5 Hot Tips for New Entrepreneurs from The Hivery’s Grace Kraaijvanger
Grace Kraaijvanger started the Hivery, a women’s coworking space in Mill Valley, CA, when she couldn’t find a shared workspace she felt comfortable in. Five years and 400+ members later, the Hivery has won countless accolades and awards – and has earned the support of business and branding powerhouse Marie Forleo. Here, Grace shares five tips for starting (and staying) strong in business.
When you’re starting out in business, there’s just so much to learn -- including all the things you don’t yet know you don’t know! We believe a great way to save time, reduce stress, make smart decisions and avoid costly mistakes is by learning from others who have been there, done that. So here are some valuable insights from an entrepreneur in our QB Community who has already experienced the good, the bad and the ugly of starting a small business -- and who is happy to share what she’s learned.
Today we hear from Grace Kraaijvanger (@The_Hivery), founder of the Hivery, a hugely successful coworking space designed to help women collaborate, learn, grow and thrive.
1. Embrace your fears
“When it was time to sign a long-term, more expensive lease, I felt like I was going to throw up. I was really afraid. Not only was I taking on a greater financial risk, now I risked failing in a very public way in front of the entire town where my family and I live. In that moment, I had to lean into my fears. I told myself it’s okay to feel vulnerable and afraid. I also got really clear that, physically, fear and exhilaration feel exactly the same. It was a defining moment, and it changed how I think about fear. Now we’re friends!”
2. Find a mentor
“I FaceTime twice a month with my mentor, Anne-Marie Duchene. We meditate together for ten minutes at the start of every session. She is my sounding board for anything from staffing issues to communication strategies. Anne-Marie helps me define goals and holds me accountable for making decisions or changing my mind. Above all, she integrates the personal and the business side of my life.”
3. Take care of yourself
“I used to sacrifice my own self-care when things got crazy. That just left me feeling tired and stressed, and my creative juices stopped flowing. Now I do yoga nearly every day at 6 a.m. I have “moving meetings” – we walk or hike while we talk. Doing yoga and getting outside regularly has totally changed my ability to cope with fear, stress and business challenges.”
4. Hire sooner than later …
“I probably tried to do everything myself for too long. I wish I had integrated a financial and operational leader earlier in the game. I waited at least a year before I got serious about hiring in that category. By then, I really needed someone who could operationalize my vision for the business.”
5. … But wait for the right person
“Creating a great team is challenging. I tend to fall in love with everyone who walks in the door. I’ve learned to get clear on how to leverage my budget and hire the talent we truly need.”
QB Community members, what’s the most helpful insight you got from another entrepreneur when you were starting out in business?
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