Entrepreneur Talks Finding Success by Creating Her Own Dream Job

Entrepreneur Talks Finding Success by Creating Her Own Dream Job

(Image: Monica G. Coleman)

What are the top 3 resources you use to help manage your business?

1) A To-Do List — I start every day with this age-old tool. Some days, it may have 22 things on it, but it’s a great feeling to cross things off as they get done, and it helps me keep track of my deliverables for the day.

2) Client Communication — I make it a point of connecting with my clients by phone frequently, and I’ve found that doing this has led to honest dialogue that helps mitigate risk and sprout new ideas and programs.

3) Project Management Tools — As entrepreneurs, our instinct is usually to get going and figure things out as we go. However, as your business grows, the need to manage projects and people becomes more and more important. I use something internally called a project grid, and it allows me to track key project deliverables and timing. You can also simply create a formula that works well for you in Excel.

What are things women can do to break barriers?

Gender barriers exist, but I believe that the vast majority of professionals want to work with and learn from talented people who are going to produce results — regardless of gender. The first thing women should do is have confidence that their professional experience, expertise, and preparation have given them the right to contend at the same level as men in their desired professions. Work from a place of belonging and not a place of asking permission.

Another suggestion is to have a male mentor who is interested in your professional development. This can definitely help broaden your perspective about business and building relationships in general.

You have some pretty well-known corporate clients. Any secrets or inside tips to landing major clients? 

At M320, we focus on two key things: relationships and results. We’re interested in fully understanding our clients’ business because it makes us better able to service them, and we arm them with the metrics and tools that they need to look great internally, which makes us a valued partner.

You’re also a mom  juggling the demands of business and family. Any tips or advice for making it all work?

Balancing family and business is something that many entrepreneurs continuously try to master. Two of the most important things that I’ve learned are:

For The Entrepreneur — Your family probably doesn’t understand exactly what you do or how much work and time it takes, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t love and support you! Communication is extremely important in helping your spouse, parents and friends understand how they can best support you. Don’t assume that they’ll never ‘get it’! Spend time bringing them into your world by sharing details about your day, your work as it’s in progress, or challenges that you’re having, and it will often help increase both their understanding and support.

For the Family Member — Let go of the traditional idea of ‘normal’ because many entrepreneurs don’t work ‘normal’ hours or have ‘normal’ business habits. Clinging to what is supposed to be normal can lead to friction, misunderstanding, and resentment. Spend time collaborating with the entrepreneur in your life to determine what your normal can potentially be, and focus on that.