This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
Heather Sanders built an authentic business despite the obstacles.
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Women empowering women is more than a hashtag. It is a mission I am on to bring about change and lead every person to believe they have what it takes to follow their passions. We can help one another in so many ways. One of them is to support each other’s dreams and give support without expectation or attachment. The more you connect authentically to those around you and grow in your relationships, the more women will heal and change the world. So when I meet other women doing the same thing, it fills me with a sense of joy that needs to be shared. One of these beautiful women is Heather Sanders.
Heather Sanders is the founder of the fashion label Sorella Boutique, a company that has grown from a 10-product online-only store to opening up shop right on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. She has gone on to create a movement that encourages strong, working and independent women of all ages, colors and sizes to be confident and empowered to have a vision. Through all of this growth, what inspires me most is how Sanders never stopped being true to herself. In fact, her success is largely due to her staying herself. Success and authenticity can thrive together.
As I connect with more and more beautifully strong and talented women all around the world, I see many entrepreneurs who struggle with holding on to who they are in the process of building a business. Please know that who you are is the most powerful thing you can offer the world. During our interview, Heather shared with me about being a strong black woman, navigating success and building something from the ground up in the city of Los Angeles. Heather spoke about five powerful takeaways to building an authentic business that I am so honored to share with you.
1. Focus on your business, not your competitors
“Continue pushing the limits and making yourself original. It’s going to drive you crazy, especially when you’ve dedicated your time and effort into something, but get used to it — it means you’re doing something right. Once you run into that, realize you are now setting the bar.”
2. Support others in their missions
“I come from a place where I didn’t really know that pursuing my dreams was even possible. If I can help the next generation understand that it is actually very possible, I want to do that. Share the tools and knowledge that you’ve gained. We are in a weird social era where people feel like sharing knowledge and helping the next person will in some way hinder their growth. I say, share that information; there is enough success for everyone out there.”
3. Use your fears to help you improve
“It’s going to get hard, but whatever you do, don’t give up. And don’t be afraid to ask for help or constructive criticism. The objective is to gain as much knowledge as you can to grow. I didn’t go to school for business, so I’m self-taught—everything I’ve learned along the way, I’ve learned on my own and with the help of my team. It was a struggle, but doing so has made me more confident as a business owner. There’ve been times when I wanted to give up, and literally, shortly after pushing forward is when I leveled up.”
4. Be determined to stay the course
“Every single day I do something for Sorella, whether it be learning something new, being involved with my team, taking a photo for Instagram, creating new ideas, etc. Every day, I make sure to do something for my brand growth. You must be fearless, be consistent and know that if you didn’t try you’ve already failed.”
5. Never forget who you are — or who you’re doing it for
“I’ve succeeded by being myself. really. I’m a genuine person, and I think people gravitate toward that. I haven’t had to pay my way to the top — all of Sorella’s clientele and support are 100 percent organic. Be yourself, unapologetically. It’s what makes you unique. For example, becoming a mother has helped shaped me. It’s given me a totally different spark that I’ve never had, a new reason to hustle even harder. I have to leave a legacy for my babies, it’s so important to me. No matter where you are in your life or what level you are in business, know that who you are is the most important thing.”
Choose to shine in your authenticity and walk boldly with women all around you toward your dreams. Together we can accomplish anything!