5 Lessons About Money Shared by Big Dreaming Entrepreneurs
There’s so much we can learn from each other, especially about subjects that are still somewhat taboo like money. That’s why...
There’s so much we can learn from each other, especially about subjects that are still somewhat taboo like money. That’s why I went out and asked five female entrepreneurs what their biggest lessons where about money. Here’s what they shared.
#1 Don’t underestimate the value of your work
Lauren Clemett, the International Award Winning Personal Branding Specialist, shared something with me that reminded me of so many past conversations I’ve had with my business mentoring clients. It’s something you might have done or said at some point as well, the all too famous “I couldn’t ask for money for something that only took me 5 minutes”.
Here’s what Lauren thinks you should know and remember:
Once our business becomes established, after about 5 years, we begin to underestimate our value because we are doing what we do best without being consciously aware of how good we are at it. We start to believe that anyone can do what we do. Which of course is not true. Your value as an entrepreneur is your expertise – the things you do with ease that others find difficult. That’s why it’s called expert-ease.
Lesson learned: don’t give your work and knowledge away for free.
Offer people the chance to pay for the services you provide, even if what you’ve done looks tiny to you. Remember the work, time, money you invested to get to the point that servicing others became easy and fast (I’m sure it wasn’t always the case!). Even if your work feels like it comes naturally to you now, you deserve to be paid for it.
#2 Losing money hurts, but you need to let it go
For over 25 years, Katrena Friel specialized in people development, working with companies in every industry as a corporate trainer and executive coach. A lesson she wants to share with big dreaming entrepreneurs who are just starting their journey is that they need to be prepared for the risks and ready to forgive themselves.
I learned that it takes me a long time to get over the pain of unexpectedly losing money from deals and that part of the lesson is forgiving yourself for making the mistake of trusting the wrong people.
Lesson learned: don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes and move on.
It can be even more difficult when the people you’re working with (partners or clients) are close friends. If you’ve worked hard to save money to start your own business, losing your investment or a deal that looked great on paper can be very difficult to manage emotionally. As Katrena says, you need to forgive yourself and move on, wiser than yesterday, stronger than ever before.
#3 Claim what you deserve and be open to receive it
As a former Marketing Manager for Your Business Angels, a group that helped SMEs to not only survive, but thrive, Julie O’Connell-Seamer has seen the common pitfalls, stresses and sometimes life-threatening heartaches that running a small business can result in for women and their families.
The biggest lesson that keeps returning to me, one I see common among women (and myself) is that we must claim it. As women we serve, we give, we only get paid commonly 3/4 of a male wage and so when we work for ourselves it is vital that we value ourselves enough to receive.
Lesson learned: leadership is never given, you have to claim it for yourself.
Currently, Julie runs her own Naturopathic and writing services biz. She networks with many businesswomen, sometimes she even mentors them, and she witnessed women undervaluing their work and products and she wishes more would claim what is theirs, like Oprah Winfrey – one of the most successful women worldwide. “She does not shy from accepting recognition or stating her own worth. This is possible even at small level, and when starting out.”
#4 Time is money, so spend it wisely
As a Membership and Marketing Director of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, Beth Bridges attended over 2,500 networking events in 10 years. Now she runs her own business, teaching people from all around the world how to network strategically. One thing she learned after starting her own business was that even if you’ve been a committed employee, that doesn’t prepare you for how you’ll look at your time as a business owner.
I had always considered myself to be a dedicated ‘entrepreneurial’ employee. Someone who treated the business as if it were their own. Someone who gave their best effort every day to make every hour count. Then I started my own business, and understood what it meant to make every minute count! Time truly was money. My money! My client’s money! The sense of urgency doubled, tripled.
Lesson learned: make strategic decisions about how you spend your time.
Even so, the advantage of running your own business is far greater than the associated stress. “I can also work on family or personal matters without having to arrange for time off, pack it into a lunch hour, or rush through a phone call on a “bathroom” break.”
One thing that our Big Dreamers’ Club guest expert Katherine Pomerantz talked about was maximizing the amount of work or clients you can fit in your working hours. Your days won’t get bigger the more clients you sign, so you need to find a way to spend less time on each client, so you can have more of them even if you don’t want to hire new staff. One way of doing this is by setting new automated systems in place.
#5 Block time off on your schedule for money-making activities
This is more difficult than it seems because when you start out in business, everything is new and exciting. You need to test things out and experiment with actions you’re not 100% sure will bring a return. Many first-time entrepreneurs do this. That’s why it’s so easy for us to relate to what Luana Spinetti told me about her first year in business:
I learned that there’s a time for investment and experimentation, and a time when the schedule is untouchable because I have bills to pay and a business to keep alive and stable.
Lesson learned: set time aside for doing the important admin stuff you need to run your business.
Luana is a freelance marketing blogger and copywriter living in Italy. She just entered her second year in business and she thinks that the first year made her more responsible than she was when she used to collaborate with online outlets as a come-and-go freelancer. Now that she has to find her own international clients, things are more difficult and her workday needs more structure.
When it comes to ideal clients, Luana looks for people who can accept flexible deadlines. As a writer and artist dealing with physical and mental health issues, she needs a lot of flexibility. In our always-busy, always-on, always-in-a-rush world this can be challenging. But she adapted and says that she matured in her first year in business.
In the comments below, let me know what your biggest lesson learned is about money. I’d love to know, and learn from you x