The Real Foundation of Building a Business – The Great Canadian Woman

September 14, 2020

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Shakira Rouse

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The Real Foundation of Building a Business

“Your story is what’s going to help you sell.” These were the wise words given to me as I began my entrepreneur journey. “What story I thought”? I do not have a story, I am just telling you what happened. Like most budding entrepreneurs I had the vision but was struggling to build the framework to turn that vision into a reality. I thought I needed a fancy website, I needed to be on all social media platforms, I needed to sign up for every course on marketing, branding, SEO, business writing etc. I thought I needed to hire every professional that claimed to be an “expert”. All this running around left me spinning, confused and drained. All the advice I was taking from people was leading me nowhere. Do not be fooled by Instagram posts as there is a lot on this journey of entrepreneurship that does not fit into a perfect square. Heck, I am still learning as I go but that is the true essence of entrepreneurship. Although I felt I was struggling in the beginning, the only thing that kept me going was the positive responses when I shared my story. The more I shared my story the more confident I became with myself as a person. I realize the key to starting a business is not basic business principles, you need to become comfortable with the following: 

Tell Your Story. For centuries in many cultures it was a means of communication, passing on traditions, teaching lessons, and preserving history. As time has passed we lost the art and importance of storytelling and only see it necessary in marketing and branding. It does not matter if you are leading a multi-million dollar organization, or captain of a soccer team. Everyone has a story, and there is value in not only sharing our story, but listening to the lived experiences of others. It helps us become authentic and to be confident in our journey that shaped us to the woman we are and destined to be. Do not be shy to tell your story, there is more power in your words than you may realize.

Trust Yourself: In business and in life there are going to be many people telling you what to do. Although many will have good intentions, always trust yourself, follow your instincts and listen to your heart. What is destined for you will never miss you. When I look back at the success in my business, the small to big wins, it was always through listening to my instincts. Listening to others steered me off track of my goals, both personal and professional, causing great frustration and stress. When you run to what makes your heart happy, listen to that gut feeling and you will never lose track. 

You Lack Nothing: Being more intuitive with myself also helped me to realize I lack nothing. It is one thing to hear someone tell you that you are enough it is another to understand abundance truly resides within us. Everything in nature is designed for success. We as women are a part of nature therefore already filled with an abundance of wealth needed to be successful. We need to stop seeking outside of ourselves, and use the resources we have within to take us where we need to go. 

Know Your Why: In this day in age there are millions of things around to distract us. Why do you want to change your career? Why do you want to start a business? Knowing your why will help keep you grounded and focused on your goals and purpose. It is the root to motivation because there will be tough times (trust me real tough times) and you are going to wonder if you should keep going or quit. Your why will pull you out of those low times, it will pull you when you do not feel like it and push you when you are not sure.  

It was through a program at the local library where I got to sit down and explain my idea to an established entrepreneur. That is when they said “your story is going to help you sell.”  It took me a while to understand what they meant but as I dove deeper into my entrepreneurial journey over the years, I realized starting a business is not about a fancy logo, having the coolest app, or a herd of followers, it is about being you. The more I shared my story, the more opportunity for programs or financing came my way. I was invited to speak and participate at events sharing my story and experience. I grew more confident in sharing details about my experience that I was still hiding from myself. Others wanted to do business with me and I knew who to do business with. I was able to make better business decisions that resulted in successful outcomes. The same is true for you as long as you set down the real foundation to building a business. 

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