culture

Making Boss Moves: 4 Female Founders Share Their Best Entrepreneur Advice for 2020

Crystal Blanchette

By Mimi Alas

Starting a business is never easy. It takes determination, learning and most of all, passion. You will embark on a journey that includes a lot of highs and lows.

It’s best to have a support system of friends and family that believe in you and what you’re doing, and finally, you need to surround yourself with other boss ladies, so you can encourage each other and learn from your experiences.

Today, we wanted to share with you some entrepreneurial wisdom by asking four female entrepreneurs what advice they would give to succeed this year with your business, career, and goals. Here’s their best business advice for 2020:

1. Crystal Blanchette (pictured above)

Crystal is a renowned chef who’s worked with celebrities like Will.I.Am, Jessica Simpson, George Lucas, and Mike Tyson. Also, she’s the creator of Chef Crystalz World, Chef’s Guide To Divorce and #CineSoul Dine.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are starting out in 2020?
The best advice I would give to starting entrepreneurs is to set an intention and trust yourself. There are so many moments where we get thrown off our path because we forget what the initial goal was in the first place. However, when your intention is set from the beginning, keep that at the forefront and it will always steer you in the right direction.

As an entrepreneur you have to juggle a lot, what are some of your tips to stay organized?
1. Ask for support! This is a big one for me. I know I cannot balance it all without the support of my team and family (also, no one said I had to do it alone). When I want to jump at an opportunity I have people on my team to keep me grounded and give me feedback that is in the best interest of myself and the company.

2. Saying no isn’t always a bad thing. I was told from a coach once that no means, “New Opportunity.” This can be saying no to taking on more within my company, or a client saying no to an opportunity I place in front of them. Either way, it allows me to not get overwhelmed and stay focused on the task at hand.

3. Take the time to write things down! If you’re not organized and sometimes forgetful, write it down on a Post-It, or stick it in your phone. I carry Post-its everywhere because I’m old school. I will ask people to give me a moment to grab one so that I don’t forget the important information I’m being told or telling myself. I stick them on my desk and trash them once the task is complete. It’s very helpful and keeps others from being upset at me for forgetting to do something.

What was one of your biggest professional setbacks and how did you overcome it?
Getting fired was one of my biggest setbacks, but one of the most rewarding moments in my life. It was a clarifying experience because up until that point I thought my work was what defined me. It took that to realize I wasn’t living a life of integrity and I wasn’t happy. I overcame it by forgiving myself and being accountable. I learned that being accountable may not get you forgiveness from others, but it will change the way you live in the world. I wanted to be better, so I allowed myself to be better.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in order to balance work and life?
Sometimes the 100 percent you gave yesterday looks different than the 100 percent you’re giving today, so don’t beat yourself up. It isn’t always easy running a company, in fact, it’s very difficult, but you deserve to have both your work and your life. It’s okay to take a personal day or a break for some self-care with loved ones, or even alone. The work-life balance gets to be on your terms so that you don’t burn out, and you get to enjoy what you’ve been working so hard for.

Maghan Morin

2. Maghan Morin

Maghan Morin is one of the founders of Thynk Global, a women’s co-working space focused on building community.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are starting out in 2020?
​My advice to entrepreneurs would be to keep pushing, keep going, and keep out all the extra noise. 

As an entrepreneur you have to juggle a lot, what are some of your tips to stay organized?
The best tip is to live by a calendar — if it’s not on the calendar then it does not exist.

What was one of your biggest professional setbacks and how did you overcome it?
We moved to Miami with a mission to open up a workspace in North Miami. There was so much potential that we saw in the community and really wanted to be a part of it. After months of trying and connecting with local officials, no one helped and we felt a bit defeated. However, we decided to use that to power us to look elsewhere and we started to connect with people who saw our vision and less than three months of looking outside of North Miami we found a building in the area that is even better than what we originally intended. Throughout this journey, we were aware setbacks are inevitable but it’s your mind that will kill you if you don’t feed it with positivity and knowledge that anything is possible no matter what.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in order to balance work and life?
Take care of yourself, love yourself, and do things that make you feel beautiful and powerful every day. I believe when women do that nothing can stop them!

