elizabeth gore sxsw 2017

Dell's Elizabeth Gore on Dealing with Uncertainty as an Entrepreneur

The Dell Experience at SXSW 2017 brought together best-in-class technology and some of the most innovative and disruptive leaders across a wide range of industries. On hand to share the experience was Dell’s, Elizabeth Gore. Elizabeth serves as Dell’s ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ and is tasked with being the collective voice for the entrepreneurial channel both ‘to’ Dell and on behalf of Dell.

A big part of Elizabeth's job is to watch trends, research, and policy that affects entrepreneurs to understand their needs better so that Dell can provide better technology and services to assist them.

I had a chance to chat with Elizabeth about both what she does at Dell and more specifically, how entrepreneurs should deal with uncertainty, whether it be political or just on the day-to-day. Check out Elizabeth’s advice in the video and content below.

Elizabeth Gore Shares Advice on Uncertainty in Entrepreneurship

When it comes to political uncertainty, which we see much of these last few months with the change in leadership in Washington D.C., Elizabeth offers these two bits of advice.

1. Don’t Wait and Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand

As Elizabeth notes, entrepreneurs are known for just bulldozing ahead, no matter what. An uncertain political climate is not the time to change that by putting things on hold or sticking your head in the sand. Elizabeth suggests that entrepreneurs charge full speed ahead as everything will even out eventually [politically], but waiting will just push you further behind at which point you may not recover.

2. Use Your Voice

Elizabeth strongly suggests that all entrepreneurs find the power of their voice with regards to local, state and national government. A change in political leadership is a great time to reach out to local, state and national leaders and let them know your opinion and challenges as a small business.

“Politicians do listen business, so use that to your power and have a voice.”

When it comes to day-to-day uncertainty, Elizabeth notes that the biggest area most entrepreneurs struggle with is financial. Whether it is looking for funding or improving cash-flow, here’s Elizabeth’s advice:

1. Finding Funding: It is a Numbers Game

When it comes to finding funding for your business, Elizabeth says you have to play the numbers game. “You may have to make 120 calls to find just one funder. Don’t get discouraged.”

2. Advocate for Your Business

When it comes to cash-flow and payment of invoices to stay in a positive cash flow, Elizabeth notes that you must be an advocate for yourself. With bigger vendors who you have longer terms with (30, 60, 90 days), find a champion within the company and build a relationship and ask them to help. If you have a healthy relationship with the customer, they will want you to succeed and will be willing to help… you just have to ask.