The Wardrobe Secrets Of A DrivenWoman

Posted on January 25, 2015

minimalist closet

Do you sometimes feel you know exactly what has to be done but lack the initiative to finalise a project and take the necessary steps? You can pinpoint the little improvements to your lifestyle what would make a big difference but there’s already enough things on your to-do list.

The great thing about being a part of a community is that you get introduced to ideas that will prompt you to improve your thinking and get stuff done in a new way. For instance, let’s take a popular January topic, clearing out your closet. I started clearing out my closets some time ago but haven’t been able to completely finish the project. I simply have too much to do all the time, right?

Then yesterday one of our members shared a wonderful TED talk ‘The Ten Item Wardrobe‘ by Jennifer L. Scott. Watching this talk suddenly put fire under my backside and completing the wardrobe project became a priority.

That’s the power of a community. So today, here I was, completing the task long over due.

Whilst I was being brutally honest with the items I actually use and the items that have not seen the light of day for many years I remembered something image consultant Joanna Gaudoin from InsideOut said: “Do you own lots of clothes and accessories but they aren’t right for who you are now?

That’s exactly how I felt. After having my twin boys, oh – over 5 years ago – I’ve done a number of wardrobe clear outs, but still seemed to be holding onto items from the golden pre-child era. Why? My inside talk goes something like this… “But this was my favourite piece, I used it so much – back then. Surely I’ll still wear it at some point. It’s too expensive to throw out… I love that colour…

Does it sound familiar?

We express ourselves through what we wear. Therefore holding onto garments means holding on to the old expression of me. Why should I become the person I used to be? I’m becoming the person I’m meant to become and everything I love will take a new shape and form.

Giving up the old makes immediately room for the new.

It’s surprising how holding on to old clothes or other possessions can hold you back in the past.

If you have a need for a bigger household overhaul, get inspired and take the 30DayGetChuckedChallenge. The Telegraph’s Victoria Lambert chucked 465 items in 30 days. (Again, I can thank one of our members for sharing this article!)

Five reasons why you should make time for a lifestyle clear out, now.

1) Make clearing out your wardrobe (or the house/ office) a priority

There’s always a million and one other things that on the surface seem more urgent, but it’s important to make the foundation strong. And it’s time to start respecting your living environment, your lifestyle and you.

2) Your clothes should serve the person you are today

We express our personality, our values and who we are through our clothing, haircut and the whole package, it’s how we show up to our life. It’s important to let go of objects that no longer serve the person you are today, and stop thinking of the person who you were yesterday.

3) Be selective what you invite into your life

If you listened Jennifer L. Scott’s talk you are by now convinced you don’t need a lot of stuff and a big wardrobe. What you need is good quality. Choose items that make you feel great, increase your confidence and express self-love. Select clothing like you select people, only invite the best and the most positive into your life.

4) Less is more productive

I’ve talked about this before,  a well organised wardrobe improves productivity. It sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. You can cut down the time you need getting ready in the morning, knowing everything in your closet works, fits and looks great. And forget the days when the whole day is near ruined due to feeling uncomfortable in what you are wearing.

5) Show daily self-love

Looking good, showing who you are through what you wear, investing in a manicure or a nice hair colour, scented candles or a bunch of fresh flowers weekly is not vanity, a necessity. It’s about expressing self-love. Pay attention to this, even if you work from home. It’s about showing up to your life and enjoying your own company, not about impressing others.

Have a great week!

~ Miisa

 

 

You Don’t Have To Explain Yourself

Posted on January 18, 2015

defenselessness2

It’s been a few months now since I decided to own my greys and step into the unknown of the disproval of others.  This has been quite a journey, a very anxious one at times and constant battle with my strength of character.

I found myself always giving my life story of why I decided to go grey when I met people. Even if they said nothing I would look at where their eyes were focused and if it was remotely in the direction of my forehead I would immediately come out with this spill. “Oh, it’s because… blaah blaah.” It was not until someone very close to me said “Jennifer why do feel the need to give an explanation all the time? Do you really feel that everyone’s opinion really matters? Who are  you trying to convince?” He was so right. Why was I seeking the approval of others? Was it not good enough that I knew myself why I had made the decision and that surely is what counted the most.

