Originally published on

Originally published on


Heather Crabtree is a small business strategist for creative entrepreneurs. We asked her for a little Expert Advice:

What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? I saw this quote the other day and loved it: “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Bravo, flower…BRAVO! Do your own thing and don’t worry about what others are doing.

What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media?

1. Don’t get overwhelmed.

Choose a platform that resonates with you and go there first. For me, I love Instagram and Pinterest. I’m a business nerd, but my Instagram profile will tell you that I’m all about “talking business with pretty pics.”

2. Engage!

Don’t think that you can follow a thousand people and they will magically follow you back. Engage with them. Comment, give feedback, encourage them. Remember, it is a SOCIAL network.

3. Have fun!

Be sure to make personal–a real life, “sit across the table from a new acquaintance” kind of social interaction. I love when I get to meet people in real life whom I met on Instagram first!

When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? I was lucky to work with amazing women in the past. They were loyal, encouraging, honest, determined, hard-working, strong, loving women who wanted the best for themselves and everyone around them.

Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices. I didn’t hear the expression “hire slow and fire fast” until a year or so ago, and I wish I’d heard it sooner because we definitely made some mistakes when it came to hiring and firing some of our team. Don’t rush the hiring process. They should fit your culture and the core values of the company. But when they don’t, get rid of them. It will be better both for the company and for them.

Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource?  Accounting, graphic design and scheduling.

What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? Every entrepreneur should read The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. Another one that I love and always recommend is Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

What are your thoughts on raising capital? I have never personally raised money to start or fund a company. I started from ground level with each of my businesses so far. I didn’t go into debt and I just worked really hard to make money and every year would put money back into the business to make it better.

My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… My favorite saying (one that I send to all of my clients when they hire me) is “Don’t stop dreaming, start doing!” It is fine to keep dreaming bigger, but make sure you also take action.

What would your advice to your younger self be? You are exactly where you are supposed to be. (Heck, my present-day self needs to be reminded of that occasionally!) So often we are in a hurry to get to the next thing or dream up the next product or conquer everything all at once. Last year, when I was struggling with trying to juggle three businesses, I said “Why is it taking so long to get to where I want to be?” My (very wise) sister replied, “You are where you are supposed to be. All of these jobs and people have brought you to where you are today.”

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

  1. Start taking action now! Don’t wait for tomorrow.
  2. Make sure you know WHY you have your business. Not just to make money or become famous or even just help people. What is the greater purpose for starting your business? What are your core values? Never lose sight of any of that!
  3. Make sure that you have the foundation of your business built properly. Just like a house needs a sturdy foundation to stay standing up, so does your business.
  4. Create processes/systems for your business right away and WRITE THEM DOWN. This will not only help you become more consistent, but will also be a major bonus when you want to grow your team.
  5. Surround yourself with other amazing businesspeople. Create or join a community. Encourage and help others. Ask them for help. Find an accountability partner or mentor or join a mastermind group. Don’t try to do it all alone.


Image: [Amy & Jordan Photography]