I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 25 years. I started researching and developing Academy by Candy, my skin care line, in the 80s, and wow, things have changed over the years.
Computers. Cell phones. Smart Phones. Hair styles. Women’s roles at work and in society. Competition.
I have to adapt to every single change or my business is lost.
Combining my medical, creative, and business senses was no easy feat. But it has been the most rewarding journey, even with all of the challenges.
It would be ideal for me to have a 36-hour day. Since that’s impossible, I’ve learned along the way.
Here are 12 things I’ve learned that I hope can inspire the women entrepreneurs of today and of our future.
1. Surround yourself with knowledgeable and caring staff. You can’t do everything yourself, even though you want to and will try to.
2. Care for your customers. If I want my customers and patients to care about me and my business, I have to care for them and about them.
3. Be respectful and appreciative. So much more has come my way because of this.
4. Please and Thank You goes a long way.
5. Believe in what you’re doing. I must. And I refuse to con myself, much less anyone else.
6. Always be helping others. What I do, MUST, in some way, help others. Not be hurtful.
7. Always keep learning. I enjoy to learn so learning something new is exciting and rewarding for me.
8. Love what you do. It will be difficult to work if you don’t. I absolutely love what I do.
9. Learn what work/life balance means to you. One of the biggest learnings I’ve had over the years is about work-life balance. Creating a balance is extremely hard, especially for a woman. We wear so many hats in our personal lives: the hat of a wife, mother, grandmother, good friend, caretaker, daughter. Then we put on our professional hats: the hat of the creator, researcher, business woman, financier, sales woman, marketeer. We juggle, juggle, and juggle—with no time to spare. Create your own balance so you can live a life you love.
10. Rejection is never ideal. I still have difficulty with it. Take a deep breath and move on to the next.
11. Adapt to change. As a Registered Nurse, one of the biggest changes I’ve encountered is being hands off, literally. With technology growing leaps and bounds, people can now buy my products online without ever talking to me, let alone seeing me in person. I’m used to handling all of the care with my patients as skin care and medical procedures are very personal and hands on. My challenge is maintaining the close relationship I want and need with my customers in order to build the trust I’ve always had in the past. That’s why I encourage direct communication to me on my website and social media. I want to get to know everyone who uses my products. I want to answer any questions they may have. I want to know how they are feeling and if using Academy by Candy products helped them feel good about themselves. I want to know their stories so that at the end of the day, I am fulfilled by my work even more. Making someone else feel good makes you feel even better.
12. Believe in what you do. Be honest and forthright. Treat your employees and customers with courtesy and respect. Keep learning. Work hard, but do fulfilling work.
This is what I’ve learned in over 25 years. I love to help other women. I’m always available to talk to you. Tell me what your piece of business advice for women is in the comments.