I believe there’s an entrepreneur in each of us. We are all good at something, but we may not think that it’s something we can use as a business concept. A stay-at-home mom, for example, might be great at raising kids or managing a lifestyle, but she may not think those skills can translate into a business. We can all learn from each other’s life experiences. Everyone has an entrepreneurial spirit inside them. The goal is identifying where that entrepreneur lies, and how to build or manifest upon your skills and talents and turn it into revenue on the back end.
Life and Work Experiences
I have more than forty years’ experience working in marketing, branding, business development, sales, and strategic planning. Throughout those forty years, I have learned many lessons that offer great value for new entrepreneurs just starting out. One of the lessons I’ve learned is the need for systems and processes. This is the strategic side of a business. Housewife, student, lawyer, or dockworker—whatever your current occupation—these systems are what you develop to make your job easier. These systems and processes have value.
As far as systems and processes, what also adds to the value that life and work experiences bring to the table are the relationships you’ve established. In your job and career environments, you’ve built many relationships, many of which impact:
- The way you think
- The way you work
- The way you interact with others
- The way you manage and motivate others to do what you want them to do
- All of these systems, processes, and relationships play a key role in entrepreneurship.
Your stories—the major events that have happened in your life—add validity to your entrepreneurial efforts. I can look back on my life and see many major events that have affected my future. As a result, with every one of these events, I have had to take a step back, reevaluate, and grow from that experience.
The story that brings with it lessons learned and the MarketAtomy concept, is that in 2012, I was working in Brazil as an independent representative for several U.S. firms when I was hit by one of Brazil’s rapid buses as I was crossing the street to my apartment. After this unfortunate incident, I spent two months in Brazil recuperating before I could even fly home—and this put my business on hold for almost six months.
My thoughts from that time—my stories—and the lessons I learned, included:
- How I coped with all that surrounded my accident in a country whose language I did not speak well
- How being hit by a bus affected my business Foremost in my mind was how I was going to ease my husband’s fears when he finally got to Brazil and saw the condition I was in.
I used tools to communicate with my caregiver while I was recuperating. We used Google Translate to be able to communicate with each other. When you’re up against the wall and have limited resources, you will be amazed by how creative you can be.
Understanding that I was in Brazil on business— and that business does not necessarily stop—I found myself entertaining clients at my apartment while I was recuperating. I also had a good team of representatives in Brazil who stepped up to the plate to keep things moving forward. However, because I was the primary point of contact for my business in Brazil, I took a pretty big financial hit as a result of the accident.
This is a good example of how you can use your stories to:
- Help grow your business
- Demonstrate transparency
- Build credibility
Here’s a funny story. When we see a silly or simple product advertised on a shopping network or in an infomercial, many of us think: Wow! That is such a simple product! Why didn’t I think of that? Or you may have thought: I had that idea, but I never did anything with it.
Recently a girlfriend and I were talking about our eyebrows and how we have to color them to cover up the grey, now that we’re getting up in age. We said, “There’s no product out there that will allow us to do this without having to go to a salon.” As we continued to discuss this, we decided to do some research to see if that was true—did anyone offer eyebrow dye? We even came up with a name for our product: Brow Wow. As we got further into our research we found that there were several products on the market already, so the idea didn’t take root. Taking steps like these, however, is how businesses get started.
Think of the Pet Rock that appeared on the market in the mid-1970s. It was just something that was simple and silly, but people were spending money to buy these rocks! There were even accessories for the Pet Rocks that could be bought as an up-sell.
There’s always something to build a business around.
Don’t dismiss your ideas. You need to look at them for what they are. They are good ideas that you have learned from, and others can benefit from what you’ve already learned.
Danna is a Business Growth Strategist and CEO of MarketAtomy, LLC. Her passion is working with small first stage entrepreneurs to ensure that they start out on the right foot and stay on the path to financial freedom. Known as the Business Birthing Specialist, Danna understands the intricacies involved in starting and running a successful business. As an intricate component ingrained into her client’s business structure, she works diligently to keep her clients accountable and on track to fulfilling their success goals.
A graduate of the University of Central Florida’s College of Business. She brings more than 35 years of strategic planning experience in business, marketing and business development both nationally and internationally.
Danna is not only a professional business growth strategist but has worked as an International Strategist within the country of Brazil, is a public speaker and #1 Best Selling Author on Amazon with “Success From The Heart” and “Journey to the Stage.” She also has published her signature book “MarketAtomy: What To Expect When Expecting A Business.”