Entrepreneurship: Not for the Faint of Heart

Entrepreneurship: Not for the Faint of Heart

by Reno Rafly, MS

Below are my thoughts as we celebrated Women Entrepreneurship Day #WomenWOW

Before deciding to change my career path to becoming an entrepreneur, I visualize having the life of an entrepreneur as I have seen in the news: cool, calm, collected and ready to take over the world. People will want to buy anything you offer and soon enough you will stand in front of the NYSE, ringing the opening bell to celebrate your first IPO.

I will say that the only thing that is true is you might maintain your calmness, possibly in the morning, while sipping your coffee. The rest of your day would be filled with bouncing between calls, emails, and meetings. When you have kids in tow, then your schedules will also be filled with pick-ups, drop-offs, and homeworks. Your calendar is so full you would be surprised that you’re even busier than when you had that 9-to-5 job (only without those stable paychecks). Which is why you would be watching your spending like a hawk. You may find yourself saving coupons and those weekly ads. You will think twice of everything you spend.

Your effort to build your business can be an exhilarating experience, especially when you win your first project. You will face many rejections, setbacks, and heartbreaks, before you find another successful result.

Of all of the hurdles being an entrepreneur, I can now confirm there will be more. However, I can assure you it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I work harder than ever while having the benefit of a flexible schedule. Each step I take for the business is truly value-added and I can push my effort in strategically developing the brand. I learn how to deal with ambiguity and rapid change. I learn I do not have all the answers and finding that I am ok with that.

Having an opportunity to redefine your work and life, to do what you love and be passionate about it, is liberating.

With technology, I stay connected with my business partners, clients, and my team in the US, Indonesia, and other parts of the world. It’s entrepreneurship in the 21st century. Almost everything now is digital, online, and paperless. When you and your team are separated by time and distance, video conferencing is pretty close to having a face-to-face meeting.

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. There will be no approval needed to implement every idea you can think of, but there will also be no cushion for when you fall. Overtime, you will learn to take calculated risks, rely on your team, and put your best foot forward.

When you finally have a successful outcome, it would be one of the best moments of your life. One that will give you more strength and perseverance to keep the pace and positive outlook of your journey.



Braving the New World of Work: Are You Ready?

Braving the New World of Work: Are You Ready?

By: Tracey Bessellieu

Note: Tracey Bessellieu attended COMTO (Conference of Minority Transportation Officials) National Training & Meeting Conference, July 11 – 14, 2015 in Boston, MA. These are her notes of the conference.

Boston, MA (July 11, 2015) – Our young people have seen an incredible year of expressions of their value in America. From Ferguson to Charlotte, we have seen tragedies that caused us to re-examine our values and the values of our leaders. These values have also influenced how we make decisions in the workplace. When we make decisions, we gravitate towards what makes us comfortable and what feels familiar to us. Rarely do we have facts and true knowledge of what matters, which presents us decisions that are filled with unconscious bias. Unconscious bias is something that is real. We all have it. Unfortunately, these types of decision may cause young professionals their career path since “working harder” may not always translate to “getting a promotion”.

It has caused me to rethink my message to young professionals when seeking opportunities. “Work harder” to get your rewards is still the mantra of most leadership, but I also want to plant additional seeds of wisdom: especially to develop the skill of being an “intrapreneur” (i.e. developing your own brand) that is valuable and marketable until you become an entrepreneur. By doing that, you will create a legacy that is unshakable.

I asked several leaders today what their thoughts were on the competencies emerging leaders will need in the new world of work and their words of advice for them.


Here is a list of their thoughts:

  • Learn how to Manage Ambiguity – being flexible and resilient
  • Develop a plan for your career that is above and beyond the requirements as your personal differentiator
  • Be ready to manage the headwinds – change is constant, are you prepared?
  • Show Passion for your thoughts and ideas – be vested in what you do
  • Know the difference between being a leader and a manager; both are critical but require different focus
  • Teamwork and collaboration – no one can do it alone
  • Effective communication – especially the willingness to listen
  • Be genuinely curious about ideas and people
  • Be persistent and innovative problem solvers
  • Make sure to have a mentor, a coach and a sponsor; all three are critically important
  • Develop confidence and centeredness
  • Be a “go to” person in the world of work
  • Have the ability to be a critical thinker
  • Understand that Leaders are continual learners 
  • Always go above and beyond of what is asked
  • Have unwavering integrity and values
  • Give back by reaching out and helping someone now, no matter where you are in your career

These soft skills are necessary for success in the new world of work.

Are you ready?