Women in the Business Arena™ EP107: Business Success Requires More than Just a Laptop & an Idea

“Entrepreneurship is not just one skill. It’s a lot of different things you learn along the way.” - Laura Shook-Guzman (8:17-8:22)

The desire for personal and professional freedom is pushing people of all ages to start their own businesses. But there’s an impractical reality that’s setting in. A lot of would-be entrepreneurs think they’re going to strike it rich with nothing but a laptop and an idea. 

The reality is that you need so much more to build and maintain a profitable business. Success requires you to consider the things you need to do and the skills you need to learn to achieve your goal. The path to entrepreneurship has ups and downs. Your ability to carry out your vision depends on a solid foundation built on much more than a dream. 

The truth is, the experience of running a business provides the real lessons that lead to success in the future. In my Women in the Arena™ program, I focus on experiential learning, helping women work “in” their business to understand through experience what works and what doesn’t.

“The experiential part of business offers the most learning - what we want, what we don’t want, what works, and what doesn’t.” - Sonya Stattmann (33:16-33:27)

In order to succeed in business, we need to have the right expectations. Along the way, some failures are inevitable. If we take it personally, we will continue to struggle, and may end up calling it quits. Setting appropriate expectations gives the space needed to maintain a healthy forward-looking perspective. 

Building a sustainable business requires a large capacity for discomfort. Ignore the myths about achieving success overnight. Instead, focus on bridging the gap between passion and building skills you’ll need in business. Apply those skills to gain the life experience that supports education. Entrepreneurship comes from the things you learn along the way, not just one skill. 

Success in Business Requires Investment

Business owners face plenty of risks. Markets can change or become saturated. People are savvier about Internet marketing, increasing the competition and making it harder to stand out. Business coaches can help new entrepreneurs start on the right track, but hiring the wrong coach forces many entrepreneurs to want to go it alone. It’s easy to fall into the trap that it’s possible to get buy without investing in a coach. This is a dangerous mindset.

The right coaching saves you thousands of dollars and years of wasted time and effort. The most successful entrepreneurs are willing to invest in experts who can guide them. They know the importance of investing back in their business. Without investment, it’s unrealistic to think it’s possible to maintain a sustainable business. Business coaching isn’t a luxury. It’s an essential part of succeeding in today’s marketplace. Finding and hiring the right coach is one of the first things you should do for your business.  

“You can have a successful business, but it requires an understanding of business and definite skill building." - Sonya Stattmann (12:31-12:41)

What You Really Need to Build a Profitable Business

Get your idea down on paper and take it to people you trust to give you feedback before moving forward. Entrepreneurs often put themselves in a bubble, thinking they’ve got the greatest idea. But an experienced and honest coach or mentor can keep you out of the echo chamber so you know the strengths and weaknesses of your idea. 

Understand your target market, which is the foundation of your business. Your success depends on the demand for your service or product. Your offer has to be specific to the needs of your audience, and they have to want it badly. 

Knowing your audience lets you customize your offer for a better response. You can test your idea to see if people are willing to invest their hard-earned money in your service or product. This only happens when you align your values with those of your target audience. 

Success takes more than a laptop and an idea. Thinking you can do it without others or without learning new skills minimizes what it actually takes. Even a business with a solid foundation can take at least three years to become stable and profitable. If you haven’t built that foundation with education, experience, and skills, then that’s where you need to start. 

How to get involved

  • Join the Women in the Business Arena Group on Facebook and continue the discussion starting next week!
  • Reach out to us - we’d love to hear more about where you’re at in life and business! Find out more here.

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