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Member Spotlight: Barbara Voorhees

02/28/2017 12:40 PM | Anonymous member

"Find where you need to go and follow your heart into a new venture and leave a path for others to follow." -- Barb Voorhees

Barbara Voorhees created Be Creative Ventures (BVC) in July 2016 after 10 years with the University of St. Thomas. BCV’s mission is to bring business success to organizations through simplifying and systemizing processes. It is her belief that each journey of a successful business is a venture that allows you to be a part of that discovery through risk, speculation and rewards. BVC’s clients are broad in respect to industry. Whether a startup, an organization experiencing growth, or one facing challenges in change management; it is determining the most efficient use of resources, how to simplify and systemize with best solutions, and how to plan for future growth.

For Barb, the best part of being an entrepreneur are the stories from the people she meets and the skills they bring to the table. She has advised many clients and listened to their stories, both their successes and challenges and is amazed with the passion and fortitude they possess to reach their goals.

Typically, the most significant challenge facing entrepreneurs is financial sustainability. If it isn’t raising capital, it is feast or famine in finding clients. That’s where discipline comes in. You need to know your financial resources, where to find your clients, and make tough decisions daily. Follow your dream and never give up. David Kelly of IDEO stated,“Fail often in order to succeed sooner.” The concept is that as failure occurs, you learn more about your product or service and what improvements can be made on the next iteration. Many entrepreneurs work full time jobs while pursuing their dream. There will be many times where failure occurs and you want to throw in the towel; don’t. You need to learn to pivot, be agile, and adjust to the market, or create your own new market. Recalibrate your thinking, your market, or your approach; don’t settle until you are where you want to be. And, even then, you will continue to grow your dream.

There are many opportunities to connect with potential clients. The best, of course, are referrals from previous clients and those who know your work. One area that is often missed is volunteer work. Other options could be through strategically sourced network groups, professional social media platforms, and events where your clients hang out. The key is to know who your clients are, go where they go, make your business visible, and most important, follow-up with any contacts you make; this is critical. A follow-up should occur within 24 hours of meeting someone.

In her free time, Barb enjoys spending time with family and friends.  She also enjoys traveling, concerts, hiking, biking, canoeing, and just about anything outside during the warm months. She also has a couple of rescue felines, one that has been with her since her birth, almost 20 years.

Words of wisdom that Barb would like to share:
Find where you need to go and follow your heart into a new venture and leave a path for others to follow. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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