Pictured left to right: Perry Pidgeon Hooks, Hooks Book Events with Robyn Small, director of WIN, and new member Reena Kazmann, director of www.eco-artware.com/. Photo by Anna Gibbs.
What’s the key to being a great entrepreneur? At today’s networking event for Women Interested in Networking (WIN) at the Cheesecake Factory in Bethesda, Hooks Book Events co-owner Perry Pidgeon Hooks shared her secrets to success with the room filled with women business owners.
“You have to believe in your business concept, and you have to believe in yourself,” Perry insisted.
She also advised the entrepreneurs to know their core strengths — and hire an expert to do what they can’t.
“The biggest mistake that some entrepreneurs make is to try and do everything themselves,” she said. “Many times it’s because you don’t want to spend money. But that can be a huge error. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t think you can do it alone. You can’t build a big business all by yourself. Just focus on what you do best, and outsource the other stuff. You’ll be glad you did.”
Other panelists offered this words of entrepreneurial wisdom:
• Kim Oser, Certified Professional Organizer and founder, Put It Away! — “Be confident about what you are doing, and know your rate — then stick to it. If you don’t value what you do, no one else will.”
• Janet Terry, Founder, Olney Farmers’ Market — “Be patient and have a good attitude. You need to love what you do, and others will share your passion and help bring your ideas to fruition.”
• Denise Bump, CRPC®, Senior Financial Advisor, Ameriprise Financial — “Definitely have passion, but also have a solid business plan. You need to know how you are going to make money before you start a business, and then use that plan to track your success as you grow. I also advise my clients to look at their business plan every year and revamp it. It keeps them on track.”
• Nycci Safier Nellis, Founder & Publisher, TheListAreYouOnIt.com. — “I never had a business plan, and five years into my business I don’t plan to write one now. I wing it, and so far I have been successful. Here’s what I learned: Even if others don’t believe in your concept, if you do, then you should go for it and give it your all. I had several people tell me that no one cared about having a food and wine list to know where to eat in DC. I disagreed because I was the customer who was looking for The List, so it was ultimately people like me that I was trying to please. Today, I not only have a successful business but a radio show with my husband David called, “Dishing It Out” (at 11 a.m. on Sunday on Federal News Radio. We’re having a ball.”