In The Company of Women
Over Christmas week I devoured the book ‘In the Company of Women” by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge. I had ordered it from the library about a month ago and other than some great reviews on Amazon, I didn’t really have any expectations for the book. However, I have to say that I was blown away. There is so much value and wisdom packed into these 350 pages.
The book is essentially a compilation of interviews with Artists, Makers, and Entrepreneurs from all over the world. The interview questions are peppered between beautiful, glossy, photos of the women and their inspiring work spaces.
About 10 pages into the book I realized that I needed a system for keeping track of all of the amazing wisdom and insights from the book. Therefore, I kept a file of each of the questions that was asked and would then write out responses that I found over and over or those that especially resonated with me.
This series will be a summary of sorts of the most important and most used comments and ideas from the book. If you’re thinking that a whole series devoted to a single book seems to be a little much then I should first tell you that my book notes were about 10 pages long. Therefore, I decided to tackle a few questions in each post.
Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, an entrepreneur, or a 9 to 5 er..I hope and pray that the many lifetimes worth of experiences that are in this book will encourage, inspire, and resonate with you as they did with me.
So, without further delay, here is our question for for this week…
What is the best business advice you were given starting out?
Hire professionals for things you are not good at.
Determine how much is enough for you from the beginning. Examine your life and know how you want to exist. That way, you can design your business around those things, and you will know when you get there. Being satisfied has a lot to do with knowing your own desires.
I had a lot of friends and family telling me to just start.
That your first step is just that: the first of many steps. For so long I would stand still, afraid to move in any direction because I wasn’t sure which was the course I wanted to follow for the rest of my life. Finally, someone explained to me that my first steps did not necessarily determine one path for all of my tomorrows. There would be more deacons and more opportunities to make a shift should I need to do so. Nothing has ever made me feel less afraid to simply try something new. It was an assurance of freedom I desperately needed.
I was told to always trust in my vision and to not be afraid of risk taking. I find that as you open yourself up to the public you’re also inviting numerous opinions in to your head space. It’s important to know yourself and to remain focused on what you’ve set out to do, while always being ready to seize an opportunity.
Grow organically. Don’t get ahead of yourself.
Work smarter not harder.
To take a business class.
Be clear on aligning what your business is and how much time you’re willing to dedicate to it.
To continue bootstrapping rather than bringing on investors.
Don’t talk over all the silent moments.
Be patient and be humble. Surround yourself with people who can advise you.
Trust your vision and be patient.
If you’re doing your best, that’s all you can do.
You must learn perseverance.
Not hearing it shouldn’t or couldn’t be done.
Just start. Even if you’re only 60% there, just start.
I was told to do what I loved and to not veer from that.
There is always more to life than work, and to not neglect nurturing a counterbalance even if it seems difficult.
Who says you can’t do it?
Nobody knows better what you’re capable of than you. Trust yourself. Trust your ideas. I have a lot of young people asking me for advice, presenting me with their ideas for business, thinking I know the ultimate answer to their questions. I always tell them, if you believe, deep inside, that you can make this work, make it something people care about, then go for it. You know best.
That wraps up part 1 of our series. I hope that these words of advice have given you something to think about and make sure to stay tuned next month for part 2 of In the Company of Women. We will be looking at the question, ‘What does success mean to you?’
Also, if you want to read all of the stories make sure to check out a copy of In The Company of Women.