I am Judith Norman. I am a creative storyteller, an entrepreneur and the founder of Start TV – a multimedia company that highlights the entrepreneurial journeys of multicultural women.
Start TV was created because I wanted to inform, inspire and empower women who wanted to turn their ideas into businesses and take control over their lives. That’s why we created the 30-Day StartHER Challenge. We developed daily actionable steps that will guide you through the process of taking an idea to an actual business. And you don’t have to do it alone. I’m going to share some of my journey and I’ve invited four other women entrepreneurs to share their experiences. I call them the StartHER Squad.
Okay, let’s get started. The 30-Day StartHER Challenge featuring the StartHER Squad launches now.
ACTIONABLE STEPS AND TESTIMONIALS
Write down your top three business goals and a target date for completion. Break each objective down into manageable daily steps that empower, not overwhelm you.
Video: Judith, Katia, Porsche and Tamara share how and why they document their goals.
Choose a name for your business that resonates with your mission. Once you have decided on a name, trademark it using either an online service like Legal Zoom or an intellectual property attorney. Be sure to also secure the social media handles.
Video: Judith shares the story behind the name: START TV.
Find out from your local and/or state government’s business portal website what type of licenses, permits and other documentation you will need for your business. Compile all of the required forms into a binder and tackle them one-by-one. There may be required fees, so be prepared financially.
Video: Tamara shares why it was important for her – professionally and personally – to make sure that her business was order.
Challenge yourself to ask one person – whether it is a family member, friend or stranger – for something that you need to further your business goals. If for some reason the first person you ask says, “No”, or doesn’t respond at all, ask someone else (and so on) until you get your “Yes”.
Video: Porsche shares the surprising thing that happened when she dared to ask for help.
Think of one solution that will help you overcome an obstacle facing your business goal. Write it down and then activate it. Avoid throwing money at problems. Get creative. Brainstorm with a friend or mentor. And most important, don’t give up.
Video: Claudia shares how the pandemic forced her to pivot from her 2020 plans and why that turned out to be a good thing for her business.
Think about how you want your business to be represented in the marketplace. What makes your brand unique? What is your niche? What will your logo look like? Will you have a tagline? What is your brand’s personality?
Video: 5 Ways to Become Your Brand
Draft a business plan that covers not only the who, what, when, where, and why for your business but, also the how – as in how will this entrepreneurial endeavor affect your personal life, your family, your personal finances, and your health.
Video: Katia shares why considering her family was her top priority when she made the decision to become an entrepreneur.
Good credit matters. Whether you are applying for a business loan, leasing a building, or purchasing inventory, your credit history will be considered. Watch our video and learn how you can improve your credit score – by yourself. Don’t waste money on costly credit repair services. There are no quick fixes. And most important, forgive yourself for any past financial mistakes. You’re human. Do not allow shame to prevent you for doing what is necessary to move forward.
Video: 5 Ways to Overcome Bad Credit
There’s a cost to being the boss. Make a list of all of the personal, professional and financial investments that you have made in yourself for your business. Be sure to include the results. Celebrate your wins – no matter how small. Keep the list handy for reference for when you are considering taking another risk and you need a confidence injection.
Video testimonial: Tamara shares how daring to compete on Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship was one of her most empowering experiences.
Knowing how to encourage yourself is one of the most important habits that you will need on your entrepreneurial journey. Everyone is not going to understand your passion. So, in order to not be defeated by discouragement, be intentional about affirming yourself everyday.
Video: 5 Affirmations to Tell Yourself Everyday
Open a separate business bank account for your company. Comingling personal and business assets can get you into a lot of trouble with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Consider using a credit union. Wherever you decide to bank, visit their website to review their account offerings. Then, call them in advance and find out what documents you will need and how much cash you must deposit in order to open an account.
Video: 5 Documents You Need to Open a Business Bank Account
Don’t risk your rent, mortgage, utilities, health, or other essential personal needs by over-investing in your startup company. In the beginning, businesses eat a lot of money. Set a firm limit to the amount of personal money that you will invest. Develop products, monetize your content, or, if necessary, take on a second job to carry the business until it generates a steady income.
Video testimonial: Claudia shares her method for keeping up with her business expenses.
Resourcefulness and resilience go hand-in-hand when launching a business. Be open to learning new skills to compensate for professional services that you are not yet ready to afford. Make friends with Google and YouTube. Don’t buy into get rich quick scams that come in the form of some online courses and coaches. Do the work. You got this, Sis!
