Congratulations Deborah Bailey, featured Successful Established Woman Entrepreneur
Deborah: Thank you Sylvia. I’m a writer, coach, speaker and author of the upcoming book, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life.” I’m also the host of “Women Entrepreneurs – The Secrets of Success” radio show on Blog Talk Radio. In addition to that I’m also a freelance writer. Being a creative person I do a lot of things at one time, so I’ve always got a lot going on. Currently I work with employed professionals who want to go into entrepreneurship, or entrepreneurs starting out who need to define their vision and get support while they transition into business ownership. I’m just about to take my business in a new direction and create services to help entrepreneurs who want to write books to promote their businesses.
Sylvia: Success is…
Deborah: Success to me is having the freedom to follow my dreams. I think just taking a chance makes you a success. It’s not only about achieving a certain dollar amount or material things.
Sylvia: Yes, following your dreams and pursuing your passion is so rewarding. It’s amazing people like you that help others to shape their passion and make their dreams a reality. How do you create work/life balance?
Deborah: I balance my work/life by insuring that I take time for things like exercise and spending time with family and friends. It’s not always easy to keep things balanced, so you do the best that you can.
Sylvia: How do you give back to your community?
Deborah: I give back by helping other entrepreneurs who are starting out by sharing information or giving them motivation. From time to time I’ve volunteered with Dress for Success in NJ helping with their newsletter. It’s important to me that I do what I can to support other women who want to go into entrepreneurship and become self sufficient.
Sylvia: What steps do you think are necessary for an entrepreneur who wants to move her business to the next level?
Deborah: I think that eventually an entrepreneur has to partner with others and hire help in order to move to the next level. When you start out you’re usually working alone, and that’s understandable. You just can’t continue in that way if you want your business to grow. Otherwise you’ll be limited by what you can accomplish yourself. You’ll get bogged down in administrative details or doing tasks that aren’t bringing in any money. That’s also why entrepreneurs will increase their businesses by doing joint ventures. Not only will you reach more potential customers, but you’ll also be able to get a fresh perspective on your business opportunities when you work with someone else.
Sylvia: What challenges and opportunities do you see in the present economic environment?
Deborah: The challenges are probably pretty obvious to everyone! Less available credit and customers thinking more before they spend are just two factors. Its forced business owners to make changes – which aren’t necessarily a bad thing. I’d say a big challenge is that things are changing so quickly that you can’t be sure what will work and what won’t. You have to try it and see what happens. On the other hand, you are challenged to be creative. If your target market isn’t buying, then perhaps you’ll have to find a different way to reach them. Or you may have to do a complete overhaul and change what you’re doing in your business.
Sylvia: What advice do you have for women who are just starting out?
Deborah: Believe in yourself and in your abilities. Do as much up front research as possible. Knowledge is power. If you just jump in without understanding what you’re doing and why, you’ll have a much bigger learning curve. Prepare yourself for the long haul. That’s much easier to do if you have a vision of what you want to achieve and an awareness of what’s required.
Sylvia: What tips can you share with women business owners?
Deborah: One business tip is to keep track of your expenses. If you have a spreadsheet to track what you’re spending and what’s coming in, you’ll have a better understanding of where you stand. Start out with some sort of system. Number two is to get a coach or mentor to help you. Especially if you’re going into the business for the first time, it’s extremely helpful to get guidance from others who can give you objective feedback and direction.
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