Youth alone won’t provide the energy you need to cut it as a successful entrepreneur. But starting out young certainly builds the resilience you need to excel in a career that’s based on unpredictability and plenty of ups and downs.
But with nobody telling them what to do, how do young female entrepreneurs retain the energy and focus they need to be productive every day?
Some of Australia’s best young female entrepreneurs are currently in Moscow to participate in the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit.
We put a number of questions to them on how they survive and thrive working on their own businesses and will be running these over the coming days.
But of particular interest collectively, I thought, were the responses they offered on how they maintain their energy and enthusiasm day to day.
Why? Because we all have our ‘off’ days. It’s those who can push through the periods of feeling shitty, exhausted and grumpy who often come out on top and see their businesses excel. This is also true for those climbing the corporate ladder: it’s tough and tiring especially when juggling competing priorities, but the tricks and tips we can utilise to stay energised and focused will ultimately help.
Here’s how these young entrepreneurs do it.
Surround yourself with good people
For 23-year-old coach, speaker and consultant Holly Ransom no amount of caffeine can supplement for the energy you acquire from working with good people. “It boils down to doing what you love and working with people who energise and inspire you,” she says.
If you don’t have them in your own business, then find them externally through networking groups, mentors or like-minded friends.
Young Vagabond Media co-founder Haylee Collins says having a business partner helps keep her ‘on’. As a self-described “dreamer”, she finds being accountable to her co-founder Ashleigh Grogan means she has no excuse for sitting around thinking up new ideas without following up on the work required to make them happen.
Grogan, on the other hand, is energised a little differently. She likes to maintain short video diaries to remind herself of the good moments she’s experienced. “Also, sharing ideas is a big driver. Discussing our future aspirations and setting goals together allows us to see things in the bigger picture and develop our ideas much further than if we were doing this alone.”
Good people also keep marketing guru Marion Di Benedetto energised — everyone from team members, to her business partner, mentors and general supporters. And to deal with the inevitable less-interesting tasks that come up, she stays focused by ensuring the to-do list is stacked with future tasks she actually enjoys. A light at the end of the tunnel that helps retain productivity and avoid procrastination.
Make resilience your fuel
Impact Leaders director, 26-year-old Emily Haigh, thrives on a challenge. She likes to take on board the lessons that emerge from facing difficulty and failure. “Pick yourself up and move on. Enjoy the moment and be thankful for the lessons you learn along the way,” she says. “The resulting success is hugely rewarding and fulfilling.”
For Elevents founder Elisa Limburg, being social and creative keeps her on track to deal with the tough days. She likes to continually come up with new ideas in order to work through challenges, sourcing the inspiration to stay motivated and enthusiastic about her work.
Samantha Dybac, founder of sales and marketing business Sammway, also knows the benefits of experiencing the downs in order to get enthusiastic about the ups. She says she’s experienced plenty of “fails” throughout her career but uses these to build up her resilience, take on a few business lessons, and continually strive for new achievements.
Keep fit, healthy and happy
A number of these entrepreneurs noted the importance of staying physically fit and healthy when asked how they retain their energy throughout the day. For Wealth Enhancers co-founder Sarah Riegelhuth, this is a priority. She works out every morning with friends, before sitting down with them to share a coffee. It keeps her social, healthy, and ready to take on the day.
As for the happiness factor, all these entrepreneurs noted a love and passion for what they do. It means that even on the ‘off’ days they muster the energy to stay focused, knowing they’re contributing to a business they’re passionate about. As Riegelhuth puts it: “It’s really just life, rather than work.”