The two secrets to thriving as an entrepreneur are confidence and creativity. One female founder shares her top tips to boost both. By Christine Beggs (Founder, Ripples Edge Media)
I remember vividly the day that I walked away from my safe, comfortable 9-5 paycheck. And the immediate question from my friends and family of “What happened?!?!”
That was exactly it; nothing had happened.
The day I left was not particularly eventful; I rode the elevator up to the 11th floor and sat at my desk for the entire day – just like every day that had come before. I watched the clouds drift by my window that day and felt, like I did every day, that life was just passing me by; that my unique strengths and talents were not being utilized; that I desperately needed to pursue my passion.
3 Ways to Find Your Confidence
Have you ever found yourself in the same situation? Do you have creative, innovative ideas you want to pursue? Here’s a couple tricks for gaining confidence in your ideas:
Try Things that Scare You
Experiment with creating small, novel challenges for yourself on a regular basis. Through the struggle and success of overcoming small hurdles, you’ll boost your overall confidence.
Don’t Go it Alone!
Find a mentor and/or peer group for advice, insight and support around your idea(s).
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the best ways you can become more confident in your idea or product is to work on it and keep working on it. Rehearse that pitch; practice coding that app; draw those design sketches – because there is a direct correlation between the hours you put in and the confidence you’ll gain.
As a woman entrepreneur myself, the path to creating a successful video production company over the past 2 years, specializing in social businesses and crowdfunding videos, has not been an easy one. It was taking that first leap from a 9-5 job that was the hardest hurdle though. The choice was, at once, both frightening, and invigorating – like that first gasping breath of air you take after holding your breath under water for a long time.
My impetus for starting Ripples Edge Media was to utilize my extensive experience in visual media and communications to help organizations and entrepreneurs magnify their impacts online through crowdfunding campaigns. As a highly creative artist and innovative thinker, I feel incredibly fulfilled creating compelling visual narratives that form the basis of successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns for our clients.
3 Ways to Stay Creative
With any creative venture, though, there is a challenge to balance the artistic aspects with the technical aspects of the business. Spending significant amounts of time writing contracts, sending proposals, and managing the books can be a real recipe for creative brain drain.
If you find yourself needing to switch out of business brain and back into your imagination, here are my top tricks:
Craft a List of Things that Inspire You
Post the list on your wall or keep it somewhere handy, so that whenever you are feeling uninspired, you can consult your personalized list. For me, a short hike outdoors with my iPod, a free flow dance in my house, playing my ukulele or a fun chat over coffee with a particularly imaginative friend can be all I need to get my creativity flowing again.
Music is so powerful because it can instantly change our mood. I recommend regularly updating playlists with tunes that inspire you.
Make Time to Play
As adults, we can fall into the pattern of being grownups all the time. Give yourself permission to let go and occasionally be a kid too. Go play tag, fly a kite, run outside in the pouring rain; do something that calls to your inner child and just laugh the entire time. You’ll be surprised what new inspirations come to you.
The advice I would give every woman entrepreneur is to have faith in herself and her abilities; to surround herself with people that believe in her and are also working tirelessly to make their own dreams a reality.
Remember that all big projects and dreams break down into small, achievable goals; by taking one step, you can achieve anything.
Never before has the world been in more dire need of the unique talents and vision that only you possess. If you've been waiting on the edge of that cliff, watching everyone else fly, I encourage you to take that first leap of faith. And let Women 2.0's amazing network of female entrepreneurs help guide your early flight.
What do you do to help you stay creative?
Photo credit: stable via Shutterstock.
About the guest blogger: Christine is the Creative Director and Founder of Ripples Edge Media. With a Master’s in Marine Affairs and Policy (RSMAS), a Bachelor's degree in Biology, experience running an ecommerce business and more than 15 years as a dancer, she'll be the first to admit that her skillsets and work history are an eclectic mix. Christine pirouetted from science to film, recognizing the medium's inherent power to tell stories and ignite change.