When we launched our site, we wanted to dedicate our blogging space to female entrepreneurship. Why? Because so much of the literature on entrepreneurship, from blogs to books, is written from the perspective of men. Which, when you're an all-female team, is really unhelpful. We so wished that there was a female voice - indeed, many voices - talking about the struggle to get a new idea up and running. While we could sit around and wait for someone else to create a forum for entrepreneurial women, that would be lame. So here we are!
This month we asked six women four questions. We'll be posting the answer to each question every Monday. It's fascinating to see how different everyone's answers are. Women are not monolithic, and our approach to building a thriving business isn't either. With that, let's start with Question 1:
Nadine Gabai Botero | Focus Fundraising
One of the hardest thing I do from a business perspective is knowing where to draw the line each day so I make sure I’ve got time for family and myself. It would be so easy to just keep going! Greatest joy by far comes from the interesting conversations I have with my kids. I love seeing life from their perspective: what they think about, care about, and worry about!
Nicole Aguirre | Worn
The hardest thing I do everyday is say no to projects that would make us lots of money but are not a good fit for our employees, culture, or mission. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other companies or entrepreneurs. The easiest thing for us to do would be to take any client or projects that comes our way, make as much money as possible, and figure the rest out later, but that is not the kind of company I want to build or work at. I want my employees to love what they do everyday, I want to feel great about to work I do and know that it’s benefitting other women, and I am willing to take the long road to accomplish that.
I get the most joy everyday from seeing our client’s faces light up when they see the work we’ve created for them and when they tell me that our meetings are “better than therapy.” I know we’re helping them bring their visions to fruition and it's awesome.
Svetlana Legetic | BrightestYoungThings
It is sort of a trite thing to say, but almost all of it brings me pure joy. I mean, we built this company exclusively around the stuff we care about and love, so it is pretty easy to stay excited even when the workload is insane. Which is good because the workload is insane all the time. But if I had to pick one thing: writing/coordinating or editing something either truly beautiful or truly funny still makes me a little giddy.
In terms of dislikes: all the sort of mandatory housekeeping stuff (billing, collecting, banks trips, keeping track of things, bugging and nudging of people).
Caroline Mauldin | Social Entrepreneur
I'd say that the most difficult thing I do every day is keeping myself focused! Ever since I was a little girl, I've felt a certain anxiety about how I'm going to create the most positive impact on the world with the time that I have, so encouraging myself to work efficiently and stay clear about priorities is critical to my daily MO. I feel most fulfilled when I'm working on multiple professional projects, staying present to my friends and family, and finding time to practice yoga every day. I'm also on the road quite a lot. With so much going on, I place a high premium on efficiency, which means keeping my ADD at a minimum-not an easy task!
I find joy in a lot of things every day-seeing my dog, Mollie Reed, when I first wake up, figuring out the right formula in excel that makes a financial model come together (the best!), or savasana at the end of a sweaty vinyasa practice-but I suppose the most joy comes from making new connections: that moment when you exchange a smile and recognize each other's humanity even though you were total strangers seconds before. There is truly no greater joy to me than finding a place or moment of communion with others.
Ming Thompson | Atelier Cho Thompson
The hardest things are, ultimately, also the tasks that give me the most joy. Every design challenge is a loop of creation, revision and iteration, and it's impossible to ever feel that something is done. Sometimes in my work I'm faced with a particularly difficult design challenge, like a floor plan that I can't crack, or a detail that I can't resolve. I'll stare up at the ceiling or walk around running through all the options. I have to accept that I can only do my best and understand that there is actually no right answer. The joyful moments of design work are seeing a project come to life, and recognizing that the struggle was a necessary and productive part of bringing the finished space or image into reality.
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