Successful Design Business - Why Mentor?

I Am A Busy Designer ...So Why Mentor??

I have been in business for almost all of my life.  I guess you could say I am truly an entrepreneur...a "self-starter" type.  But I also like the flexibility that being my own boss brings.

There are a lot of unknowns to be sure, and you do need to hustle but at the end of the's my business and it's for me.    I enjoy helping others create their dream homes and offices.  I have also been fortunate enough to consult/design multi million dollar projects all over the country.

That didn't happen right away.  I started small with a project at a time.  It was manageable with one small child and then another.  I rarely took many jobs at all.  But I liked being able to stay "in the game" and contribute to our household expenses while being available to raise my kids and grow my business at a comfortable pace.   For me, I had found the perfect balance.

Why Mentor?

I have noticed - and read reports - on the lack of female role models.  Women just aren't starting businesses as much as men.  Women need to help women because we approach life differently and are the best at being able to understand the needs of another woman starting out. I will be at a dinner party and someone's nephew or friends son is graduating college and immediately the men are discussing how they can "get him started"  

 RARELY do I hear women speaking about how they can help young women get started in business. Or provide knowledge to a colleague wanting to transition out of a corporate job. There simply isn't enough role models for women.   I am successful and enjoy a lifestyle that I have been able to create (scaled to the level of work I wanted)  It is because I have experienced my own success, and have helped others.... I believe its women that need to help women so they can be successful...only as women can be.

It's not all fun and games....

With owning your own business you have to have a back bone and grit.  There are no guarantees you will have a successful year every year and once you get your business truly up and going, you can then strategize on how you can develop baseline income and beyond.

But for now, building a business takes time and patience but the rewards are huge.  

"The only way you will ever really make money in this world is to own your own business."  I have heard this statement before and "your own business" could be defined many ways but the real value is creating income from what you do well...and then continue to create other streams of income that are businesses.

Some people have worked for corporations all of their lives and these days things have changed.  A regular job in a corporation is not a guarantee.  However, the safety of having insurance benefits and a regular paycheck makes a lot of sense to many, especially if they need to cover their living expenses.  But perhaps keep in mind the idea of developing something that could eventually grow into your own business that you could transition to if you decide to leave the corporate world....or have to.

Lastly, I have never had success from doing anything "for the money".  It may work differently for others but for me....Success has come because I believe in it, am certain I can make a difference and want to serve in some small way.  That is what has attracted business to me and I have become successful in what I set out to do.  Creating something I believe in.

At the end of the day, if you are proud of your work, business and the way you are living your life.....then you are on the right track.

"Starting a business is a daunting idea..." 

One of my mentees said this.After talking with her further, it was clear she has always been entrepreneurial.  She had worked her way up the corporate ladder and was not happy.  Luckily we connected. She just needed someone to provide the building blocks and how to navigate the business portion.   She had the great ideas and the work ethic for sure.  We work together when she is needing guidance and she is doing well and enjoying her life and family.

Stay true to what you do well and the world will find you

Elizabeth Ribons is a creative entrepreneur and has owned businesses for most of her adult life.  She created Better by Design Academy to help other entrepreneurs transition into their own careers so they can experience success and a lifestyle they choose.

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Elizabeth Ribons, ASID, CID