We caught up with Danielle Tate, longtime female entrepreneur who bootstrapped her business - MissNowMrs.Com - to 300,000 customers. In addition to being Founder & President of this multimillion dollar online name-change company, Danielle is also the author of Elegant Entrepreneur: The Female Founders Guide to Starting & Growing Your First Company.
Tell us more about Elegant Entrepreneur? What inspired you to write it?
I wrote Elegant Entrepreneur to solve a problem. The problem is that too few women are starting businesses, and the ones who do aren’t scaling them past $25,000 in annual revenue. As a women who successfully built a tech business with zero business background I always searched for a book that spoke to me as an intelligent women but didn’t assume that I had an MBA. A decade into my life as an entrepreneur, I wrote that book with the mission to lower the barriers to entry and success for female founders by mapping the 12 steps to building a business and demystifying entrepreneurship and the emotions that come along with the journey.
What was the wildest or most inspiring story you heard from the many experts and entrepreneurs you spoke with?
Caren Merrick was down to $33 in her bank account and instead of giving up on her company, she dug deep and used that financial pressure as motivation to innovate and eventually grew WebMethods into a global public company of $200 milllion and 1,100 employees. Her tenacity and story inspires me.
What is the best piece of business advice you have ever given (and/or received)?
Have a good idea daily. It is easy to get hung up on the one big idea that you're building a company around, but a new idea daily will help keep you growing, keep your customers happy, and keep you ahead of competition in an ever-changing market. Discipline yourself to write ideas down and look for ways to implement them. Also encourage a culture of idea creation and sharing within your company.
In your view, what is the single biggest obstacle facing female entrepreneurs today?
Self-doubt coupled with a lack of role models. Women make amazing entrepreneurs, but I think our ability to look before we leap can also keep us from jumping into entrepreneurship. I believe educating women on how to validate a business idea as well as the steps necessary to grow that idea into a business will lower the barriers to entry for female founders. Also, the media needs to highlight more woman entrepreneur success stories. We should all celebrate the amazing companies women are building.
Have there been any unexpected outcomes from the journey of writing and publishing this book?
I've learned that life is limitless. I was feeling a little "stuck" in my 30's and in writing this book I have opened an entirely new door to new adventures and experiences.