5 lessons I took away from an entrepreneur conference

female entrepreneur

Yesterday I attended my very first women entrepreneur meetup organised by Google as part of Startup Spring; a three-week long, Australia-wide festival of more than 150 events and activities that celebrate and promote the tech startup community and encourage more Australians to become entrepreneurs. The aim of Google for Entrepreneurs Women’s Meetups is to create a community that can support the growing number of women-led startups and to help local female entrepreneurs collaborate, learn and grow alongside some of Australia’s most successful startup founders.

Google certainly succeeded in creating a buzz among the audience by kicking off the session with it’s very first speaker, Marita Cheng, Young Australian of the Year 2012 and founder of 2Mar Robotics.

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As woman after woman got up to speak about their journey as entrepreneurs, some common factors emerged amongst this highly successful group:

1. You need to be passionate about your business or idea – No one is more closely invested in a business than it’s founder and creator, similar to conceiving and carrying a child, entrepreneurs are very very passionate about what their business can do. But this passion also needs to be communicated to others in order to build a viable business. So if you have a business idea, be enthusiastic about communicating it and you’ll soon build a team that’s equally passionate.

2. Learn as you go – Don’t let the fear of not knowing what you’re doing hold you back from launching your idea. All the entrepreneurs at the event started off by saying they had no idea about what they were doing when they first started their business and learnt valuable lessons on their journey to success.

3. View everything as an opportunity – Every step you take on the way to building a successful business needs to be viewed as a chance to build relationships, and tell more people about your idea. Carrie Kwan founder of The Daily Addict met one of her mentors in an IT conference (which was so technical she couldn’t follow half of what was being talked about! but the fact that she was there proved she was serious about her business).

4. Ask, Ask, Ask – The importance of asking for advice and help was emphasised by all the entrepreneurs. Kath Purkis, founder of Le Black Book and co-founder of Her Fashion Box said, “Put it out there for the universe to receive it, don’t be afraid of asking for advice as no one will turn you down”.

5. Embrace failure – perhaps one of the scariest parts of being an entrepreneur is facing failure head-on and most importantly dusting yourself off and trying again. Deb Noller, CEO Switch Automation said, “Failures and successes are all part of the lessons you will learn as an entrepreneur – they will help you to become better”. Jo Burston, Founder of Job Capital said, ” Learning how to succeed is as important as learning how to fail”.

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5 of my favourite tips and advice from the evening include:

1. Do things before you’re ready.

2. Use everything you can as a resource.

3. Back yourself, have a do-it all attitude and get your hands dirty.

4. Entrepreneurship is solving a problem for the world, by making a difference, shaking things up and really caring.

5. Relinquish control so you can focus on growing your business – outsource time/energy draining activities.

Image credit: Victor1558