When marie claire partnered with business-education company Tech Ready Women for a two-day masterclass, our mission was to help women reach their full potential. Below, Glamazon co-founder and speaker at the event Lauren Silvers shares her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.
What’s the one piece of advice you would pass on to women thinking about launching a start-up?
As women, we tend to fear and self-doubt and worry about what other people think of us. The one piece of advice to women wanting to launch a start up would be to just start! Take that first step towards making your dreams a reality - whether that's doing what I did and opening a closed Facebook group of 200 women to test my idea and gather feedback, or whether that's contacting your first potential supplier. There has never been a better time for women to stand up and make our voices, opinions and ideas heard. There is no such thing as failure, only lessons, and any fear will only stifle growth.
What’s been the biggest learning along your business path so far?
The importance of a mentor! A mentor with experience and contacts in your industry or field will help you navigate through the startup trenches much more easily and quickly.
If you could go back in time what would you do differently?
In my first year of business, I started to get excited and decided to launch in Melbourne and Brisbane and also diversify my product to offer fitness and wellness appointments. All of a sudden I had suppliers I couldn't keep track of, customer service requests I couldn't handle, and I was overpromising and underdelivering on my core offering. I wish I understood the value of the phrase "Strength before Speed". Once you have a product/market fit, it is so important to strengthen your business model and focus on delivering real value to existing customers before considering expansion or growth markets.
What are 3 main personality traits a founder of a startup should possess?
Self-awareness - know your strengths and focus on them, and also identify your weaknesses and try to outsource them.
Emotional Intelligence - human empathy will help you to understand the psychological and behavioural trends of your customers and clients. This will help you build a product that genuinely solves a problem for them.
Tenacity - Starting a business and especially a startup is difficult. Keeping up with rapid technological changes, adapting to internal and external changes, evolving market trends, solving scalability, and being under resourced and undercapitalised is not for the faint of heart. But where there are problems, there are solutions, and having the tenacity to figure those solutions out is critical.
What’s the one skill you need to be a successful entrepreneur?
A positive attitude! There will be tough times but positivity and optimism isn't just a state of mind, it's a strategy.