Recently, Nancy Shenker, the founder & CEO of theONswitch, shared her experience as a lifelong entrepreneur with WeWork, an American company which provides shared workspace, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and small businesses.
Before starting her ONswitch business in 2003, she worked for major brand companies, including MasterCard International, Citibank, and Reed Exhibition. She is also the author of “Don’t Hook Up With the Dude in the Next Cube: 200+ Career Secrets for 20-Somethings” and a blogger for Huffington Post.
She says coming from an era when people looked things up in encyclopedias and checked the indexes at the back of books makes her amazing at online research. She also prides herself on being really good at presenting to investors and clients.
A long corporate career as a brand executive gave her significant insight for when she started her own business at 48. Also, it made coming up with a “plan B” a second nature for her. “After seeing lots of work projects go wrong (or not go exactly as planned), I’ve developed the ability to respond quickly to change”, she says.
Here are some business tips for younger entrepreneurs she shares:
“Don’t take yourselves too seriously. You still have a lot to learn. I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. You’ll just be amazed at my age at how much you didn’t know when you were 30 years younger. Smile and laugh a lot.
Know when to cling to your beliefs and know when to fold. A little humility goes a long way.
Talk to strangers. You can meet some really interesting and influential people in weird places. I know you’re busy. But when you just grab lunch and run back to your office, you miss a chance to be part of a community.
Say thank you when someone helps you. And ask people what you can do to help them.
Take out those earbuds from time to time. You may hear important stuff. In fact, unplug from everything on occasion.”