Monday, March 7, 2011

Birthing the Elephant

Did you know that  every 60 seconds, five women launch new ventures somewhere in the United States? Looking for some reading material to help with  your start-up business?

I am in the middle of reading "Birthing the Elephant" (The woman's go-for-it guide to overcoming the big challenges of launching a business) by Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman and so far I would definitely recommend it. As I push forward each day with my vision, I wasn't doing something important: stepping back and evaluating the big picture. They identify four stages of birthing a business: starting your start-up; running your own show; achieving breakthrough; and finding your business rhythm.  I love reading the real-life stories of other small-business launches.

Some entrepreneurs and experts- both famous and less well-known- who share their insight and advice in the book:

  • Bobbi Brown of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
  • Liz Lange of Liz Lange Maternity
  • Crystal Johnson of Sienna at Home (a home and fashion decor company)
  • Alexandria Brown, Internet Specialist and Million Dollar Marketing Coach
  • Ray Miller, Stress relief and self improvement expert
The book also lists 10 pitfalls most women fall prey to when starting their own company:
  1. Romanticizing being your own boss
  2. Not getting the right help early
  3. Not understanding how to network
  4. Running yourself ragged
  5. Spending money for the wrong reasons
  6. Not valuing your time highly
  7. Not pricing properly
  8. Spending too much on advertising
  9. Not trusting your gut
  10. Not thinking enough about the big picture
I love all of the little nuggets of inspiration I've already gotten from this book. I took my pen and furiously marked something that Dr. Robert Gilbert, a peak performance coach points out in the first chapter, "Everybody is blessed with more potential than they'll ever need. You have all the ability you need to succeed already inside of you. What you are lacking is strategies.... If number one, you believe in your abilities, number two, you have the right strategies, and number three, you put them into action- and you get out of your head that ignore the little voice that says, 'but, maybe, impossible'- then you're going to get results."

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