Ever heard of Stella and Dot? It is an irresistible jewelry company whose mission is to give every women the means to style their own lives. I recently attended an event with Jessica Herrin, the CEO and founder of Stella and Dot. Not only do I love her jewelry but I love her mindset. Jessica’s brilliance and success come from her desire to give women a home-based career their mothers never had a chance to have. She believes in flexible entrepreneurship and envisions a world where strong women live bold and joyful lives. Believe me, she embodies this vision!
We’ve all been to at least one Tupperware home sale hosted by a friend who we are there to morally support even though we really do not need another salad spinner to shove somewhere in our already overflowing kitchen cabinets. Jessica was able to see the benefits and the drawbacks of the Tupperware home sale model and make the tweaks necessary to make that business model work for women.
So for any of you aspiring entrepreneurs, here are a couple of lessons Jessica can teach us all, no matter our experience level.
- “Train to find opportunity”– If you have a good idea or a way to make the world better, be BOLD, be BRAVE, go for it! Though I never took a class on that, I realized that my childhood had been my training to find opportunity. My dad was an entrepreneur constantly searching for opportunities to start new businesses. He found ways that he could provide a unique service to the people around him. Growing up with him and working for him taught me to always be looking for ways to improve the world around me.As a young adult, I held my first 9-5 office job working for someone else. But after one week, I quit. And I didn’t quit because the office environment was miserable or the company was one that stifled my artistic creativity–this was a place that produced performances, a place that many artists would have been extremely excited to work at! But in that week of working for someone else, I realized that working for someone else limited my ability to find all my opportunities. So I thanked them for the opportunity and moved on to find opportunities that allowed me to take more control of my work.Start looking around you. What problems do you see? What solutions do you see? What issues interest you? What are you good at doing? Where do the problems you see, your interests, and your skill set meet up? Being an entrepreneur provides you freedom to do what you want. There are no boundaries imposed on me by bosses whose objectives are different than yours. You can build what you want and be who you want.
- “Feel the fear and does it anyways!”–Don’t let fear stop you from taking risky steps. Jessica shared that she doesn’t pretend that the fear isn’t there. She looks her fears in the eyes and says: “I see you. But I won’t let you stop me from doing what I need to do!” And she does just that.We all know that taking risks can have some amazing results (be on the lookout for my next blog about how I got into one of the country’s top Musical Theatre BFA programs). And that there are also risks that can cause crushing failures. But, if we allow the fear of failure keep us from taking risks, we’ll never get anything done. Failure is not a definitive death blow. It is actually a crucial step on the path to success!
- “Get started and just don’t quit!” – nuff said…
As I listened to Jessica talk about looking for new opportunities, moving past the fear of failure and pushing through to success, I realized that I personally haven’t had a devastating flop–sure I’ve had lots of business attempts that didn’t go anywhere, ideas that I thought would change the world that just never took off. So maybe it’s time for me to take some more risks. Maybe it’s time for me to see just how great of a failure I can make. Because then I also know how great a success I can have.
Are you willing to take that challenge with me? What risk are you willing to take, knowing that it may fail and also knowing that the failure doesn’t have to be the end? Let’s take some risks together–as Jessica Herrin says “Get started and just don’t quit!”
Got a great idea but need some help navigating the next steps? Set up a 10 minute phone session to Pick My Brain and see if we’d be a good fit to make your scary risk a thrilling success.