Joining me today is Elisa Balabram. She is an entrepreneur, founder of WomenandBiz.com, and the author of a new book, Ask Others, Trust Yourself: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Key to Success.
Natalie: Give us a quick overview of Ask Others, Trust Yourself.
Elisa: Ask Others, Trust Yourself encourages women business owners to ask for business advice at any stage of their business, and it demonstrates the best ways to do it.
The book has information on how the readers can go inside themselves, see their potential, better understand what’s stopping them from moving forward, and understand the importance of trusting their own intuition when making a crucial decision. It also discusses how, when, where and why to ask for business help, and how to ask for help in specific situations, such as when writing a business plan, creating a marketing campaign, or seeking financing.
Natalie: Why did you write the book?
Elisa: There were a couple of reasons. One reason was to encourage women to seek help to grow their businesses, through a business coach, a mentor, joining an association, creating a mastermind group, or by hiring additional staff. Asking for help can be crucial when you have to make business decisions, or when you are ready to take your business to the next level.
The second reason was due to the fact that in my experience as a business coach, I heard many women say that they had met with a coach that said that their idea couldn’t happen, and therefore, they were stuck. I decided to also discuss how to handle “naysayers”, how to listen and filter the information, and how to check in with yourself and with your intuition before taking action.
Natalie: What has your journey as a woman entrepreneur been like?
Elisa: I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, my parents’ second business just celebrated 26 years in operation, and I always knew I wanted to be in business for myself. I currently run my business part time, and the journey has been scary and challenging at times, but also amazingly rewarding and satisfying. It is great when I learn that the articles we post on WomenandBiz.com are making a difference in our readers’ lives, and when my coaching clients are pursuing and achieving their own business dreams.
Natalie: What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
Elisa: You don’t have to do it all alone. You can ask for help from a coach or mentor, or you can join associations or networking groups. If you don’t have the budget at the moment to hire a coach, consider going to a not-for profit organization that offers free or low cost business assistance, such as the Women’s Business Centers, one of the SBA resource partners. You can find one close to you by visiting www.sba.gov/women.
Natalie: What is a day like “in your heels?”
Elisa: I wake up early to have time to write in my journal (gratitude notes and thoughts for the day), read and respond to business and personal emails, promote my book, and if I’m working on a writing project, I do some writing. During my over one hour subway commute to work, I’ve been planning a series of workshops I’ll host based on the book’s topic. Then, I spend the day coaching clients, working on reports, attending meetings and conducting outreach to promote our programs.
In the evening, if I’m not teaching a business class or attending a networking event to promote my business and the book, I run home and try to connect with my family overseas through MSN messenger or Skype. Before going to bed, I read and respond to emails, send invitations to my upcoming book signings, and connect with WomenandBiz.com guest writers.
Natalie: Thanks Elisa! I wish you all the best with the book.