Being a successful entrepreneur is a long journey; it frequently involves a series of missteps, mistakes and a hell of a lot of lessons along the way before finally making a dent and subsequently smashing it. No man, or in this case woman, is an island and often, to keep persisting through the tough times, you need words of wisdom from people who have done it before. How you apply this new knowledge throughout your career story can make all the difference. We asked some of the nominees in the Entrepreneurship category of this year's IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards to share the best advice they ever received.
Through the Going for Growth programme, I had Louise Phelan as a mentor and literally every word out of her mouth is the best advice I've ever heard: Know your business inside and out, know your people and do right by them, and never lose your determination.
Ellen Kavanagh Jones, CEO & Founder, Waxperts
I've been given so much great advice over the years it's hard to pinpoint just one piece. However, somebody, many years ago, helped me set up my first cash flow projection excel document. This was just before opening our very first Lolly and Cooks on Drury Street. He advised me on how to read and act on the figures calculated. It was the first time I had ever done this, and I still use the very same cash flow projection document today?? although it is somewhat modified to include much more!
Laragh Strahan, Director, Lolly and Cooks
When deciding whether I would open my own business or not my mother presented me with the local Drogheda paper and showed me a picture of what she deemed to be the best property for my college. I responded that I wasn't sure yet what my direction was exactly?..she replied with - Well you've been telling me since you were three that you were going to be a teacher!?
Linda Ennis, Managing Director, Beauty Academy
Never be afraid to ask for help. You cannot do it all; it's very rare for any CEO to have all the skills you need to run a business yourself personally. Therefore, it is really important to know your strengths and bring these to the table and to also be aware of your weaknesses and ensure you hire for those skills so that, overall, your business has all skills gaps identified and filled.
Oonagh O'Hagan, Founder and Managing Director, Meaghers Pharmacy Group
Believe in your product and what you are offering as there will be times along the journey when others will question if the company can be as successful as you imagine it can. You will have to believe and bring others with you.
Anne Butterly, CEO, Easydry
The importance of Emotional Intelligence and to always grow and develop as a person, and to continually invest in your people.
Mary McKenna, Managing Director, Tour America