Three pieces of advice for those new to business

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Last Saturday and this past Monday I had the great honour of speaking to two groups of women who have businesses or who have ideas for businesses.

One of the points from these presentations that I can't stress enough is the importance of talking to people about what you are up to. This is the first of three pieces of advice I'd like to share.

There are several reasons for telling people about what you're up to:

- talking to people helps you gauge interest in your ideas and helps you gather 'sound bites' - the phrases that people use when speaking about your thing. There's a real danger of using technical jargon that simply goes over people's heads and generally speaking you want to avoid that.

- talking out loud helps build your confidence. It prepares you for the time when you'll be selling the thing.

- telling people and getting feedback helps you to avoid making the HUGE mistake of spending a lot of time creating a product or service that is not needed or wanted. You might learn that people are already quite happy with what's already available in the market or that the problem you're addressing isn't one that they worry too much about doing anything about.

Another part of this story is about telling the people close to you. It's often hard for your nearest and dearest to be supportive for a variety of reasons. Maybe they impose their fears onto you, they don't want to see you fail. Or they worry that things will take off and you won't have time for them anymore.

I believe it's important to talk to those closest to you about what you're doing. If you think it's a conversation that won't go well then maybe practising beforehand is a good idea and making a mental list of the reasons why the idea is important to you. Or make a mental list of the things they are more likely to see as plusses.

Do you have any suggestions for how to broach this topic with HUSBANDS because the question comes up a lot and it seems a lot of husbands are suspicious of entrepreneurial endeavours.