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Awesome Business

Progress is often uneven in getting my business off the ground

by Anne Florenzano  |  3485 views  |  8 comments  |        Rate this now! 

In the past when I’ve heard about women who have started their own companies, I’ve been awed by their accomplishments. Now I’M the one starting my own company, and believe me, it’s not awesome!

The process of getting my business off the ground is long, and for me has involved both leaps forward and steps back. It has largely been made up of hours of research and learning, making phone calls, and sorting out the issues I face one at a time to move the process along. Sometimes picking up the phone to get things started is the hardest part.

For example, I needed to find some artists to work on my prototype. It made my palms sweat to make that call to talk to the first artist. It’s hard to feel credible when you don’t have an organization or a business title behind you. I wondered, could I present a credible case to the artist to get his interest? But that was the hardest moment, as the phone call went well, we entered into a dialogue, and now I’m working with not one, but two artists. Once a process gets going, it develops a momentum of its own and becomes much easier.

My most recent issue was learning that I can not trademark the company name I registered with my state last year. Other than a new filing fee with the state, there is no dollar cost to me to rename my business at this point, it’s just an emotional set-back. Since it’s very important to me to have trademark protection in the future, I embarked on a round of intense study to learn what goes into the proper naming of a business. I brainstormed with friends and family, and at the end of several weeks I felt I was further away from a good name than when I started rethinking the whole thing.

Thus I made the decision to get professional creative help. Once again, when I’d researched and honed in on the agency I wanted to call, it was very, very intimidating to pick up the phone and initiate that conversation. I had not anticipated having to spend the money at this stage, and I was very nervous to take this step. But I knew that I would soon need to hire someone to design a logo and website anyway, so I reasoned that if this agency worked out well, they might become a good partner for my future needs.

I’m happy to say that, once again, the person on the other end of the line of that scary call was very nice, explaining completely the process we could go through to decide if we wanted to work together. Their services were reasonably priced, and I have hired them to work with me in finding a name, tag line and logo; all trademark-able and with the available web domain name. The step backward that forced me into this process of finding a new company name has led me to the knowledge that this is actually a perfect time to be crafting a more complete brand strategy, and will result in a big leap forward.

About the Author

Anne Florenzano is a woman entrepreneur blogging about her experiences and observations as she starts her own business. You can read it at

Read more by Anne Florenzano

8 comments so far...

  • Thanks for the support, bPattee!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Anne Florenzano on 23rd June 2008

  • You hit on many fears we all have and can all relate to -- it is scary but fun all at the same time or we wouldn't spend so much time doing it! I spend so much more of my time trying to get my business up and running it would have been easier to get a job at an office again but it is not as fulfilling. So tackling these fears is just one part of the great process and we're all in it like you!! Keep at it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by bPattee on 23rd June 2008

  • Anne, You have highlighted the great benefit of sites like Work It Mom. Women can write in and candidly share their experiences - and it is so helpful to others. Even when it is a second "business" as it was for me there was still enormous learning. I got great affirmation recently when I read about one of Australia's top 200 entrepreneurs who happened to be a woman. She said that in the first two years she was unable to take a salary and when she did it was $100 week. But slow and steady sets strong foundations. You have great passion and enthusiasm, Anne. I can sense you'll do great things.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Maree Harris on 6th November 2007

  • Anne! i loved reading this article. really and truely!! i also have the 'fear of phone calls' and even though i KNOW it is going to be fine/successful/etc. i still hate it.

    it's funny -even though you keep saying it's hard, i am still inspired to start my own company, eventually (i am still in the idea-bouncing-around-my-head stage!)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 26th October 2007

  • So awesome for you and so awesome for us that you shared this!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 25th October 2007

  • Awesome article Anne - thanks for sharing so candidly. I think so many times, people think that being an entrepreneur is all fun... or - I run into moms who don't think I "really" work - ya know - my business is just a cover for sitting on the couch eating bon-bons all day LOL! Your article really speaks to the fact that sometimes, business is all work and no play. But then, there is that other sweet side. When you have that incredible client who has worked really hard and has an amazing break-through. Or when someone e-mails you out of the blue and tells you how much your blog or an article has inspired them... ahhhhh... now that's a reward!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jenn_Givler on 25th October 2007

  • Who was it who said 80% of genius is just showing up, Einstein, I think. Creating and running a business is hard work. I created and run an office with personnel at a university. Even though I work for someone else, and doesn't involve money it requires a lot of detail and planning,detective work and sheer inspiration. I think about going freelance one day, but...oh...the effort!! My hat is off to you! It is a great opportunity for me to be able to watch you on your path, really. Please keep writing. :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KatieK on 25th October 2007

  • Anne, thank you for sharing this - I really appreciated the honesty in which you talked about your business. As I often talk about here, Work It, Mom! is my first full-time entrepreneurial venture and it definitely not awe-inspiring - but is all about baby steps, as you say, small victories, tough challenges, small failures, and big efforts to get back up and keep building.

    (Oh, and I can totally relate to the story about choosing a company name - I stopped talking to my friends about it because their suggestions made me so insecure about the initial choice we'd made, which we liked, and which, at the end, became Work It, Mom!)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 25th October 2007