Budding Entrepreneurs in Australia Shine!
They bring ideas, passion, skills and the courage to start a venture from scratch. I discovered this and so much more when I interviewed Christy Laurence, the founder and CEO of Plann, a visual planning app for Instagram for social media lovers.
Christy, a self-confessed nerd who once had no clue how to build software, has created a powerful app that allows customers to design, plan and schedule an Instagram feed in under 90 seconds.
Originally from a marketing background, Christy was on another career path until she met face to face with illness. A bout of the flu spread to her brain, left her temporarily immobilised, and saw her resign from her then corporate job.
To pass the time Christy started to draw and posted her artwork directly to Intagram on a daily basis. When she began being offered money for her artwork, one thing led to another and Plann was born. Plann is actually the only Instagram scheduling mobile app in Australia giving back valuable time to small businesses, creative entrepreneurs and bloggers.
As further testament of her success, Christy was also awarded the ‘Australasian Startup Founder of The Year, 2016’ with StartCon.
Here are Christy’s top four lessons for entrepreneurs starting out:
Go All In.
Christy originally outsourced the building of her app to a development team. After three unsuccessful attempts to get the app “just right,” she decided to go all in. “You can’t be an almost ain entrepreneur,” Christy said. She taught herself how to build an app from scratch, by watching YouTube and getting advice from other developers; And by going all in, Christy was able to totally focus on her dream.
Realise You Can’t Control Everything.
One of Christy’s biggest lessons for entrepreneurs is that there are going to be things out of your control, you just have to roll with it. “All businesses face problems, they’re either big or small, or good or bad, but what matters is how you deal with them, and how you plan to bounce back. Make the decision every time to persevere, because consistency is success.,” she said.
Choose Your Team
Positivity has played a huge part in Christy’s success. Her number one mantra is to stay away from anyone who tells you that you can’t do something. You need a support network that’s as strong as your dream. When Christy started out she made a point of deciding who her team was going to be and changed social circles to reflect that.
Her other tips are to make time for friends and family, and create a work life balance. Christy adds, “It’s important to look after your mental health. Most people who own a small business know how it can consume your entire life if you let it. Understand and accept that your ‘to do’ list will never be finished, and that’s perfectly OK.”
Go For It, You Can Learn Absolutely Anything!
Christy urges women who want a career in tech to just go for it! “You can learn absolutely anything. After all, I learned how to build an app with no tech background,” she says. She added that it was important to understand your knowledge gaps and ask for help, which will help you learn and grow.
Christy is passionate about mentoring women entrepreneurs and was a guest at Intuit Australia’s International Women’s Day celebration, 8 March 2017. Visit www.plannthat.com
Written by Lauren Atkinson, Women’s Network Leader, Intuit Australia.