The 12 Entrepreneurial Agreements Inspired By Iconic Female Brands
There is so much noise and hype on the Internet about what being an entrepreneur looks like. While achieving success as an entrepreneur comes with the advantage of a fabulous lifestyle of travel and decadent treats, it’s not always glitz and glam. Some days it’s long hours on your laptop and challenging decisions. Entrepreneurship comes with a lot of responsibility, but offers its rewards to those who dare to work for it.
I am sharing 12 agreements that successful entrepreneurs sign, when they decide to pursue this path which is the greatest personal development test and teacher on the planet. Here are the 12 agreements and some inspiring quotes from iconic female entrepreneurs:
#1 Don’t Just Dream about it Work for it– Having dreams is so important to ignite your creativity and propel you into action to achieve your goals. One thing all successful people have in common is that they took action on their ideas. Where most people sit and fantasize about it, entrepreneurs go out and make it happen. There is a saying, the optimist argued that the glass was half full, the pessimist argued it was half empty, the entrepreneur went out and sold it. One of the biggest names in the beauty industry Estée Lauder said “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.”
#2 Do what you truly love and success will follow: Do what you love and are truly passionate about and success will follow. I always felt that most of my most successful sales achievements happened when I was selling something I was truly passionate about. This is why I have focused all my products and services to offer what I truly believe can bring transformation for my clients and help them create a world class brand around their passion.
Today’s consumer is looking for authentic connections. If you show up passionate and totally connected to your personal calling, selling will become easier. I don’t think I’m wrong on this, especially since business mogul Oprah Winfrey shared similar sentiments when she said “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
#3 Have Nothing to Do with the IMPOSSIBLE: Everything is impossible until it is done. Some of the innovations we now take for granted, were once unfathomable to generations past. If you can dream it, you can create it. Stay away from the naysayers and those who lack vision. Every successful idea materialized by relentless, passion driven people who dared to ask “How can I make this happen?”. Remember the words of Audrey Hepburn “Nothing is impossible; the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”
#4 Givers Gain: Most entrepreneurs who have had the persistence and endurance to stay in the game, unconditionally driven by how their idea/product/service could make other people’s lives better. Their belief was so strong that this created an unwavering conviction which is necessary to see success through adversity. If you are in it just for the money, you may get weary very quickly when adversity comes, but if you are in it because you know this is where you are meant to be and what you are meant to be doing, you’ll endure. Iyanla Vanzant, said “Create a service or product that makes people’s lives better.“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.”
#5 Dare to Ask for what you want: Many people are afraid to ask for what they want. Every successful entrepreneur has gotten over the fear of no or what will people think and dare to ask for what they want. The problem is that many people as children were told, you don’t always get what you want, you so you settle. If you don’t dare to ask for what you want and stick to it, you won’t get it. Whether it’s making a sale or inventing a new solution, ask for what you want and stand by it until you get it. Iconic recording artist Madonna said “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”
#6 Set Firm Goals and Flexible Plans: As the owner of a signature brand, it is essential that you clear goals and ambitions for your business. A great business strategy, well defined brand identity and a world class brand image to support it, but it is absolutely necessary that you be flexible with your plans. Markets are changing faster than ever. This is what one of the iconic leaders of the world famous Pepsi brand had to say:
“If you are too fixed on one idea of how you will achieve your goals, you may miss great opportunities that are being presented to you. “There is nothing like a concrete life plan to weigh you down. Because if you always have one eye on some future goal, you stop paying attention to the job at hand, miss opportunities that might arise, and stay fixed on one path, even when a better, newer course might have opened up. “ Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo
#7 Always go for Progress: Success is not about achieving perfection or acing every opportunity. It is not a high school test where you need to get A+ to get on the honor roll. It is about developing and launching your ideas and finding ways to improve it daily. There are so many brilliant ideas that will forever remain on some laptop or workshop because of an unattainable desire for perfection.
This is example is not from a female entrepreneur, but I love the story of Henry Ford and his Model A. It was anything but perfect, in fact, his mechanics had to travel all over America to do repairs. Every mistake or default was used to enhance each succeeding model until the brand became an industry leader and forever legendary. Leah Busque from Task Rabbit said “I wake up every morning and think to myself, ‘How far can I push the company forward in the next 24 hours?”
#8 Don’t Try to Rule, Lead Instead: Today’s modern entrepreneur understands the fundamental difference between old school management and new school leadership. The way to inspire people and get their cooperation in taking the actions you desire them to take, is not to inspire fear but to empower them. An empowered person is more likely to take action and embrace autonomy than a person who is fearful and forced to undertake a task. Sheryl Sandberg said it well “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact last in your absence.”
#9 Selling is not an Option it is a way of life: As an entrepreneur selling is not an optional skill nor can you ever fully outsource this function. You have to master the art of selling because everything you will ever do will require some form of selling. Whether you’re pitching to an investor or to get a guest blog feature on a mainstream publication, you’re selling. Therefore, developing mastery in the area of sales is mandatory. The self made billionaire Sara Blakely said “Everything about my journey to get Spanx off the ground entailed me having to be a salesperson – from going to the hosiery mills to get a prototype made, to calling Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. I had to position myself to get five minutes in the door with buyers.’
#10 Defeat Does Not Exist: When you sign up for the life of an entrepreneur be prepared for challenges and as much as this word isn’t elegant or on-brand, it tells the truth, be prepared for the “hustle”. I believe that success is the sum total of every moment you bounce back after experiencing failure or setback. These events are there to build your strength, unlock the strength you never knew you had and create the pressure point to unleash your success. I love what Queen Victoria said “We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat; they do not exist.” Defeat does not exist, only setbacks that become stepping stones.
#11- Live The Cultured Life: Successful entrepreneurs understand and embrace that she has the power to create the life that brings her the greatest joy and engages her passion. Like the process of culturing pearls to ensure that every woman can enjoy these lustrous gems, you have the power to create the life that you desire. As Coco Chanel said “My life didn’t please me, so I created my life.” If you don’t like the story you’re living out now, own your power to rewrite it.
#12 Always Be On Brand: Every successful entrepreneur knows that having a powerful brand message, image and values are the keys to success in a crowded marketplace. The key is not to necessarily be better but to be different. The iconic technology firm Apple (by now you know I’m a fan), may not necessarily have the best smart phone on the market but their products are different and they have created a whole movement of loyal fans who have bought into that difference.
Today’s entrepreneur knows that branding is not some design activity, it is the very essence of the business and what drives it’s dynamic presence in any market. A great brand will turn followers into buyers and buyers champions for the business. You get to own your story and tell it powerfully. As your very own always says “If you don’t invest in creating your signature brand, the market will brand you.” Hanna Fitz