This post first appeared on the WISE blog prior to the WISE symposium on April 18, 2018, where Aliza will be participating in a panel discussion about Failure: The Mark of Leadership, Innovation and Risk-Taking.
Aliza Seeber, Managing Partner at Spark.Orange, has helped multiple startups get off the ground–including her own business in 2013. Here are five tips from her experience as a female entrepreneur.
- Really take advantage of the resources that are available to you. The WISE Women’s Business Center has plenty of opportunities if you need expertise and support. I’ve also used SCORE and resources through the SBA. There’s a lot out there that can help you understand the steps to take.
- Seek out advice from others. Talk to as many people as you can who have been through this. You get invaluable advice from those who have experience and can mentor you.
- Set yourself up with the right people immediately. Get set up with a good accounting firm and a good lawyer ASAP–even if you don’t think you can afford it or you don’t think its possible. The long-term consequences will far outweigh the immediate costs or expenses of it.
- It’s hard. It’s really hard. But it’s worth it. For years, I would work from 3 a.m. to 4 p.m., taking breaks in the middle to take care of my duties as a mom. I never thought it would be easy, but I didn’t anticipate what it was either. It really takes five years of heart, blood, sweat, tears. Spark.Orange started in 2013 and now is the first time I feel like I can finally take a week off and the business would be fine.
- Don’t work with family. I’ve done it twice now and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. The stress is not worth it. You always think your family will be different, but it’s not.