One of the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face when starting out is figuring out where to begin. Even after they get the necessary tools to run their business, many women don’t realize that even with access to the best resources, they never guarantees success. CEO of Xehar, Hadari Oshri, believes that the road to success for women entrepreneurs begins with a reliable foundation which begins with changing the way we think. In order to be successful, a woman must be able to adapt a new way of thinking; it’s an invaluable skill that one needs when starting out as an entrepreneur.
Karla: What was the moment when you realized that you needed a mentor in order to be a successful entrepreneur?
Hadari: The realization happened to me right before my divorce. I was on a trip in Israel and I remember I was sitting in a restaurant and thinking about how my life wasn’t what I envisioned it would be by that point in time. I was married but I wasn’t happy because I had compromised so much of myself to be with this person. My business at the time wasn’t turning out like I’d hoped it would and I was sitting at this restaurant wondering why things weren’t going according to plan.
That same night I came across this man who was the same age as me who was successful, content and was essentially living the life I wanted. The entire evening I kept thinking to myself, “What is he doing that I’m not doing?” It wasn’t until the end of our conversation that I realized the difference between the two of us was how we viewed and approached similar situations in our lives.
I realized that if I wanted a prosperous future, I couldn’t do the same things over and over and expect different results. If I wanted to be successful then I needed to be able to think like a successful person, I knew I would need to which is where a mentor comes into play. The very next day I was able to find someone who I still rely on to this day.
K: What changed for you after you met your personal mentor?
H: My mentor helped me change the way I think, which helped me better understand why my previous business didn’t take off in the direction I wanted them to. I was raised to follow the rules and to ask for permission like most women are. Growing up as a girl from a small town in Israel, the people around me believed that I should aspire to marriage and to work as a teacher or a nurse.
Like I’ve stated previously, there’s nothing wrong with any of those things. However the fact that those were the only goals that would determine if I was successful or not because I was a woman was stifling. How was I supposed to know what else to be when all the women around me were working as teachers or nurses?
With a personal mentor I was able to change the way I grew up thinking which allowed me to set goals and strategically plan how to accomplish them. I truly believe that in order to create a better environment for women within entrepreneurship, we have to be able to help all women and not just those who already have the tools to be entrepreneurs. It’s important to build a solid foundation which begins with changing the way we view and react to our situations.
K: What has been the best advice you’ve received from a mentor of yours?
H: My personal mentor would tell me, “Hadari, you got this.” I know it’s very big and simple statement, but it took me awhile to get to that point where I actually believed those words. At first it felt a bit odd repeating this phrase over and over, but the more I told myself “Hadari, you got this”, the more focused and reassured I felt in all of the decisions I made. You kind of have to record yourself and have your headset on and hear yourself said “Hadari, you’ve got this” so that it keeps you focused and on track to where you want to be.
Good advice can only take you so far through. It’s important to have a successful personal mentor by your side who will help you develop your mindset. If anything, this is the most important piece of advice. A lot of people make the mistake of going directly to mentors for their business and they think that just because they have the best business mentor that they’re set up for success, but that’s not the case.
When you start a company, especially if you don’t have a background in business or if you don’t know anyone who operates their own successful company, it’s difficult to succeed. This is because you don’t have all of the tools to be successful and you also don’t have the state of mind that a lot of successful entrepreneurs have. This is where having a personal mentor helps. Even though you’ve never done something, your mentor definitely has and can guide you through whatever life or business brings your way. It made all the difference for me so I can only imagine what a mentor can do for other women who were in my situation, who wanted to be successful but didn’t know where to start.
I would like to take the time to thank and recognize my personal mentor, Connie, who has been there to help guide me through all of my tumultuous moments as an entrepreneur. If you’re looking for a mentor, you can contact Connie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org