Technology is a catalyst for change, but never have I seen the masses come together, as I am witnessing with female entrepreneurs in the UK. When I set up my first business – bStrategic in Australia in 2004, going solo meant exactly that. Fast forward to 2015 and setting up mySircles in the UK and it has been a stark contrast on many levels.
The collaborative infrastructure that is mushrooming from groups that inspire and motivate like BizMums with nearly 350 members across the UK, to those bringing together women in tech such as DevelopHer, are catapulting women into a space of growth and expansion. There couldn’t be a better time for female entrepreneurs to follow their passion and play the big game.
The challenge however, is to get comfortable doing it!
Like many entrepreneurs, my journey is about combining passion with purpose. It was only when I was asked to give a lecture at Anglia Ruskin University to Masters students in International Business and Entrepreneurship 2 years ago, that I asked myself the question – why I wasn’t afraid to go on this journey. The answer lies in 3 specific area’s for me:
- Taking risks – you have to prepared to take risks, but these should be calculated and have a higher chance of success than failure. As long as you have thought through the pros and cons, are clear on your objectives and remain in complete control, your business will need you to take risks in order to grow and expand. Get in the mind-set that there are only 2 possible outcomes from taking risks – a chance to achieve or an opportunity to learn.
- Ability to pivot – we all believe with absolute conviction that our idea is the perfect solution for our target market and often to our detriment. It is much better to get a minimum product out into the market and learn to adapt or pivot your offering based on what customers ‘actually’ want, rather than spending time on perfecting the solution. Presenting a product or service that is not quite polished can feel scary, especially for the perfectionists, but it’s the quickest way to get to the end goal – a commercially viable product that customers want… swallow your pride and put yourself out there!
- Support network – it can be tough working in your business, especially in the early days when it is just you and your multiple hats! When feeling overwhelmed becomes more familiar than a feeling of control, remind yourself of why you chose this path. My ‘why’ is because I want to make a difference to children and enhance their journey through school, by building strong parenting communities. When things get tough, I reach out to support networks such as BizMums (www.bizmums.biz) – my ‘go to’ place to get myself lifted up and back on track – highly recommend this for working Mums!
My journey over the last 18 months has felt like a rollercoaster. It has been an intense period of learning about technology, app development and really stretching me outside of my comfort zone. But I am optimistic of what lies ahead. When mySircles goes live, parents everywhere will benefit from having an easier way to communicate with each other on school-related matters. It’s not been easy, I am learning to feel the fear and do it anyway!