Four Things Every Entrepreneur Must Know
Originally posted on Charlie Magazine by our friend and #tscsummit alum Caroline Nuttall.
Every entrepreneur knows that business ownership is thrilling, gratifying and ridiculously hard work. Which is why this Thanksgiving, we are grateful for life lessons from those who came before us.
The Southern C Summit is a collection of female entrepreneurs collaborating, learning and building camaraderie. Here are the top four lessons from the 2014 Charleston, S.C. summit:
Amy Wallin Smilovic, owner of fashion label Tibi, was a big powerhouse keynote. Her advice? Be deadly passionate about what you do.
She tells the story of going in for an unexpected brain scan days earlier. “When I was going into the tube, I thought about my husband, my children, our family. And then I started thinking about culottes. (Audience erupts in laughter). Will people still be wearing culottes next Spring?” And although she knows it’s a crowd-pleasing story, she’s completely serious. She goes on to say, “If I die, I know I’m doing what I love.”
Tara Guérard, founder and president of Tara Guérard Soirée, a nationally lauded event design company with an impressive celebrity client roster, says this: charge what you’re worth.
She gives a classic Monet example. The established Monet is painting in the park and a passerby pays him to create a painting. Monet quickly whips something up and names a price that the customer clearly thinks is way too much. “That took you 15 minutes!” the customer complains. Monet responds, “No. It took me 50 years.” Charge accordingly based on all the past experience that brought you here.
Jamie Meares, the fiery and hilariously eccentric owner of home décor store Furbish Studio and designer at I Suwannee says you’ve got to have swagger.
“Pimp it out like the rent is due tomorrow,” she says. Every entrepreneur knows it to be true. You have to have swagger and be a bit delusional to believe in yourself 100 percent.
And, finally, there’s the brilliant and charming Robert Prioleau, partner and strategic director of digital marketing firm Blue Ion. Robert’s advice? “Ask ‘why’ ‘til you cry.”
Robert dug into building brand DNA and says he’ll literally ask new clients why they do what they do until they cry or beg him to shut up.
“I started a restaurant that serves the best seafood in town.”
“Because the town needed it and I could bring it to them best.”
“Because I love seafood.”
Like a five-year-old. Digging and digging to get to the root; the soul of your brand. Because, as Robert says, “It’s not what you make. It’s what you’re made of.”
So, fellow entrepreneurs, what lessons are you thankful for?
Words by Caroline Nuttall
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