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Combining Entrepreneurship and Legacy as a Formula for Success

Combining Entrepreneurship and Legacy as a Formula for Success

How often do we hear “You can’t have it all?” Especially as women, we’re told we have to make choices in life. You can build a successful multi-million dollar business OR you can build your family. You can be a high-powered executive OR you can have a life.

Don’t believe the myth! It is possible to build a highly profitable business or successful career that is profitable, sustainable, and fulfilling. Entrepreneurs, like Katerina Rothman, Owner of Beflax Linen, are proving every day that women can build a business, a legacy, and a life on their terms.

Let’s take a peek at some real-world secrets for building a sustainable, trans-generational business.

1) Find your guardrails.

The people who tell you that you have to choose between success and happiness are always offering advice based on their personal experiences. But just because your friend can’t wrap their mind around building an empire, while tucking their kids into bed every night, doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work.

You need to find your own guardrails. Rothman knew from the beginning that she had two non-negotiable commitments:

I wanted to build an eco-friendly, natural linen shop that wouldn’t force my customers to choose between luxury and affordability. And I wanted to build a business that would give me time with my daughters.

She created a business that is truly sustainable in all ways by:

  • Realizing she can’t do everything (Rothman’s mother, with her incredible sewing skills and vast knowledge about fabrics, is a huge inspiration for the business).
  • Hiring the right craftspeople to create beautiful designs and comfortable fabric that her customers love.
  • Partnering with others who are (almost) as passionate as Rothman about the ecologically responsible, calming, and temperature-regulating benefits of flax linen.
By refusing to compromise on the things that are most important to me, I stay in control of what matters. I know I can find a workaround when I need to.

[Related: 5 Things Successful Women Do That Others May Not]

2) Take action.

Taking action can be one of the most difficult lessons for new business owners and early career professionals. In our minds, the choice is between putting ourselves out there when we don’t feel ready or waiting until we’ve got everything figured out.

Waiting is always going to be the easy route — and the fastest route to nowhere. The only way to learn, improve, and build your way up is by taking action. As Rothman says:

For me, taking action wasn’t really an option. I was an entrepreneur at heart and I wasn’t afraid of anything. I watched my mother naturally turn her passion for sewing and love of high-quality fabrics toward helping others. My path was clear.

Building your business or career is not about having the most experience or being the smartest person in the room. It’s about having the guts to take action.

And Rothman has continued to be gutsy. When the Beflax Linen e-commerce store first launched in December of 2017, the response was overwhelming. Rothman had to make some quick decisions about distribution and some suppliers suggested she compromise on the packaging. But she insisted on finding another way. To this day, her packaging remains 100% recyclable, without any plastics.

So go ahead! Take action, even if you don’t feel ready. Take a risk, even if you feel uncomfortable, because this is what will make you move forward. Only when you step out of your comfort zone will you learn about your hidden powers and your true potential.

[Related: The Great Pause, or How to Tailor Your Dream DVF Style]

3) Go your own way.

When we push ourselves to start a new venture or put ourselves in unknown situations, it can make us feel insecure. We can fall into the temptation of comparing ourselves to everyone else. We can feel unworthy of taking up the time of others we admire.

What helps in these situations, according to Rothman, is reframing the situation. You have unique skills that you bring to the table and when you tap into those, you’ll find your strength.

Don’t let anyone tell you if you focus on creating a sustainable future or building a legacy business that you can pass on to your children, you can’t succeed. Never forget, it’s you — and you alone — who gets to define success.

Instead of looking at what others are doing and trying to create something similar because you believe that’s what the market will reward, go your own way. After J.K. Rowling published the Harry Potter series, thousands of authors wrote similar books. None of those were nearly as successful as Harry Potter.

Create a community that supports and inspires. Find the people who align with your values and your unique blend of skills. They’re out there waiting for you.

Successful women like Katerina Rothman are out there and they aren’t even thinking about buying into the myth that they can’t have it all. They’re breaking down barriers every day and proving that you can do the same. All you have to do to get started is find your guardrails, take action, and go your own way!

[Related: Three Things You Must Do Immediately as a New Leader]

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Aleksandra Mihajlovska a theater actress and communications professional. She uses theater tools to work on personal and creative development of people of all ages, with a specific focus on youngsters, girls, and marginalized groups. She leads workshops on communication, conflict resolution, intercultural dialogue, and advocacy through arts.


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