Originally published on

Originally published on


Erin Bernhardt is a filmmaker and the producer of the documentary film Imba Means Sing. We asked her for a little Expert Advice:

What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? I often have to remind myself of Teddy Roosevelt’s proverb: Comparison is the thief of joy. And not let it steal my joy! I encourage you to make that a common mantra as well, if you need to.

What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? Be authentic. Don’t only promote yourself. Stay positive.

When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? They are kind, they are able to balance work and fun and family and self, and they make you feel like they’re focused and giving 100%.

Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices. Both are very hard! Think a lot before you make decisions and choose your words wisely. Be more practical and less emotional. Stay calm and ask advice from mentors.

Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? I don’t always, but often: graphic design, early-stage research, and data spreadsheets.

What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz.

What are your thoughts on raising capital? It’s exciting and scary and daunting and fun all at the same time. Luckily, I am very passionate about my work so it’s easy to spread the mission honestly and get others wanting to be involved.

What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? My mom told me that if my head and my heart are both telling me to do something, I really should do it.

My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… Don’t recreate the wheel. Find good partnerships, do tons of research and comps before you launch, and intern in similar places first. Most of all, don’t give up if you know in your heart and mind it’s what you’re called to do and no one else is doing it better.

What would your advice to your younger self be? Stop being so stressed out. Let go and let God. Make your health and wellness a priority. Have fun in the midst of it all!

Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:

  1. Research to make sure your idea is really unique.
  2. Get great mentors ASAP.
  3. Manage your time extremely well via your calendar and clock.
  4. Every month take at least one day off to recharge and re-engage (at first that might be the only day you have to yourself, including weekends, and that’s OK).
  5. Don’t quit.


Image: [Courtesy of Imba Means Sing]