A discussion with heart-centered entrepreneur Laura Valente
Laura Valente, a San Diego based heart-centered entrepreneur shares her experience and best practices in getting started as a business woman.
What are some qualities that someone starting in business needs to cultivate?
All entrepreneurs and business owners really need to master organization: I write to-do lists with a planner. Get yourself a notepad and fresh pens that inspire you. I feel a sense of accomplishment when checking things off my list. I’ve also learned the need for discipline and sticking to the schedule. I work too much so having a schedule keeps me balanced. Entrepreneurs also need to just jump in, they should have a desire to learn and take calculated risks. “Scared money doesn’t make money.”
What should be the first step an aspiring business person should take in starting a business?
Ask yourself, is my product or service financially feasible? It’s very important to be financially prepared and have a realistic budget. Get yourself a good team that includes an accountant and CPA. Be selective with your partners, investors, and employees.
What are some of the myths about being an entrepreneur?
A myth I hear all the time is that it’s easy to become a millionaire before age thirty. That’s just not true unless you’re already privileged or extremely lucky, especially in an expensive place like San Diego. A few other myths are: you’re going to be successful right away, you’ll be profitable within a year, you can be rich overnight. None of these reflect the average, hardworking business owner. Nothing is impossible, but you should be prepared for temporary failure and learn from it.
What’s your biggest lesson you’ve learned as a business woman?
Be careful who you get into business with- don’t go into a business with someone you are in a romantic relationship with, hire for character rather than skill, always track your numbers.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
My first business may be considered a failure because I couldn’t maintain it, however, I am proud of the experience and I have learned a lot from it. I’ve also met extraordinary people because of starting that company. It taught me about growth and opportunity.
What advice can you give that wouldn’t be found anywhere else for free?
Trust the process, everything is how it should be even when it’s hard; I believe things happen as they should to lead us on our paths. Maybe there’s a reason why things don’t work out; there’s always a silver lining. Plus, nothing lasts forever. Even the most terrible situations come to an end. These are temporary failures.