It was just a short few months after the sale of my first startup as I took a somewhat long media interview for a profile on my work and business. As I shared the story of how I launched the company, then later sold it, it seemed like it had been decades of work, not just three short years. Not only was it harder to launch and operate a digital media company at that time, but also, back then I was one of the few female founders in the business. As we wrapped up the call, the reporter said something that has never left my mind.
"You know, you always think when people have success, it came easily. But hearing your story I realize it's really hard work for everybody, not just me," the reporter said. "It is so inspiring."
Success in any arena takes hard work. It may be harder work than you have ever imagined, triple what you've ever felt capable of enduring, five times what most people do. You'll be the master of many hats, some that you'll interchange a dozen or so times at breakneck speeds throughout a morning, let alone a full single day. As I hung up the phone on that morning nearly two years ago, I realized one and only one thing: The right support can help enormously - in your life, in your work, in everything.
"You definitely need to find the right support," said ultra successful denim entrepreneur Paige Adams Geller of Paige Premium Denim during an interview last year.
This can range from making sure you're surrounded by employees and staff that see your vision, to finding the right personal assistant to handle the life things that crop up like running to the market or picking up kids. It can also be working with the right type of investors, the right partners and vendors, or having a supportive spouse, family, and friends. During the entire course of my career, from my early days in the corporate world to the startup I own and run today, the support of my family and several close advisors have played an enormous role in helping me realize and accomplish my goals and dreams. In fact, it was the friendship of four female founders I met more than five years ago that sparked the New Power Girls series. We had banded together to help guard and protect eachother's business in what was becoming a very competitive market. The group has grown to more than 500 women entrepreneurs today.
For Geller, it was identifying the right type of staff and investors. For myself, it's advisors who I can talk to and bounce ideas. For Sortingwithstyle.com founder Sayeh Pezeshki, it was finding a good consultant to help her further her vision. How can you do the same in your life and work? First, identify what you need to move ahead and what might be missing. Second, define the structure you need and the roles needed to fill in order to create it. Third, start looking for the right fit - don't worry if it takes a while. I talked with dozens in entertainment business before finding the right companies to work with on ideas. Last, put the structure in place -- and don't be afraid to tweak it as needed. By creating a good foundation under your ideas, you'll find the sky is the limit.
Power Girls aren't just aware there's strength in reinforcement but that it can help benefit the bottom line in business, and they use it.