It’s always a good idea to learn from your mistakes. It’s an even better idea to learn from the mistakes of others, so you don’t have to make them yourself first… Failure is a major part of running a business, and the best thing we can do is see every rejection, missed opportunity, or major work crisis as a learning opportunity, no matter how much it hurts at the time. When you’re just starting out, you’ll probably be making mistakes every day, but don’t worry: it really is the best way to learn. To give you a head start, we asked our community what they wish they’d known when they started their business. Whether you’re in month five of your endeavour or have twenty years of experience under your belt, read on for some words of wisdom from our lovely community.
Helen Bamborough, founder of Mumfolk
“It’s ok to say no if someone or something isn’t the right fit. In fact, it’s essential for building a strong brand. It just takes a leap of faith that if you’re showing up for your business then a right project will come.” | Mumfolk
Yvie Ormsby, founder of Yoco Studio
“I REALLY wish that I had known that it’s okay to run your business in whatever way you like. You don’t have to do anything that doesn’t fit with your goals or lifestyle just because other people are.” | Yoco Studio
Charlotte Faure Green, nutritionist
“I wish I’d know that going it alone would be so much less lonely than I thought. The friendships and community built online, and spilling into IRL, would satisfy any “water cooler chat” needs. You’ve just got to put yourself out there a little, join the communities and if you like someone’s vibe, tell them!” | Charlotte Faure Green Nutrition
Charlotte Fox, yoga teacher
“My work involves audiences, classes and entertainment, so the switch is constantly connected and alert. The solitude and stillness by the sea gives me time to rejuvenate. You can’t pour from an empty cup.” | Charlotte Fox LinkedIn
Lucy Werner, founder of The Wern
“I wish I’d known to choose a mentor wisely. Often people direct us down the path that is right for them rather than what is right for us.” | The Wern
It’s not always going to be easy – no matter how far along your business journey you are, you’ll face ups and downs. That’s just part of the deal. To set yourself up for the best chance of success, it’s time for some mindset work. Working on your mindset is one of the most powerful things you can do as a business owner. You’ll inevitably face challenges from time to time, whether that’s in the form of difficult clients, imposter syndrome, or struggling with the uncertainty of it all. When you’re having a tough day, come back to these quotes from the most inspiring female leaders.
Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop
“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” | The Body Shop
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,American politician and activist
“You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be 100% committed.” | Alexandria’s Twitter
Priyanka Chopra, Indian actress & model
“Any transition is easier if you believe in yourself and your talent.” | Priyanka Chopra Instagram
Meg Whitman, American business executive and former political candidate
“Do what you love, and success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career.”
Arianna Huffington, Co-founder of huffington post
“We need to accept that we don’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes. Understand that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” | Huffington Post
And if you want some extra support from the kindest community out there (us, biased? Never!), become a member of Found and Flourish here.
About your author
Phoebe is Found & Flourish’s resident Business blogger, she is London-born and Frankfurt-, Paris- and Amsterdam-raised. Combining her Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship with 10 years writing for international publications, she’s the founder of BURO155 and Wellby, helping female entrepreneurs achieve their business goals through strategic online content. Phoebe is also a writer, and has written for outlets including the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Next Web, For Working Ladies and Restless Magazine.
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