How To Find Your Voice In Business As A Female Entrepreneur
Lisa Riggs, also known as the Sock Queen, is the founder of Spirit Sox USA, a company focused on making a difference in the world with each pair of its customized socks. By collaborating with her customers to design unique socks and incorporating their branding, Lisa has found a niche that allows her to use her background in fundraising, HR, and management.
As a mom of two college-aged children, Lisa has been involved in fundraisers for a variety of their activities and sports. After creating a sock fundraiser for her daughter’s school, Lisa realized this success could be replicated in other businesses and Spirit Sox USA was born. To date, Lisa has helped thousands of businesses with branded socks that can be sold, provided as a corporate gift, or offered as a customer giveaway.
Lisa, a lifelong resident of California, has been married for 26 years and has two college-age children. With two dogs, a 31-year-old box turtle, and an active lifestyle, Lisa and her family enjoy spending time at the beach, going hiking, and playing sports.
At JRM&A, we had the pleasure of hearing directly from Lisa what it is like to be a female entrepreneur, the struggles that come with not only starting, but also maintaining your own company, and how to find your voice in business.
As an entrepreneur, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
“I’ve learned to have courage and to not be afraid of getting no for an answer. It’s much more important to go after the big clients or the big contract and risk not getting it than to not try at all. If I keep going after it, the yeses will come.”
How do you believe entrepreneurs can and should support each other?
“I believe it’s important to share our knowledge and help those around us. There are a lot of networking groups out there, but I think it’s important to find one that isn’t selling to each other, only supporting. Creating a safe space where you can lift each other up and be honest about challenges or setbacks will propel the entire group forward. I’ve been lucky to be a part of that with a few networking groups and it is no coincidence that everyone’s business starts to grow when we all work to support each other.”
What is the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur?
“The risk, the responsibility and how many hats we have to wear.”
According to Forbes.com, about half of new businesses fail in the first five years, and over 65% last less than a decade. Most entrepreneurs are forced to close up shop due to running out of financial means and not knowing how to properly manage their finances.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
“The independence and the flexibility. I love that I am the decision-maker and don’t have to answer to anyone. I love that I determine what I will do to grow my company. I love continually learning new things, meeting new people, and gaining new experiences.”
How is it challenging to be an entrepreneur as a woman?
“The bias in society is real and we all know it. The manufacturing space is very male-dominated so it took me longer and having to overcome a few setbacks to even launch my business. (I now work with female-run manufacturers.) Also, I just want to be a business owner, not a female business owner, and not be judged or evaluated differently because I’m a female. I am a business owner.”
What advice would you give someone who wants to start their own business?
“The biggest mistake I see new business owners make is not identifying how they will get their customers. It’s common to identify your customer avatar and target audience. But you have to take it to the next step and figure out how you are going to get those customers. How will you stand out against the other competitors? How will people find you? How will you find them?”
In your own opinion, what is YOUR voice in business?
“My voice is all about equality. I’ve never thought I was less than because I am a female and have fought for equality my entire life. I use my voice and the influence I’ve grown to speak up for equality, to call out actions that are inexcusable, and to create an inclusive environment where we are who we are and we are accepted for that.”
Being an entrepreneur takes passion, knowledge, and dedication in order to be successful. At JRM&A, our CEO, clinical supervisor, and founder, Joelle, works with clients who have the goal of starting their own business by offering executive and career coaching to anyone ready to get their private practice off the ground.
By working with Joelle, you can turn your passion and ideas into a reality. With almost 10 years of experience as an entrepreneur and CEO, she has the knowledge and capability to give the proper guidance and tools needed to be successful. Her one-on-one coaching allows clients to learn more about career development, strategic management, and well-being, all of which are needed to be a successful business owner.
Expert Spotlight: Lisa Riggs
Learn more about female entrepreneur, Lisa Riggs!
1) How do you like to start your day?
|I love to start my day by going to the gym and getting in a really good workout.
2) What do you do for a living and why did you choose this field?
|I founded and run my own company, Spirit Sox USA. I chose to be an entrepreneur for the independence to be my own boss and make my own decisions as well as flexibility. Also, I figured high risk, high reward.
3) Chocolate or vanilla?
|Chocolate every time
4) How have you learned from your failures?
|The obvious is to try not to make that same mistake again. But I definitely use my failures as something to learn, grow and develop from.
5) What makes you an expert in your field?
|I’m guessing not a lot of people know more about socks or designing them than I do!
6) What is the one thing you want people to know about you?
|What you see is what you get. I truly present myself authentically.
7) Describe yourself in 3 adjectives
8) What was the worst job you’ve ever had?
|My first “professional” job was in HR for a manager that was verbally and mentally abusive.
9) If you could, what advice would you give your 18 year old self?
|Don’t be so hard on yourself
10) In your own opinion, what has made you successful?
|My courage, my grit, my determination, and self-motivation. I also hate to fail so I work really hard not to; often taking the more difficult path knowing it will get the better result.
11) Sand or snow?
12) What makes you unique in your profession?
|People always told me I was too nice to be a business owner. I’ve proven you can be nice and run a successful business.
13) What’s your BIG dream?
|I’d love to be able to sell my company to someone who will continue its legacy, and then choose to do what I wanted to do with my time. I’m sure that would involve living part-time in Maui!
14) What do you like to do in your free time?
|Exercise, go to the beach, hike, walk the dogs, read, relax, hang with family and friends.
15) What is your go to self care practice to avoid burnout?
|Exercise and trying to get enough sleep
16) What do you like to do right before you turn off the lights for the night?
17) Coffee or tea?
18) What has been your biggest accomplishment?
|Launching my business and not only surviving the 5 year mark, but also the pandemic. Today the business is thriving and growing.
19) When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
20) Who was your biggest influence and why?
|My Dad. I’ve always looked up to him; he’s so smart and successful but also so generous and caring. He’s been a successful CEO and sold multiple companies but he melts for puppies and babies! He’s also been the most supportive and loving Dad any daughter could ask for.
You can reach us at (650)-386-6753 or info@joellerabowmaletis to share your comments, ask questions or schedule an appointment.
To learn more about career and executive coaching offered at JRM&A, email email@example.com or call 650-386-6753.
For more information on how to get your very own customized socks from Lisa and Spirit Sox USA, visit https://www.spiritsoxusa.com/.
Carter, P. (2022, October 12). Council post: 11 reasons why most entrepreneurs fail. Forbes. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/07/05/11-reasons-why-most-entrepreneurs-fail/?sh=473c3c871b7b