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To put it simply, I am an entrepreneur. To get a little more specific, I am a creative entrepreneur. To get even more specific than that, I am a SERIAL creative entrepreneur. I constantly have new ideas bouncing around in my head, and sometimes I need to remind myself to just sit down, take a breath, and focus on the imminent task at hand. In those moments, I always remember something a mentor of mine used to say to me: “Hillary, you have all these plates up in the air, and they’re all just spinning! One falls, but you still have something spinning! Eventually, one of those plates is going to stop spinning, and that’s going to be the idea.”
It can take some extra effort to take care of yourself when you’ve got so many ideas spinning around in your head. Sometimes you forget to do the most basic of things, like eat! I’ve even got a picture of the inside of my car where a business partner and I just have two bottles of water and a snack bag in the center console between us. That was our “Breakfast of Champions”!
An Entrepreneur Makes Sacrifices
Being an entrepreneur demands a number of skills and attitudes, but let me narrow it down for you. In my experience, these are the top three things it takes to be a SUCCESSFUL entrepreneur: Perseverance, Risk, and Passion.
Being an entrepreneur is not always fun or easy. Sometimes, it can be very scary. To move forward in your business endeavors, you have to be willing to take risks. Sometimes they’re very big, intimidating risks. And sometimes… they don’t pay off. Sometimes, they fail. In those moments of failure, it takes passion and perseverance to pull yourself back up and keep moving forward. You must always be striving for something bigger and better. You can never become stagnant or complacent. You need to understand that failure IS an option. In fact, failure isn’t just an option, failure is inevitable, and with the right attitude, your failures can be invaluable to you.
To get personal, six months ago, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to pay my rent. Did I let that defeat me? No. I mulled over the incredible list of connections I’ve made over the years, and I wasn’t too proud to ask for help. I reached out, and help came. Now, 6 months later, I’m absolutely buried in amazing projects and new endeavors that I am beyond excited about. We’ll talk more about those soon!
An Entrepreneur Has Many Failures
Let’s talk about another entrepreneur who failed before becoming successful, just in case you don’t believe me: the household name, Steve Jobs! His failure with the “Lisa” was possibly his largest and most expensive failure ever. It was an Apple desktop computer that was released in 1983 and met with commercial failure. Millions of dollars in development and almost nothing to show for it! He failed so hard with this one he was even kicked off the project! By members of the company he founded! Soon after that came the Macintosh project, which led to a long power struggle resulting in Jobs being outright fired from Apple. It all seems pretty insane, right? A lot of people would probably just throw in the towel after all that madness, right? Well, as we know, Jobs eventually found his way back to Apple and became a huge success. In one of his many inspirational quotes, he reflects on the experience and what it all meant to him: “Getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me,” he said. “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.”
A True Entrepreneur Collaborates
If you’re truly passionate about being an entrepreneur, all these bumps, risks, failures, and lows will be worth it for the highs and huge wins you will experience. I have a personal ideal that has been very important to me along my journey, and I want to share it with all of you: It is the importance of COLLABORATION instead of COMPETITION. So many people hinder their success because they’re so focused on “beating out the other guy”. I, however, believe that to be a better entrepreneur, you have to collaborate with people. Yes, even if they’re in your same industry. Not everybody will have the exact same skill sets, and it is important to find and work with people who have different skills. When you help each other, everybody comes out on top.
I have a very exciting new project coming into fruition because of this principle of COLLABORATION instead of COMPETITION. For the past few months, I’ve been developing something called THE BOSS BOX with my friend Shalini Vadhera. Shalini and I easily could have competed with each other, but instead we teamed up and developed something truly special together that I think is going to help a lot of people achieve their dreams in the coming year. THE BOSS BOX is going to inspire confidence, knowledge, inspiration, and leadership in businesswomen. It will tell the story of a day in the life of a BOSS, provide a tool-kit for women aspiring to be in business, and provide tools to help women already in business expand their business and careers. You can expect to see components of education, mindfulness, beauty, inspiration, style, and nutrition within these powerhouse packages! Quarterly subscriptions will be launching this Spring, so keep an eye out! I cannot stress how excited I am to be a part of this new venture. COLLABORATION, NOT COMPETITION!
I was so lucky to find Shalini, but don’t be fooled - I’ve gone through many business partners who didn’t work out. So much of business is trial and error. You keep going and trying new things until something works. Before you figure out what you do need, you’ll first figure out what you don’t need. The rollercoaster to success will put you through bigger and bigger loops and turns as you progress, and that is natural and thrilling. It is always exhilarating to see my ideas come to life. The excitement is never-ending as I have more and more opportunities to meet amazing people, and start something from scratch and watch it grow.
So, on your entrepreneurial journey, always understand this: Progress is never linear. The journey to success is never linear. I firmly believe that anything can be achieved with enough determination. If you put your mind to it, you can always come out back on top in the end.