I was privileged to speak at The Southern Coterie gathering last week in Sea Island, Georgia—The Southern C for short! It is an annual conference where hundreds of entrepreneurs gather and share ideas, advice, and experiences. My goodness, there were mostly young people there, and I felt rather “mature!” My son Brian and I were the keynote speakers, together on the stage, sharing with the attendees our experience in the life of Hoffman Media from the time it was launched ’til today. He spoke about joining the family business along with his twin brother, Eric.
When I took the stage and looked out into the audience, I was absolutely amazed at the number of mostly women who were there and were seeking encouragement. I discovered many new businesses that I will feature in the future, as well as businesses that have grown and are set to truly delight so many as they continue to emerge.
One of the main questions that I was asked many times was, “How did you balance family and business?” It is a challenge for everyone who owns their own business to juggle family responsibilities and business. Another question was, “What is the greatest advice you could give a person starting out on their own?”
One of the ladies in my mentor group said she had to make her business work. She is a single mom with no help from anyone, and she has to do what it takes to survive. Another said she couldn’t take corporate work anymore. It was too hard on her family, and she started her own business to escape. Others knew they had talents that would parlay into a wonderful business. All perfect reasons to start a business!
What do you say to these questions? We were sharing our stories of how we made it work for us. My business didn’t grow quickly, as I worked around my kids’ schedules. I didn’t want to miss anything in their lives. Was it hard? Oh yes, at times it was, but I felt I could do it. It is different for everyone, and what works for me might not work for you. That’s the beauty of staring your own business—there are no rules. You have to take it step-by-step and figure it out.
The word of encouragement I could best give anyone is to never give up. Find what works for you, and do it. You might be right at the brink of success, and giving up will insure you never get there. Seek advice and counsel, and then sift through for the nuggets of information and tailor it to your personal experience. Never give up. Never, never—just set your OWN goal and do it!
On another note—many of you wanted to see my new glasses. A group of these ladies took a selfie of us and here we are! That’s me in the back!