I did my first on-camera interview this past Tuesday for Business Rockstars. Prior to the interview, they sent out a lengthy questionnaire that asked some wonderful – and probing – questions. This is the second such questionnaire I've filled out in the last month as you'll know when our feature in VoyageLA.com comes out in early June.
Each of the questionnaires asked very different questions, and it wasn't easy in many ways to complete them. They really served to shine a light on me personally, how I see my business, and how I hope others will perceive it.
One of my favorite questions out of all of them was: "What do you consider yourself proficient in as an entrepreneur?" I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs what I assume is the battlecry of pretty much every entrepreneur: "NOTHING! I AM NOT PROFICIENT AT ANYTHING!"... and then I realized, I absolutely am proficient and at many different things. Here are a few things I've learned not only to become proficient in but to regard as cornerstones for success in this crazy world we call entrepreneur, or even more appropriately, solopreneurship.
1) Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses: Knowing what I can do myself, figuring out what I can teach myself to do, and accepting what I just can't.
Example: our website. This entire website was built by me, from scratch with zero help. Those who know Squarespace might be saying, "sure, well, big whoop, Kala!" However, they don't know that before embarking on this journey, the thought of creating an entire website myself literally sent me into a panic attack. I put it off for TWO YEARS because I just couldn't handle trying to figure it out. However, once the proverbial s**t hit the fan, and it was a choice between spending thousands of dollars on new development or just sucking it up and doing it myself, well, you know what happened. And the things is, it wasn't so bad once I started and now I consider myself pretty decently skilled at it.
2) Asking for help. This isn't an easy one for us Type A entrepreneur types but especially as a one-woman show, there literally are not enough hours in the day to do all the things we want to do. Moreover, given that we are pretty much the only ones designing our businesses, we become so enmeshed that we really can't see the forest through the trees. Sometimes we need to look outside ourselves for guidance. And, please, that doesn't make us weak... it's a sign of strength
3) Being clear... and also being flexible: Being clear about your message is the NUMBER ONE way you will get business!!! However, understanding that your message will likely have to change over time because of trends in the market, technological or other developments in your industry, geography, or simply with the passage of time is equally important. If you are steadfast in pursuing your business with one message that cannot adapt to changes in your circumstances or environment, you will likely run into some roadblocks. So, be CLEAR... and be flexible also.