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Legal cannabis in Canada has wild reactions

On Wednesday, Canada did what it said it would and became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace, joining Uruguay to become the second country in the world to nationally legalise cannabis.

To the surprise of no one, sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland with hundreds of customers lined up around the block at St. John’s by the time the clock struck midnight.

The atmosphere could only be described as ‘festive’  with some of the customers too excited to wait until they returned home, lighting up on the sidewalk and motorists honking their horns in support and they drove by the happy crowd.

Ian Power will go down in history as one of the first in line in the private store on Water Street to buy the newly legal national marijuana in Canada however, he told reporters that he has no plans on smoking it, instead he will frame it and hang it on his wall to be saved forever.

“Prohibition has ended right now. We just made history,” said the 46-year-old Power, who bought a gram. “I can’t believe we did it. All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis.”

There was even more good news for cannabis aficionados, as hours before any retail outlets were opened, it was revealed that Canada would be pardoning all those with convictions for possessing small amounts of the drug up to 30 grams.

News of Canada’s firm decision to begin a national experiment that will alter their cultural, economic and social fabric in was met with calls for other countries to follow suit, expression of envy over Twitter and some backlash from other countries who are not willing to decriminalize the drug.

“Canada shows the way. When will the UK end the catastrophic prohibition of cannabis?” tweeted British MP Norman Lamb.

“Now that our neighbor to the north is opening its legal cannabis market, the longer we delay, the longer we miss out on potentially significant economic opportunities for Oregon and other states across the country,” said  Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon in a statement, urging the U.S Government to follow Canada’s lead.

However just as there were thousands of excited tweets coming in, there were those who expressed their distaste with the legislation.

One such instance came from the citizen group the Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, which said Canada had declared a winner in the war on drugs, tweeting,  “Congratulations Drugs. Better luck next time public health and saftey [sic]”.

The U.S has set up its own wall against the legalisaiton of the plant based drug by revealing that those who use marijuana legally in Canada could be banned from entering the country for smoking a single joint.

On the eve of Canada’s big day, U.S. Customs and Border Protection executive assistant commissioner Todd Owen told journalists, “Admission of illegal drug use are grounds to be found inadmissible into the United States.”

“It’s now legal in Canada, so a lot of it comes down to … whether the officer believes they may engage in the same activity while in the United States,” he said. “If somebody admits to smoking marijuana frequently in Canada, then that will play into the officer’s admissibility decision on whether they think on this specific trip they are also likely to engage in smoking marijuana in the United States as well.”

There are still many things that have to be resolved around the national legalization of the drug, including health and public safety as well as the threat of addiction and the effects it will all have on young people, including social pressure similar to what many already experienced with alcohol use.

 

Woman of the Week: Janet Mohapi-Banks

Janet Mohapi-Banks is nothing short of a truly inspiring woman.

Hers is a journey of never giving up and of having the faith to continue to push towards your dreams, even when all the chips are down and hope is in very short supply.

In today’s fast pace and seemingly hectic culture, it is never easy to feel as if all of the time, effort and love you put into creating the life you were proud of, all seems to be crashing down around you; and it takes a very special, committed and brave woman to not only weather the destruction, but to also stand up and do it all over again.

Mohapi-Banks is one such woman.

She  went from being at the top of her game as a Luxury Wedding Cake Designer,- even winning a Precious Business Award in 2010 to being burnt out and trying her best to manage a seemingly incurable digestive disorder as well as chronic fatigue  in just under a two year span.

“By 2012 I had burned out so badly I was left literally at death’s door for nearly 5 years with a rare (and according to my specialist at The Royal Free Hospital) incurable digestive disorder and chronic fatigue.

As a result, I was forced to close my cake business which was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  I moved out of the London area, got my affairs in order and prepared for the inevitable.” She said.

For any entrepreneur, being forced to say good bye to your ‘business baby’ is a very hard and painful process which can fill you with feelings of guilt, frustration, resentment and a lot of fear.

It was unbelievable to her that in only a span of 18 short months she had gone from delivering cakes to some of the most prestigious venues in the UK, including the Ritz Hotel Mayfair and winning awards for her fabulous designs, to being so exhausted and in pain that she was not able to even get out of bed to care for her children- a boy aged 12 years, and a girl 15.

A second chance on life came for Janet in the form of a chiropractor who by cracking her spine released her vagus nerve, thereby curing her and allowing her to grow back to optimal health.

