It’s great to see that these days, more and more women have decided to start their own businesses. Whether quitting their full time job and starting a new career cold turkey or taking baby steps making money from their hobby or talents on the side, women have decided to venture into entrepreneurship. But what makes the journey a successful one?The #BossNetwork's @iamCameka shares 3 Keys to Successful Entrepreneurship Click To Tweet
Speaker, trainer and award-winning entrepreneur Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network, recently visited Charlotte during the last stop of her tour “Ladies That Lead: An Evening with Michelle Williams.” When you encounter Smith’s presence you can automatically pick up vibes of strength, confidence and lots of energy in her aura. Though her smile can light up a room, don’t mistake Smith for passive. While preparing to chat with me about entrepreneurship she is also successfully multi-tasking, wrapping up photo opps, interviews and directing her team in the preparing to leave the venue. It was an inspirational night at the Gantt Center.
Under Cameka’s leadership, The BOSS Network has become one of the fastest-growing women business communities, garnering several accolades such as a Top 50 Website for Entrepreneurs (Inc. Magazine), 10 Best Career Sites for Women (Forbes.com) and one of 9 Twitter Accounts to Enhance Your College Experience (BlackEnterprise.com). In recognition of her achievements, Cameka was listed in Jet Magazine as a 40 under 40 Entrepreneur, named one of the “Top 40 Chicago Game Changers” by Ariel Investments and WVON 1690AM and presented with a leadership award by the Black United Fund of Illinois. As the author of 7 Steps to Grow Your Professional Network: A Guide for College Graduates and Professionals in a Tough Economy, Cameka frequently travels to college campuses with her non-profit, BOSS On Campus and companies across the country to speak or lead training workshops.
Before Smith departed Charlotte for her home in Chicago, she shared with me her three keys to entrepreneurial success:
You have to know what you are doing. Whether that’s looking for your target market, whether that’s looking for your customers or clients, you have to know what it is that you’re doing and you have to know how to go after new business. There is nothing new under the sun. There is a lot of competition and you have to make sure you are setting yourself apart and that is by coming prepared, knowing what it is that you do.
Relationships are keys to success. I tell people all of the time ‘don’t build your Rolodex build relationships’ because that’s how you get people to support you. People do business with people that they know but they spend money with people they like. The more you build relationships, the more you get to know people beyond a surface level, the more people want to support you and actually believe in your vision.
Entrepreneurship is tough. It is not for the faint of heart. It is a faith walk. So if you are easily moved, this might not be the thing for you. You have to be resilient. You have to go hard for it. You have to believe in it when no one else believes in it. And that’s how you win.