Luck is a word that very often is used with a negative connotation. "Oh, she's so lucky she had the chance to..." or, "He's so lucky he was at the right place at the right time." Jealousy comes to mind quite often when I hear the word "luck" used. Luck as it relates to business is something I think can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For years, I've tried to do it all as a maverick. I've turned down many opportunities to collaborate with people or organizations that stray even slightly from my purist intentions. But if I've learned anything over the past year, it's that the more vulnerable I'm able to be, the more the world becomes vulnerable.
I started a 30-day cold shower program after I realized that many of my other entrepreneurial heroes like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss also use cold showers to prime themselves for their day. Why? Because, as I discovered first hand, a cold shower is like a Rorschach ink blot test for all the crap you carry around in your mental backpack. The crap that holds you back from greatness.
Today women are starting businesses at a blistering pace with survival rates higher than men. When compared to their male counterparts, women are routinely lauded for having better team-building skills, being more intuitive and for being smarter money managers than their male counterparts. But none of this matters when you become an entrepreneur. So what does matter?
As we get busier and take on more tasks and challenges just to get by, we are increasingly finding comfort in many icons of our time who tell us that failing is ultimately the best way to learn and move forward. They say that we must celebrate our strengths and weaknesses and not worry about how others judge us.
Simply put, rather than reinventing the wheel, entrepreneurs need to find the wheel-maker, and leverage the wheel-maker's expertise and experience. There are four key practices to embed this into the enterprise. First, build a network before it's needed. I'm convinced that the single most important asset any entrepreneur can build is their Rolodex.
At 23 years of age, Nasreen Sheikh radically redefines what it means to be a Nepali woman. She is a Sunni Muslim living in a predominately Hindu community and is the founder of a fair-trade sewing collective called Local Women's Handicrafts. Nasreen is an outlier in her community. Typically, most Nepali girls marry between the ages of 15 and 18. The pressure to have a married daughter began to increase with each year Nasreen remained single however, and in 2014, Nasreen's parents decided that they had to take action. For Nasreen, this arranged marriage would have meant the end of Local Women's Handicrafts.
If you're anything like me, the moment you tell someone that you're a side hustler it elicits a response of awe and wonder...or maybe it's well disguised pity that you're filling every waking moment with work. Filling your days with extra projects in the hopes of kick starting your passion or transforming that passion into your paycheque is foreign to some, but its steadily becoming a reality for many.
The definition of a traditional career does not lend well in today's innovation and technology driven economy. Workplaces are changing. No longer must you come into the office everyday for business meetings when you can stay at home and with a click of a button, video conference with executives around the world.
In these heady days of waste reduction and sustainable food production, food recovery tackles our most bourgeois societal needs for perfect looking produce. For decades, North Americans have been turning their noses up at apple wormholes and rusty romaine lettuce, and produce retailers have caught on.
Giving up the reigns puts someone else in the driver's seat, which is a guaranteed recipe for calamity. Trust me, every pitch you'll make will be challenged... but the longer your maintain control, the more powerful a base (and shield) you build. What's more, you may inadvertently address, even eliminate, someone's genuine concern as your presentation rolls on to its finish.
Face-saving entrepreneurs will call this a "pivot," which basically means, "I was doing this one thing, and now I realize I should be doing this other thing instead." You might feel like a fool for not getting it right the first time around, but I challenge you to find any entrepreneur who got everything right from the get-go.
Let me fill you in on a secret: It's because you are too busy focusing on you, your company and your brand. You. You. More you. Forget about yourself for a second. Focus on the scintillating stars around you. They are gorgeous, captivating and brilliant! There is so much to discover. It is there waiting, just like you. All you have to do is open years eyes, click and share.