I understood from then on how significant it was to know why we make changes and the only way to feel comfortable with our choices is to understand our intentions.

Trust your decision and go with it all in.

Once I had a clear understanding of my decision I no longer felt I had to explain or justify myself.  If I got a negative reaction I just thought that’s fine because I was doing this for me. Going through that emotion was very cleansing. I felt such a relief. I was now back in charge!

It’s astonishing how the language we project and the persona we give has such a profound impact on how we are treated. Now that I’m no longer blabbering my excuses I no longer get negative reactions. I may be met with silence on occasions and the odd peculiar look but that’s fine. Most of the time I’m met with admiration. And how cool is that.

This experience has been an incredible one. It has taught me more about myself than I thought possible. Internally I have grown leaps and bounds. I took myself so far out of my comfort zone that at times I felt very vulnerable. At the end of it I am glad I stuck it out.

I have found a lovely poem for you.

Seeking Approval 

We spend too much of our life seeking approval from others.

Whether it is parents and siblings, even friends or lovers.

It is never a conscious decision that we make.

We don’t give it much thought and that can be a mistake.

 

It is far easier for us to submit, than ask them for respect.

We are paralyzed with fear that you won’t love us, I suspect.

You don’t need to be afraid and if you are refused,

Run as fast as you can, move on, do not be confused.

 

You should choose wisely; for there are those when asked,

Will deny the approval you seek, they’ll be unmasked.

If nothing else, please remember this,

Be yourself, you don’t need approval from others to exist.

 

Sylvia A. Feeley

 

I wish everyone a non-apologetic week.

~ Jennifer

Make 2015 The Year You Dare Greatly

Posted on January 11, 2015

quote brene brown

Whilst December is often a time of celebration and reflection, come January it is time to look forward and plan ahead. I imagine you’ve already thought about resolutions and intentions for the year ahead.  Perhaps a couple of them have already been discarded.  My challenge here is that you think in terms of what you can and will do rather than what you won’t do.  That you think big, rather than think small.  And that these intentions come from your heart and your truth, rather than what you think those around you are hoping for and expecting of you.

How about making 2015 the year in which you Dare Greatly?  How about getting really brave in how you show up for the year ahead?

How could you turn up the courage dial on your plans for the year?  Where do you want to Dare Greatly and truly make a difference?

One of my favourite aspects of Dr. Brené Brown’s work is the metaphor of the arena, and I think it’s a great place from which to think about your intentions for the year ahead. This is the place where you authentically show-up and dare greatly with your most vulnerable self.  Her inspiration for this comes from Theodore Roosevelt:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again … who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”

Theodore Roosevelt.

One of the key messages here is to let go of the fear of failure.

I sometimes wonder how much greatness there is hidden behind closed doors across the land; ideas and plans that never come to fruition because of this fear.  How often do you hear people (or indeed yourself) saying, ‘There’s no point trying that, it’ll never work’?

Highly successful people across the world share a common trait – failure does not intimidate them anymore. In fact, many successful people have experienced multiple failures before getting to where they are today.  Rather than letting the fear of failure hold them back, they have reframed failure as a learning opportunity, and as evidence that they are in the arena and Daring Greatly.

The other key message is that this won’t be an easy ride.

Theodore Roosevelt talks of ‘dust and sweat and blood’, whilst Dr. Brené Brown talks about the vulnerability implicit with being in the arena. You may well get your ass kicked in the process as there will be plenty of critics ready to take a swipe at you.  Whilst this fear of other people’s reactions can really make us feel stuck, many successful people have learnt how to develop resilience to this.

Lauren Laverne recently talked about her experiences in covering Eva Wiseman’s maternity leave in the Observer.  She said she realised that ‘people slagging you off is not the end of the world’ and that whilst plenty of people disagreed with what she had to say, ‘only dicks were dicks about it’.  My own technique is inspired by Brené – unless the criticism comes from someone who is also in the arena, getting their ass kicked too, then I’m not interested.