With this new lease on life, Janet launched her coaching business in an effort to help other women to grow their ideal business without the stress that had nearly crippled her.

“Before I was critically ill, I used to overwork, which lead me to burnout.  I now realise that my overworking was due to a lack of self-belief that I truly deserved my amazing successes,” the Transformational Life Coach for Entrepreneurs revealed.

Mohaphi-Banks, who is a proud and happy mother of two explained that women almost always tried to do everything by themselves and her biggest take away from her own experiences was to know when you needed help and to outsource reliable people for the job.

When I asked what got her through the day, she said it was her refusal to waste a minute of her second chance and her amazing children. She noted that while she had gone through some ‘incredibly challenging times in my life’ she continued to get back up with a smile on her face and a determination to face her challenges.

 

A whole new digital money world for Barbados

A new digital currency pilot project may just be the thing to stop the potential standoff between Bitt -a financial technology (fintech) company in Barbados and some of the commercial banks, while allowing Barbados to move further onto the world’s digital money stage.

For years tension has run deeply between the commercial banks and newer fintech company,  Bitt, where banks have faced the ongoing dilemma of whether to collaborate with this company, or to develop their own in house, money transfer systems.

As pointed out by Bitt CEO Senator Rawdon Adams, the company has had to deal with  commercial banks in Barbados being ‘obstructive and anticompetitive’ while conversely they were developing more partnerships in the rest of the Eastern Caribbean than in Barbados -the country that ‘arguably needs fintech the most’.

At this year’s Bitt  annual blockchain conference, held at the Hilton Resort, Adams, spoke about the reluctance of some of the local commercial banks to embrace Bitt’s proposal to partner with them in introducing blockchain and distributed ledger technology to facilitate secure peer-to-peer transactions in moving money between clients.

In a call for Barbados to not be “stuck” in time, Barbados’ first female Prime Minster, Mia Amor Mottley, has stepped into the fray and announced her plans to launch a mMoney pilot programme. This pilot will be between Bitt, the Central Bank of Barbados and the Financial Service Commission (FSC) that facilitates electronic and digital payments for those on the island.

Mottley spoke at the annual conference which was held under the theme Central Bank Meets Blockchain: From the Ground Up, saying there was  a need for Barbados and Barbadians to bring an end to ‘this unfortunate debate and tension between those who want to hold onto a status quo and those who want to move forward’.

“Our people want digital money and …want the ease and security of electronic payments, and as a result, what must happen is face to face discussions with urgency…such that we can launch the Barbados mMoney Pilot,” she told those who had gathered for the conference.

Mottley also soothed the concerns of the commercial bankers about the new programme, after one of the bankers referred to the mMoney wallet as a ‘potential danger to the financial system’ claiming that she would be leading the program herself and that the legitimate concerns of this new payment method from all sides would be addressed as they were not going to launch this pilot project recklessly.

Mottley explained that Barbados would not be held to their old ways of banking due to the fear of the unknown, rather they would be looking to improve development because Barbados would not be left behind as the wider world continued to evolve.

News on when the planned mobile wallet pilot project would be  officially launched has yet to be presented, however Mottley assured that Barbados would remain in agreement with anti-money laundering laws and customer fairness guidelines.

Women taking over business travel

I am not a techie, but over the years I have learned how to incorporate basic technology into my day-to-day activities because it is imperative for communication and the work that I do.

 Statistics indicate that business travel and face-to-face meetings are still the preferred choice for many companies despite the technologies that exist to cut down on the travel.  Statistics from reports indicate that there were 514 million business trips taken last year by Americans alone which infused $424 billion into the US economy.

As the tide changes and women are taking on more prominent roles in various male-dominated businesses it’s easy to understand why many who prefer face-to-face meetings are women. Women are more focused on building strong bonds with business partners and bringing personable aspects to networking. Women thrive on connections. Men are typically more focused on getting the job done and keeping business, business.

Women and millennials now dominate business travel. Research conducted by the Upside Business Travel, in Washington, has determined that half of all North American business travelers are women and are much younger than men doing the same-  half of business travelers are less than 45.

Additionally, young millennials and women are learning to find more enjoyment while on their travels and are far more likely to mix business and pleasure by combining a work trip with leisure activities. They are taking more control regarding the business agenda and budget during their travels. Mixing business with leisure results in better productivity.

