You can’t do it alone.
Without the support and validation of your tribe it’s virtually impossible go succeed. To me, the word tribe is more than its definition. It’s the feeling of unity that I derive from my close circle of family, friends and advisors who have my back.
These are not “yes” men and women, they do not say something to my face and something different behind my back and they tell me straight if I’m getting a little twisted!
In business, as in life, you meet many people, seemingly on the surface honest and supportive and it’s still painful to me when they turn out to be quite the opposite. So, when you have a tribe supporting you, you really can aim for the stars.
I found that out very early on. There was so much I didn’t know, but I did know how to ask for help—surprisingly many people don’t. I was really lucky to start my business in North Dakota.
North Dakota is really supportive of women businesses; in fact it is one of the most progressive states in the US ranking #1 for female owned business in 2015. I was qualified for a small business grant, which enabled me to bring my idea of “no harm” pest control to fruition. It wasn’t just the funding, but the help and advice that made all the difference.
Don’t be afraid to reach out. When I did just that by sharing the news about my company with the ND Department of Commerce they supported the company and me by helping to promote the success of EarthKind®. This support emboldened me to aim higher and I was fortunate to have been selected as an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneurial Winning Women™,” which is a national competition and executive education program that identifies a select group of high-potential women entrepreneurs whose business shows real potential to scale, and helps them do it.
The support and business counsel from EY, as well as the amazing group of winning women in the 2012 alumni, has been invaluable. I’ll delve deeper into this in future blog posts.