HOW WE DID IT
CREATING FEMFESSIONALS // 10 STEPS ON HOW IT HAPPENED
The month of march is always a powerful month for us at Femfessionals. It’s not only the month of women, but it’s the anniversary of some major historical moments for Femfessionals. In March 2011, we launched a big movement across the country created just for business women. Coincidence that it all started during Women’s History Month? I think not.
Reflecting through all the moments, years, challenges and bumps along the way, it has been quite an amazing and purposeful ride. March 1, 2011 was the launch of our Femfessionals Facebook Fan Page. Additionally, we launched our very first website and started launching Femfessionals in a few communities throughout the country, all in March of 2011.
At the time, I didn’t really envision the successes and the failures that we would encounter. Femfessionals didn’t have massive funding like many of our competitors. I personally didn’t have any financial safety net. There was no business class or cheat sheet to help with tough decisions. In hindsight, it was probably the worst time to launch something new and take a leap of Faith. Yet here we are, launching more cities, programs and platforms more than ever. Here we are growing our little hearts out. What a ride indeed.
Often people ask “Violette, how did you guys do it?” “What’s the secret?” “Violette, show me the way.”
How did we grow Femfessionals? The easy answer is: “with a few dollars and a big vision.”
If you want more details, read on…
Here are 10 ways we grew Femfessionals that can help you grow your business.
1. Passion: Having passion is critical and it will be the connection to your work that will keep you going through the dark moments. During the hardships of business [no pay, no growth and no movement] your passion will be the driving force in your gut to get your through. Ask yourself why are you doing what you are doing? Break it down to one sentence, write it and tape it to your mirror. This will be the one “go to” sentence to read over and over again. It will keep your feet and heart moving forward with your work. I kept my passion for Femfessionals pure, untainted and raw in my purpose. I read my “go to” sentence often.
2. Belief: True belief in yourself and your vision [if this only came easily]. You will doubt yourself, question your path and want to give up. You will think it can’t be done, but you can and will get it done. If not you, then who? Believe in yourself. You have to have 1000% belief in yourself and your work to keep your business going and growing. I wanted to give up a million times, but I hung on and believed in the work and the purpose.
3. Listen: Keep an ear out to those you serve. Listen with your ears and heart not with your eyes and ego. We can speculate all day on what clients want and how to serve them better. Ask them, continue to discuss, collaborate, connect with them authentically and they will respond. The largest companies host surveys, focus groups and gather data on the wants and needs of their clients. Yes, it’s that important. If we didn’t listen to our members, we would still be hosting events only in Miami for just 20 women. Listening provided Femfessionals the first step into launching dozens of communities, creating more business programs, expanding into new cities. It made us what we are today. We listened with no filter and with an open heart of connected intention.
4. Implement: Once you listen, implement!!! Many women have amazing business ideas, but stop short when implementing the business plan. The action behind the path of goals is just as important as passion. We can dream all day, but what are you going to do about it? How will you act? Get up, move and put it together. Business includes many steps all leading to a larger level. Take the step. Just take it!
5. Don’t give up: One of the best bits of advice I received was from close friends that recently sold their company for 60 million dollars. They said to me: “it gets easier after 10 years….10 years is the mark”. My response was a shrieking “WHAT?!?!!?” That should be the title of all these business classes; 10 years!!! My point is, DON’T GIVE UP. Year 3-5 in business is tough. If you can get through year 6-7, it gets better. Use the pain of those moments as a motivating force to get to the next step of growth. The larger the vision, the larger the amount of dedication. Just sayin.
6. Nay sayers: We all know some Debbie Downers, Negative Nelly’s, and Bitter Bettys. Surround yourself with people like you, hire people like you, and immerse yourself in positivity. You don’t need to disown relatives. However, focus on surrounding yourself within the majority of your daily hours with people that “get it” and have your same vibe. Everyone in Femfessionals is happy, positive and loves helping women grow their business. The ones that don’t have that vibe, don’t stay with us long. Like attracts like. It’s quite powerful and moves mountains.
7. Evolve: Being static means you aren’t growing. You want to evolve, expand and diversify yourself in business. If you aren’t creating, blossoming and flourishing; get moving today. The world is moving, the business world is changing and if you miss the connection to those you serve, there will be another business there ready and waiting to serve their needs. Think Blockbuster vs. Netflix and Kmart vs. Target.
8. Fear: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I truly believe that you have to step into fear if you want to grow into the next level of your goals. I don’t know of any successful story that happened overnight and without stepping into the realms of scary stuff. I was scared to pitch media, I was scared to host our first international business retreat, I was scared to be on video or teach a class. Every time I have stepped into fear, greatness occurred and the world responded with open arms. Look for the fear and then give it a big maniacal laugh. You own this!
9. Sacrifice: Most likely you will need to sacrifice. If you have a big business goal, you will need to give up some things that are dear to you. If you have 25 million to launch a business, then maybe not so much sacrifice. However, most enormous business stories are filled with immense sacrifice. Personally, I gave up a nice salary for no salary. I sold my Mercedes Benz and got a Fiat. I gave up vacations for many years all to create Femfessionals. I owe a lot to my kids and Steve. They have sacrificed too. Belief comes around again to lessen the blow of sacrifice.
10. Serve the world: How does your work serve the world? To grow big business, think of how your business will serve millions and improve their lives. Think about what that would look like, what action plans do you need to create and what steps do you need to implement. If you can serve over a million people, make their worlds better, than you are on your way to big business.
My intention in sharing these points is to inspire you through those moments of wanting to quit, walk away and throw in the towel. Remind yourself of the big iconic women that have amazing stories of success: Sara Blakely, Barbara Corcoran, and Joy Mangano. There is a common thread in it all and it all starts with you. Now get growing in business… it’s a great month to launch into greatness.
PS. For those wanting to know what my one “go-to sentence is”… it’s to help millions of women grow business while helping other women do the same and living the life they are destined to live.