Jay Walker, CEO of Upside Business Travel, explains the growing trend in business travel:

“In the past, companies had very rigid guidelines for employee travel, but now we can see employees pushing back and asking for a budget, they’re saying ‘maybe I’ll book an Airbnb instead of a hotel, they’re saying ‘just tell me how much I need to spend, and I’ll decide how to spend it.'”

As the older male CEO’s and executives move towards retirement, it’s fantastic to see women stepping into those vacant roles and inspiring new, more balanced, methods for getting the job done.

Why women-led businesses are winning at crowd-sourcing

Looking back over my history in the workforce, from the time I was a teen to my years as a classroom teacher, and on through my first couple of years in my writing career, I’ve only now realized that every single one of my bosses was male. Even at the first two publications I worked at, men oversaw my work and steered the course of the sites and magazines.

It was not until I began freelancing, that I worked for a woman. And now as the editor at Women’s Post, I work for the first ever female boss in my personal history since my first days in the working world, so many years ago, and now honestly feel that my voice is heard and ideas are respected and appreciated.

Despite my own history, women-led businesses are becoming more and more prevalent and new reports indicate that new businesses are experiencing greater success than those led by men, when it comes to finding alternative means to gain capital.

Although women-led businesses still  often struggle to access capital  from a financial institution, to kickstart the business, women have demonstrated that they have a greater success rate finding and using new funding options, like crowdsourcing. Research based on studies by the National Women’s Business Council shows that this has to do with women’s use of social networks and willingness to be more open and personal when telling their stories on crowdsourcing sites such as Kiva and Kickstarter.

Success on Kiva relies heavily on entrepreneurs openly sharing their personal story and offering up as many details as possible to encourage investors to fund a business. Females have proven to be more able to gain funding due to willingness to be honest and open. Additionally, females statistically set more realistic goals on the said crowdsourcing sites, reports indicate.

Many women have smaller social networks than men, yet closer ties to individuals in that network, which means that those in the network are more willing to share info on their own social media networks. Sharing crowdsourcing links so friends, family and acquaintances can get involved in supporting an endeavor, is key, and research indicates that women’s close networks assist with this.

Unfortunately, female entrepreneurs are still seen as  “less credible” and “less legitimate” according to statistics from the National Women’s Business Council. Female investors are even more prone to select to work with male business owners over women. Yet there are millions of women-led businesses across North America, that , when combined, generate a revenue of over a $1 trillion, which means that the success rate of female entrepreneurs is on the rise.

The NWBC has determined that women entrepreneurs using Kickstarter were, on average, 9% more successful than men. Women account for 31% of users on the crowdsourcing platform, as well. Mentoring is also something that females are statistically more willing to seek and offer, which has proven to increase success rates at female-led businesses and promote a happier workplace.

What are your thoughts regarding the struggle women have to gain capital from financial institutions.? Share your thoughts and stories below.

 

 

‘Woman-led’ businesses are now identified by Google Business

It’s certainly an exciting time to be a woman, seeing as movements for equality have been sparked around the globe, in addition to those encouraging women to speak up. One bit of news that was recently announced that has my attention, is how Google has introduced a new feature that allows business owners to identify their business as “woman-led” on Google My Business, per Google. Businesses that use Google My Business can enable the attribute from their dashboard, where it will appear in their listing until they choose to disable it.

I see this as one more way that females can support and empower other females, and it also presents the opportunity for women to publicly showcase their efforts and abilities in their given industry.

The My Business verification process gives the opportunity for women to manage information on their Google platforms, such as the maps and searches. Now, the “woman-led” descriptor, which will have a female gender symbol associated, is set to appear next to the details in the listing of the business, which will highlight any special offerings as well.

Female business owners and businesses that are women-led, can easily add this icon by clicking on the info tab on the left-hand side and scrolling down to the “Add Attributes” option. Simply click on the pencil icon, and a new window will then pop up, that will allow you to click on the “Women-led” button and apply this option to your page.

A Google spokesperson spoke about the new feature, early last month, in celebration and as a means to recognize International Women’s Day.

“We strive to organize the world’s information in a way that is inclusive of all people. Last year, we added an LGBTQ-friendly attribute in time for Pride. This year we’ve added the women-led attribute to empower women-led businesses to succeed online and enable people to find businesses to visit using Google Maps and Search.”