Carmelle Hasan

3. Carmelle Hasan

Carmelle Hasan is a holistic practitioner, public speaker, author, educator, and founder of Discover C.A.R.M.E.L.L.E, a holistic wellness boutique offering programs for women and children that want to improve their health.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are starting out in 2020?
I have learned a lot over the last few decades of being an entrepreneur. A few tips that I would give to entrepreneurs that are just starting their journeys, is to embrace the process and be patient with themselves. This journey has been a rollercoaster fueled with experiences that I have both learned from and grown through. Set goals, but be okay with the steps to get there not looking exactly like you may have planned. This means adopting a flow over force mentality. I have found this more than useful. Don’t force opportunities. Be okay with declining an offer to what doesn’t serve your intentions and your purpose. Lastly, build genuine relationships with individuals who have the same mindset and are on similar paths as you. Don’t be afraid to let childhood relationships go if they aren’t in alignment with your future.

As an entrepreneur you have to juggle a lot, what are some of your tips to stay organized?
Journaling and writing things down are very important to your success. Prioritize your tasks and keep in mind that everything isn’t a priority. If possible, schedule and plan your week on Sunday, so you can already have an idea of how you will be using your time and energy. I love checklists! There’s something about checking things off my lists that make me feel that I’m accomplishing something and being productive. Lastly, don’t procrastinate and let things pile up. This will keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

What was one of your biggest professional setbacks and how did you overcome it?
One of my biggest professional setbacks was choosing to step away from my café in Atlanta, GA. Contracts were broken by my previous business partners and it created financial hardship, which also damaged business relationships that I worked hard to build. I overcame it by letting it go and choosing to move on. I had to focus on what I knew I was capable of. If I could accomplish all that I had in such a short period of time with the relationships I built, personal resources and my faith in God, then I knew I could do it again, and much greater. I chose to forgive and adopt a positive mindset, so I wouldn’t block any more of my blessings to come.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in order to balance work and life?
As women, we are taught that balancing all of the many responsibilities and hats we wear is significant to our position in the community, but it’s not realistic. There is no such thing as balance. There is only harmony. Nothing will ever seem balanced. Harmony means that you are discovering what works best for you in that particular part of your life. Harmony brings peace. It’s not just about checking things off a list to make sure you are covering all the different areas of your priorities. There are four different levels: individual, family, society, and nature. Only you will know when you are in a harmonious flow.

Elaine Lou Cartas

4. Elaine Lou Cartas

Elaine is a business/career coach and bestselling author of You Are Meant For More. She specializes in helping women of color in achieving their career goals and dreams, and she had been featured in publications like Forbes.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are starting out in 2020?
I would suggest to stop following what everyone else is doing and figure out what feels aligned to you — be focused. For my business, I love connecting with people in-person. As a result, I have free monthly events in the Los Angeles area and host retreats. I also have the option for my clients to meet me in person. To give you an example of how different paths work — I have clients who have based their entire business on Instagram. I also have one client who doesn’t have an online presence and gets all her business through referrals that she is expected to generate $250k. We often get caught up and look at what other people are doing, but it is so important to focus and feel aligned.

As an entrepreneur you have to juggle a lot, what are some of your tips to stay organized?

If you get overwhelmed I suggest the following:
1. Create a daily top three goals, and make sure to accomplish them in sequential order. Write three goals you have to accomplish and make sure the hardest one is the first. However, before you get to the second task, make sure you finish the first task. Before getting to the third task, make sure you finish task one and task two.
2. Panda Planner — I love this planner. You start off with three things you are grateful for, three things you are excited about, and at the end of the day, you get to celebrate three wins and how you’ll improve. Use this link to buy https://glnk.io/rzo/elainelou and put the code “ELAINELOU15”
3. Learn to say no more – If you are saying yes to everything, you won’t have time to do what is right for you.

What was one of your biggest professional setbacks and how did you overcome it?

Do not let your current circumstances dictate your future. I lost my job and was $20k in debt when I started my business. I knew it was all happening for a reason and decided not to look for a job and focus on my business. The result? That same month I hit my first $10k month. And now, I have served 203 clients in 23 different countries. I’ve also been featured in Forbes.

What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs in order to balance work and life?
My advice is that life is not all about work, it’s also about living. To ensure you balance work and life, schedule out times to do date nights with your partner and time to be by yourself whether that is working out or just not doing nothing at all. And make sure you provide strict boundaries. For example, I let my clients know that I am accessible 24/5. I am not available during the weekends.

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