It has been an interesting year as a female entrepreneur, especially in the field of public relations. There’s been global economic upheaval, inflation, ongoing health concerns, and more.
All of us have found it tough at times, and for female entrepreneurs, this year’s challenges presented an opportunity to take deeper control over our futures. I learned how to further commit to my dreams, dig in, and accomplish my goals no matter what is happening around me.
My year in review is all about the realities of pursuing growth and abundance in challenging times, and I hope that these 8 lessons inspire you to keep going as a female entrepreneur.
I’m the Founder of the Organization of American Women in Public Relations and the Organization of Canadian Women in Public Relations. In 2017, NASDAQ recognized me as a PR Influencer, and PR Week showcased how I’m helping women in my field succeed. I’ve worked with some of the largest brands in North America at my PR agency, Pink Pearl PR to help them get featured in high profile media outlets and grow their sales.
If you want to learn more about me, my story, and my advice for female entrepreneurs, buy a copy of my book, FEMPRENEUR. If you LOVE printables, click here to get a new template every month to help you build your business! Every month we will add a new resource to the Fempreneur Printables page for you to download. Get on my mailing list for insider perks!
1. Entrepreneurship Is Not A One Woman Show
Let’s cut to the chase. You can’t do everything on your own. This can be a hard pill to swallow. Female entrepreneurs are visionary thinkers with a built-in drive to achieve. We’re used to thinking of ourselves as bona fide superwomen.
However, the reality is that you can’t and shouldn’t do everything on your own. Our inherent potential might be unlimited, but our time and energies are finite. These are precious and limited resources, that must be used wisely. Realizing this is part of maturing as an entrepreneur and knowing when it’s time to scale with the help of a team.
There are areas where others have more experience or natural talent than you. There are plenty of small tasks that don’t need your personal attention. Leveraging other people is part and parcel of being an entrepreneur.
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2. Build a Team and Rely on Them
Entrepreneurship and self-employment aren’t exactly the same things. The goal of business ownership shouldn’t be to give yourself another job or to get stuck doing endless busy work. Your time and energies should be concentrated on what matters. As a female entrepreneur, you should be focused on tasks that will help you grow and scale, such as visibility.
A publicity coach will help you stick to a calendar of holidays and events that are relevant to your audience. You can then use these as opportunities for publicity. I have a FREE guide to giveaway to our Fempreneur blog readers—a fresh copy of my Content Planning Calendar.
Imagine what will happen when you free yourself up to do higher-value work. How much further could you take the business if you could focus more on connecting with clients or making strategic moves? How much could you expand your reach or build your mailing list if you focused on being more visible, and let a virtual assistant take care of your busy tasks?
As my own business started to grow, I learned that my time is incredibly valuable and time isn’t something I can get back. It’s a precious resource that must be used wisely and strategically.
My advice for you is to build a competent support team, automate tasks, and rely on others. You may be surprised at how much you accomplish once you delegate the busy work away.
3. Focus Your Energy
Focus your energy on a few key things at a time. This is critical for success. Trying to do everything at once will simply disperse and dilute your creative energies. When I signed up for B-School with Marie Forleo, I learned that you must test what your audience wants from you, but you need to take time to measure what’s resonating. Focus on giving your potential customers what they are interested in, and not what you believe they are interested in (there is a big difference when you measure clicks).
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Concentration is often dubbed as the single secret of success. Power can be seen as nothing more than harnessed and concentrated energy that’s channeled into a certain direction. For example, I'm well-known as a public relations expert, and that's because I concentrate my content, media appearances, and work on only that discipline. When looking at history’s geniuses, we see a long line of those who could concentrate intensely and sustain that over time. Ask yourself: are you concentrating on the right things to move your business forward?
Thomas Edison considered his deafness a blessing that allowed him to think and read with greater concentration. He wrote an amazing article on the value of concentrated effort. Albert Einstein is said to have developed a Distraction Index to improve his focus over long periods of time.
If you want to be successful, you must learn how to strategically narrow down your focus. Creativity and enthusiasm are wonderful traits to have. If you’re like most female entrepreneurs, I’m sure you have an abundance of great ideas for your business, along with several items on your to-do list.
However, you need to work on only one or two at a time. Concentrate your energies on the activities that can create the most impact. Leverage your team to help you do this.
4. Pursuing Growth in Tough Times
We can never allow circumstances to dictate how successful we are. As female entrepreneurs, we have the responsibility to ensure our business flourishes throughout all economic circumstances.
Entrepreneurship demands we create the life and personal world we want for ourselves, no matter what the conditions are.
There are two basic ways to do that:
- Increase your rates
- Diversify your income streams
Increasing Rates Even in Difficult Times
Let’s talk about money and consistently asking for what we’re worth. Female entrepreneurs often have a tricky relationship with money. It can be one of the most challenging parts of running our own business.
Here are two rate-setting ground rules. One – your rates should always be aligned with the value you bring. Two – your rates should always be going up, and you should make this clear in your contracts from the very beginning.
This isn’t always easy. Female entrepreneurs often feel uncomfortable with asking for money and we tend to underestimate the value we bring.
However, accurate pricing with consistent rate increases is the only way to ensure that your fees accommodate inflation, align with the value you bring, and reflect your growth. It’s the only way to grow a business.
Pricing is incredibly psychological. Higher prices reflect certain standards and attract better clients. This remains true, even during turbulent economic times.
Consider it time to raise your fees if you haven’t done so lately. This may mean letting some clients go. You need to be willing to do that to make room for growth. If you’re a female entrepreneur, rate raises are the only way to grow your income and get a raise.
This can feel scary at times, but no one else will do it for you. It’s one of your responsibilities as a female entrepreneur.
5. Diversify Your Income
This year taught me the value of having multiple income streams. Diversified income streams offer greater economic protection and safety. If you want to create financial freedom, you have to move away from solely trading your time for money.
Yes, you should raise the rates you charge. However, working with a few clients isn’t a sustainable or optimum way to grow a business, even if those clients are amazing, high-end, and timely clients who fulfill your creative needs and bring you more work.
Branch out into online courses. Build on what you’ve learned with clients and leverage those successes into online courses. You can learn more from me inside the Public Relations Academy.
Related: Why You Need a Side Hustle To Increase Your Success
6. Your Brand Image Matters
When it comes to business, looks matter. If you want to attract high-end clients, you need to focus on building a strong brand image that visually conveys your professional competence, standards, and value.
Female entrepreneurs are known for pouring everything they have into their businesses while shying away from self-promotion. Many of these women are purpose, passion, and heart-driven entrepreneurs who are motivated to create meaningful change in the world.
Focusing on your image can seem superficial or even wasteful. However, that’s exactly what needs to happen if you want to level up.
Cultivate a brand image that reflects who you are and speaks to your intended clientele. Once I launched a new website for my PR agency, I was able to attract clients that were aligned, and I felt more fulfilled with my work.
Related: Learn How To Build Your Personal Brand To Grow Your Business
Related: 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started My Public Relations Agency
7. Invest in Yourself
The old saying is true. You need to spend money to make money. As entrepreneurs, we often start and run our businesses on a very tight budget, finding ingenious ways to stretch our resources. That’s essential.
It is important to watch what you spend and maintain careful control over your budget. I’m not advising you to throw caution to the wind. However, there’s a stark difference between being financially prudent and being a cheapskate. Not investing in your own success can make or break your business.
A cheapskate female entrepreneur dismisses the idea of taking a costly course because she’d have to use her credit card, then wonders why her income remains stagnant. She struggles to write a landing page on her own, then wonders why it doesn’t get the results she wanted. She wastes time cleaning her inbox and responding to inquiries, then wonders why she can’t get anything done.
A financially prudent female entrepreneur looks beyond the upfront costs, evaluating how much she’ll grow and what kind of holistic ROI she’ll experience. She signs up for the program that will get her to the next level, even if she has to pay for it on credit. She invests in talented copywriters, advertisers, and PR services. She hires the assistant she desperately needs and leverages her time. Then she wishes she did it sooner!
Bootstrapping can be great, but building a serious business takes more than grit, hard work, and clever hacks alone. You can’t build and grow a thriving business if you are unwilling to spend money where it counts. Invest in the help, services, and education you need to grow and thrive. You must be a constant learner to grow your business and keep on top of trends in your industry. If you don’t, you will be left behind the competition.
8. Show Team Appreciation
Are you making your team feel valued? Everyone likes to feel valued, noticed, and know that their contributions mean something. This includes the people on your team – no matter what role they play.
Don’t be that boss who presents herself as a model of female empowerment, while treating the people around her like they don’t matter. If you have people working for or with you, treat them well and make sure they know how much you value them.
No one rises to the top and stays there, without countless other people contributing to their success. If you have big dreams, you won’t be able to turn them into reality without help. Having a team of assistants, employees, and partners is truly a privilege. If you don’t have a team, and you are still working as a solopreneur, I would encourage you to join a mastermind or community to surround yourself with other successful women in business. This will help you feel motivated to get to the next level, and it’s what I did before I could afford to hire a team.
Looking back through this year in review, I’m struck by how much I depended on my team’s support. I couldn’t have accomplished as much as I did without their assistance.
I’d like to publicly recognize and thank my team for everything they did this year. I would also like to thank you for granting me your time and reading my year in review.
Cheers to an amazing and prosperous year ahead for all of us.
Ways to work together:
- Media Pitching: Work with our team at Pink Pearl PR to pitch your product to major magazines, influencers, and high-profile publications.
- Digital Marketing: Work with our team to develop your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, or manage your Google ads. Ask us about our unique PR for SEO strategy for female entrepreneurs!
- One-On-One: Work with Talia to create your signature offer and get media ready.
- Coaching and Courses: The Public Relations Academy will help you create your own PR strategy with our guidance.
If you are interested in working on your publicity strategy with my guidance and our guest experts from Canadian Women in Public Relations and American Women in Public Relations, I encourage you to join the Public Relations Academy. If you would like to work with me personally to grow your personal brand as a female executive or entrepreneur, you can work with me at Pink Pearl PR. Book a call to see if we’re a good fit.