Video testimonial: Judith shares how an outrageous price quote, Google and YouTube motivated her DIY some of her earlier business needs.
Make a list of all of the items that you will need to launch your business. Reach out to friends, families, and even brands and ask for their help sourcing your list.
Video testimonial: Judith shares some of the ways her family and friends supported her entrepreneurial endeavors.
Prepare yourself financially and mentally for the unexpected surprises that happens in business. And, that doesn’t always mean something bad. You should also be prepared for success. Think about this: If a large retailer approached you about wanting to distribute your product in their stores, would you be financially and mentally ready to seize the opportunity? Or, what if a media outlet wanted to feature you in a story, do you have professional photos and behind-the-scenes video available if they need it?
Video: Claudia shares how the pandemic was actually a blessing in disguise for her business.
Ask yourself: who is your customer? How can you best serve them? Consider conducting an Instagram poll to learn more about your customer’s needs and desires.
Video: 5 Key Things You Need To Know About Your Target Audience
Start building your email list now. Remember, you don’t own your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook followers. Find ways to encourage people to give you their email addresses. Then, when you are ready to launch your products, you already have an opted-in audience and you don’t have to be dependent upon someone else’s algorithm.
Video: 5 Ways to Build Your Email List
How would you respond if someone asked you why you started your business? People love to hear a founder’s story. Your story may provide the inspiration that someone has been seeking. Your story matters. Don’t be afraid to tell it.
Video testimonial: Katia shares the motivation behind her business.
Having a great product is not enough. You have to sell it. Think of ways that you can bring your target audience along on your product development journey. The more connected your customers feel to you and your brand, the more likely they are to buy.
Video testimonial: Claudia discusses the different ways she shares the process of creating her products with her customers.
Stop waiting for the perfect time to launch your business or sell a product. Perfection doesn’t exist. Launch that business. Release that product. Don’t allow your need for perfection to delay your success.
Video testimonial: Judith shares what she has learned about perfectionism.
There are several ways to make money in business. Choose a business model that suits your goals. Create a pros and cons list for each business style to help with your decision.
Video testimonial: Porsche shares why she chose a subscription model for her business.
Beware of scammers who prey upon dreamers. Use discernment when considering pricey online courses and mentorship programs. If an opportunity sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Do your research before investing your money.
Video testimonial: Tamara shares a story about a time when she almost got scammed.
Create a designated workspace in your home for your business. Whether it’s a spare closet, a corner in your bedroom or a portion of your garage – make it pretty. A clean and organized workspace increases productivity.
Video testimonial: Claudia shares how she utilizes space in her home for her business.
Don’t forget your health. For every 30-minutes that you sit at the computer, get up, take a 10-minute break and do some standing stretches. Google “standing stretch exercise” for free routines.
Video: Judith shares what happened when her persistent hustle and grind caused her to neglect her health.
Stop trying to do everything by yourself. Entrepreneurship can be lonely at times. Find likeminded women and build a tribe for support and opportunities.
Video: Judith explains the importance of having a community of collaborative women and offers suggestions on what qualities to look for in a powerful tribe.
Identify your “special sauce”. Write down what makes you special. What is unique about your gift? How can you express this quality in your brand?
Video: Tamara talks about her inner “magic”.
De-Stress. Did you know that women are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety due to chronic stress? Stop comparing yourself to others. Affirm yourself daily. Pray. Seek therapy. Write down your stress triggers. Then, create a list of stress-busting activities that bring you peace and joy.
Video testimonial: Katia and Tamara share the different ways that they manage stress.
Identify the place where you feel the most at peace. Your “happy place” can be a physical location (e.g., the beach) or an activity (e.g., cooking). It’s a place where you go to restore and reconnect with yourself. Make it mandatory to visit your “happy place” regularly and without guilt. Remember the saying: “You cannot pour from an empty cup.”
Video testimonial: Porsche and Katia describe their “happy place”.
Support other women. We need each other. Think of ways that you can help another woman entrepreneur and then, do it.
Video testimonial: Tamara, Porsche and Katia provide examples of ways that women entrepreneurs can support each other.
Clap your hands and stomp your feet! Girl, you DID it! You completed the 30-Day StartHER Challenge. You are officially a “StartHER”.
Video testimonial: A congratulatory message from Judith.