Female founders and C-level executives are dominating the market right now. There are more women in top-level management than ever before. New and existing startups founded by women are also tackling market challenges left and right, seizing a lot of opportunities along the way.
There is no better time to start a new business than right now. Market opportunities are plentiful and ready to be seized. Resources needed to start a new business are in abundance. More importantly, getting started with your own company is easier than ever.
Before you go ahead and join forces with colleagues to start a new business, however, there are a few preparations to be made first. You have to be ready for the challenges ahead, and these five things are exactly what you need to be the next startup success story.
A Mature Product Idea
The process of developing a simple idea into a product that customers can actually use is a long one. Many founders started their businesses with a simple idea in mind, only to find that transforming that idea into tangible products and services is not as easy as it seems.
Rather than developing a raw idea after starting the new business, it is actually better to take your idea to a certain point before entering the business landscape. At the very least, you want your idea to be mature enough as a business proposition.
The best product ideas are ones that solve real, existing problems faced by potential customers. When you have a solution to a problem everyone faces, you don't have to spend as many resources trying to create a market for your new business.
While developing the idea, you can also start working on your business plan. How will the product enter the market? What are the resources you need to turn that plan into a reality? What's the market size for your product or service?
The more of these details you collect and process, the more prepared you'll be as a startup founder. You know exactly what to expect from the market when you do start the new business, making the rest of the process easier to manage.
Good Project Management
Many founders see leadership as an essential skill. It is, but it is not the only fundamental skill that you absolutely need to succeed. A more fundamental skill is project management. Think of starting a business as managing multiple projects. There are tasks that need to be completed before you can take the business off the ground, and good project management is the key to completing those tasks.
The Kanban system is a methodology that you can count on if you are new to project management. It is simple enough to use and flexible enough to adapt to different organizations and business models. You can even make an adjustment to the Kanban board based on what you actually need.
Mastering the basics of the Kanban system will also make you a better project manager. What is cycle time? How you can keep the lead time of each task at a minimum? How do you spot bottlenecks based on the Kanban cards? These questions become easier to answer now that your tasks – the projects you handle – are visualized on the board. Kanbanize is a great example of a Kanban board. Visit their site to learn more and read up on the Kanban way of managing projects.
A Strong Team
As a founder, you need to be prepared to do most of the heavy lifting. After all, this is your business, and its future is tied – in large part – to your future. You cannot expect your business to be successful from the beginning, at least not when you are not willing to invest time, money, and energy into it.
However, being a startup founder doesn't mean doing everything yourself. In fact, it doesn't have to be that way at all. You still have the ability to create a strong team, filled with capable people whose skills can help support the business.
If you are not sure about the business side of, well, your business, you can add a team member whose focus is in this field. The same is true with other tasks that you need to tackle, including manufacturing your products and marketing them to a wider audience.
Developing a strong team is perhaps the biggest challenge all founders must face. It is never easy to find likeminded people that understand your vision. Never settle for less, especially when you have big dreams for the new business.
Sufficient Financial Support
The last thing to prepare is the set of resources required to start the business. I'm talking about having enough funds to get the ball rolling, at least until the business begins generating revenue from selling products and services. Sufficient financial support, however, doesn't mean a large starting capital.
Most of the big corporations we know today were founded in a garage somewhere, with little to no capital and plenty of passion. However, those businesses face financial challenges along the way, and their founders know exactly how to face those challenges like a champ.
When you suddenly receive a big order for your product, for instance, you should know how to best cover the manufacturing and distribution costs to fulfill that order. You may have to rely on loans from friends or financial institutions.
The important thing here is knowing what to do. You can self-fund the new business at the beginning. You can keep the business self-funded in the long run too. Nevertheless, you always know what to do when you run into financial roadblocks.
Okay, there is one more thing to get right when you are starting a new business: a strong passion for the business venture. As mentioned repeatedly before, there are a lot of challenges to overcome when starting a new business. Those challenges can be overwhelming, and the only way you can stay motivated is by loving – and I do mean truly loving – what you do.
Passion is the last piece of the puzzle. Combined with the other four components covered in this article, you are ready to be the next big success story in the startup landscape.
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For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."