Ustyled is a style company committed to serving women leaders. In helping dynamic women OWN their ‘Style Power’ we do more than offer the opportunity to outsource their shopping and work with a personal stylist at a fraction of the typical cost, we dig into WHO she is, her WHY in building her career and HOW she wants to show up.
Is entrepreneurship something that anyone can tackle? What is the most important thing to consider?
Definitely not. It takes a work ethic and commitment that is not required of a full time job. You work MUCH more than most full time jobs, so it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. However, the rewards far outweigh the time and cost required to build a business when you’re doing something that you love. I would not be able to keep moving through some of the challenges we’ve had to move through if I wasn’t committed to the WHY of our company - empowering women.
Additionally, the financial implications can be stressful. So, if you’re bootstrapping a service based business or even building out a prototype you’ll want to get funded, I recommend taking steps to make sure you’re secure financially. However, don’t let that hold you back. It’s a bit of a catch-22! I highly recommend that most stay in a full time or part time job for as long as they can to self-fund their business. It may take you longer to build out your business, but the peace of mind and the resources to invest in how you want to build things out is priceless. Again, it means you’re also working MUCH harder than most of your friends.
That said, you also have to have people in your corner who get WHY you’ll be working so hard so that they don’t take it personally when you’re not as available for social events. Some friends may end up falling aside because of this, but those who stick around will really have your back. It’s definitely a truth telling! And, it may not be your family who is the most supportive, which is OK. They just want you to be safe and happy and many people don’t understand taking the financial risk that entrepreneurship often means.
What are some ways of motivating yourself in times of doubt? Do you ever feel like giving up? Why do you keep going?
Fortunately, I seem to get the kind of connection or message that I need in times of doubt that creep up. For instance, talking with a prospective client who is so ideal will remind me that this is why we exist and are needed. But it will also highlight what has to happen next. I am very action oriented, so I definitely dig into where the doubt is coming from (fear, pain, etc.) and move forward quickly. Actually looking at the underlying elements of my doubt has helped me come up with some of my best business solutions for scaling and growing Ustyled.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
What you measure grows. So if you’re not tracking your traction, you’re not building a very healthy business. You really need to know your numbers and constantly look at WHY something works and digest why something might not and how you may need to pivot. Your goals will change with where you’re at in business, but it’s also important to make sure they’re quantitative as well as qualitative. For instance, you can have the goal of getting your website up, but WHY? This is not the Field of Dreams. If you build it, they’re simply going to come. How will you use your website as a tool and what are the results you want to create by getting your website up? (I say this all from learning from my own experience … I definitely had a ‘Build It and They Will Come’ complex when I first started my business 8 years ago.)
What part of your personality helped you the most with your entrepreneurial journey?
Resilience. I have had to move through various challenging experiences in my life that really informed how I wanted to show up to treat others as well as what kind of fortitude I have within myself. For better or for worse, I don’t rely on others. It’s been huge to help me to get comfortable being uncomfortable, being able to have an objective view of what’s going on in the business and take action to make things happen because I literally HAVE to find a way. Also, if you don’t have sales experience, it can be really hard hearing NO. You tend to take it personally. Resilience helps you to have perspective - it’s not about you when you hear a no; it’s about finding a new way or next or just not now. To be clear, I didn’t have sales experience and the sales + marketing is something we’re continually refining, but Sales is KEY to a successful business and it’s the resilience that helped me develop the sales muscle.
Is it important to dream big? What is the big dream for your business?
Absolutely! Though I’ve found that it’s best to have your big dreams grounded in the reality of where you are now and the steps you’ll have to take to move you forward to creating the big dream. It’s also really easy to dream big and then not take action - talk a good game. I’m all about the action takers!
The big dream for Ustyled is creating a global platform to spread the #StylePower message to empower women as leaders and to disrupt the way we shop here in the US. I want to change the conversation around style so that it’s simply empowering, fun and another form of communication vs. how it can be used for bullying and disempowering women, even if unintentionally.