Google highlighted three women-led business at the time of its latest announcement, to demonstrate how the new option works for female Google Business users. These three businesses are Progetto Quid, out of Verona, Italy, which is a textile company that offers employment opportunities to women who are struggling to find employment. The second highlighted business is Reaching Out Teahouse, in Hoi An, Vietnam, which provides jobs and a support network to people with physical disabilities. The final business highlighted and used in Google’s example is Yogolandia Yogurt & Botana Bar, out of Chicago.

What are your thoughts about this new feature from Google?

 

Woman of the Week: Laurie Young

Caring is the word that first comes to mind when reflecting on my meeting with Laurie Young, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather. She has a strong handshake and a big smile. Not pretentious, rather a combination of thoughtful and spirited.

We met to discuss the #MeToo campaign in Canada and the role women leaders must take to bring about social change.

Young’s office is orderly and functional. In jeans and a blouse, she is relaxed and open. She told me about her family – two kids, aged 24 and 28, and her husband of 30 years (a rarity in the media industry). She describes him as “amazing” and explains that his hero status comes from his consistent and unwavering support through all the ups and downs in her career – “the cancelled vacations and 2 am talks.”

Laurie graduated with an Arts degree and was immediately attracted to a job in advertising, where she found the commercial and creative successes appealing. “I could use my creative side but it also fed my competitive side. And I was constantly meeting interesting people.” The advertising industry is all about building relationships and it is obvious that she enjoys getting to know people, but this isn’t what drives her.  “Others would say I am driven by success, and I am competitive, so I’d have to say they are right.”

I asked Young about the gender balance in the advertising industry.  She explained that the industry still has men dominating board positions, but she’s hopeful it will change as more women gain leadership roles.  Laurie spoke about a week-long conference Ogilvy held in Saville – their “creative cadre” – a meeting for their top offices from around the world to share their current campaigns. Each office presented their campaigns on stage and when it was Young’s turn to present, she decided to go off script… and focus on the fact that it was International Women’s Day. Her speech began “What has struck me today is the number of campaigns about domestic violence, sexual harassment and gender equality that have been presented from around the world, but especially from India, South Africa and Indonesia. On the eve of International Women’s Day, we should not only celebrate great work, but we should strive to ensure that these campaigns make it to market and that they change attitudes and behaviours, so that fewer of these are needed in the future.” The room was silent for a few very long seconds, but then one woman, followed by another began to clap and then the entire room suddenly broke out in applause.

Young isn’t afraid to lead on tough issues like sexual harassment and gender equality. She acknowledged that her industry still has a long way to go when it comes to gender equality and admits her desire to break down the barriers. As CEO of Ogilvy she hosts networking events for her women clients that are specifically designed to help them develop leadership skills.

We talked about how society still expects women to dismiss sexual harassment and assault, how women are still blamed if they speak out about it.  I asked Laurie to tell me about some of her #MeToo experiences. She remembered a time she was sitting in a boardroom full of her colleagues (mostly men). She had just landed a big client and was excited to share the news with them until one man joked that her male client signed on because he “wanted” her. Laurie remembered her raw anger and the snickering from all of her colleagues.

When I asked her if she had ever been groped, Young remembered a time years ago when she was 16 and backpacking. She was travelling by bus and had picked out a window seat. As she settled in a hand from behind her slipped in between the window and her body, grabbing her breast. She remembered her anger, jumping up and yelling at the man while people tried to calm her down. She remembered that the colour of the seats on the bus were blue. Our conversation touched on emotional moments and how they seem to embed themselves into your memory. To what extent do these embedded memories of harassment or assault cause women to lose confidence, hesitate, or pull back from experiencing the world fully? Young didn’t view her sexual assault as a #MeToo moment because she didn’t hide the experience, rather she had the courage to turn on the man and expose his actions. And that is what the #MeToo movement is about – women finding courage to expose men who behave badly.

Laurie Young has the courage to face adversity with confidence and grace. And whatever her next challenge might be, I know she will rise to it with a twinkle in her eye.

 

Galia Lahav Fashion House: Art in fashion form

For the first in a long time, I do not have a number of weddings to attend this upcoming spring and summer. Usually, my mailbox is full with invites beckoning me to celebrate the matrimonial bliss of friends and relatives, thereby causing me to head to designer boutiques and snag a stunning gown. I’m still, however, entirely enthralled with the bridal designs and evening wear designs of the season, which is why I had goosebumps when offered the opportunity to interview and feature ultra-talented and internationally-known bridal and evening wear designer, Galia Lahav.