So what’s my arena for 2015?  I long to get my voice out there – by writing, blogging and public speaking.  I realise I have played small for too long from a place of fear – fear that people won’t be interested in what I have to say and fear that people won’t agree with it.  It is time for me to be heard.

What about you?  Where do you want to ‘dare greatly’ in 2015?  If you could operate from your truth, let go of other people’s expectations and criticisms, and learn to manage that fear of failure, what arena could you step in to?

I’m making 2015 the year I Dare Greatly… Who else is in?

~ Roxanne

roxanne hobbs

A quest post by Roxanne Hobbs. She describes herself as on a mission to transform business via the inclusivity of women. Roxanne works with women to help them uncover their authentic leadership voice and make a difference within organisations. Roxanne is a certified coach (CPCC ACC) who lives in Hackney with her husband, two young boys and a crazy puggle. She’s the founder of Hackney Mums.

Got inspired? Do you want to step out onto your own arena? Join DrivenWoman and Roxanne for an all day ‘The Daring Way’ Workshop on Saturday 24th of January 2015 in Soho, London. Get your tickets here.

New Year’s Resolutions – How Not To Fix The Negative But Create The Positive (And How Did I Do In 2014)

Posted on January 4, 2015

new years resolutions

Exactly one year ago I wrote about ‘conceptualising’ instead of setting new year’s resolutions or fixed goals. In this post I want to share with you the results of my experiment, and the three new concepts I’m setting for myself for this year.

But first, a couple of words why I hate empty promises.

The problem with New Year’s resolutions and “This year I’m going to be a better person…” promises is that they are driven by negative self-talk.

Does this sound familiar … ‘I’m not worthy because of my seven extra kilos. My tummy is too floppy and I really shouldn’t watch so much reality TV. It’s time I stop drinking wine, stop eating chocolate, and never spend money on high healed shoes again.’

When you focus on the negative – the issues just get bigger. When I was younger I was on a diet a couple of times and the more I thought about food and how I’m not supposed to be eating this or that, the more I wanted to eat!

Second problem with this kind of negative self-talk is that you compare yourself with an elusive ‘perfection’, some external measure that in reality doesn’t exist (or only exists inside your head). So what if you are seven kilos over weight? Who cares? The dress size doesn’t make you any lesser a person!

New Year resolutions become very quickly empty promises because habits are extremely difficult to change.

Determination is not enough. And negative self-talk is not a very good motivator. End result is that you end up feeling even worse because nothing happened despite good intentions.

I believe it’s better to replace these empty promises with positive self-development.

What can I do better this year? What is important for me in my life right now?

When you concentrate on areas for improvement, rather than negative things to fix, you start the year with a positive mindset. That’s why I conceptualise rather than set goals or resolutions.

A year ago I set out to focus on these three concepts:

1) Accept

I wanted to highlight to myself that things don’t always go as I plan and especially as fast I’d like them to. The gap between expectations and reality only creates stress, therefore I wanted to work on being more in tune with the way my projects grow organically.

The fact I wrote this down in the beginning of the year helped me tremendously and reduced my stress levels. I was able to be more present in what I was doing and thus create more value. I’m going to take this concept to the next level in 2015. More about that later in this post.

2) Connect

A year ago I announced boldly that “I’m going to connect with everyone I ever wanted to connect with.” 

Hmmmph. It didn’t quite happen like that and in fact I feel I’m in the very early stages of building connections for the next level of my personal growth. But what did happen was perhaps more important. I stopped being afraid of approaching people. I stopped worrying about their reaction and whether they’d like me or reject me. I realised I don’t have to care. All I have to focus on is what I do and what I can contribute. I will keep this concept on my list for 2015.

3) Create value

This third concept was very business related. I wanted to ensure I spend my time most productively. It’s very easy to make yourself busy, but it’s much more difficult to choose the right activity that will make biggest difference in terms of results.

I think I’ve succeeded beyond my dreams with this one. A year ago I had no idea I was going to launch a new business in 2014. Oh yes, all the late nights and long hours measuring beads and stones have paid off, and in December 2014 my fashion jewellery website www.minkandstone.com went live. Users can design their own jewellery pieces, and have them made and sent to them.

