Nathalie Lussier got her Bachelors in Software Engineering then promptly turned down a “stable” job on Wall Street to start her own online business. She’s a sought-after digital strategist who teaches people how to get techy with their business. Get your Free Website Checkup at http://GetTechyNow.com. Follow her @NathLussier.
Who is your hero?
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (or Cindy Gallop).
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
The best piece of business advice that I received was to focus on my romantic relationship as my first priority, and not on my business first. I got this advice while I was actively trying to grow my company; things were tough, and I could feel the stress and the pressure. As a woman entrepreneur, having a solid and nourishing love relationship helped me feel safe and loved, so when I did focus on my business I wasn't as frazzled and I could approach it from a much better place. This piece of advice changed how I work and play, and ultimately helped grow my business beyond my wildest expectations.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
The biggest mistake I made in my business was not talking to my customers and potential customers when creating the business. I chose a name that originally didn't speak to my people, and I was really just following what I saw other business owners do...instead of learning from my audience and from real people what the direction of my company should be, based on their wants and needs. As soon as I changed the name, and aligned my business with what my ideal customers wanted, then things really took off.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I walk my dog. This may not seem to be the first hour of my business day (you'd think it starts after I walk the dog), but it's actually a really important start for me. I use the time with my dog to think, to do a little introspection, and also to dictate my ideas and new articles. I've found that time outside in nature -- like I have access to in the park by my home -- also boosts my creativity, so that when I get into my home office, I'm ready to rock and roll. I love dictating on my phone too, because I get ideas that I'd never get from inside the four walls of my office.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Create incentives for your customers and clients to pay up front, so that you get the cash in the door as quickly as you can. Waiting to invoice clients puts you at a disadvantage, and you never really know when they'll pay an invoice -- so if you have people who rely on you for their paychecks, it can put you in a tight spot. Offer savings or discounts if people pay up front, and watch how it smooths out your cash flow.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Work with a coach, consultant, or mentor who has done what you want to do in your business. I've done it, and it allowed me to grow both personally and professionally in ways that are still reaping rewards today.
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab , a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.