It's the beginning of a new fiscal year and you may be looking at making a change or two. Maybe the conventional methods aren't panning out or you find yourself overextended. If you're like I was years ago, which is successful yet flying by the seat of your pants, it's time to find your narrative. In other words, don't let the clients control you.
Yes, we grew up believing that the customer is always right and that if you work hard, the rewards will follow. This was during the time of brick and mortar businesses being the majority and mail order, outside of the Party Plan business model, was simply taking a chance for the seller and buyer. While e-commerce is an excellent way to earn a living, it takes a little bit of street smarts to survive.
Anywho, here are three books that either defy or simplify the solopreneurship process. In other words, playing by your own rules can pay off in the long run. At the same time, these can be useful in defining the structure needed in a particular area of your business.
My All-Time Favorite!
Yeah, those AT&T commercials may have been super-annoying at one point but Barbara Corcoran lays it down in Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business. Part autobiography. Part enterprise manual for women. If you're not a reader, the alternating (personal/professional) chapters may take getting used to but it begins to come together at the midway point. Instead of focusing on degrees and other BS credentials, Corcoran narrows in on using our natural gifts to prosper. Oh yeah, also common sense. Outside of her accomplishments, how she got over on then-real estate mogul Donald Trump is priceless.
Great for girls and women of any age!
She's So Boss: The Girl Entrpreneurs Guide to Imagining, Creating and Kicking Ass by Stacy Kravetz may sound a little juvenile (or trendy) but there's a lot of good information to be found. While some chapters focus on teen/young adult female entrepreneurs, there's a lot for us older gals as well. Loaded with resources and spoken in plain language and highlights business owners of many backgrounds. One thing that impressed me was this book (unlike many other popular titles) teach business owners how to use social media marketing responsibly. Anyone who's taken a basic business class knows that the super-aggressive tactics the "experts" push is just BS.
If you can't get enough pictures in your life...
- Chic-CEO - Besides the Free Business Plan Template, there's a hodgepose of resource and affiliate links that some would find useful. The How-To Guides are also helpful for those who need to fine-tune things or have questions.
- The Female Entrepreneur Association - is an exclusive membership organization that offers a lot in terms of information. While membership is temporarily halted, they have a number of freebies business owners of all levels can appreciate. The She Means Business magazine, the How-To Guides, and downloadable chapters of the 28-Day Blueprint can also fill in those mental gaps with some knowledge.
- Lean In - this nonprofit is about inclusiveness for minorities and is LGBTQ+ friendly. They offer tons of support for women business owners at any stage. This site is also ideal for those who may be experiencing challenges at work based on gender, lifestyle, or race. There's even a Lean In Circle (networking group) for women who work in the trades.
- The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) - is another membership site that has some hidden gems for non-members. While their membership is not cheap for someone at the newbie stage, joining the online community for free can help aspiring or new entrepreneurs build a network. This site is also great if you're looking to go global or become a certified woman-owned business.