It has often been said that fashion is a form of art and that clothing is art that we live our lives in. Designs by notable haute couture designer Galia Lahav of the Galia Lahav fashion house, prove this statement to be absolute truth due to the sheer pleasure each intricately-made piece brings to the eye. The care with which each piece is crafted and the wonderful unique appeal, reflect an aesthetic and beauty that deserves to be showcased like a piece of art in La Louvre.

My exchange with Galia reminded me that even the most successful and world-renowned individuals, started from nothing and needed to put the wheel in motion while taking necessary risks.

Lahav relays that she has always been an art enthusiast and actually even taught art for 15 years. This led Galia to designing couture bridal, beginning in her 30s, and  the talent identifies this industry as creation of “art itself.”

“From a young age I had a strong passion for couture because my mother taught me how to sew and I learned to observe every inch of every detail. I’d love to think that our brand’s style is original and innovative. ”

Galia explains that her work is set apart from other bridal-wear because she and her team pay attention to “body contouring and fitted silhouettes.” The designer also adds that they are able to offer “both beauty and comfort,” and are very “committed to both client and worldwide fashion trends, so the product is eventually a blend of unusual and a sometimes very unique point of view.”

The Galia Lahav brand is one that appeals to women worldwide. Lahav explains as to how she and her team manage to achieve this, stating, “The common thread of our designs is geared towards character, to a wide range of the ‘fashion forward’ lovers. In the end, statistically, women have more in common and they know it. So do I.”

Ms. Lahav admits that her point of inspiration when designing and fabricating her luxurious collections involves “everything from great art, music, great books, humanity and even sexuality.”  Galia adds, however, that the biggest inspiration comes from the brides’ wants and wishes.

 

 

 

That signature allure found in each design by Lahav has succeeded in drawing in the masses to hail Galia Lahav haute couture fashion house as a leader in bridal and evening wear. For more about Galia Lahav and to find out about upcoming North American trunk shows, visit www.galialahav.com .

Woman of the Week: Jennifer Turliuk

Jennifer Turliuk is the CEO and founder of Makerkids, the first and largest facilitator of programs, camps, and parties focused on the idea of creation rather than consumption. Topics like coding, minecraft, and robotics are explored through fun and games, in hopes of encouraging more young people to take interest in STEM-related careers. She began coding at the age of 12 and has dedicated her life to opening up possibilities for young people interested in being creators or makers.

Women’s Post spoke with Turliuk about entrepreneurship, Makerkids, and being a DJ for Redbull:

Question: When did you learn you had a passion for business and entrepreneurship?

Answer: I realized I had this passion early on. I started my first business at age five. It was called Jenn’s Card Company and I made greeting cards

When you finished school, it looks like marketing was your path. What drew you to that part of business?

I love marketing because I believe it can make a huge impact on society. Everything from what products and services we buy, to who we select as leadership, to what we believe – comes down to marketing

Why change and found Koru Labs?

I found myself dissatisfied in the corporate job I took and I wanted to do something meaningful. Marketing has continued to be part of all of my roles though.

As an entrepreneur, have you ever experienced challenges as a woman? If so, how did you push through them?

Yes! I’ve been hit on by men who I thought I was meeting as potential mentors or investors. I’ve been told by organizers, after being selected for a prestigious speaking opportunity or award, “And it’s great that you’re a woman.” I hated that they insinuated that a major reason for selecting me for the opportunity was my gender. Even though it probably wasn’t, them saying “And it’s great that you’re a woman” made me feel as though it was and made the accomplishment feel false or hollow. I pushed through it by realizing that if an award or speaking gig is a great opportunity for my business, I should take it regardless of what the organizers happen to mention about my gender. Why bother to bring up gender? I want to be selected for things because of my accomplishments, not the body type I was born with.

How did Makerkids come about?

When I was 12 years old, I was being bullied and was disengaged at school. Then my teacher said that for my book report project, I should make a website, so I taught myself how to code, and made a website about Harry Potter. A few months later I found out my website had hundreds of thousands of views and was featured in a magazine. This was a very empowering moment for me. Suddenly the bullying didn’t impact me as much, and I became more engaged at school. Later on, I was selected for a program based at NASA called Singularity University, where I learned how to apply technology to education. It was afterwards that I got started with MakerKids, with the goal of helping more kids have transformative experiences like I had as a kid. We’re excited that thousands of kids have gone through the programs and some have started businesses, been featured on TV, and had positive mental health outcomes.

