By: Katie Kern, Partner & COO Media Frenzy Global
Today’s fast-paced, hyper-competitive environment often reveals just how prepared one is for the challenge of owning their own business. I often find many people are impressed by the shiny facade of entrepreneurship rather than the actual level of sacrifice and commitment it requires.
I ran Circa PR for three years before deciding it was time to pursue a different professional opportunity. Now, I am Partner and COO with Media Frenzy Global and it was in this chapter of entrepreneurship where I was able to sharpen my business acumen even further. In the second part of this series, I break down misconceptions surrounding entrepreneurship, why they should be re-evaluated, and different perspectives.
Misconception: You Must Wait for the “Right Time”.
Reality: You Will Never Be 100% Ready. Fear Nothing and Act.
When you start a new business or venture, you must be fearless. Ideating on what can go wrong is not the ideal boss mindset. In short, failure should never be an option. I‘ve never entered into a new venture thinking I would not succeed and that mentality has served me well to date.
Misconception: Quitting is For Losers.
Reality: Successful Entrepreneurs are Realistic.
A successful entrepreneur has to be a realist as it’s a necessary characteristic for success. An intuitive entrepreneur understands when it’s time to walk away. It can be difficult to do, and I actually experienced this recently with one of my entrepreneurial endeavors. I realized the new business I started was more of a hobby than a true revenue stream. While the business catered to my passion, it started to impede on other aspects and because of my discernment, I had to gracefully bow out. This is not to be confused with fear. Despite what you may think, knowing when to walk away takes guts, realness, and instinct.
Misconception: You Must Know It All to Succeed.
Reality: Retire the Jack of All Trades Mentality.
When I started Circa PR, I was sound in my skills as a PR professional and everything it involves (orchestrating events, networking, being a true connector of people, the list goes on ), so I honed those attributes and outsourced, where needed, contacts and other creatives who could execute on aspects that were not in my professional wheelhouse. By nature, people are good at a variety of things, however, you can’t be great at everything. Great leaders know how to build balanced teams and bring in talent that can teach them something. Entrepreneurs must learn how to master and perfect a core skill while continuing to learn and expand on their expertise.
What to Consider at the Beginning & Along the Way
As you journey through being your own boss, it’s important to consider factors of growth and even what a potential exit strategy may entail.
Understand the Importance of Risk-Taking
Most people don’t take risks because they fear the reaction from other people and what they will think. On the other hand, they’re so afraid to try out a process or idea that they’d rather play it safe as opposed to just taking a chance. Risk-taking is a distinctive characteristic in entrepreneurship. Every decision you make – from a new hire to an approach you take with a current client – will carry an undoubtedly level of uncertainty. How you prepare and bounce back will become a gauge for how you approach risk-taking in the future.
Preparing for Growth
I recently completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program with Babson College and one area they focused on was strategic planning. If there’s going to be growth within your company, you must have a plan to get there. There will be spontaneous moments of growth; that’s a part of the process, however, you’ll want to determine what your team will look like, how soon you’ll add on new members and ascertain what the organizational structure will look like as you continue to scale.
Knowing When to Partner Up
I’m always inspired by women who have families that have made the decision to pursue entrepreneurship. I’ve found ‘mompreneurs’ to be tenacious and just as focused while handling business with grace. This rings true with my partner Sarah Tourville. We are polar opposites with the same vision and different ideas on how to achieve our overall business goals. This works in our favor, simply because we aren’t ‘yes’ women to each other, and it’s made for a harmonious business relationship. I am excited about what the future holds for Media Frenzy Global with both of us at the helm.
When reflecting on entrepreneurship not being for the faint of heart, what really becomes necessary to understand is that one shouldn’t partake in this journey because you don’t like being around people and want to work alone, or you just want to profit 100% from the work you do. If you truly want this path, your life is not your own and you have another existence you must care for. And in order for it to flourish, It must be nurtured and meticulously maintained.
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