Monday, April 5, 2010
When the idea for Savvy Auntie came to me in the summer of 2007, I gathered a number aunt friends of mine in my living room for cake to share the idea and get their feedback. I wasn't looking to hear whether or not it was a good idea (that much I believed and was committed to). I wanted to get different perspectives to help inspire my next steps in creating this brand.
Now, almost three years later, I'm still friendly with these women and they all one by one have told me they can't believe... "You actually did it! And look where you are now! I'm so happy for you!" Of course, that night, they weren't all that supportive. Some who had started businesses of their own were busy telling me what I hadn't done yet (the idea was days old). Others said that identifying as an aunt wasn't important to them (and hey you can't please everyone). But most drank their tea, ate a homemade cupcake, wished me luck and went home.
What if that was it? What if that night was a lovely night of women getting together to debate an idea and leave it at that?
What if I hadn't kept up the momentum but gotten lost in organizing more informal focus groups or gotten mired in a writing a 100 page business plan?
What if I got lazy? What if I decided the summer weather was much too nice to sit indoors and work on this business? What if I got scared about investing my life savings in this business?
What if I listened to 95% of the men I shared the idea with that early in the game who came back with ego-laden questions meant to stop me, not encourage or help me? (The women didn't do this by the way. The men were focused on the exit strategy. Exit strategy? I hadn't even started yet!)
What if I let the naysayers get to me?
What if I didn't actually do it?
Well I wouldn't be the woman I am today. I wouldn't be connecting with hundreds of thousands of women and connecting them with their inner-Savvy Auntie. And I wouldn't have met some of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life.
One of the amazing people I met during the course of this journey is Jen Groover. Jen is the creator of the Butler Bag and a branding and innovation expert. She recently published a book entitled: What if & Why Not?
Jen changes the lexicon in her book from "What if you fail?" to "What if I succeed." And "Why not do it when the time is right?" to "Why not do it now; there's no time like the present."
Jen says that with all the tough things it takes to get started on a business, it basically comes down to four vital assets:
A Great Idea
Absolute belief in yourself
She's built a number of successful business around this and I couldn't support her thinking more. Her book goes on to help you get over all your fears that make you hold off on your dream including: job security, money, knowledge, branding and marketing, sales, profits and of course, failure.
The other night I went to a party and one of the women who had been at my gathering that summer in my living room said to me: "I see all the amazing things you are doing! I can't believe all this came out of that simple idea you shared with us that summer night. What if you hadn't done it? Could you imagine?!"
What if indeed.
Over the last couple of years I have helped a few friends get their business ideas going. Each one unfortunately stopped. What if they had kept going? I am buying each one of them a copy of Jen's book.
You can buy Jen's book at Amazon.com. Get one for yourself and one for anyone who ever told you their big idea...
What if this is the book that helps you get your business off the ground?