Can friends and family ever really understand the work it takes to run your business? We caught up with wedding and events planner Natasha Corbin-Stewart to find out why she separates business and friendship and how she stays motivated in trying times.
Who are you and what is your business?
My name is Natasha Corbin-Stewart and I’m a wedding and event planner.
What challenges can women expect to face in business?
Achieving a work and home life balance can initially be quite challenging. Although on the surface it seems that working for yourself is very liberating, many of my events take place at the weekend, therefore, I spend less time with my family. I now have a team that I have trained to take on some of the responsibilities. This has allowed me to assign them to smaller events to manage. This has enabled me to free up some of my weekends, thus helping me to strike a better balance.
One of the other challenges is learning to build a positive network for yourself and your business. Unfortunately, many of your friends and family who do not run their own business will not understand and appreciate the value of what you are building, and can often see your business as a hobby and not as something serious.
It’s not that they don’t care, but because they are not business minded – they do not understand what it entails to run and support a successful business. Therefore, it is imperative that you separate business and friendship. I have had to learn to focus on building a strong business network and appeal to my core clientele; of couples and individuals who understand the value and power of hiring a professional like myself – who can produce a high-quality event, without the client having any of the stress.
Do you think there are enough women running their own businesses?
If you had asked me this question a few years ago I would have said no, but over the past few years, I’ve seen so many women who are taking the plunge by giving up their nine to five’s and starting up in business. So I would say yes but there is always room for more women to run their own businesses.
What do you think are the advantages of having more women in business?
More women means more support and understanding of the struggles of women in business.
How do you handle knockbacks?
To be honest, knockbacks make me challenge myself more and make me more determined to succeed, so when one door closes, several more will open. That has been my experience.
What advice do you have for other women wanting to start their own business?
Be strong. Believe in what you’re doing. No matter what, just keep going because being in business isn’t as easy as it looks, it takes hard work, dedication, long nights and determination to succeed so don’t ever give up.
What can the business community do to help more women entrepreneurs?
Support them in any which way you can, social media, referrals and giving advice that will help them to develop.
How do you hope your business to develop in the future?
I would love to be able to train more staff to do what I do. I want to focus more on working on the business and have the luxury of working in the business when it is required.
Who are your business heroes?
Oprah Winfrey and Richard Branson.
What are you reading at the moment?
Aladdin every single night for the past three weeks, I need an adult book and quick.
Which one song is always on your playlist?
Good Morning by Lia Renee Dior.
Where was your last holiday?
When are you happiest?
When I’m on holiday relaxing on the beach.
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