The Best Advice I've Received

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I was recently interviewed by the ladies at Rentivist on the best advice I've received, advice I have for other female entrepreneurs, dealing with failure, and some of the surprises and lessons I've learned over the course of owning a business.

First, if you're not familiar with Rentivist, they are a newish company co-founded by event industry experts Alyson Newquist, Gretchen Culver and Mary Ellen Reihsen. Rentivist connects people with items to rent (like an event designer with 85 specialty chandeliers sitting in her garage) with people who need it (like a photographer who needs unique chandeliers for a photo shoot). In their words: "Rentivist connects the owners of stuff with those who want to rent it. This is where you can list things you own for others to rent and where you can find things to rent that you don't own. We aren’t a rental company. We’re simply a space for those seeking a world filled with plentiful and diverse rentals for creative projects, events, and everyday life. And for those who want to make money sharing their awesome things with the world."

I love it because it provides an extra revenue stream for people who need their prop and decor inventory to earn its keep, and because it allows anyone access to unique items they may not be able to find in their hometown. I also love that it provides access for the non-event professional as well, such as the mom who's been tasked by her HOA to host the neighborhood's holiday party. 

Here is a brief snippet of my interview with Rentivist:

What is the best advice you have ever received? 
“Never doubt your ability to justify.” — Zach Lind  

This can apply to so many situations, especially in business: saying yes to a client we know isn’t a good fit, saying no to a project because its scope is beyond our comfort zone, taking on debt that we don’t need, keeping an emotionally abusive vendor on our creative team simply because they’re talented. Remaining self-aware of our uncanny ability to justify anything can protect our businesses and teams from making decisions that ultimately hurt us.  

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? 
Set up a savings account for your business. We all know that we’re supposed to have 4-6 months of expenses set aside in a personal savings account in case of an emergency. This is a good rule of thumb for business, too. This way if you need to say no to a client you know is a bad fit, or the economy takes another dive, you have a little bit of breathing room financially. This is easier said than done, of course, but a good goal to work towards. 

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