Hey ladies, check out part two of our interview with Sara Alter, Chief Polish Officer over at Pretty Please Nail Polish. What do we love most about Sara? She’s a boss (and a new mom) but she’s so real. She dished on how to handle the distraction of what everyone else is doing, doing it all, and how she handles her competition.
How do you avoid getting distracted by what other companies/entrepreneurs are doing and you’re not?
The short answer is, some days it’s really hard.
The long answer is, almost immediately after I found out I was pregnant last summer, I was sick for the following nine months, and I had to take a step back. It was definitely hard to sit back and watch other business come out with new products, gain followers on social media, and expand their brands. I wanted Pretty Please to be right there with them. Fast forward one year and I was ready to jump back in, but I did feel a bit “behind”. When I thought about how I was going to get back on track, I knew I needed to avoid a pity party so I set a few guidelines for myself:
- I keep my inner dialogue in check. When looking at other brands, I try to think positive. Instead of saying, “they are so much better at A,B,C, (and let’s not forget “D”!), I say, “this brand is incredible at “D” and I would love to improve in that area”. I take the inspiration and run! It allows me to evaluate where I am, what I want to change and how I want to grow, without being negative. No one has time for that.
- I keep in mind that behind every pretty picture there is a messy table, a pile of trash, 30 unseen outtakes, and a lot of hard work. It’s easy to forget when you’re only seeing a finished product. All companies, and the women who run them, go through ups and downs. You just have to stay focused, try your best, and be kind to yourself along the way.
- I took on the motto of, “Don’t Compete. Collaborate”. If I love a brand, instead of viewing them as competition, I reach out to introduce myself, have a fan girl moment, and suggest collaboration or a giveaway. Connecting with like-minded women is both fun and empowering. Join forces and build brand awareness with companies you admire! Someone else’s success should never, take away from your own.
How have you overcome the need to do it all and have it all right now?
Well, to start, I’m a new mom, so I have no time to do it all. I do what I can, when I can, as best as I can. I’m figuring out the balance. In business, it’s forced me to be more thoughtful. I don’t have the time to work 18 hour days like I did when I first started the company so I put my energy where I think it matters most, not everywhere at once. The idea of “having it all” usually changes over time. I’m currently in transition again!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself or Pretty Please nail polish?
We just added 4 new pretty shades to the website! You can now select from 31 colors and give them your own unique name. Yes, YOU name the nail polish yourself! Perfect for gifts, wedding events, party favors, baby showers, company branding, and the list goes on!
What’s the one obstacle/barrier that you had to get over in order to pursue your dream(s)?
When I came up with the idea to create a personalized nail polish company, no company like this existed, so I had no road map to follow.
Big nail polish and printing companies weren’t interested in running small batches and personalizing as little as one bottle at a time and that was something that was really important to me. I envisioned Pretty Please as a gift item, a party favor, or a promotional item for small events and businesses. A wedding party wouldn’t need 800 bottles, they would need 8, and I was determined to make that happen. I was working a full time job and I remember making calls to printing companies every morning on my walk to work and on every lunch break, until I finally found someone who believed in my idea and worked with me to bring it to life. That was a big hurdle starting out.
Your advice to women struggling with fear, doubt, confidence, or other paralyzing inner dialogue?
Even the most successful people in the world experience fear and self-doubt. The most important take-away is how you handle it. Figure out what scares you the most about your situation and rip it wide open. Be honest with yourself about what it is that’s actually holding you back. Sometimes it’s as simple as acknowledging that you’re scared to start. Being an entrepreneur means developing a thick skin. Some people will love your idea, and some people won’t. Some people will buy your product or service, some people won’t. If you believe in yourself and your brand, give other people the chance to believe in you too.
What advice would you give to women ready to take the first step but unsure of where to start?
Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. That’s where you will really learn and understand what it takes to run your own business. Your family and friends will be there to cheer you on and tell you your idea is awesome (because, it probably is), but having a great idea and a profitable business are two very different things and any entrepreneur knows that. Building a network of knowledgeable and passionate business owners will be extremely beneficial to help you execute and achieve success.
Try reaching out to a business owner you admire and ask to take them out for coffee or for a chat on the phone. I’ve found that people are really open to sharing their experiences.
You can also connect with a small business consultant who will charge you for their time but who will work to understand your specific goals and help you achieve them. I actually consult for new businesses, locally, and virtually, so feel free to reach out!