by Gracie Griffin · 10 Jul 2020 · 13 min read
As we embark upon the dawn of a new era, it is time to think about how to make your business more powerful and profitable in the new year. Entrepreneurship is growing among women business owners. The market is filling up with niche ideas, awesome new products and exciting adventures. You can do business as usual, or stand out in a way that attracts lots of new clients, contracts and amazing opportunities.
On Wednesday August 2nd 2017 I had one of the most significant experiences in my entrepreneurial journey. I was seated next to some of the most successful businessmen in America. To my left was Mr. Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a few seats away was Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York, to my right was Dr. Michael Porter, esteemed professor at Harvard Business School and across the room was Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs. I had to pinch myself, because this was beyond my wildest dreams. How did I go from whipping up shea butter lotions and potions in my kitchen for my eczema prone children, to sitting in a room with people whose net worth exceeds that of small countries?
"Can you turn on your video, please?" That was about a year ago when I was on a global call. I was called out by another leader, and I totally panicked. No one ever had called me out for not having my video camera on during a meeting.
Starting your own business can be exciting but also daunting, especially when you're a mother. But you can't let that stop you. As a matter of fact, you could use the skills you've learned managing your household in your business.
It seemed like everything happened overnight because, well… it did. One moment, my team and I were business as usual, running a multi-million-dollar edible cookie dough company I built from scratch in my at-home kitchen five years ago and the next we were sitting in an emergency management team meeting asking ourselves, "What do we do now?" Things had escalated in New York, and we were all called to do our part in "flattening the curve" and "slowing the spread."
"Sales is two things. It's one part problem solving and one part project management." — Whitney Sales, The Sales Method and Acceleprise
Because entrepreneurship isn't just a playground for 20-somethings.
If there is one thing I have learned in my short period of being a career-driven woman, it is that mentorship is highly valuable. If there is anything else I have learned, it is that actually finding a mentor is no simple task.
My career has always been deeply rooted in community. I'm the Cofounder and CEO of Makelab, a Brooklyn-based 3D printing company. I also sit on the board of Women in 3D Printing, an organization on a mission to close the gender gap in additive manufacturing. In the simplest of terms: the 3D printing industry is not diverse. Currently, women make up 10% or less of the industry. A significant part of the reason I've been able to establish a successful company is that I've developed and magnified my voice in a space with very few women.
In my line of work, strategic initiatives and planning are the foundation of growth and success. Once that strategy is in effect, we must continually analyze and assess its position, perspective, and potential to increase gains and profit. The same is true for career advancement. We are each individual brands seeking growth. Much like the businesses I formulate strategies for, we as professionals will make some mistakes along the way that deter us from our full career potential. When I look back at my journey and my brand there are three outstanding mistakes that come to mind that I've found to be common among all professionals.