Skip to main content

Lessons Learned From Small Business Owners

With Esther Lee, Tatiana Valerie, Zanade Mann, Nicole Leinbach, and Ali Schwartz

34 minutes

Build and grow your business with Yelp

Verify my free listing

From managing employees to running a storefront to marketing online, small business owners wear many hats as they grow and scale their operation. Hear from this roundtable of entrepreneurs on the important lessons they’ve learned in starting, running, and growing their small businesses.

Additional resources

Esther Lee Founder, Asian Founded
Tatiana Valerie Founder, Artvesta Studio
Zanade Mann Marketing Consultant, Zanade Enterprises & Founder, Black Women’s Business Collective
Nicole Leinbach Founder, Retail Minded
Ali Schwartz Senior Marketing Manager, Yelp

Emily: This conversation is led by one of my closest and longest colleagues, Ali Schwartz. She is incredible in her own right and has really put together a great dialogue with these women. So honestly, Ali, I’m just going to hand it right over to you. Take it away for our final topic.

Ali: Amazing. Thank you so much, Emily. Thank you to that amazing session that we just heard from. I love the notion that you only know what you know and you don’t know what you don’t know. We’re actually going to talk a little bit about that today, but hello everyone. Zanade and Nicole, Esther, Tatiana, it is so great to see you. I’m so thrilled to be moderating this final session of the day with these four, as Emily said, powerhouse women.

I’m Ali Schwartz, Yelp senior marketing manager. I’ve been at Yelp for over eight years specializing in organizing events just like this one, and creating resources for business owners to equip themselves to grow, evolve, and ultimately scale and see success. Small businesses really are the heart of our economy, and I’m thrilled to have four dynamic not only business owners, but business builders, sitting on this panel today. Let’s start with some introductions. I’d love for each of you to go around and introduce yourself, give our listeners a brief idea of who you are, what you do, chat for maybe just a minute or two. Zanade, let’s start with you, then we’ll do Tatiana, Esther, and Nicole.

Zanade: I’m so excited to be here. I say this probably every summit that I do. I hope y’all, everyone listening, you got paper and a pen, I do too. I am Zanade Mann. I am the founder of the Black Women’s Business Collective. We are dedicated to the health, wealth, and happiness of Black women entrepreneurs. I am also a marketing and communications professional with over 17 years in strategy and multicultural marketing, so very glad to be here.

Tatiana: Awesome. Hello everyone. I’m Tatiana Valerie, the founder of Applepix Pro, a media production company based in midtown Manhattan. With 18 years of experience in the field, my team provides top-notch B2B and B2C media production services that showcase our creativity, attention to detail, and dedication to capturing the perfect shot. As a small business owner, I wear multiple hats and I own multiple brands of media production. For example, Artvesta Studio is focused on wedding photography, while Corporate Photo and Video works with range of corporate clients from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations, and I’m very happy to be a part of today’s event.

Ali: Thank you so much, Tatiana. Tatiana did a webinar for us about a year ago on the perfect picture and for businesses, and we actually have that in our resources hub. Next, Esther, would love to hear a little bit of background on you.

Esther: Hi guys, just echoing everyone. Super, super excited to be here. Again, my name is Esther. I am a former TV reporter and producer, and currently the founder of Asian Founded. It is a platform where we highlight Asian-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, anything excellent that is happening in the AAPI business community. Recently we’ve evolved to event partnerships, so whether that’s a corporation that wants to amplify their DEI initiative, or maybe it’s another organization that wants to partner with us and maybe put together an event that has Asian business owners in it, we’re there. That’s what we do.

Ali: Amazing. Thank you. Thank you for being a voice and a resource for our Asian-owned businesses. Nicole, over to you.

Nicole: Hi everyone. I’m so thrilled to be here. My name’s Nicole and I founded Retail Minded in 2007. Originally it was founded as a blog, but the intention was to deliver news, education, and support, and of course, as we all know, content has changed so much over time, and so we have expanded into a variety of ways, including events. We produce the Independent Retailer Conference twice a year in Vegas. We will launch the Nation’s first sexual wellness B2B trade show this summer in Nashville called Stimulate, and I’m just a big believer that content creates conversation so that really is the core of our business.

Ali: Yes, I love that content creates conversations. Content is king, content is queen, I’ll say in this context instead. Thank you for those introductions.

By the way, for those of you that are tuned in, we will definitely save time at the end for live audience Q and A, so anything that comes to mind throughout, definitely pop it into the Zoom Q and A chat below. There are a few topics that I really want to dive into specifically, but before we do that, I want to talk high level and just start with some more general advice. I think when we think lessons learned from small business owners, we want to hear the advice. We don’t want to wait till the end for kind of the best pieces of advice that you’ve learned. If you could go back in time, what is something that you would want to tell yourself? Tell yourself, maybe warn yourself, encourage yourself. Again, as folks were just saying on the last session, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Nicole, let’s start with you. If you could go back in time, what’s something that you might want to tell yourself when you were getting started?

Nicole: I think one of the first things that came to mind as I thought about this is that you need to know what strengths and weaknesses are. You need to truly be honest with yourself. Often that means saying, “You know what? I need an external support here.” Whether it’s not an internal hire within your own brand or business, but rather a contractor, maybe you don’t like numbers, maybe you need someone to manage your accounting, maybe social media isn’t your strength, but identify what your strengths and weaknesses are because that then allows you to put your strengths into more action, which will ultimately help your business as well.

Ali: I love that so much, right? Don’t be afraid to hire if you’re in a position, ask for help if you need to, but ultimately knowing what it is that you don’t know and then you can reach out and find resources to supplement. I love that.

Tatiana, what about you? If you could go back in time, what’s something you would tell yourself?

Tatiana: Yeah, I would definitely tell myself to have a more clear definition, a destination in mind, a destination, and a plan. Then assess my progress and reevaluate often, every three to six months, and because it’s easy to get lost in just doing. Just make sure that you retain that perspective and preserve your energy and focus on the most important tasks, delegate the rest.

Ali: I love that, kind of having your mission statement, your focal point. I think a lot of folks on the line could agree that maybe y’all are really good at executing or having an idea and then gunning for it, but not forgetting what the overarching goal or business mission or vision really is. I love that. Thank you for sharing.

Esther, what about you? If you could go back in time, something you wish you could tell yourself.

Esther: Yeah, everything that’s been said so far is so good. I think for me it’s two part. Don’t undermine yourself is one, you’ll be in pockets of places where people will constantly undermine you. When I was in the TV industry, on my intern’s first day he asked me if I was the other fellow intern, and that was when I was his boss. Things like that, there’ll be pockets and moments where people will kind constantly undermine your worth. I feel like just reminding yourself, don’t undermine your abilities. Don’t undersell yourself. That’s the first one.

The second one is don’t fight invisible battles and by that I mean I feel like half the battles I personally fight because it’s such a lonely journey, is invisible in the sense where I’m always thinking the battles I’m fighting is, “What does that person think?” and that person might not even be thinking of me. Things like that, not putting things in my head and having to fight them all by myself, by all the other persons doing totally okay, those mental battles, just keeping it clear in my head mentally and just focusing on what’s, I guess, foremost and most important.

Ali: Yes, we can all be our own worst critic, which can be helpful when we’re trying to create something that is great for our clients, customer, whoever your audience is. But don’t let that work against you. Make sure you talk nicely to yourself, make sure you use your voice, you don’t let others undermine you, and you stay strong in that aspect. I love that.

Zanade, share with us what is something that you wish you could tell yourself?

Zanade: It’s okay to say no, it’s definitely okay to say no. I started my entrepreneurial journey, I was very young and I said yes to everything, thinking about personal branding and I have to put myself out there. Definitely be okay with saying no and it’s okay and to trust yourself, as I’m hearing all the other panelists say, you have to trust yourself and I’ll add on to that. You need to go deep. I know it’s very trendy now, we’re talking about self-care, wellness, doing all this rest and all this stuff. I honestly wish I would’ve known that at 22 that I could actually slow down, I can go deep within myself, and be able to trust myself that these decisions that I’m making, I don’t need external validation. That was hard for me when I first started. Trust yourself, go deep, and scale back if you need to. It’s okay.

Ali: I love that. We heard at one of our previous summits that no is a full sentence. No is a full sentence. You can say no, it is okay. I love that you said that. When we think about the greatest lessons learned, those are typically derived from some of the biggest challenges, failures, or “mistakes” that you might make. I put “mistake” in quotes because every mistake, it’s just an opportunity to learn and grow. Actually, our headliner earlier today, Leah Cohen, she was speaking about the closure of one of her locations, one of her restaurants, and she said that failure is the best way to avoid future mistakes. I don’t want to pull away the value that there is in failures, but I do want to ask each of you and go around the horn, what is something that you think newer entrepreneurs should avoid? Again, separate from mistakes and failures because that kind of just comes with the territory of hitting the ground running and being your own boss and building and being business builders, but Tatiana, let’s start with you. What is something that you think newer entrepreneurs should avoid?

Tatiana: I think comparing themselves with other people in their industry. I feel like our strengths is our uniqueness. Be yourself because everybody else is taken already. You are unique and you have your own path, just follow it. But it doesn’t mean that you need to forget about your competition. It means that you need to find that own unique proposition, value, voice, that what differentiates you from everybody else and just stay true to yourself and find how to incorporate that into your business.

Ali: I love that. I love that. I think a lot of folks, what I’ve heard from working with businesses, business owners, incredible business owners, over the course of the last almost decade, there’s a lot of imposter syndrome going on. You have to be your biggest advocate and you have to know your strengths and know yourself and be your own brand and wear that proudly, shout it from the rooftops.

Zanade, what about you? What’s something that you think newer entrepreneurs should avoid?

Zanade: I know it’s been said, I think I heard it on the last panel, but I’m going to dive in a little deeper on this idea of stop doing everything yourself. That’s also something I wish I would’ve told myself when I was younger, like, “Please stop.” That’s easier said than done. If you have the money, I know some entrepreneurs are using their 9:00 to 5:00 to fund their passions, their businesses, but it’s very hard when you’re thinking, “Okay, I don’t have any money to actually invest in my business, so what can I do?” Someone else also said this, “Asking for help,” this is where that comes in. If you don’t have money, tapping into your network, I know we’ll talk a little bit more about mentoring and collaboration, all that great stuff. But it’s really important to know that if you don’t have the money, you need to leverage your network, and if you don’t have a network, then you need to get into some communities and that’s a entirely different conversation. But you have to use what you have.

I specify that because when I started, I didn’t have any money. I was a single mom at the time. I literally had to spend all the money on my family and my kids and that was it. I had to use my brand, I had to use social as it was developing. I had to go to all these networking events and just really sell myself because that’s all I have. Don’t do everything yourself. If you have the money and you just have control issues and you want to do everything, you’re literally playing yourself, go and hire some help.

Also, addendum, joining a network will help you not waste precious resources. Your network, normally, some of the communities I’m in, they’ll say, “Oh, I know a graphic designer. This person’s really good. Here’s some of the work,” so now when you put the money out there, it’s not like touch and go, “Oh, I’m on Fiver. Oh, I don’t know if this person’s going to mess up my logo,” and then you waste your resources. Make sure you’re not doing everything yourself and ask people. If friends and family don’t want to help, ’cause I hear that a lot sometimes, then go into LinkedIn and do those cold pitches and whatever it is you need to do, somebody’s going to say yes. As I heard on the last panel, someone will say yes.

Ali: Yes, yes, absolutely. Someone will say yes. You don’t need to do everything yourself. Actually on our hire strategically and hiring new people and building your business, building your brand, we had a session on that a few hours ago and they were saying, “Don’t be scared to, if you have the resources and the funds to do so, don’t be scared to hire someone that you might qualify as better than you or have a better skillset in something, in an area that you might not, because ultimately that could just work to your benefit and they’re there to promote you and your work and help you acquire new customers or clients.” I love that. That’s so important.

Esther, what about you? What’s something that you think new entrepreneurs should avoid?

Esther: Yeah, what I’m about to say might seem the opposite of what Zanade was saying, but it’s not. I promise it’s not. You can do a lot with a lean team. Don’t try to fill roles, find the right people. Let’s say you get to the point where you finally let go of everything you’re doing. You’re like, “I don’t have to do everything on my own. Let me find the right person.” You don’t need five people. You just need several people that are right in your alley, they’re going to go in the trenches with you, they believe your mission. Yeah, don’t try to fill roles, find the right people.

Ali: Yes, for sure. I think it’s a healthy balance. Everything’s a balancing act, especially when you’re, I know we have a ton of solopreneurs on the call and they are doing a lot of that themselves. You don’t have to be a 50 person company right out of the gate, just hire the right people. That’s one, two, three, just a handful of people, hire them so you can delegate and offload. You’re not taking it all on yourself, but you’re also not like, “I need to have 10 locations by X date,” really taking things in strides, taking your time. I love that.

Nicole, anything to add in terms of what you think new entrepreneurs should try and stay away from?

Nicole: This is not so fun, that’s for sure, but what I would say is make sure you read the fine print of any contracts that you’re signing and likewise any contracts that you’re putting out there that supports your own business. Invest in that legal review to get things going when you’re building that contract for your brand or business, but then make sure if you’re signing an external contract, whether it’s for an event space that you’re renting or a vendor that you’re working with, whatever it is, read the fine print because it’s just like an airline reservation or a hotel reservation. There are fine print details to each of those that you secure. Some are nonrefundable, some are. Some have a cancellation date or a deadline, some don’t allow any cancellations. Know in advance what you’re setting yourself up for because it just gives you a heightened sense of responsibility to make sure that nothing gets lost between that fine print, so to speak.

Ali: Yes, the fine print is so important and having your own fine print is really important as well. Having your own policies in place, no matter how large or small you are, having those, when you get certain questions, certain type of customer asking things, whether it’s as simple as your cancellation policy or something more intricate and thought-provoking, like your customer service policy. What can you showcase, what can be your North Star in each of those departments?

But throughout today, we have heard from over 30 speakers on so many different topics. Finance, we just heard about branding, building customer trust, but something I’d love to dive into deeper in Zanade, you’ve got a bit of a head start, which I love, is collaboration, networking, mentorship, community, really finding that ecosystem of people that are your people. It’s the person, like you said, Zanade, that you can meet and they’re like, “Oh, I know a great photographer and her name’s Tatiana.” People are there to help and the right people want to help. Entrepreneurship can be very isolating. It can be lonely and overwhelming, and you have to bet on yourself, but you can’t do it alone. Zanade, I would love for you to talk a little bit more about collaboration and mentorship. How important do you think mentorship is and how can someone go about finding their mentor?

Zanade: Absolutely. Thank you for that question. Full disclosure, I’m in a fellowship right now where I just received a mentor, so I want to put that out there. It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve been in business, someone can always teach you something or just be a listening ear, whatever. It is extremely isolating and ever since the pandemic, it’s for me specifically, because I used to go to a lot of events, now I’m going into in-person events, but it is isolating, so having that mentor to guide you, talk to you, whatever it is that you need, that’s important.

Collaboration, I think there’s something before collaboration, which is the community, the aspect of building a community. As I alluded to earlier, that’s all I had. At first I didn’t even have the community, so I had to put myself out there. That’s the real key right there, throwing yourself out there. For me, and I’m a social butterfly, but it was still very uncomfortable to go in New York City spaces at these networking events, and I’m from the business card day, so just figuring out how I’m going to build a network out of that.

What I’ll tell you is that it’s worth it, whether it’s online, even in the Zoom, I don’t know if they’re allowing you to just put your name and say, “Hey, connect on LinkedIn,” but you need to be connecting with people. That leads to collaboration. What I’ll say is every single client, every client I have and had came from some type of connection I’ve had, not my friends and family. If we’re talking about this idea of the weak ties, I don’t know if you’ve heard of weak ties and someone you may know from social, but they’re not really a friend. Those are the people that are opening doors for you and how you can collaborate with them, whether it’s business or whether you’re collaborating just on a mentorship, partnership, whatever it is, that’s how I see collaboration.

Now, if you’re looking for contracts or whatever it is, obviously there’s a diversity in businesses that’s listening to this call, it’s important to know that you can collaborate, whether it’s, as I think Esther said earlier, doing event collaboration now. Whatever the strategy behind that is, that’s collaboration and it’s going to help her business. I would say build your community. If you don’t have a community, there are so many communities out there, find them, get into it, and just start talking and get uncomfortable.

Ali: Love that. Get uncomfortable, yes. Although our chat feature is turned off, so you can’t pop in your LinkedIn, what you can do is if you go and follow Yelp for Business on Instagram, our senior director of social media is offering some social media advice today in the DMs. Send a message if you want to learn a little bit more and then you can always email the Yelp Summit planning team if you want to collaborate in regards to the summits. But yes, collaboration, content, both our king. It’s so important. It’s so important to have a network, to have people you can turn to when you think of your trusted advisors. That doesn’t have to be a real advisor, but rather just someone whose opinion you trust, which I love.

Tatiana, you are in a highly competitive industry and in a competitive market here in New York City. How do you approach networking and collaboration and what are some of the lessons that you’ve learned along the way?

Tatiana: That’s a great question. Networking is so important in any industry and especially in my industry. Being a professional photographer in New York is not easy and networking could be very time and energy consuming as we all know. I attend some industry networking events, but I love to host my own networking events as well. I’m actually hosting my 18th Artvesta social on April 6th and unlike many mainstream events and expos, I try to focus on quality, not necessarily quantity. It’s really hard to make meaningful connections when you are overwhelmed with thousands of attendees and hundreds of booths. I try to make my events intimate and to create welcoming environment for people to truly connect and see if there’s any synergy or collaboration potential. To answer your questions, I host my own small industry events where my tribe can find me, actually.

Ali: Yes. Quality over quantity, it’s so important, so important in general, but I think especially for folks that are in a service-based industry, because as Zanade was saying before, it’s really six degrees of separation, less than that, someone who knows someone who knows someone that’s going to end up recommending you and that word of mouth. We like to think of Yelp as an extension of that. People are going there to refer businesses is ultimately what’s happening, and then consumers are going to the platform to read those referrals from strangers, but they trust the platform and they want to make sure that they can put their money and their faith in that business. Thank you for sharing that.

Nicole, on top of putting on multiple trade shows every year, new trade shows, and keeping some running, you’re also running your business full time, and you’re a professor, and I know you work a lot with kids. In our earlier conversations, you shared some ways in which that’s given you kind of a unique perspective on inspiration, guidance, and collaboration. I’d love to turn it over to you to talk about that a little bit.

Nicole: Yeah, I think there’s something to learn from everyone and the one thing about collaboration is we can’t just aim for experiences and events for getting something for ourself. We can’t just collaborate with us and mine. We also have to think about them, so to speak, in mind. Whomever you’re collaborating with, make sure you’re not just taking, but you’re also giving because it’s such an approach that too few in my opinion take. There’s a difference between the person who wants to be there to not just help you but to also help themselves and the person who only wants to help themselves, right? Because it’s through conversation and dialogue that you start to find out, maybe you learn something about someone, you say, “You know what? I know someone else who can help you,” or, “You really need to meet this person,” but it can’t just be self-driven. Then speaking about the students that I teach, I’ve been fortunate to be a professor at Columbia College for nearly 17 years, I’m aging myself, but with that in mind, learn from the generations. Don’t just look to your immediate peers. Learn from those who are coming into the industry, so to speak, whatever industry that might be, those who have been around because perspective truly is everything, and there’s a lot to be learned from everyone.

Ali: Yes, perspective, perspective, perspective. Don’t rely just on your immediate group of people. While it’s great to have those trusted advisors, really consider broadening your horizons in that aspect. I love that.

I want to switch gears a little bit. Esther, I’m going to come over to you to talk a little bit about having a digital presence. We spoke about it earlier in terms of social media and turning that into revenue earlier in the day, but we’re talking about content here, and it’s so difficult to not only think of content, strategize, it’s developing the content, testing it, scaling it. There’s so much to it, and then there’s also catering it for each platform. TikTok, Instagram, Yelp, Twitter, your website, LinkedIn, the list never ends, and in the technology forward world we live in, that’s going to continue. It’s like, “How do I use ChatGPT to write my social media captions?” We’re constantly evolving and social media is a great place for this collaboration that we’re talking about. In-person events and doing those things in-person are amazing, but social media is also a place where people can come and connect and collaborate, but it definitely takes work, work to stay consistent, work to build and maintain your brand, your aesthetic, work to learn a new platform. I would love to hear from you, Esther, how should a business think about their content and putting themselves out there on social?

Esther: Whew, yes. Social media is a wild, wild world. Just keeping up with everything is definitely wild. Usually what I tell people is I could go into the actual technical part of everything, but one thing I always tell people who ask me this question or maybe projects or clients is, “Just be transparent and go in with the willingness to be vulnerable.” I feel like sometimes people and consumers can forget that there are people behind social media pages and accounts, so I say utilize your account to show your consumers, your potential customers, the humanness of your brand. “Hey, this is me, I’m behind the account,” and you don’t necessarily have to show your face, but it could be maybe transparency about prices going up, or maybe it’s your supply chain and why something hasn’t been back in stock for such a long time. Things like that really bring the human side to it.

More of I guess like a practical tip that I give, a lot of founders and entrepreneurs come to me and say, “I don’t have time to make content. I’m working 10, 12 hours a day. Stop telling me to post TikToks and Instagram reels.” 100% I get it as someone who struggles with that myself. As I talked about having a lean team and finding the right people, I always ask these founders, “Where do you find the backlog?” and they usually say, “I don’t have a problem filming on the go. It’s so easy. I just press and start recording.” Maybe it’s not for you, but that’s what I hear. They’re like, “It’s the editing portion of it.” I say, “Contract that out. Just go on Upwork, editors are relatively, especially for the social media side, relatively affordable. It doesn’t have to be full-time, contract it out.” My biggest advice in terms specific to content creation backlog is find the backlog, outsource that backlog, doesn’t have to be a full-time person. It is a wild world, I will say that.

Ali: Yes it is. Yes, it is.

Tatiana, anything to add to that? I know you have, because of the number of businesses that you own and operate, you have a number of social handles, all of which have a great following. What’s some advice if someone’s just feeling overwhelmed by taking that step into the social world or a new platform?

Tatiana: That’s how I felt. I felt completely overwhelmed and I did not have time to do my social media, and this is actually from big trouble comes big opportunity. This is when I developed my own social media team inside of my other company, my Corporate Photo Video. The short answer is delegate. The long answer is we developed a team who could come in, film, edit, write captions, everything. Find a company or a team that you can trust and then just delegate because even if you film and edit, but there is only something a few minutes left to post, you can procrastinate for a long time before you actually post. You need someone who will take it from A to Z and do it for you. That’s how I solved my problem.

