Darkest before the dawn
Being an Entrepreneur takes years off your life. I welcome anyone to prove me wrong. It takes guts, courage, determination, unrivaled will, hard work and sometimes none of this matters if you don't have luck. There is the proverbial 20-nothing year old who eats noodles and works out of his garage - and then there is the rare executive no one ever imagines - who chooses to toss their career to follow a dream. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes....
I almost wonder if I would have been better served if I quit my job to join an ashram.
Read more: Entrepreneurial 911
Uncertainty is terrible. I remember being pregnant on bed rest and praying - please I just want healthy, happy children - and thankfully that prayer was answered. But I kinda feel like it's not appropriate to ask again - dear God, I know you have a lot going on but could you please watch over my company??
That sounds a little Republican.
The closer we get to launch the scarier it gets. It's 2:45am and I'm awake thinking about what I should be doing. Sounds absolutely stupid but I wish I could go to bed. The list is long has subsets and really most of it can't be delegated. I prioritize with "does completing this task create a higher probability of sales". Everything else gets put on another list. The "I know you need to get done and you will at some point but today isn't the day" list.
I find myself using "we" and "us" a lot when referring to the company. Because there are so many people and partnerships that are working to bring this together. But sometimes I give the visual image of the one man band. You know the one where the harmonica is around the neck? Because that is what it feels like on most days.
When you're a start up - everything is new. The good news is it is new once. After that you have history. Yesterday someone asked me if my company had a policy on lot coding. My immediate thought was - there is a higher probability that my company has a no red wine in the livingroom policy.....but let's discuss this. Turns out I do have an opinion - not a surprise = and a strong one at that as it relates to how lots should be coded so yes we now have a lot coding policy.
Here's one amazing thing that continues to astound and encourage me in the beauty business: Having been in business for just under 3 years - when I am on the phone with a vendor and I remind them that we are a start up and the responses are:
1. Doesn't matter if you're $1mm or $100MM we have the same quality assurance
2. We are on the same team; I'm not worried about the money your word is good enough when I want money I will let you know.
3. Doesn't matter your size now I remember when Bobbie Brown started out of her apartment.
There have been so many successful indie brands born out of beauty and thankfully people recognize this. But this didn't happen immediately - it did take them realizing who I was and how I operated . But what is imperative - you must deal with top of the line vendors for 2 reasons: 1) you get what you pay for in terms of quality and 2) if you have a ridiculous growth trajectory they can meet those demands easily.
I have said from the beginning. You take a superior product and you build a company around it. You partner with the biggest and the smartest. Because your biggest risk isn't failure it's incredible success. Finally, it takes you years to build a career or brand and a second to lose it. So don't cut costs where it can effect the consumer.
Let's just hope this works.