I feel writing down these three concepts have helped me a lot in my quest for constant improvement. Would I have made New Year’s resolutions I don’t think I’d feel so satisfied with the results.

These concepts where based on inviting better things into my life, rather than fixing negative aspects.

I find it easier to connect daily with a bigger vision rather than get stressed counting how many carrots I’m allowed to eat. I also believe that if you strive to make yourself happier and more fulfilled the little things will fix themselves. As my stress level reduces and I become happier within myself I don’t feel a need to count calories or worry about lifestyle changes.

What next? My three concepts for 2015:

1) Never in a hurry

‘Accept’ was such a good concept and it worked so well for me that I want to take it onto a next level. In June I experienced a panic attack. It was the weirdest feeling ever, like living in a slow motion movie with a massive headache. I then realised it is me who sets the schedule for my life. (Yeah, it only took me 43 years to figure that out.) And I said to myself I’ll never want to feel that kind of self-induced stress again.

Year 2015 will not be stress free, because some stress is good and productive. But I will refuse to be in a hurry. I’m going to stop rushing things. I know there is a gigantic mountain of work I want to get done this year but there is no need to feel overwhelmed about it. I will work focused and hard and become better in switching off and relaxing.

I want to move between focused work and relaxation quickly. With this I mean that I can take a 5 minute break in the middle of the day and rejuvenate my mind. Or that I slot in short holidays and time to do sport and relax with my family and friends. I’m going to set realistic schedules and will not be pushed around by other people’s agendas. I’m the Ruler of Kingdom Miisa!

2) Connect

As I mentioned earlier, I have only scratched the surface with this. Fine. So this concept will stay on my list. Unaltered. This girl will keep connecting – to the left, to the right, up and down. Stay tuned for how I’m doing – I will report back exactly in a year’s time.

3) Think big

It’s time to take the value creation to the next level. My first concept ‘Never In A Hurry’ will be huge asset here as I will ensure I always have the headspace and capacity to look into the horizon, not just what’s next in front of me, rushing from task to task. I will try to learn to select the big ideas from the average, what really matters from the noise. And this is only possible if I’m calm, relaxed and present.

I hope my list inspires you to write down your three concepts and invite good, positive things into your life.

2015 should not be about fixing the negative but creating the positive.

Happy New Year to everyone!

~ Miisa

PS. Please share your three concepts in the comments. It will help you to make them real and become accountable. It’s much more powerful than just deciding something in your mind…

 

Learning To Enjoy The Journey

Posted on December 21, 2014

enjoy the journey

The year end is always populated with ‘the best of’ -lists, but sometimes it’s a feeling of disappointment rather than triumph how the year has gone. Do you think nothing turned out as you had envisioned this year? Did you you have a long New Year’s resolutions list and only managed to accomplish the easiest tasks?

Not achieving our internal or external goals feels disappointing, but most of us are guilty of two things. Firstly, we keep rushing towards an elusive goal, expecting that once we get there we will finally be happy – and if we don’t reach our goal we are complete failures. I’m the first one to put my hand up, I know how easy it is to get pressurised by my own goals. For me the secret is not to meet some internal or external targets but to create positive daily habits that help me to raise my game, and, to enjoy the journey!

The second pitfall is not to recognise that life is actually, mostly, pretty great! It’s so easy to get hang up on the things that are not perfect, not completed and not completely as we’d like them to be. This post by Leo Babauta’s is to the point, “If you had to make a list of all the habits you’d like to change or create, how many changes would be on the list?”

Why is it so much easier to be unhappy than appreciate what we have achieved and what we can enjoy right now?

At DrivenWoman meetings we’ve discussed what we are most proud of, or most grateful of this year.

This is a simple exercise that helps you to appreciate the small wins, personal triumphs and the good things you have in life. The feeling of not achieving suddenly makes room for gratefulness and satisfaction.

a) Write down three things you are most proud of, your greatest personal successes from this year. Something YOU are proud of.

b) Write down three things you are most grateful off this year.

I love what one of our members said after writing down her thoughts. “I think this year has been one of the worst years for me, ever. At least it feels like it. When I started this exercise I thought I can’t possibly find three good things about 2014. But guess what, it’s amazing. When I look at what I wrote down, my reasons to be grateful – my life is actually pretty good!”

