When you find a community of people with the same motivations and passions as you, one of the best things is that you can learn from their experiences. My co-founder Vanessa Dawson and I started Girls Raising. It’s an offline pitch presentation series and a new kind of online resource created to help female entrepreneurs grow their companies.
We feel grateful to have both worked with and met some incredible men in the technology and startup industries, but we wondered where all the women were. So far, we’ve assembled 65 female founder presentations, 52 successful women investor and founders panelists, and staged 13 events across 4 major cities in North America–and we know there’s more work to be done. By hosting our presentation series, we gain crucial feedback, advice, tips, and inspirational stories from others that help improve our journey. We want to share what we’ve learned with the Levo community so they can benefit too.
- Know Your Ask…And Ask for It
The majority of the time when attending a Girls Raising event, individuals mention confidence. It’s common to second-guess yourself and whether you can make your business ideas come to fruition; however, if you’ve even gone as far as creating a business plan, you’re well on your way! If you want something from a situation, like money from an investor or a meeting, don’t be too shy to ask for it. Prepare well and put in extra effort–it’ll all work out eventually.
By surveying or focus grouping your target market, you can learn how to improve your product or business idea. Putting off finding out what’s wrong with your product will only cost you more time and money in the end. Joining supportive communities such as Levo League or Girls Raising gives you access to multiple peers who will not only be willing but enthusiastic about helping you out.
- Meet People
When developing your business, it is essential to associate with like-minded individuals who can help inspire you. This isn’t just for extroverts; If you’re introverted, there are still plenty of ways to network efficiently such as attending small events, interacting on social media platforms, and asking a friend of yours to introduce you to someone they know. The connections you make through your business are valuable at every stage of company growth.
- Share Your Accomplishments
Your accomplishments are a reflection of all the hard work you’ve put in, so why not share them? Doing so doesn’t make you “bossy”, “ambitious” or “unladylike.” When people know your story and how you got to where you are now, it only adds more credibility to yourself, your team, and your product. With business being as noisy as it is today, creating positive attention around your company has never been more important.
- Start Now
Many of the women entrepreneurs who have pitched their businesses to Girls Raising express that just getting started was difficult. Entrepreneurship is a treacherous journey with lots of uncertainties, but it’s worth taking the risk because there are great potential rewards. The best advice we can give you is to go for it!
If you’re an entrepreneur, leave your advice in the comments below! And if you’re a female founder, make sure to join Girls Raising so that you can stay connected with other entrepreneurs and be aware of upcoming events.