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Dr. Barnsley Brown

Dr. Barnsley Brown is a "recovering academic" who left a professorial career over a decade ago to start her own passionate business, Spirited Solutions Professional Speaking & Coaching. She helps busy professionals, women, and business owners create balanced, prosperous lives and work they love! ...

Category of Expertise:

Health & Fitness, Personal Finance


Spirited Solutions Professional Speaking & Coaching

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03/25/2011 04:39pm
How Smart Women Become Successful Entrepreneurs

Calling all enterprising women. This article is for you! No, it isn't about feminine products or brassieres. (Whew! Aren't you relieved?) This article shows you how to get SMART and become successful entrepreneurs.

You know what "smart" means, doll, but you don't know what "SMART" means. So, girlfriend, grab a glass and toast to all your sister female entrepreneurs out there. And now, let's get SMART.

The SMART acronym tells you how to function at optimal levels as a woman entrepreneur. It helps you streamline your responsibilities, take charge of your time and resources, and hone your focus so it's sharper than Freddy Krueger's manicure. (We could say his "fangernails" since we're in the South but "manicure" sounds oh so much more refined!)

So, what do you have to do to get SMART? Here are your SMART steps to success:

S = Simplify, Single-mindedly. Take an honest assessment of yourself and figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Then jump on in and start out on your newest (ad)venture!

As women, we are notorious multi-taskers. We need to unlearn that! Let me repeat, we need to STOP MULTI-TASKING and instead be single-minded. You can't do everything for everyone, hon, and still have time to fulfill your dream of owning a successful business.

M = Market Research. You must must must (yes, doll, that's three emphatic "musts") do market research BEFORE you create your business. Go to surveymonkey.com to conduct a brief email survey or interview your friends and family in person.

I did that...with an eight-page survey. I went the old-fashioned paper survey route and got back all but one survey filled out. Yes, ALL EIGHT PAGES from over sixty people!

You want to know how? Chocolate! I handed out each survey with a dark chocolate bar and a note saying "Thank you in advance for helping me have success. I want to know what you think and can't wait to hear back from you!"

Check out your competition too. Figure out what you can do for others that is different. What holes do you see in what the competition offers? Then ask yourself "Is there a market for this?" and "Is there a market that will PAY for this?" (a critical question that many folks overlook in their start-up enthusiasm). Ask yourself "Where are they? Are they the kind of people I want to serve?"

I figured something essential out just two years ago. Take it from my V-8 moment: The people you love to serve are versions of you! Don't focus on everyone--Just focus on those folks you can best serve. And yes, hon, they have lots in common with you which is why you LIKE each other!

A = Ask for help! Let me say that again for all the misguided do-it-yourself-ers out there. Ask for help. You may think you're an Amazon but you're not! You need to ask for help.

Think of what you're not good at and what you hate doing, and then find a way to outsource what you dislike or despise. If you don't have much money, you can barter. If you do have some extra cash, you can hire someone to do the onerous stuff for you. If you don't get some stuff off your plate, darling, you're going to crack.

Every woman entrepreneur needs an adviser, a smart-as-a-whip tax adviser, a PR manager, a web designer, and a copywriter or editor. Hard to even CONSIDER getting all this help? You don't cut your own hair, do you, doll? See, you're already outsourcing!

The only chore I do these days is laundry--and I'm even contemplating giving that up. Do you want your legacy to be a spic and span bathroom floor or a kick-a#&s business, girlfriend? I'll take the business for a million, Alex. What about you?

R = Reward yourself! And not just for the big stuff. Reward yourself for the small things that you do every day. It takes GUTS to put yourself out there over and over as a small business owner. It takes courage to leave the "security" of a job, find your passion, and create work you love!

Let me ask you something. When you finish a task, do you just move on as fast as you can? My guess is yes. Instead of hurrying on to the next "to do," why not recognize the complet


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