Being grateful has positive health benefits, and I strongly believe it helps you to relax and enjoy the journey.

And that’s what life is all about. It’s not about the end goal, it’s about enjoying life every day and doing your best.

I wish you peaceful and grateful Christmas. Let’s enjoy it!

~ Miisa

 

Sharing Experiences Leads To Increased Confidence

Posted on December 14, 2014

women confidenceThe year is soon coming to an end. We’ve now run over 50 members’ groups, introductions and workshops and met lots of wonderful, driven women. Getting people together to share their ambitions and experiences is so rewarding, not least because we can see real change and real progress. That’s why we originally set up this network. To become a real movement for proactivity for women.

This week I want to share a member story. It’s these stories of personal discovery, growing confidence and making things happen that gives us so much satisfaction. I hope this story from Jacqueline will inspire you to share experiences to gain more confidence and make things happen.

“I was one of the founding members of DrivenWoman and I instantly loved having somewhere I could go to bounce ideas off the other members, sharing my ups and downs and uncertainties. I’ve been self-employed for years and while I love my work as a sports and exercise massage therapist, it can be very lonely.

DrivenWoman meetings give you the chance to dream a bit, to think bigger, and then to just get on with it. I used to be an Olympic Athlete and it’s taken me a long time to work out what I wanted, but the shared experience of DrivenWoman has given me that confidence to move forward and allowed me to be better at what I do.

Having others to share your thoughts with gives you the belief that what you’re doing is right, and helps you trust your instincts.

I now have my own sports rehab clinic and have the confidence to take on the right work, to say no occasionally, rather than just taking on everything and working myself into the ground. I’m doing things more efficiently, rather than just doing it.

As a group we’ve all come so far together, and I feel the experience has helped me come out of my little box, open up and be more confident, get active on social media, embracing who I am and going with it.” Jacqualine Agyapong

Do you have a group of good people around you can share your thoughts with? Please share your experience in the comments.

Have a great week.

~ Miisa

 

Holiday Reading

Posted on December 7, 2014

holiday reading

Christmas is great time to read and to invest in updating one’s thoughts. No matter how busy I am, I always try to keep reading a book. Even if it’s just 15 minutes before going to bed it all adds up. This week I wanted to share a book review by one of our members. A great book to read over the Christmas holidays!

……….

Once in a while a book comes along which has the power to transform our lives for the better. ‘Daring Greatly’ by Brene Brown is one of those books. It is uplifting and insightful, and based on years of rigorous research involving hundreds of interviews.

I discovered Brene Brown through her TED talks - www.ted.com - and was struck by her authenticity and openness. Her message is practical and simple – we squander our lives if we wait to be perfect or bullet proof. The only way to really live is to believe that we are enough, practice gratitude, deal with shame and face uncertainty, exposure and emotional risks. In essence, we transform our lives by having the courage to be vulnerable. This is not weakness, it is the willingness to show up and show who we really are, to truly connect with others, to live with the discomfort of being a leader or parent. It means practising our values and pushing back against a culture of scarcity, blame and comparison with others.

Here are three steps you can take right now: practice courage and reaching out; talk to yourself the way you would talk to someone you really love; and own your story – that way you get to write the ending.

Book was reviewed by Jenny Oklikah.

Daring Greatly

 

And don’t forget, we are running a DrivenWoman one day workshop – The Daring Way – on 26th of January 2015. Book now and ensure you get one of the limited number of Early Bird tickets!

I’m Dreaming Of Wealthy Women

Posted on November 30, 2014

Last summer I got tired of pay day loan companies’ advertising. The dream life they offered would be financed by loans. I couldn’t disagree more. Living a life of luxury on borrowed money is only a big lie and will result in a nightmare. Dream life can only be based on reality. It’s based on passion, professionalism and taking responsibility of our own financial future.

And when something bothers me, if I see a ‘fault’ in the universe, I want to do something about it. So I decided to start a web based community for Wealthy Women. ‘Wealthy’ is not an exact figure, it’s about an idea that everyone can improve their financial situation.

