In a survey on ladieswholaunch.com, thousands of successful women across the country had one thing in common when it came to starting a business: They did it their way. There is no one right method to go from dreaming to doing, and sometimes an unconventional or grassroots approach is exactly why a business becomes successful.
These women showed us that launching can take many forms: Their companies are big and small, local and international. Some liked working seven days a week and others just one, and each was a perfect fit for their individual lives. Every woman has a dream and, although no two are alike, it's worth sharing the similarities that take each dream from seed to sapling. Here are five ways you can make your new dream work even better for you.
1. Find a Network
Success is not a solo activity. No one does it all by herself. Most women cite teachers, mentors, husbands, children, friends, or neighbors who helped in some way to bring their idea to fruition.
Who can help you take your dream skyward? Who around you is enthusiastic and willing to offer advice, insight, labor, or a referral? Take stock of the people who can collaborate in your success. Most people love getting involved in a fresh, new idea, and would be thrilled to offer their help.
2. Get Happy
Having fun is working hard. There is a common belief that fun is not synonymous with serious, hard, or meaningful work. Many women find that the more they enjoy the process, the more productive they become.
Ask yourself these questions: Am I having fun? Is there a way I could make my work, life, project, or business a happier process? Can I start to think about having fun as being a key to my success? Share your answers with us -- and thousands of women just like you -- on the Dreamers into Doers message board.
When people hear you talk about your project, business, or idea, they should feel your excitement and determination. It's okay to be brimming with joy about what you're doing, because that spirit will attract the right people, opportunities, circumstances, and staff to assist in building your dream.
Take a hard look at your approach. Are you shy and reserved or excited and optimistic when you talk about your idea? Today, write down a list of five new people with whom you can share your project -- then do it.
4. Think Beyond No
There may be obstacles in life (financial or other life circumstances) that could prevent you from moving forward in the way you'd like or at the pace you'd prefer. Successful women don't see rejection or hearing "no" as the end of the line.
Practice not taking "no" personally and start thinking about ways to get to "yes" in a unique way. Sometimes, what's perceived as negative feedback inspires a new direction or idea that ultimately ends up being more exciting or profitable! Write down three potential roadblocks for your business or project, then solutions that would help you work around them. Need inspiration? Share your list with the other Dreamers and Doers on the message board now.
5. Trust Your Intuition
Most successful women trust their gut above all else. This doesn't mean that research or numbers are not useful, but some of the biggest decisions about their companies were made using one tool above all others -- that little voice that eventually becomes louder as launching becomes more natural. It's called intuition.
Each time you have a hunch about something -- such as what might happen in the news or with a trend -- write it down, then watch it. When a decision is presented to you, note what your first response or mental note is, and then circle back to it. You'll discover that your intuition often serves you in some way if you train yourself to actually hear it!
More from Ladies Who Launch
Featured Lady Essie Weingarten: If you've ever had a manicure, you've probably used her products. The founder of Essie Nail Polish speaks up!
Featured Lady Nina Zagat: This mom and wife turned her love of dining out into every city's culinary bible.
Business Plan 101: Skip the 300-page book -- these business-plan basics will get you up and running now.
The Rules of Engagement: Getting into a partnership is about as serious as going to the altar. Know before you go with these fundamental tips.
Text by Amy Swift, editor-in-chief of Ladies Who Launch