I've been an entrepreneur for quite some time now, striking out on my own many years ago to create the first of my many businesses. After leaving the luxury retail world, I began designing and manufacturing my own women's apparel line. Next came Aestheyx Collection, my Huntington Beach retail store that carries Fair Trade goods and responsibly created apparel and accessories.
Then, while on my journey to discover myself, my purpose and my true passion, I came up with the idea for Mala and Mantra in the spring of 2013. And it wasn't until this past February, when M+M officially launched with its debut Mantra Mala Collection, that I became not just an entrepreneur, but a soulpreneur, following my passion to create a meaningful business.
So in honor of Women's Entrepreneurship Day, I thought I would share three of my guiding principles—my best tips, if you will—for becoming and being an entrepreneur and, more importantly, a soulpreneur.
1. Take a fearless leap of faith
No matter how big or small, starting a new business is a huge risk and a massive undertaking. It's difficult (and sometimes terrifying, of course), but taking the leap and deciding to just go for it is the absolute starting point for any entrepreneur. It requires strength, faith and sheer determination. You may not know what's going to happen one day, one month or 10 years down the road, but you have to trust yourself—trust your soul—and know that you're doing the right thing. After all, you'll never discover just how much you can achieve if you don't give it a try.
2. Listen to your intuition. She is (usually) always right.
This is an absolute must for every woman and any entrepreneur. If something doesn't feel right, don't proceed. If you have a hunch that your crazy idea is going to take off, pursue it—even if everyone around you thinks it's destined to fail. There's a reason you feel certain emotions in your gut. Listen to them and act on them.
3. Execute, follow up and pleasantly please your clients and colleagues, even when they're not expecting it.
Relationships are key to any business, but they're especially important when you're first starting and growing your own business. Treat every customer or client as if she's your only and most valued one. Give your undivided attention to every business partner. Make your employees feel respected, important and valued at all costs. And no matter how far you go and how big your business becomes, never lose sight of how important these relationships are. People will always remember great service—they'll always remember the care and kindness with which you treated them—and they'll return for it time and time again.