"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." Mark Twain
Elizabeth Anderson-Cadogan is the CEO of Cadogan & Associates, LLC. With over 15 years experience in operational optimization, Elizabeth is a Business Development Consultant, Speaker, Business Coach, and Outreach & Engagement Facilitator. Cadogan & Associates is a full-service Washington D.C. based consulting firm providing business development resources to the private, public and non-profit sectors.
Entrepreneurship: The First Year
Mistake! [Laughs] no, it is a way to bring new and innovative ideas to the marketplace. It provides a chance for minorities and women. Young women are often unrecognized in the workplace; entrepreneurship offers an opportunity for them to build wealth–there's still a pay gap especially in fields where women aren't largely represented in leadership. In business when you're your own boss, you get to ask for what you deserve.
When did you decide to become an entrepreneur full-time how was that transition? Did you create a plan?
It was an easy transition. In my field, I already knew the challenges entrepreneurs face. I had already done the research, a lot of research, and I was well-prepared for the upcoming challenges.
After your first year as an entrepreneur, what is the biggest lesson you have learned?
You cannot do it all alone. [I've learned the importance of] having a team and a support system to provide with additional knowledge and resources.
How was the process of hiring interns and employees to aid in achieving your goals?
Hiring interns was an easy process, finding interns with skill sets I need is challenging. A lot of the time, with interns, it is their first professional experience and some may not have experience in my field. Juggling the demands of the business, training and mentoring staff can be challenging.
What were your greatest achievements and hurdles?
Bringing in over 40 clients in one year and making connections internationally. A hurdle would be, maintaining the original mission while also growing the business. Keeping the balance between serving the core demographic and expanding to service the needs of new clients.
What are five tips you would give entrepreneurs going into their first year?
- Do your research, know the market, make sure you're an expert in your field.
- Constantly enhance your knowledge.
- Get a team–interns. Interns will help you because they ground you. They allow you to make sure your work can translate to clients because they're learning [too].
- Something that I should do more of–work-life balance. Taking time for the things that are important to you is necessary like having dinner with your family. It’s important, so you don't end up working yourself to death.