For Cool Gear, “women in business” has always been an important issue, but we’re thrilled to see that it’s been creating such a hot topic on a national and global scale. There are so many incredible leaders – men and women alike – who offer value, inspiration, and mentorship to today’s entrepreneurial landscape; and while data shows that women in leadership and Women Owned Businesses (WOB’s) are growing, numbers are still relative when compared to our male counterparts.
In the U.S., there are almost 9.4 million WOB’s that generate a whopping $1.5 trillion in revenue. And where are these businesses popping up? Everywhere. Talk about a great step in the right direction; but there’s so much more to be done, said, and created – and every single one of these stories starts at the beginning. We’ve tapped into women business owners across the board – fresh meat to experienced pros – to dig into some of their most memorable missteps while starting out. Because hey, we’re all human – meaning we all have the potential to be great, despite the challenges we’re faced with on a daily basis. Read on for some of these funny stories, that these great businesswomen powered through!
Name: Donna Roth
Title & Company: Founder/President of Cool Gear Inc.
“Very early on in the company, we unfortunately had to let someone go who wasn’t getting her job done; after we met, we gave her time to go back to her desk and clean out her belongings. When we went to get her work files – a time when floppy discs were revolutionary technology – she had cleared out everything. We found all of her files, discs, and desk contents in the communal dumpster out back and had to go dumpster diving to retrieve everything. From that day forward, we established some HR policies. Just one, of a long list of lessons learned.”
Name: Stephanie Blaunc
“I accidentally put in my residential address instead of our warehouse address for one of my first shipments of product. The product was delivered by a semi-truck in our residential area and got stuck turning on our street. It was terrible enough that the semi-truck got stuck, but then I also had to tell them that the delivery address was wrong. Oops! Lesson learned from day one.”
Name: Kip Hollister
Title & Company: Founder & CEO of Hollister Staffing
“As a new, young CEO at age 26, I was training one of the new members I had hired. He sat next to me as I called new clients. On one of the calls, I failed miserably and then began to laugh. I ended up hanging up the phone. My lesson was to always be vulnerable – it makes you human as a leader. He experienced that even I made a mistake which enabled him to dare to fail, as it is all part of the learning.”
Have your own story to add? Tell us some lessons learned the hard way in the comments section!