One of our favourite things to do every year here at HerBusiness is our Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame. The women in the Hall of Fame are a diverse group with one main thing in common: they have all built their ideal businesses. Every year in their interviews, these women share with us some of their top tips for achieving their success.
Since our mission here at HerBusiness is to help you achieve your ideal business (whatever that means to you – remember, every ideal business is unique!), we’ve been going through our Hall of Fame to figure out the five essential strategies to building the ideal business.
The fifth strategy goes one step beyond working hard. It’s all about the attitude you work with and the philosophy with which you design your business.
You have to take your journey with BOLDNESS. That’s strategy #5.
If you work hard and work smart, your chances of building a business that pays the bills are good. But to build a business that goes beyond that, an IDEAL business that gives you the freedom, lifestyle and joy you want, you have to do more. You have to be willing to try new things, scary things, and go the extra mile to innovate a business that will be ideal for you.
The Hall of Fame women built their ideal businesses, and they didn’t do it without risk involved.
If you’re building your ideal business, then you’ve already taken a huge risk just by setting out to blaze your own trail. That’s a huge step, but the risks don’t stop after you’ve taken the initial one.
Lisa Messenger of Collective Hub’s advice for every new risk is to just dive in, the way you did when you started your business.
“Just do it. Those who put themselves on the line and commit and get a little uncomfortable are the winners. Sometimes, crazy ideals can make your dreams come true.” – Lisa Messenger, 2016
Marie Piccone of Manbullo agreed that risks are a huge part of your growth as a business, but she stressed the difference between being bold and being careless.
“Take risks, and always consider growth to be a part of your strategy. However, it is so important to make sure that the risks are well calculated, not reckless.” – Marie Piccone, 2017
Louise Olsen of Dinosaur Designs reminds us that by taking calculated risks, you avoid the largest risk: stagnation.
“The biggest risk is not to take risks.” – Louise Olsen, 2015
Taking risks is all about doing things that feel right, but also feel scary. But it’s important to make sure that the things you do are also different from what everyone else is doing. Business is a big world, and you have to stand out. You have to be original.
Part of this comes from knowing your business really well. Pip Job of Little River Landcare Group, Inc. advised knowing where you are original and making that work for you.
“Know your point of difference, and leverage it with passion and creativity.” – Pip Job, 2015
To know how your business is different, you have to be aware of what your competition is doing. This isn’t about comparing yourself, but, as Adina Jacobs of STM Brands said, knowing where you can be the original option.
“Think outside the box. Explore what competitors are doing – or, should I say, what they’re not doing.” – Adina Jacobs, 2017
Leanne Preston of Wild Child WA said that when you know you industry, you can be weird in your industry and make that work for you.
“Learn to be disruptive in your injury to provoke positive outcomes.” – Leanne Preston, 2017
When you do things that make you uncomfortable and that are different from everyone else, innovation will happen naturally. You have to be innovative, and innovation will come from a specific attitude that leaves you open to it.
Kate Weiss of Table of Plenty believes that attitude of openness paves the way for business breakthroughs.
“Keep questioning, keep open and keep learning. Breakthroughs don’t come from old thinking and following the statue quo, so allow yourself to be radical in your thinking.” – Kate Weiss, 2015
Juliette Wright of GIVIT advised always being ready to latch onto breakthroughs when they come along.
“Be prepared to invest in innovative ideas that have risk involved.” – Juliette Wright, 2015
Helen Summers of Eyecare Plus Darwin knows that you can fight innovation or you can embrace it. You can be which one she suggested.
“Embrace technology and innovation with the enthusiasm of a rock star!” – Helen Summers, 2014
When you’re a risk-taking, one-of-a-kind, innovative business, you’re an industry leader. That’s a quality you can find in most of the Hall of Fame businesses. They’re leaders in their fields. They do new, crazy things, first.
Narelle Anderson of Envirobank prioritises being an industry leader.
“Blaze the trail. Always lead; never follow.” – Narelle Anderson, 2015
Beverly Honig of Honeylight Enterprises shared the harsh truth that if you aren’t first, someone else will be.
“Lean in or you may be leaned on. Act on ideas; don’t park them for another day.” – Beverley Honig, 2016
Kelly Jamieson of Edible Blooms agreed that the way to be first is to act fast. Make bold moves and perfect them later.
“It’s important to move fast in business, so don’t wait for perfection. Get your idea onto the market quickly.” – Kelly Jamieson, 2017
It goes without saying that doing all of these things: taking risks, doing things no one else does and doing them fast, are scary things. That’s why the apex of being successful in business is bravery.
Bold choices are scary because, as Anna Hooper of Cape Jaffa Wines knows, you have to be ready for things to go wrong.
“Taking on a big and intimidating venture means being willing to accept the consequences if it doesn’t go according to plan.” – Anna Hooper, 2016
It’s natural to feel scared. Kate Morris of Adore Beauty thinks that fear is a good thing.
“Being scared usually means you are pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, and that’s always a good thing.” – Kate Morris, 2015
Sue Hollis of TravelEdge said the important thing is that fear never controls you.
“Most bad decisions are decisions made out of fear. Always choose to make a brave decision.” – Sue Hollis, 2016
BOLDNESS means you don’t shy away from risk. You embrace being original, being innovative and being first. To be bold, you have to be brave. If you are always pushing yourself, you can’t help but go farther in your business. You can build a good business by working hard, but, to build an IDEAL business, you have to be bold.
Those are the five strategies the Hall of Fame recommends: YOU, PEOPLE, VISION, GRIT and BOLDNESS. We’ll have one more article wrapping it all up, so keep an eye out.
This post was authored by Sophie Grosserode. Sophie is completing a journalism internship with HerBusiness. She studies journalism and media at the University of Tennessee in the United States.