Our financial future is influenced only by our choices that will lead to a different, more attractive financial situation.

There is so much mystery surrounding money and wealth but it really is no magic. Your own attitude determines 80% of your financial outcome. Think about it, if you really want to get something you will find a way to achieve it, right? But if you believe you will always be poor and not entitled to any riches the mindset is difficult to change.

This new community will support its members to make their financial future brighter. Women who join the community will get instructions to draw up their own financial statement and choose their financial target. This is an exercise I warmly recommend to everybody, and you should keep updating it regularly! They will also receive a wealth coaching pack with ideas and tools for better money management and wealth growth. It’s important to keep working on your wealth every month to reach your goals.

Women tend be somewhat ashamed to take a grip of their own finances.

It’s as if we are our own worst enemies. Women tend to ask for less in salary negotiations, they end up earning less than men, and there are fewer female entrepreneurs. Women’s pension contributions are smaller than men’s. But we could do so much more for ourselves to make our situation better!

It’s up to us that we take the steps though. Reaching any goal is easier as a member of a community because you get support, you can exchange opinions and experiences with other women. Same goes for reaching our financial goals as you get new ideas and point of views about money and wealth. But it means we have to make an effort, and to be willing to share. Sometimes it’s hard to change anything alone. When you surround yourself with like-minded people who are also eager to reach their goals you are more likely to succeed.

I believe we women can achieve great things, and together we are stronger. My dream is to build a community of 10,000 wealthy women. I wanted to share this big dream with you, perhaps it will help you dream bigger.

Have a wonderful, wealth conscious week.

~ Terhi

This is a guest post from Terhi Majasalmi, a DrivenWoman trusted women’s wealth coach. She will be running the second DrivenWoman ‘Wealthy Woman Workshop’ in London on the 19th of March 2015. Meanwhile, you can find out about her Wealthy Woman community here. (Now in Finnish only.)

Terhi Majasalmi is a wealth coach who dreams about 10,000 wealthy women

Terhi Majasalmi is a wealth coach who dreams about 10,000 wealthy women.

 

Do You Trust The Timing Of Your Life

Posted on November 23, 2014

circle of life

Do you trust the timing of your life? It’s the Cliche that “everything happens for a reason”, right. Is that the truth or just another explanation for us to making sense of life?

I can honestly say at this stage of my life I finally trust the timing of my life. I’ve probably had traits of this trust since an early age. I can recall always being into self-help books and a great fan of Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelo. But now with all my life experiences, both good and bad, and I have a better understanding of myself and what life has to give and with this I feel at ease with my choices and excited about what I can achieve.

Now, trusting life doesn’t mean I am going to wait around for someone to give me a bag of gold and a big pat on the back and say “here you are and away you go”. Although at times it would be tempting to dream, and I will not dismiss it from the universe… Oh, yes please dear universe, you can bring me a bag of gold anytime you want :). Trusting your life is about becoming one with yourself and with the World and your inner thoughts. It sounds submissive but it is not.

Who wants to go through life hating everything and having a wrestling match with every problem that arises?

That would create so much negativity in your life you would become worn out and completely miserable. Trusting the timing in life is about a belief, planning and not to being afraid of becoming creative when required, and knowing that there is a time and place for everything and you are working towards it.

Please don’t think I do not get my moments of panic – I do – but they do not last for long. That’s why I love the diagram we use in Drivenwoman that explains our life circle in four stages. We will always visit the confusion and fear stage but how long we stay there will depend on our trust and understanding of why we are there. If we are ready to work on our weaknesses rather than create alibis to cover them, we move out of fear and confusion pretty quickly.

Where I am now I want to be fully aware – and grateful of – as I believe everything that I have experienced so far has lead me to this point.

And rather than covering my weaknesses with excuses, I want to work on them, because I know it’s the time.

I realise now that paying  attention to detail is one of my major down falls. I’ve always been quick to  dismiss situations which need a little more focus or dedication and happily  passed it on to the next person. Recently I seem to have gathered more individuals in my life that are so meticulous and on point with proven success that I think it is time for me to take note. Especially if I want to move forward.

