I moderated my first ever Passion Panel to share some inspiring insights into entrepreneurship. Everyone loved the casual, shoes-off discussion that took place in a space of love and support. If you missed out on it, here are some snippets of our panelists' heartfelt anecdotes and advice.
1. Being a lady boss is a choice - or not.
Why live life fulfilling other people’s dreams and when you can fight for your own? Mandy from Bow by Bold asked herself the same question when she graduated from Junior College - her answer has motivated her entrepreneurial pursuits ever since. Others find motivation within themselves, from an innate passion and desire to create. “I can’t imagine doing anything else because I’m so passionate about what I do,” says Yang. Sometimes, it means you may never be the perfect employee to any company but that’s okay - because you can run your own business!
2. Being a lady boss is battle to be in for the long-run.
Entrepreneurship is tough, and our lady bosses agreed that it is not easy living life on a different pace as compared to most. You have to believe in the passion, energy and heart you pour into your business. Know that taking a break sometimes doesn’t throw you off-track. There’ll be busy days and late nights catching up on work to balance it out, but there is also time for a Netflix night once in a while.
3. Being a lady boss is about being strong yet vulnerable.
To be fearless yet cautious. To be unapologetically confident in yourself and your abilities yet knowing when to get help. Isabel from Acai Affair desired a physical stall early on but started without one as she bootstrapped with her partner to minimise costs and gauge consumer receptiveness. And now they’re on their way to a fourth outlet. Whenever one of the Acai Affair founders is busy with university or travel, the other partner holds the fort with friends and family.
4. Believing that the universe provides
While the market will always be competitive, our lady bosses believed in collaboration over competition. Entrepreneurship is about supporting and lifting one another up. Collaboration sparks creativity and efficiency, forms meaningful relationships, and above all, generates positive vibes and spreads kindness. Our lady bosses spoke of their own stories of kindness when they least expected it. Mandy shared her vision on kickstarter and achieved her first round of funding from strangers. For me, I got better quotes from my producers when I spoke of my entrepreneurial dreams in college.
An aspiring entrepreneur? Jiamin advises to know and speak the values of your business, and Yang followed with these words that will stay:
Have a dream, talk to people about it, put it out in the universe and it will reward you. There will come a time when resources, people and ideas are all around you.
So here’s a message to all ladies out there: let’s build ourselves up, seek out for support and never tear other people down — and together we can crash glass ceilings.