Start with the end in mind

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J. Lovan Founder and CEO Julia LoVan gives us a little expert advice:

What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? Be thankful. It’s easy to see someone’s Instagram and feel dejected, but everybody is created uniquely. You have to look at your strengths, what you have right now, and be thankful. I like to start the day off in meditation and prayer to center myself before the day gets crazy.

What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? 1. Pick one or two mediums and be consistent. You don’t need to have an account everywhere. 2. Pinterest and email newsletters get you way more sales than Twitter and Facebook. 3. There are ways around paying for Facebook boosted posts, like utilizing trending topics, tagging others in your post, and having varying information and mediums like photos and videos.

When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? Positive people who are good problem solvers, don’t complain, get the job done, and know when to take a break and laugh.

What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? Not a book, but I love going through the articles and videos on Entrepreneur, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company. I’ll load articles into my iPhone reader and read them on the plane.

What are your thoughts on raising capital? Have a solid business plan in place, and do Scenario Planning. Go through a bunch of scenarios with your team – it will save you.

What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? People are the value. My friend Tammy told me this and it changed my life. I had been stepping on people to get to the top, because that’s how I had seen it done. I came to her for advice on how to work with people and have them still like you, but also be successful. This piece of advice changed everything. It made life more fun, and I became more relaxed and loving.

My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to do some things good enough, but not great. I give out Christmas gifts to clients every year – it may not be $100 truffles, but it doesn’t have to be to show my appreciation.

What would your advice to your younger self be? Calm down and focus on your grades! I was so emotional and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, but once life kicked me in the rear and I had to learn responsibility, I celebrated discipline.

Finally, please give us 5 tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:

  1. Get a mentor or two. Think of someone who has wisdom and insight in that field and just ask them.
  2. Balance. If it’s all about the business 24/7, you will crash and burn. Tonight I didn’t necessarily have time to go to Zumba, but I did because I knew I needed that balance. Exercise is usually the first thing to go when I’m super busy, but there’s always time for a 5-10 minute yoga session in your living room.
  3. When communicating over email, it’s important to say things in a cheerier way than you might speak them, since it translates differently in writing.
  4. There is an app for almost anything. Things like oDesk, Etsy on Sale, and PixC have been lifesavers for me. Seriously, before you attempt anything yourself, do a search for an app! Finding the right ones will give you more hours in your day.
  5. “Start with the end in mind. Envision and write down what you want to achieve that day or that month, then write your to-do list around that. When I don’t do this, I get so sidetracked.”



Image: [Emily Lunt]


Copy Editor: Noelle Hale is a writer/editor/proofreader/wordsmith who in a former life was a lawyer and senior sales executive for legal research and education companies. She has known Nada Jones for 20 years and one of their first collaborations was the ill-advised completion of the LA Marathon without actually having trained for it first. After many wonderful years spent living and working in New York and Los Angeles, Noelle and her husband and their two children are now happily ensconced in beautiful Fort Collins, Colorado.

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