Tag Archives: certification

Resilient, thick-skinned, stubborn. Great qualities for an entrepreneur.

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When you’re starting a company you’re going to hear a million “no’s”.  No to your money raising requests, no to giving you referrals, no from referrals that were given to you. The list goes on. But the key is to keep persisting.  Eventually there will be “yeses”.

I have been a certified woman-owned business for many years.  I go to lots of meetings. I meet lots of nice people. But no work.  Even when I was the agency for a division in a Fortune 500 company, I could leverage my certification within the company.  And I tried. More recently when I started work with another Fortune 500 company, I mentioned that I was certified (I already had the work through other channels) and they took my certification credentials.

Most people I know, in many different businesses, gave up on certification  because it was too time consuming.  They went on with their businesses.  I keep plugging.  And two weeks ago it paid off.  A “prime” contractor (that is the company who actually gets the contract – usually a larger company) contacted me and wanted Holtzman Communications to work on a piece of business that they had obtained with the City.  They actually went to the certified data base and sourced me. Along with others but that’s fine.  Suddenly, all my years of persistence and staying on lists etc. is starting to pay off.

It’s never been tougher  for start-up businesses looking for connections, work, and especially cash.  Lots of people are going to tell you no, and processes may put you off.  But if you have a good product or service, then you just keep going because you will prevail. But you have to believe in yourself and have all the properties above. In a good way of course.


Sandra Holtzman teaches CEO 035: Licensing.
She is the author of Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing.