The need to be seen
Hana defines herself as an entrepreneur who suppressed her entrepreneurial nature for a long time. What helped her make the switch and realize that this was her true passion was actually Facebook, at a time when it was still a new thing.
She shared about the initial experience of shock and excitement she experienced seeing the large waves of feedback and support for posts she wrote -
"Suddenly I realized that these little ideas of mine were catching on hugely, so I started publishing all my ideas."
This feeling that she is seen, understood and appreciated for what she does gave her tremendous strength to continue and leap forward.
This need for recognition exists in all of us, and this is a very significant point in the world of ventures as well, because it’s something that is shared both by us as entrepreneurs and by our potential clients. Just as it’s important for us that others will see and appreciate our work, so do the users - they want to feel they and their needs are seen.
When we talked about why it’s relevant to the startup world, Hana explained -
"I really like the difference between focusing on recognition Vs on getting users - because for me, I am constantly working on recognition and empathy, and many times it ends up translating into users on its own."
When we focus on really seeing the potential users of our product, paying attention to their needs & pains and looking to solve their problem in the best way possible, and not necessarily focusing on the sale itself, we create a much better product.
And ironically, we also use the most profitable marketing strategy. In the end, no one remains indifferent to the ones who see them, and there’s nothing more alienating than a company that you feel is pushing you to buy their product without caring about you at all.
Filter your environment
The embrace of support from our environment is necessary within the entrepreneurial journey. Hana emphasized:
"For me, the most important thing is to be around people who give you energy. The only thing you can't buy is energy."
We might come across situations where we can’t avoid meeting people who drain us fron energy - who bring us down, diminish us, or make us feel uncomfortable being around them, because unfortunately there are situations that are out of our control.
Hana shared that when she recognizes such people she tries to stay away and avoid them, and if there’s no such option, she knows how important it is to develop thick skin around them. Just as we choose what food we put into our body that will benefit us, we have to think about people's energy and words - filter what needs to go in and what needs to stay out.
When we talked about the importance of our environment in our entrepreneurial journey, Hana talked about what she learned from her initial environment in life - her family :)
She grew up in a farm house in Karkur, together with 3 sisters and 3 brothers. She shared that their father raised and pushed everyone to do their best in all respects without any difference in his attitude between the boys and the girls. From a very young age she absorbed the message that everything’s possible, and there’s no difference between the sexes in capabilities and expectations.
Her mother on the other hand, who was a kindergartner, balanced him and showered them with warm and encouraging words - the education methods of both of them together created a foundation of self-confidence and inner warmth that never left her - even in moments of crisis.
At the age of 21, she married Roni -
"because I saw that he was really with me - by my side, something in my intuition about him was strong and proves itself to this day."
Today, in the environment she built for herself, she continues the tradition of her parents and fills her environment with the same inner security.
One of her ways of doing so in her professional life is through writing a weekly summary every Friday to her team, where she always ends with the sentence -
"I love you, I appreciate you, and thanks to you we’ll get far."
Even if as founders or managers this doesn’t come naturally to us because we’re more analytical people and are not used to expressing feelings and appreciation, and even if it’s because we forget to express it because of the hectic race of life where we’re constantly in the ‘doing’ - it’s crucial that we remind ourselves to get out of our comfort zone or auto-pilot, and express our faith in our team and employees - this is what keeps employees with managers. It doesn't have to be big - it's enough to have a daily/weekly reminder in the calendar to say a kind word, pay attention to the good things our team does and express it - whoever you gave a good word of appreciation to, even casually, will remember it for a long time.
"I strongly believe in women, I love working with women, I know that we’re the mothers of the world. Today there are very few of us who succeed in being entrepreneurs or managers, so there’s a magnifying glass on each of us - if there will be many of us in the ecosystem, this phenomenon will diminish."
As someone who spent most of her career working with men, Hana saw the lack of female representation everywhere, and this instilled the inner fire in her to create a different environment, full of women, to raise the general awareness on this issue for both women and men, who can benefit tremendously from bringing more women into their teams and investing in more women entrepreneurs.
The last piece of advice that Hana gave is -
"One of the most effective tools for entrepreneurs, especially women entrepreneurs, is networking."
The main thing we have in life is managing relationships - so we should really take the time and think about how we manage and maintain our different relationships, not only with our family and children, but also with our friends, our team, and people in our ecosystem. We’ll be surprised to discover how much power people have to help us, and vice versa, how much power we hold and can leverage for helping and lifting other people up - this is the power of relationships, of people.