This is what I call trusting the timing of your life, staying present. And accepting the work that has to be done next.

We can choose to control our minds and think positive or negative thoughts. Whenever we think a positive thought we will feel good and life becomes full of energy. When you trust in life and stop resisting then you will notice opportunities around you. This is what has happened to me recently. I stopped resisting the things I need to learn.

I don’t want to sound like a guru (god..) but I do trust life as I need to be in this positive state of mind to function. How else can you? Feeling fear and doubting everything that comes in front of you? No.

Negative thinking is simply a habit. It’s true that the mind becomes inclined towards fearful thinking because it’s inherently a “survival”machine. But everyday we have the choice to align ourselves with the fear part of the mind or the positive part. When you are not aware it’s easy normal to get pulled in by the negativity.

Trusting the timing of life and your ability to fulfil your own potential means you can look through the maze with excitement and positivity, and your eyes wide open not scared of the outcome.

I’ve finally learned to allow myself to trust my timing and understand that when I stop resisting I cause a continuos movement to a far better quality of life. One little step at a time, always improving. And I deserve it.

~ Jennifer

 

Why Entrepreneurial Dreams Fail – And How To Be Better Prepared

Posted on November 16, 2014

get prepared for entrepreneurship

Women are increasingly taking life and career into their own hands and starting businesses or going freelance. In the US, women are starting businesses twice as fast as men. But only less than 2% of women owned businesses make it above the crucial $1 million mark. And even more often those dreams of doing more meaningful work, being your own boss and earning for yourself are parked because women arrive to the gates of entrepreneurship totally unprepared.

When you are frustrated with your current job, starting your own business may sound like the only way out, but decisions made in haste rarely end successfully. In my view, women would be much more successful if they’d allow more time for the ‘brewing’ period before starting on their own. And spend it effectively, learning and gathering resources, rather than thinking they can get into it once they resign.

Transition from a ‘career mindset’ into an ‘entrepreneur mindset’ takes time. The reason so many women find it too hard to start is they arrive to the bottom of the entrepreneurial mountain completely unprepared. And I’m not talking about the practicalities about starting a business. Registering a trademark or raising capital are usually the smallest of your worries at that point.

You may think about it this way. Would you climb a mountain if you were not prepared? Would you start a long trek up the hill if you didn’t know why you are climbing, and what you are looking for? Do you even know it’s the right mountain? Do you have all the right tools in your backpack?

One of the DrivenWoman members told me last week how she got frustrated with her job and resigned to stay at home for a little while in order to start her own business. After a year she realised she wasn’t ready. She didn’t know what business she wanted to start and she was not prepared. Instead, she made a very wise decision, she went back to work in a similar field she had resigned from earlier. She’s enjoying the work now because she has given it a different meaning. Her mindset has changed, she knows she will start her own business at some point in the future, when she’s ready. The current job is her core expertise so she can do it with relative ease. That leaves time and energy to explore future opportunities and learn skills she will need when she wants to take off. And most importantly the bills get paid.

There are so many areas women are ignoring when approaching entrepreneurship. What people don’t realise is that it often takes many years to be ‘ready’ to build something successful. It takes couple of iterations, many failures and dead-end streets before you can go full speed.

We should all be constantly thinking what we have in our backpacks. Are we packing something useful and  getting prepared for the climb long before we arrive to the bottom of the mountain. We need to study maps, we have to pack for changing weather, we need tools so we can be prepared for difficult situations. There should be enough water and food so we don’t have to turn back just because we run out of resources. And most importantly we need to build our mindset to be able to conquer the mountain.

Start packing your backpack today for a future adventure. The adventure may be many years into the future, but if you arrive unprepared you are likely to try once, fail miserably and never attempt it again.

It has taken me 5 years to get prepared! Many iterations, lots of mistakes and learning, piles of books and meters of webpages later, I know now I’m ready, ready to climb any mountain.

~ Miisa

DrivenWoman Entrepreneurial Workshop ‘Should I Go Solo‘ on 26th of November 6:30 pm, is not about starting a company. It’s about a ‘what if’ scenario, if one day you want to go on an adventure. Are you prepared?