Guest Post by Salma El-Shurafa
Entrepreneurship is about untying knots and finding solutions.
Setbacks are an inevitable occurrence. The journey as an entrepreneur has twists, turns, bumps, bruises, and even roadblocks. These events are designed to restructure one’s purpose and passion for making an even greater breakthrough than before.
Ups and downs are what great business is all about. These fluctuations are comprised of the elements of life.
Admittedly, motivation is difficult to summon when we are faced with defining times. I will teach you how to stimulate and drive your performance after experiencing serious setbacks.
Kansas City’s one of those surprising Midwestern entrepreneurial hubs, at least that’s what I’m told when networking in NYC and SoCal.
A quick look at Kansas City’s industrial history, especially within the realm of agriculture and energy, will reveal ample evidence supporting the City of Fountains’ long standing tradition of entrepreneurial innovation.
In 2015, Cushman & Wakefield ranked Kansas City (KC) as one of the top tech cities in the nation. Since then, KC has continued to maintain top rankings in the realm of entrepreneurship and technology, proving there’s more to this former-flyover city than may initially meet the eye.
As a non-Midwestern native, I met KC’s recent headlining as “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City” with great skepticism. I’d previously regarded the KC area as a landlocked metro surrounded by wheat fields, and inhabited by 1980’s-era conservatives. Continue Reading…
Not everything about starting a business is fun.
In fact, a lot of the work during the early growth stages just, well, sucks.
Yes, you read that right.
Startups can be stressful; however, the sucky, pull-your-hair-out growth stage isn’t forever. In fact, the not-so-fun startup phase can provide you a lot of information about both your business and your market – what works and what doesn’t work – that will shape your company’s future. Being able to weather the startup storm, and respond to the growing pains of your baby biz can be a “make it or break it” phase of your entrepreneurial career.
Here are three tips for making the growth phase less “sucky”:
All my besties were made at work or school.
Maybe it’s because that’s where I spent all my time; maybe it’s because I’m just lazy on the friend-making arena and never wanted to venture out.
Or maybe I’m one of those people – the kind that prefers all socialization to be task oriented. I seem to recall a name for that from my undergrad psychology classes…
Anyway, I’m quite limited on the friend making means, something that forced an abrupt realization when I left my job and grad school to work for myself – alone, as a “solopreneur”.
While not having to deal with annoying coworkers, overbearing bosses, and other workplace antics beautifully illustrated on almost any episode of The Office, was nice, I did miss my work friends. While these friendships were rarely close, they were convenient and predictable. Continue Reading…
I joined my first Facebook group way back in 2013.
I can’t remember what it was called, but know it had something to do with business.
The digital space was just picking up steam as an entrepreneurial hub, and many of the widespread social courtesies we experience today weren’t really “widespread”, yet.
Needless to say, that well-intended business-focused Facebook group quickly became overrun with a steady stream of shameless self-promo leading to a feeding frenzy of tabloid-like social spats and virtual pissing contests.
Bottom-line: it wasn’t helpful. Continue Reading…
Cultivating supportive mentoring relationships has been a total game changer for my career.
Benefiting from my mentor’s insightful input into all my major professional decisions – both employed and entrepreneurial – has provided much needed encouragement and guidance as I navigate my professional journey.
Finding an experienced mentor that’s a good match can present quite the challenge, especially if you’re a young professional just now building your own network.
Good news: there’s several mentor-matching websites available to millennial professionals for FREE!
If you’re currently seeking a mentor to help guide you along your entrepreneurial career, consider these five mentor matching sites: Continue Reading…
I’m a “Yes” person – it’s been my standing default response to just about anything, even stuff I really didn’t want to do.
Here’s just a sampling of the “I’m saying yes but really want to say no but don’t for god knows why” scenarios I’ve found myself in:
- “Want to eat grilled alligator for dinner, Hannah?”
- Gulp. “Yes,” I meekly respond, silently gagging inside.
- “While the semester starts this Monday, we were thinking you could add on an additional three hour course to your teaching schedule. Want to?”
- Cringing at the thought of creating an entire new course in 48 hours, I whisper a quasi-confident “Yes.
- “I know we agreed on a smaller campaign, but the board decided we wanted something bigger and we want it to start next week. You can do that, right?”
- Another (hesitant) but near-automatic “Yes” reply, as I mentally make a list of all the weekend plans I have to cancel to pull off this client’s request.
All I had to do was say “no”, but I didn’t.
Instead, I felt as though there was only one answer I could say, regardless of what I wanted to do or not do – “Yes.”
Starting a business for the first time can be scary, stressful, and all other terrifying adjectives.
Even with all the right “things” in place – supportive team, business education, adequate financing, etc. – first time entrepreneurs can be swept away with the hundreds and hundreds of critical decisions that rewired within those first few months.
As with any new venture, entrepreneurship is trial and error – sometimes you make good decisions, other times, those decisions prove to not be so good.
Reflecting over my years of serial entrepreneurship – some which were profitable, others not so much – I’m reminded of some major mistakes I made my first year in business. It’s my hope that by sharing these new entrepreneur “oops!” you can be saved some unnecessary headache as you chart your own entrepreneurial journey. Continue Reading…
Like many aspiring entrepreneurs, one of the self-employment benefits I dreamed about day in and day out was not having a boss.
Not just not having a boss, but not having that boss – you know, the kind that slams you with a weekend’s worth of work Friday at 5:30 PM, the kind that belittles your every comment or suggestion in the board meeting, or the kind that micromanages everything from what you eat for lunch to when you use the facilities.
Maybe you’ve had a boss like that – one that inadvertently inspires you to take the entrepreneurial leap just so you don’t have to work for a total a**hole like them ever again.
But what happens when you sprout your self-employment wings?
You become your very own boss, and you – and you alone – are tasked with managing yourself. Continue Reading…
Freelancing – known by some as the “future of employment”– is quickly making waves as a viable career option for many talented professionals. According a 2014 survey conducted by Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk, 34 percent of the U.S. workforce – 53 million Americans – currently worked as “freelancers”.
Exchanging long commutes and rigid office hours for the freedom of freelancers, many members of the gig economy report improved work life balance and overall quality of life vs. that experienced in traditional work settings.
Thanks to technology’s implementation within the modern workplace, we can expect continued wide spread adaptation of the freelancer arrangement, turning the home-based contractor into the professional of the future.
If you’re dabbling in the world of freelancing, chances are you’ve encountered a need for some time-saving and productivity-making tools to assist with your work goals. Continue Reading…