Why is it so important for young kids, young girls especially, to be exposed to the “maker” philosophy?

Studies show that kids decide between ages 7-12 whether or not they’ll consider STEM as a future career option. A positive exposure to STEM experiences is the key.

 How has Makerkids evolved over the last four years? What’s next?

MakerKids has grown from teaching five kids per week in 2013 to 500+ kids per week in 2018. We won the NextGen in Franchising competition at the International Franchise Association as the next top concept in franchising. We learned about the IFA competition and many other opportunities through the Canadian Franchise Association (shout-out to CFA) who have supported us and helped us grow. What’s next? More locations!

 Bria mentioned you DJd for Red Bull? When, why, and how!

Haha, I DJ’d for them for a mini-sticks tournament in Kingston once. I was on top of their Red Bull truck. Very fun! I used to be a DJ in university, DJing up to four times a week.

How have you helped other women?

I mentor other female entrepreneurs, and also many girls go through our programs and benefit from them.

What are you reading right now?

Inventing Joy: Dare to Build a Brave & Creative Life

Start-up success: Tips for making your vision a reality

Starting a business takes time, effort, planning, patience, courage and the right people on your side to make it work. Getting it right from the start will save you the headaches that can come from not having a specific plan, not knowing your target clientele and audience, or by attempting to go it alone. It’s imperative to chat with others and do your best to discover specific resources, gain advice from individuals who have been in your shoes and who have succeeded, as well as to ask the right questions. Here are a few tips to inspire and to set you on the road to your end goal-a successful business that you are proud of.

Do what you love

The key to success and happiness in any line of work, whether you are the owner, CEO or entry-level employee, is to truly enjoy what you do. This same principle should be at the root of your business. When brainstorming a start-up take the time to visualize yourself running a business that involves those from your web of ideas. If you can picture yourself happy in that role and you have a true passion for whatever the service is that is provided, you’re doing well already. In short, if you know a pet grooming business is needed in your neighbourhood but can’t stand working with animals, it’s probably not the best option for you. On the other hand, if you absolutely love interior decorating and have thoroughly enjoyed helping others decorate their home or apartment for re-sale, you’d likely be very successful and happy starting a home-staging business. Discover your true passion and you’re half way there.

Surround yourself with the right people

No one is an island. We must depend on others to give advice, lend a hand and to lend expertise. Let’s face it, there’s always an area of any given project that has the least appeal to its founder. For instance, the financial breakdown and accounting for expenses and budgeting may not come the easiest to some.  Find the right people to take on the facets of the business that are a bit daunting to you. Perhaps these fine folks can instruct you over time and may allow you to learn to love crunching numbers and balancing the books, but until then, there is no shame in relying on someone who enjoys that aspect of the business in the now.  Whether the area you least enjoy is accounting or admin type work, it is important to allow yourself to depend a bit on others. Get a team together that you trust and honestly stands by your side for the benefit of the business.

Do more with less

Limited resources when a business is just getting started may seem like a hurdle and may also cause an entrepreneur to feel like giving up before the project even gets off the ground. Being limited can actually be a great thing! It inspires a small business owner to get creative and to think outside that proverbial box when it comes to gaining access to the vital resources that are going to result in keeping the endeavor afloat. It also can build relationships among other small business owners if you’re willing to reach out to others in the same boat for connections and team-up incentives. A small budget does not have to equal an unsuccessful business, it simply means you have to be more careful and plan carefully, while being creative with the budget and resources that you do have access to.

Be prepared and do your homework

From brainchild to budget, every facet of your intended entrepreneurial goal should have its “I’s” dotted and its “t’s” crossed. Know the market for the service you wish to provide. Interview others within the same field, develop a survey for your prospective audience or clientele to test the waters beforehand. Know the exact amount of money you have available and develop a budget for your business that is accurate and honest. Be prepared for the business to take its time while growing. Not every business is going to explode and become a smash success right away. Be patient and stay the course.  If you love what you’re doing, and you have researched that there is a strong market for what you offer, chances are you’ll find success in the near future.

Don’t be afraid

It is only by taking risks that great things occur. Be bold and take a step. Although it’s not recommended to throw all caution to the wind, believing in your plan and setting the wheel cautiously in motion is the most important step a budding entrepreneur takes. There may be setbacks and failures, yet preparation and careful planning can easily allow an endeavor to get back on course and result in success over time.