Kelsey Doorey is the Founder and CEO of Vow To Be Chic. We asked her for a little Expert Advice:
What advice would you give to someone who feels overwhelmed by the competition? Know what makes you unique, and focus on that.
What top three tips would you like to pass along for those who have just started to use social media? 1: Be authentic and true to your brand. 2: Offer something original to the conversation. 3: See inspiration in what’s around you. (Take pictures of everything!)
When you think of the best people to work with, what traits do they share? They’re passionate, positive, reliable, and detail-oriented. However, you want a team of people who think differently. A little healthy tension keeps the company in balance.
Give a budding entrepreneur your best hiring and firing business practices. It’s hard! Firing is obviously hard but hiring is surprisingly hard too. Leverage your network when hiring and for firing, as soon as you know, it’s time to do it.
Entrepreneurs often say that “you can’t do it all.” What three things do you always outsource? Things I know that others can do better, easier, and/or faster than me so legal, accounting, etc. Then it’s all about delegation within the team. For example, I can’t do the website coding, so I rely on our tech team for that. It’s the same for other areas of the business.
What business book would you recommend to someone who is either about to launch or in the early growth stage? The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.
What are your thoughts on raising capital? It can be a hard process. It’s key to find people who believe in your vision and will bring additional value to your team beyond just the money. We were very lucky to find that.
What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? Check your pride at the door. Try things and don’t be afraid of ‘failure’, as you may be surprised by the results. I’m a huge fan of The Confidence Code by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. I urge all women to read it, or the summary article about it in The Atlantic at least, to understand the relationship between women and confidence.
My best advice to a woman launching a venture is… Go for it! Try to find female mentors who you can learn from since the female entrepreneurial community is impressively supportive.
What would your advice to your younger self be? Everything works out in the end. Make sure you’re following your passions and you’ll be surprised where you end up.
Finally, please share your top five tips that would benefit an entrepreneurial woman launching or growing her business:
- Just get started. Don’t overthink things, just start working on your idea.
- Be scrappy. Do as much as you can with as little as possible.
- Don’t reinvent the wheel. Focus on proving your concept and leverage existing resources where possible. For us, that meant using an existing e-commerce solution so we didn’t have to create another shopping cart ourselves.
- No doesn’t mean no, it means not right now. At least to an entrepreneur! Persistence is key and I’ve often seen a no turn into a yes.
- Enjoy it! Starting a company is a crazy adventure and will be fun and stressful, energizing and exhausting, challenging and enlightening, all at the same time. Make sure you enjoy the experience.