Ali: So great. So great. So important. It really is. Delegate, outsource, you don’t have to take it all on yourself, and if you don’t have the funds or the means as Zanade, was saying earlier, find your network, find collaborators, find like-minded people, see how you can barter your service-based business, collaborate with the product and vice versa or services can come together. We see it happen all the time. Yes, that is great. Somehow we have run, oh, Esther, did you want to say something?

Esther: Real, real quick, five seconds, get interns. I just talked to a founder who has 30 interns for each quarter. They are the social media team, not to say … Make sure the content is good, you’re still regulating, but interns, and I will mute myself.

Ali: No, that’s great. That’s a good nugget. Somehow we have run out of time here. I don’t even know how that is possible. I would like to take maybe just one question from the audience very quickly, and while I am sorting through the questions, let’s just each go around and in 30 seconds say the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received that has impacted you or your business. Zanade, let’s start with you and we’ll go down the line.

Zanade: That is so not fair. I was literally thinking about something. Oh my goodness. Okay. All right. I’m really quick with it. Hold on. Greatest piece of advice someone has given me. I’m eating up my 30 seconds right now. Oh my goodness. Wow. You all said what I wanted to say. Oh, I just received this advice. I have to start promoting my myself more, like what I’m doing. I promote my business, but me as a brand, I haven’t been, at least I don’t think I’ve been doing that as well. I’ve been hearing that from two or three people. Then I also heard open up your throat chakra more and I was like, “Okay, let me dive in,” so throat chakra and promote, make sure you’re telling people what you’re doing.

Ali: Yes, yes. It is very easy to uplift and as women, we tend to do that for other people that we love and appreciate and support and other brands that we love, but it’s really important to make sure that you’re doing that for yourself and for the things that you’re involved with. Okay, greatest piece of advice. No pressure. Nicole, hit us.

Nicole: I remember my early twenties, someone said to me, “Kill them with kindness,” and over the years, what I have interpreted that as is make sure your character is strong, authentic, genuine. If you say you’re going to do something, do something. Your reputation goes a long way in capturing and keeping clients. The loyalty of yourself as a brand and your business as a brand is built upon character and follow through.

Ali: Yes, I love that. I love that. Tatiana, how about you? Greatest piece of advice.

Tatiana: Sure. My responsibility as a business owner is to know how to make things right, so I need to delegate, I need to be able to delegate, and then if something goes sideways, I just must know how to make things right. It’s all about people. We can advertise 24/7, but it’s all in the end about people.

Ali: Yes, as business owners, you’re in the people business and so knowing how to speak to them, how to talk to someone, whether that’s because maybe they didn’t leave a review that you liked or they’re unhappy with something, it goes a long way when you just have this human to human in-person, when you can, connection, giving someone your undivided attention when you can. Esther, greatest piece of advice?

Esther: One, don’t overthink at the cost of doing. I think you can get lost in your thoughts and the action never follows, guilty as charged. Two, you can’t lose if your intention is to serve. This kind of goes hand in hand with Nicole, kill them with kindness. You’re here to serve.

Ali: Yes. Well, let’s give a round of applause for this final session as well as all of the speakers that we had today. Thank you, ladies, so much for joining me. The time absolutely flew by. I will pass it over to our amazing host, Emily, to wrap up the day with some reminders. Thank you all again for being here. Remember to talk nicely to yourself, be a woman of your word, you’re in the people business, and think of ways you can collaborate and uplift yourself as well as others. Thank you all so much.

Grow your business with Yelp

Manage my free listing

Explore further


The State of Women Entrepreneurship

Chef, author, and television personality Leah Cohen shares how she found success in the restaurant world, learning from some of the world’s most renowned chefs.
Learn more

Success on Yelp

Learn how to implement the most important tools that will help you optimize your listing and manage your online reputation.
Learn more

Unleashing Your Creativity to Build Great Brand Experiences

Learn from leaders in branding about how to infuse creativity into your branding that translates into a great customer experience.
Learn more