined.
Thank you to all the female entrepreneurs in Duncan, BC that came in to share their stories.
Nicole Hemeon Photography specializes in maternity photography as well as newborn, babies and landscape photography in the Okanagan including Peachland, Summerland, West Kelowna, Penticton and Kelowna British Columbia.
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