Discover Marylebone’s best kept secret
Discover Marylebone’s best kept secret
WealthiHer Breakfast – The Journey of Entrepreneurship
As entrepreneurs, what lessons can we take from the pandemic?
Realistic expectations and a realistic growth pattern.
Our partners WealthiHer shared their expertise with our members last week, whilst these breakfast sessions aren’t yet in person, we are hopeful that the time is coming soon as the energy and knowledge shared in these sessions are second to none.
With special guest speakers: Paola Cuneo, Tamara Gillan, Laura Hayward, Jeremy Hill, Suzette Shahmoon
Covering everything from building your network, re-aligning with your mission as an entrepreneur, growing your business, taking care of yourself, the strain of the pandemic and how we can walk away stronger than ever.
Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a journey, it can be challenging and lonely and if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. For entrepreneurs, a threat to their business is a threat to them personally, so especially in these strange times, we must remember that you’ve got to take out of it what you put in emotionally. You’ve got to look after yourself.
Paolo Cuneo touched on this from the perspective of a female entrepreneur highlighting that females “build their business with a passion, with a mission in life. And that’s really so important to them to the next phase of growing their business” whilst speculating that she notices “a lack of confidence” and urges female leaders not to focus on the negative, but be the Trailblazer, be the one who’s going to shape the future.
Laura Hayward touched on the importance of building a network as an entrepreneur.
“It’s really important for females to build a robust network …I think there are a number of barriers which prevent women from that, perhaps not feeling like it’s a good investment of time. And so allowing it to get bumped as a priority. Perhaps being somewhat less likely to ask for help and to show vulnerability and to gain expertise from outside sources,”
Laura shared that only 32% of UK SMEs are owned by women. And male-led SMEs are five times more likely to scale up their businesses to a million-pound turnover. And related that back to building a network.
“We simply have less female peers and mentors to draw that network from so it’s more difficult to find them. But what we should be doing is making those network connections stronger because by having those strong networks you gain confidence, inspiration, and support/advice”
Suzette Shahmoon shared that “Women make up 49.6% of the population. The world is equally split, which means that we just need to lay claim to our share of the world. But we need to have that belief that we can.”
The conversation then led to how entrepreneurs can keep the pace of growing their business.
Paola Cuneo’s key to growth in business is “to be able to actually delegate and add people to the team. We see a lot of founders trying to retain and keep all their responsibilities, but it’s impossible. And in fact, investors, when they look at the company, they look at the team, not just the founder. So not only is it important to do but it is essential”.
Tamara Gillan shared a show-stopping piece of advice she was told by her mentor, which we think is a great takeaway – “ hire someone different and hire someone that terrifies you”.
All of the speakers agreed that COVID has given entrepreneurs an opportunity to take a step back, and to realign their business plan to think about where their business is going. Ensuring that they balance the needs of both personal and business worlds. Suzette Shahmoon noted the importance of doing a regular check-in with “our needs being met, spiritually, physically, intellectually, relationally. Because if your needs aren’t being met, you’re going to be running a war on empty.”
Whilst Jeremy Hill urged that “strong, capable management teams, balanced management teams, are important but more so is this sense of purpose, and stories”
Suzette Shahmoon ran with this idea and delved into how we can take learnings from those stories suggesting that asking yourself “How can I change this? How can I make this better for myself? How can I work with this?” will allow you to be “more in that growth mindset, and able to balance the journey of entrepreneurship”.
To close the session, the speakers all touched on using this time to reconnect with your vision, both as an entrepreneur and as a human. The COVID-19 pandemic has led all of us to reevaluate our lives and by utilising this discussion and the new experiences of this last year, we can continue to push ourselves forward in business.
We’d like to thank WealthiHer for the insightful discussion. Our monthly series continues with WealthiHer on the 14th July around Cultivating a More Gender Inclusive Workplace. Further information can be found here.
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