Do not get too hung up on the idea that starting on your own to do what you love means “you do not have to work a day”. Passion for what you do only goes as far as motivating you to keep on trying and striving to achieve your goals despite the many challenges and difficulties that are sure to come.

No need to stress yourself about always making the cut, though; even successful entrepreneurs of today had experiences of failure in the past. After all, what defines a great entrepreneur is not only her willingness to work hard but also her perseverance and determination in overcoming the challenges.

We have gathered for you the best start-up tips from female entrepreneurs for all you ladies planning to be the boss of you.

1. Think big, but not without a corresponding plan that is feasible.

You already got a lot of advice in the past, but remember that sometimes, they are simply too good to be true. One of them is the advice that you should “aim high”. While it is important for a booming business to have a unique, big idea as a foundation, you should also think of whether or not it is possible to achieve considering various factors.

It is why the first advice for you is to think of great and big ideas, but also think of ways to actually put them into life. Otherwise, all the planning and brainstorming will simply go to waste.

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2. Do not be afraid to get the help and assistance you need, as long as you ask them from the right people.

Independence is a valuable trait, but when you are starting on your own, it would do you more harm than good to only have yourself to rely on. You cannot do everything on your own; you need to build the perfect team for what you do.

In order to do this, it is important to have a good network. Consult experts in fields that are important for your line of work, especially when you are not skilled in that particular field. Be a mentor to the many interns who want to learn more.

3. Cultivate creativity, resourcefulness, and curiosity.

Never be satisfied with what you currently know; always strive to learn new things. Encourage the same thinking in the workplace. Hear and appreciate their ideas instead of hogging everything for yourself. Make it a happy, healthy, professional workplace that encourages each member to contribute and share what’s on her mind.

4. Plan well, but learn how to handle the situation when things do not go as planned.

As many would like to put it, those who do not plan are planning to fail. However, you should not be surprised when you face difficulties or disruptions along the way. In times like this, do not “lose your cool”.

Keep calm and meet and brainstorm with your team. What went wrong? What courses of action can you take to remedy the situation? What did you learn from the incident and what can you do to avoid it from happening again in the future?

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5. Do not pattern your success to other entrepreneurs who made it big; instead, learn your own pacing and direction.

People work at their difference pace and ways. It is for this reason that copying someone might not be a good idea. For one, the habits and pacing you are trying might not be a good fit for you. Get to know yourself better to know what kind of pressure works, what kind of planning and scheduling suffices, and what motivators are effective. Embrace the real you — achieve success in your own way!

6. Don’t be stubborn. Know when to stop or change something.

Change is inevitable. It’s an advice applicable to most aspects of your life, not only as you start your own business. And sometimes, not changing or adjusting as needed can be the one that brings failure right at your doorstep.

So if some things are not working or employees are ineffective, do not be afraid to take action. Other than that, do not fall head over heels in love with any plan you make, mainly because they most likely have to be changed along the way. Do not wait to change things until it’s too late!

7. Listen to the customer/the market.

This is very important. Just because you think something is great does not mean everyone else would think so as well and agree. Remember, you are not selling to yourself; you are not the customer.

That is why it is important to actually heed what the customers want or are looking for. There are many ways to do this, but studying the movements of the competition, talking to customers, and doing some surveys would definitely help.

8. Remember that taking calculated risks is a must.

This is a common mistake made by those who just started on their own. The fear of taking risks in business usually comes from the fact that leaving your past job to start on your own already being a great risk on your part.

True, that was quite a risk, but this does not mean that risk-taking stops there. In fact, that’s only the beginning. Before your business reaches success, there will be a lot of uncertainties and challenges, and you have to brave them all to get to the top.

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9. Make productivity a habit.

As the great Ancient philosopher, Aristotle said, “we are what we repeatedly do”. If you really want to attain success in life, it is a prerequisite to be productive in order to contribute so much to your and your business’ growth. Get rid of the things and people that prevent you from being so.

10. Proper time management is the key.

Now that you are on your own, expect that you will be a lot busier. A massive portion of your life now would revolve around your work. However, that does not mean you will not have time for anything else anymore. That is why the key is to properly manage your time and follow what you planned as strict as you can. Avoid slacking off and leaving tasks for later.

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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva



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