Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs Europe

We are Women Migrentrepreneurs. Finding our place, making our mark.

Set Your Target Straight

Source: dirtyprettything.tumblr.com via Joann on Pinterest

Entering the 4th week of the year, have you already set your targets for 2013?

With so much to do but limited time and resources, it’s important to know how each action will bring us closer to our goals. In order to do that we have to have our targets clear. This means having specific ones.  Instead of just saying, I would like my business to be profitable this year, say, “I need to make a sales of XYZ euros this year in order for my business to be profitable”. Or instead of saying “I will lose weight this year.”, say, I will lose 5 kilograms this year. This makes it easier for us to breakdown our target into actions. In order to make that XYZ sales, how many products do I need to sell? How many clients do I need to reach? From there, plan how we will be able to reach those figures. This way we prioritize activities that takes us closer to this goal. Sometimes we get so busy with so many activities. But are all these activities necessary to reach our goals? Are we focusing on the right activities to reach them?

To help with target setting, remember the S.M.A.R.T. goals?

S – SPECIFIC  As mentioned above, the goal has to be clearly defined. Be as specific as possible.

M – MEASURABLE  – Translate your targets into something that you can count or measure. A number of clients? A X% increase in sales? Set milestones so you can see that you are advancing and celebrate each milestone! (That should help with keeping the motivation 🙂

A – ATTAINABLE – Be realistic about your goal. You cannot target a sales of 1000 pieces of Product X if the production capacity is only 500 pieces. Knowing your capacity, resources and the realities, what is feasible for you?

R – RELEVANT – Make sure that your target resonates with your environment and your business. Are the targets in line with your business’ mission? Are the consumers looking for this product/service? Is it the right time for this?

T – TIME-BASED – Give yourself a time-frame. This way you know how much time you have to reach the goal, to know if it’s realistic. It will also prevent you from procrastinating and giving excuses. Give yourself a deadline and do what you have to do to reach that goal.

So don’t just keep yourself busy, but get busy with things that matter. Set your target straight!

Filed under: Inspiration, , , ,

Words of the Week

“I came to understand that I can never forget where I came from.  My soul should always look back and wonder at the mountains I had climbed and the rivers I had forged and the challenges which still await down the road.  I am strengthened by that knowledge.” ~ Maya Angelou, Letter to my Daughter

(this week I’ve been confronted with change – the difficulty both of accepting it and creating it: there are the hardened, worn-out routes, as well as the cartographer’s curiosity… sometimes it scares me to look, but there is hope in the creases and folds of the map, in the knowledge that I’ve been t/here ~ d*)

Filed under: Inspiration, , , ,

Words of the Week

It’s not easy to start one’s own business. And we need to be aware of this.  If you’re not strong (and even if you are) it can break you.  But the harder they make it for me, the more I will persist.  I will not give up!

~ my friend Theresa, in the process of setting up her own cafe {words I sure needed to hear this week ~ d*}

Filed under: Crossing Borders, Inspiration, ,

BizCrush: BabyCakes NYC (Opportunity in Allergy?)

My husband’s parents cannot eat anything that has milk in it or anything that’s been touched by it. So, they had to learn to do certain things on their own like bread, and cake. Turns out, many have the same condition. Looking for a gift for my mother-in-law, I chanced upon BabyCakes NYC. Its story became one of my favorite business stories ever.

The owner, Erin Mckenna, was diagnosed to be allergic to wheat and dairies. Having a major sweet tooth and being a pastry-lover, she didn’t let this news deter her and instead, she tried to find a way to recreate her favorite desserts without the unwanted ingredients. In doing so, she had created her own business niche. BabyCakes NYC was born.

The bakery became a haven for kids and adults alike who have food allergies as well as for vegans, a growing market that limited shops catered to. They offer pastries that are gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free that all taste wonderful. The popularity of the shop should attest to that.

What I love about this business story is that it grew out of the entrepreneur’s personal story,  battling a condition that prevented her from eating what she loved most, and triumphing in the end through a lot of research and hardwork; and then made distinct by her personality.

Watch her on this video with Martha Stewart:

 

Filed under: B in Business, Inspiration, , ,

Friday Inspiration: Notes from the 2012 European SME week Summit

Today I’d like to share a few words of wisdom from the recent European SME week.  The summit focused specifically on women’s entrepreneurship, and Nola and I attended a session that highlighted women entrepreneurs with a migrant background.  The room sizzled with energy, much of which was transmitted by the inspiring, bold speakers!  These are some of their messages and sharp observations that resonated with me:

  • We face a stack of challenges: the persistence of stereotypes that depict us as “lacking”, “passive” and/or  “outsiders”; isolation (in that we have to establish contacts and build connections from scratch); bureaucratic procedures so complicated they are almost demoralizing…to name but a few.
  • However, our strength can not be under-estimated: it takes a certain courage to move and start anew.  And  our capacity to adapt, to manage uncertainty, to learn and figure out new codes, all speak to the fact that we are resourceful.
  • We encompass multiple identities, and this is something we can use to our advantage.
  • Having mentors to learn with (not only “from”, and not in a “top-down” way) can be key in supporting and guiding us through the process of setting up and developing our businesses.
  • Sometimes we have to make mistakes.  There seems to be particular pressure on us to succeed, to prove ourselves, that makes it even more difficult to deal with failure.  But no-one is super(hu)man, and we all fail at some stage, and it’s okay.

There is, of course, more to each of these points, and still more important issues to raise.  This is just a start.  And we’d love to hear your thoughts! 

 

 

Filed under: B in Business, Crossing Borders, Inspiration, ,

Monday Inspiration: Do What You Love!

 Let go…Don’t worry about your talent or capability… it is not yours to judge.  It will grow and change over time.  Do not ask “why am I doing this?  Is it the right thing?”  It is enough to know that you want to.  Just do it because you want to.  It will become something on it’s own.  Freaking out about what you “should” be doing does not move you forward, it only serves to stress you on what should be an enjoyable part of your journey.  ENJOY THE PROCESS.  Starting can be the most overwhelming part but it is also exciting and full of possibilities.  Change can be intimidating, unfamiliar, terrifying, self-doubt inducing, down right uncomfortable.  But our lives are too rich and we are too powerful to have anything less than what we truly deserve…to do what we love everyday, to become our most authentic powerful selves, to share our passion with the rest of the world, and to live up to the spirit that is in us, (and not squelch it!)…  You have nothing to lose… The universe is waiting.

~ Keri Smith, How to make a living doing what you love

*Here you can find the full essay: a most-inspiring  must-read!  ~ d*

Filed under: Inspiration

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