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The Inside Scoop From 3 Fierce Female Entrepreneurs

the-inside-scoop-from-3-fierce-female-entrepreneurs

In the course of my work as a career and entrepreneur coach, I have crossed paths with some fierce female entrepreneurs. Here, three of them – a change agent, an artist, and a healer – offer the inside scoop on what it’s really like to start your own business.

 Gwen Elliot 2The Change Agent

Gwen Elliot – Co-Founder of GPS University, an alternative education platform for aspiring Millennial entrepreneurs.

What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

Entrepreneurship is saying yes to that little voice inside your head that continually says ‘what if…’ and you finally answer the call.

What have you learned during your time as an entrepreneur?

Everyone you need to succeed is accessible. In today’s connected world you can literally speak with anyone. When I was preparing for my TEDx talk, I was able to chat with the founder of TED by simply shooting him a well-crafted email.

What do you struggle with?

Self sabotage. I have a bad habit of comparing myself to other people.

What hurdles have you encountered?

In starting GPS University, a mentor/advisor that I truly admire declined to participate. It took the wind out of my sails, and I wrestled with the disappointment. But as they say, onwards and upwards!

What are the perks and pitfalls being an entrepreneur?

Since stepping on the entrepreneurial path, my mind is racing all of the time. I love the adrenaline and excitement, but on the other side, I literally cannot turn my mind off at night.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Trust yourself. Your desire to be an entrepreneur is no accident. You’re being called to do something, so answer the call. tweet it

For the cautious entrepreneur (like myself), surround yourself with entrepreneurs to learn what it takes before you take the leap. I would also say, start small. Remember that even Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey had to start with one action, followed by a commitment, everyday.

 

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The Artist

Jeannette Orazietti – Founder/Owner of Jeannette’s Custom Cakes, a custom commercial bakery.

Why did you start your company?

My contract ended. I decided I wasn’t going to work for someone anymore, and would instead do what I enjoy and be happy. Now I make art with sugar, flour and butter!

What do you find challenging?

Being an artist, it’s a completely different mindset compared to being a businessperson. It’s mentally challenging every single day.

What would you say to someone who wants to start a business?

Learn to rely on people. My husband is a constant source of support, baker, and more. The man dropped everything to compete with me on national television. My support system is everything to me, and is the reason why I do well and succeed.

What are the perks and pitfalls being an entrepreneur?

I like the freedom. Scratch that. I love the freedom! Not working for someone else and doing what you love is the dream, as far as I’m concerned. Challenges? Separating home from work. I often find myself thinking about cakes that could be in the oven, or emails that need to be answered, instead of focusing on my down time.

What’s you’re biggest fear, as an entrepreneur?

That the money won’t come in and the bills won’t get paid. I am confident in what I do, and know I do a good job, but money will always be in the back of my head.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Make sure it is something that you LOVE to do. If it’s something that you only kind of like, find something else. It’s the passion for the work that gets you through the challenges. If you don’t like it enough you won’t stick with it when it gets tough.

 

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The Healer

Meg Pearson – Founder of MAP Wellness, a whole life balance initiative.

What led you down this path?

A few years ago I was dealt a series of blows that included personal bankruptcy, a failed engagement, my father’s diagnosis of two incurable diseases, a serious relapse in my bulimia, my nephew’s brain tumor, and the eventual passing of my dad. During all the chaos, I could always come back to my centre by prepping healthy meals or hitting my yoga mat. So, I developed an action plan to help others by using plant-heavy diets and yoga for stress relief.

Has anything surprised you along the way?

As soon as I made the decision to transform my life and career, the universe just started dropping things into my lap. When I started blogging, other publications started reaching out to me. And a simple wellness vacation has morphed into teaching yoga and raw food classes in Costa Rica! Talk about serendipitous synchronicities!

Did you encounter naysayers?

I have had a lot of naysayers cross my path. And they have mostly been friends and family, oddly enough.

What are the perks and pitfalls being an entrepreneur?

I love that I can do whatever I choose to do, however and whenever I want! Dislikes?  Accounting. I finally found an accountant that gets me. I hand him over a binder full of loose receipts and he will just deal with them for me, no questions asked.

What is it like to run your own business?

This adventure we call life is a kooky one, one filled with ups and downs, crash landings and miss-turns. The same can be said about starting your own business. But it is all a process. As much as perseverance often prevails, it is the ability to surrender to whatever will be that can end up being your best guide.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Get the ball rolling NOW. Begin networking with like minds, connect online, and forge friendships in that specific industry. Take courses and classes to help you hone your craft, and really start to walk the talk.

 

Published at Forbes.