Interview – Author Cynthia Kocialski
Cynthia Kocialski is the author of “Startup From The Ground Up”. Cynthia shares with her readers practical advice for how to get an entrepreneur moving down the right path and thinking in the right direction with practical tips, strategies, techniques and stories on how to transform an idea into a company.
I wrote to Cynthia, who lives in California, here’s what she said about the book:
Yv –What advice can you give other entrepreneurs feeling overwhelmed by the business, especially when a lot of things are going wrong at the same time?
Cynthia Kocialski -Every entrepreneur feels overwhelmed. It never seems as if there are enough hours in a day and everything seems to take longer than wanted. Until the new business takes on a life of its own, the entrepreneur will always feel as if they should be doing something more. The way to get past this feeling is for the entrepreneur to ask themselves whether what they did today moves their company closer to their milestones and goals. If it has, then you’ve done a good job, even if there is still lots more to do.
My advice is to automate as much as possible. A working, highly productive computer is still less costly than labor. If something isn’t getting done because the entrepreneur can’t seem to find the time, then outsource the work. Eliminate tasks that don’t move the start-up closer to its goals.
Lastly, realize that entrepreneurs are the captains of their ships. They set the tone and direction of the new business. Spending time thinking about the big picture and where the start-up is going may not have a tangible work result but is important. In this case, doing nothing is doing something.
Yv – What other advice can you give women entrepreneurs?
Cynthia Kocialski -I ran into a researcher who was doing her doctorate dissertation on serial entrepreneurs. This candidate told me that before they started interviewing these entrepreneurs, they would not have hypothesized how different women and men approached entrepreneurship. While these entrepreneurs were all successful in the end, the paths they took were quite different. And this is what I’ve seen in my personal experience with women in business. As a woman entrepreneur you have to accept that “women are from Venus and men are from Mars,” and it’s unlikely you will reach your goal by emulating a path that a man took to success, which is unfortunate because the bulk of the proof points are men. As a woman entrepreneur, you are far more likely to have to take the path less trodden or forge a new path, and this requires creativity.
Yv –How important should money be as a motivation for succeeding in business?
Cynthia Kocialski -Most entrepreneurs aren’t driven by the money. They are driven by their desire to create something and achieve a goal. Money is simply an indication of how well they’ve met their goals. For an entrepreneur money is like their Olympic gold medal. It’s not the medal itself, but what is represents and the accomplishment that matters. Entrepreneurs should focus on building the company and winning in the market place.
If the entrepreneur aspires to be funded by investors then money as the end goal is very important. Investors care about the exit strategy and the return on their investment. Once the entrepreneur takes investors’ money, it means the stopwatch is ticking and the race is on. Investors mean oversight and the pressure to perform.
Yvonne Wu – Tell us where “Startup From The Ground Up” is available.