I often check my emails in the morning and I see that Heather has been writing to me at the wee hours of 2 am the night before. Or a message from Katie that rolls in late-night from the States. I wonder how these two ever sleep! Such is the life of entrepreneurs; particularly strong female business owners. There is never enough time in the day to finish a task, to complete everything on the to-do list, to brainstorm the projects of tomorrow. Yet, they somehow manage to get it all done. And in doing so, the joy in the work that Katie and Heather produce is clearly infectious. They do what they do because they are invested in a lifelong mission, not just a job. I am incredibly honored to work along side with them.
Please read on as I share, in honor of Small Business Saturday, tomorrow November 24th, the Mushmina Sister’s candid and savvy advice for bold entrepreneurs. The best thing about this list is its approachability to be used for so much more than just running a successful small business. It can be used as a mantra for life itself. As H & K do authentically, creatively, and with enormous compassion + spirit.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know! A Top 10 Guide For Fabulously Fierce Entrepreneurs
‘Life of an entrepreneur: I wake up excited and terrified every day.’ Sarah Lacy, PandoDaily
Before she conquered the planet as a bold entrepreneur, global ga-billionaire, rockin’ philanthropist and worldwide influencer, Oprah Winfrey had dreams of becoming a news reporter. Then she was ceremoniously fired from her gig at a Baltimore news station.
Heather and Katie always envisioned themselves as creative entrepreneurs, even as bold little girls growing up in suburban New Jersey. They also knew that they wanted to work together. However fruitful and rewarding this road has been for them over the past 10 years since the birth of Mushmina, this path has also been at times, bumpy and filled with potholes. Luckily, the Mushmina sisters have kept their sense of spirit and humor firmly in tact throughout the years. And so on this note, and in honor of Small Business Saturday, we have concocted a bold ‘Top Ten’ list of tips for impassioned entrepreneurs-to-be. Read on:
1. Have a good business partner and if they are family, even better. At a memorable conference in Casablanca, a spirited speaker said her best business advice is, ‘Marry well’! The key here is making sure you surround yourself with those who encourage you.
2. Invest in a business coach or financial planner. When we make our goals we usually hit them, the problem is revisiting our goals on a weekly basis and even daily. Organize and keep track of your targets.
3. A wise woman named Kumi once told us, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’ From Heather, ‘If I could go back and talk to my 30-year-old-self as a budding entrepreneur, I might say something like this-‘Recognize your strengths and then for God’s sakes, hire for your weaknesses!’
4. One of our holiday pop-up shops failed one year because we did not consider that the data of a previous season might not apply to the next year. Retail can be fickle. Heather’s savvy advice is in this ever-changing retail climate is ‘The only time is the present!’
5. Learn to drive a stick shift car and pump your own gas. You never know where your business will take you and you need to be able to drive yourself there! We learned to drive a stick shift in the middle of the chaotic Marrakech traffic. Eeek!
6. Thank your supporters. We can’t say this enough. Having a network of friends, family, and colleagues on whom you can depend can make or break a small business. These people are your tribe and can be responsible for the beginning of your success, as well as your continued prosperity.
7. Live with faith (whatever your conviction may be) and meditate. H & K use self-reflection and introspection as successful tools for survival in the cutthroat business world. Heather swears by meditating for just five minutes on her rooftop each day. She makes it a priority.
8. Accept help. A kind woman once offered Katie a bag of peaches at a farmers market when she didn’t have cash on her. To Katie, it was a learning moment, ‘Be open to receiving.’
9. Keep on trucking. Heather and Katie have had many moments of tears, frustration, and challenges. The Mushmina Sisters live by the motto ‘This is all happening for my benefit’ (from Maharaji) and it works perfectly for us as a mindfully ethical fashion business.
10. Lastly, believe in yourself! Follow your passion and the universe will back you. Be playful. Keep a sense of humor and the rest will fall into place.
By Tara Fraiture, Mushmina blogger