"So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard."
-- Caterina Fake
"Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell."
-- Elon Musk
This past year has been a banner year for bootstrapping women in entrepreneurship. We have stormed the proverbial glass ceiling, and written about it all over the exponentially growing blogosphere. We have uncovered the truth about Maslow's Hierarchy in the Digital Age of technology driven startups. We've attempted to add our voice to the call for gender equality in Silicon Valley. We've tried to follow the 10 Commandments of Communication in Business.
We've all worked hard while asking ourselves quietly:
Are we working on the right things?
Time will tell what impact the myriad of voices, services, products, mentorship, and sponsorship of women entrepreneurs all had on our shared economy in 2014. As we look ahead to 2015, we can try to give ourselves entrepreneurial resolutions. We can write a to-do list that is actionable, doable, and necessary. Long term. So that we are better prepared as we usher in a new era. One where becoming agents of change truly matters.
So what should we aspire to accomplish? What will we achieve?
1. We will engage in more human and humane social media interactions that show us trying to connect, that are actually helpful, and are not just attention grabbing.
Content curation and creation will not just be a digital marketing ploy. It will be imbued with purpose; the purpose being to teach, to inspire, and to connect. It will provide thought leadership on a variety of subjects to a variety of people looking to use social media as a collaborative platform and as a personal branding runway for social entrepreneurship embedded within their core entrepreneurial missions.
2. We will promote more effective collaboration for better ecosystems.
We will take more advantage of the globalization of communications and education, and actively seek to promote a more collaborative economy. We will visit, join, and start ecosystems within the entrepreneurial arena. We will work together to prove this truth: Product perception and "street cred" re: one's services are commodities which are generated through authentic collaboration, not just social media marketing blitzes and endless networking meetings.
3. We will take advantage of the plethora of self education opportunities out there to launch a better product/service through preparation and virtual mentorship.
We will achieve this through availing ourselves of various educational technology, social technology, podcasts, websites, books, and TED Talks. Ongoing learning has never been more accessible or interesting! Ongoing learning can make all the difference in our ability to weather the coming technological firestorm of change heralding in a new future of work and age of machine learning.
4. We will lead more readily, and globally help more women lead and communicate their intent to be agents of change.
I believe that social good is the new frontier for all entrepreneurs, not just those interested in civic engagement or social corporate responsibility. I believe that it takes authenticity, communication, collaboration, and empowering others to awaken a person's inner leader and help him/her tap into the skills needed to survive in an imminent workplace reliant on The Internet of Things. Some say there is a leadership crisis. I say there is a misunderstanding on what leadership and its core competencies are.
There is still much to be said on the changing status of entrepreneurship for women, and many questions left unsaid. But the most important one to ask right now is this:
Will we be ready?