Thursday, September 1, 2011

Women, Entrepreneurship, and Pushing Through

CHICKS ROCK! welcomes back Adelaide as a special guest blogger who let us interview her before the launch of the book The Big Enough Company: Creating a business that works for you. Check out her post last week and read her responses for today below:

Adelaide Lancaster is an entrepreneur, speaker and co-founder of In Good Company Workplaces, a first-of-its-kind community, learning center and co-working space for women entrepreneurs in New York City. She lives in Philadelphia, PA with her husband and daughter.

How did your path through entrepreneurship affect your personal growth?
This could be a whole other book! I’ve learned a tremendous amount about myself and grown in ways I couldn’t imagine. My two favorite lessons have been:
1. It’s ok to present the imperfect. In fact there are benefits to it. By sharing a work in progress you’re more likely to get critical feedback and support from others. Also it removes the pressure to “know all the answers.”
2. Success comes from taking small steps. Nothing happens overnight and it’s the day-to-day, hand over fist kind of work that moves you forward. It’s important to have perspective about the big picture but more importantly than that it’s critical that you have a functional and satisfying daily experience.

Why do you think women in particular might be drawn to entrepreneurship?
People are drawn to entrepreneurship for a variety of reasons, but perhaps the most compelling of all is the opportunity to create something that works for you and honors your needs. I think the spike in women entrepreneurship has been due, in part, to the fact that more corporate and traditional employment options didn’t offer the variety and autonomy that women have been looking for. Generally women have felt that they’ve had to make huge personal compromises in order to remain fully engaged at work. Of course everyone has to make compromises but I think that women have been confident in their ability to create businesses that allow them to have a life as well. They exploit and leverage their newfound freedom to create a solution that works for them.

What did the process of writing the book teach you?
That sometimes you just need to push through a challenge. There are many days where the words aren’t flowing and writing feels like an uphill battle. It’s even more important for you to honor your commitment to write on these days. Getting words on paper is the hardest part, editing is much easier.

What is the one takeaway you hope women will get out of the book?
That entrepreneurship is an amazing opportunity to create your work and life on your terms. But it doesn’t come automatically. You have to work hard to craft a business that meets your needs and delivers what you want. So don’t get distracted by “proven systems” or even most of the conventional wisdom. It just isn’t worth compromising your needs and goals in service of someone else’s definition of success.


Author Oumou Traore said...

It's good to see a site featuring woman that push for their goals. Pushing through a challenge is often hard, but it's always possible. Some challenges are just harder than others.

Unknown said...

I love that women have such a great support system available to them as they endeavor to create their own. It is a really difficult leap to make and I am honored to participate in the birth of new futures! This community is fantastic! Thanks to all the lovelies who make this existence even better!

Alana Clifford

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