How people perceive themselves is directly related to their success in life and business. Often, for entrepreneurs an investment in one’s self is a primary and overlooked challenge, yet a necessary element to personal and business growth. Entrepreneurs are leaders. As a leader you must believe in yourself and the abilities and resources given to you to make your vision a reality.
Studies indicate that there is a direct relationship between business accomplishments and entrepreneurial self-image. Research also states that a person’s choice to engage in entrepreneurial activities is dependent on whether or not an individual can identify their behaviors and characteristics to that of those associated with entrepreneurship.
Men are fifty percent more likely to be involved in entrepreneurial activities than women, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. This may be attributed to the fact that women tend to underrate their performance.
When it comes to self-improvement and positive self-image development, Alexis Wolfer, Founder of the Beauty Bean, is a dedicated and passionate entrepreneurship change agent. Wolfer’s concern with the focus many beauty magazines and websites place on unrealistic body ideals and weight, led her to launch the intimate beauty guide and online magazine. The site aims to provide women with glamorous beauty content and an unparalleled focus on inner-beauty and health.
Company: The Beauty Bean
Founder/Age: Alexis Wolfer, 26
Location: New York, NY
Startup Year 2010
Startup Costs: $20,000
How I Got Started
I have always struggled with body image issues – as I’m sure most women have – but it wasn’t until I was in graduate school at Columbia, simultaneously working in fashion editorial and writing my Master’s thesis on the role some women’s magazines play in promoting negative body image, that I really understood both the power of the media as well as the power we have to change the unrealistic beauty ideals we’ve learned to strive for. So, that’s what I set out to do.
I then ventured to learn everything I could about online media and websites and worked tirelessly to create The Beauty Bean, a website designed not only to give women and girls a place to get their beauty and fashion fix but also a site designed to promote positive body image, expand the definition of beauty and help women and girls lead healthier lives focused on real beauty.
Best Customer Interaction
Because the site is designed to very subtly promote self-confidence and prevent eating disorders, I was never quite sure how many of our readers understood our underlying mission. I knew a lot of women and girls loved our beauty, fashion, nutrition and fitness tips, but I constantly wondered if we were making a difference.
About 6 months after launching we held a Twitter contest where we asked our followers to complete the sentence, “I love The Beauty Bean because…” I fully expected answers like “I love The Beauty Bean because of the great fitness tips” or “I love The Beauty Bean because it keeps me informed of the latest trends.”
What I didn’t expect (over 85% of the responses were) were responses like, “I love The Beauty Bean because it makes me feel better about myself.” It was the first time I knew I was making a difference and that my goals were being met. It meant so much to me and is something I still think about often.
Biggest Startup Challenge
I have found patience to be my biggest challenge. As you pour your soul into a new project [and literally give it your blood, sweat and tears] all you want is to see results. You want people to appreciate your hard work, to turn a profit, and know that you are really making a difference. For better or worse, that all takes time.
I know that in the grand scheme of business, a year is short – perhaps even insignificant. But when you’re writing checks out of your savings account, working 80-hour weeks and completely forgoing a social life, it can be very difficult to remain patient. It’s a challenge I still face.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help – no one in a position of power or importance or success got there without the help of others. If you ask with kindness and respect, the worst you can hear is “No.”
Source: Discussions on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy