NATALIE KRINGOUDIS SERVES UP BIZ TIPS WITH TEA
What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? Competition is a healthy thing among entrepreneurs. Rather than allowing it to become something that is threatening and negative, I try to focus my attention on how I can help the feeling serve me better, turning the competition into something that I can use to help drive me in the direction I want to go. After all, we are all in this together and there is always enough to go around.
What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? 1. Know that those who are supposed to see your social media presence, will. Pushing can sometimes be counterproductive – it can come across as trying too hard and let me tell you, your audience can smell it! 2. It’s important to understand our own audience and find motivation in providing them with little golden nuggets that support your brand or message. Your audience wants to see your brand from different angles. People love transparency and they want to know about you without it being creepy! 3. Post with meaning. Your audience loves seeing information that helps them understand you more.
When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? Integrity, charisma, and above all else, authenticity. Uniqueness is a key attribute as well.
Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices: I base most of my hiring and firing on my gut instinct. Intuition is never, ever wrong. If you smell a rat – there’s always a rat!
Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? Outsourcing is the key to success, because somewhere out there is someone who can do certain jobs better than you. I very quickly learned that while the control freak in me loved doing it ‘my way’ (and while there was value in that at the beginning), there did come a point where I had to surrender and create space. When I was able to pass on roles and tasks to others, my own key strengths were heightened because I had the time and capacity to do so. I outsource design (so not my area!), web-based techie stuff that is beyond my understanding, and management of databases. But I do also try to understand as much as I can in these areas in case I need to do a job and there’s no one to assist.
What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? My business book actually comes in the form of a business coach. I highly recommend a mentor or coach to help you see what you can’t see. My mentor was able to identify the holes in my business that I had not. She’s been a game changer – she’s read all the books on my behalf. That said, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss was a wonderful read.
What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? It’s quality over quantity. You may have a phenomenal social media reach but your followers aren’t quality which doesn’t necessarily convert. Focus on your ‘avatar’ client, the one that ticks all your boxes as a star user of your brand and manifest more of that. The more quality you have, the more fruitful you will be.
My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… There is no perfect time. The time is now. We can easily fall into the security of waiting for the ‘right’ time and truth be told, there really is no such thing. Jump in, and go for gold. Allow for experimentation; I’ve been able to create an entire business based around experimentation and trial and error. Surrender to the fact that you will never have your product or brand in a perfect state – there simply is no such thing. Of course it’s important to be proud of the work you are doing, but imperfection and making mistakes is very much part of success.
What would your advice to your younger self be? Never second-guess you gut instinct. Ever. And don’t be afraid of making mistakes because mistakes lead to success. It may not feel like it at the time, but when you look back it’s often the times where we fumbled that led us to a better and more productive path.
Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:
- Experiment: There’s no right or wrong way, just your way.
- Lead with integrity: In a world where social media makes it easy for others to be nasty, own your own truth. What others think about you is only their business and has nothing to do with you.
- Take risks: There is no such thing as the perfect time and playing it safe rarely takes you to new places.
- Find your ‘avatar’: Identify the star customer or client that you want to attract more of and manifest on that.
- Trust your gut feeling: It is never, ever wrong.
Image: [Your Tea]