July 26th, 2018
From a young age, I always had the ambition of becoming an entrepreneur and wanted the exciting challenge of being my own boss.
Today I’m now CEO of a growing start-up. iContract started as a lightbulb moment from my contractor career, but now it’s a real thing after years of hard work.
As a female CEO, I’m proud to be part of this growing movement of women in tech. My journey’s been a great experience, so I wanted to take this opportunity to share my five tips for budding female entrepreneurs.
It’s great to see more female founders emerge in the tech world and I welcome the recent news of Goldman Sachs’ initiative to invest $500 million into companies led, founded or owned by women. There’s never been a better time as a woman to become a part of the start-up scene!
Challenge everything and be challenged
In the start-up world, if there’s one perhaps cliched phrase which I’m starting to understand more, it’s being ‘agile’. Things in the tech industry change at lightning pace and consumer behaviour is always moving so you need to know how to adapt to these changes.
With that, I think to succeed as an entrepreneur you always need to be asking questions and be challenging everything. I don’t like acting safe and going with the crowd – to succeed you need to stand out from the crowd and this comes with how you challenge and approach things, plus the people you surround yourself with.
I like to keep things fresh and mix things up and I think this reflects positively on the people I surround myself with. I dislike ‘yes men’ (or women!) who will agree with me just for the sake of it. I want to empower the people around me and make them feel that they can challenge me on something if it doesn’t feel right to them. I feel this approach breeds better productivity and results.
Roll with the punches
As an entrepreneur, you have good and bad days. From my experience as CEO of iContract, I’ve had a fair share of both. But it’s important not to be phased or put off by them – no one ever quit on a great idea just because they had a bad day!
It’s up to you really to roll with the punches and not let bad days or bad experiences put you off. If anything, I find these bad days have helped me grow in character and have made me more determined.
Don’t surrender your principles
A golden rule of mine in life generally is to never settle. Throughout my experience as a CEO so far, I’ve had many occasions where I’ve been presented with opportunities or moments where I could have taken the easy road out but in exchange for surrendering my principles.
This has never been an option for me.
Keep motivated with a long-term vision
Every morning when I wake up, the excitement that carries me out of bed isn’t about the day ahead, it’s what’s in store tomorrow and beyond that.
My vision for iContract is to change the way we work forever and create a platform that will transform the lives of contractors, but also encourage other workers to embrace this way of working that benefited me so much when I was one.
It’s that vision that carries me through and even on a bad day, holding on to that dream is what makes me feel that all the hard work I put in is worth it.
Just do it!
If you believe in what you’re doing, just go for it! Women-led startups – like many female issues in general – are getting a lot of attention right now and we’re at the start of an upward trajectory
Life and work both move fast so it’s key not to dwell on certain things in work and to just do it!
This article was written for CMME by Amanda Cai from iContract
July 3rd, 2018