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Break Through The Walls That Are Holding You Back

Post written by Hadari Oshri

Hadari Oshri is CEO of, a fashion tech company for curvy millennials with a focus on community and empowering women.


People often ask me how my fashion company went from local to global so quickly. I explain that my success is rooted in a simple method when facing challenges. I view challenges as walls, then simply break through any wall that is keeping me from what I want.

When I say “walls,” I am referring to anything that can and will get in your way. I have learned through life and business experiences that these “walls” are what hold us back from great opportunity that is actually within our reach. An external wall could be the cost of moving into a bigger office space. A perceived wall could be thinking that you are smart enough.

If you feel as though you are being held back or if your company growth is not progressing as fast as you’d like, there are walls in your way. Try these simple steps to identify the walls holding you back and learn how to break through them.

Identifying Which Walls Are Holding You Back

A large part of your ability to break through in today's dynamic economy and ever-changing cultural environment is to know which walls are holding you back. Then, you must believe that you can (and will) do what it takes to make it past these walls. Anything and everything is doable if you believe it is so. This mindset has helped me grow my business time and time again.

One example of a wall I see that holds people back from international expansion is the cost of traveling. People have an impression that going overseas is much more expensive than it is. I discovered models in London who I wanted to recruit for my company. Rather than focusing on the wall — the distance between my plan and my situation — I decided to book the flight to London and broke through the wall. When you are an early stage startup, you have to be able to be agile and make quick decisions. I asked for forgiveness rather than permission. I trusted my gut and searched the internet for the cheapest ticket I could find. I told my investors about my trip once I landed in London. I told them that I would put together detailed reports so that they could see the trip’s impact on our bottom line.

I was grateful to learn that they trusted me and were proud of me for making the decision to take action. If you spend too much time talking with people about how to get over your walls, you will get lots of opinions and you might not take action. It was more than worth it, and now I have multiple international models on my team to show for it. If I had not gone with my intuition and taken that flight, the wall would have prevented my expansion in Europe. And the sales that resulted after the trip more than paid for the cost of the tickets.

Walls Will Fall When You Take Action

Before my company was in our current location, we were in a 400-square-foot warehouse. We called it a warehouse, but it was more like a room. We quickly ran out of space and had to move to a bigger office. But as a startup, all we saw were walls impeding our growth. The new space was ten times larger but cost three times as much as our 400-square-foot office space. These were huge walls.

But there were more walls. When I inquired about the space, the landlord didn’t want to rent to us because we were a startup. I spoke with the realtor, and he said, "We've got to do a lease for five years."

I told him I really liked the space and I was definitely interested. He never called me back. I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I simply drove there. I knocked on the door and the current tenant opened it. I asked him if I could take a look and he let me in. The following week, I brought my investor. He agreed it was great but very expensive.

I told him not to worry and that I would work the landlord down on the price.

I knew that the landlord was worried about risk and that they were looking for a bigger company to rent for a long time. That was a wall that he had built around the negotiations. So I broke that wall down by suggesting that we agree on a three-year lease that we would have to renew every three months.

This rolling short-term commitment made my investor more comfortable because of the lower price, and the landlord was happy because if a larger company came along, he had the option to try to sell a higher rent for a longer term. We closed the deal a price we could afford.

Find Your Direction And Stay The Course

Everything is possible, especially when you are a startup. This is the type of mentality you must have as an entrepreneur. The key is to constantly learn exactly what works and what doesn't work. You'd be surprised. When you're in the right direction, things work out perfectly. But if you're not in the right direction, you may find yourself trapped. The trick is to realize when you are stuck and get back on the right course.

For example, my company had to launch twice. When we first launched, sales didn’t come in as projected. We evaluated what went wrong with our plan, adjusted, then launched again. On our second launch, sales started rising the first day.

Don’t waste your time getting hung up on what does not work. If you run into a wall and can’t seem to break through it, find a hidden door, dig underneath or fly over it and keep moving on to the next challenge with open arms.

Six Business Mistakes Every New Entrepreneur Should Avoid

We cover startups, founders and entrepreneur lessons. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Post written by

Young Entrepreneur Council

  YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most successful entrepreneurs 40 and younger.    

When starting out as a new entrepreneur, you need to be ready for all kinds of challenges and obstacles, from insufficient funding to tough competition, as well as trouble finding enough customers or dealing with incapable employees. But perhaps some of the most frustrating problems you will face will be those you cause yourself, as a consequence of a mis-timed action or off-day decision.

Mistakes are part of any entrepreneur’s journey; after all, to err is human. However, armed with knowledge and advice from peers, new entrepreneurs can plan ahead to help deal with some of the most common mistakes of running a business.

Below, six members of Young Entrepreneur Council talk about the biggest mistakes they ever made throughout their career, as well as how to successfully circumvent them. Here's what they said:

Photos courtesy of individual members

Members share some missteps they've made, as well as what they've learned from the experience.

1. Failing to Create Accountability

Create accountability in a service-based business! When I started, I let students sign up and pay when they arrived to class — my attrition was terrible! I remember “filling” my first class and it rained in NYC that day, so only three people showed up. Charging even a small amount creates accountability in customers: If you value what you do, then they will, too. - Jen Oleniczak Brown, The Engaging Educator

2. Working With the Wrong People

I've made lots of mistakes, but my biggest mistakes have always been working with the wrong people. You are going to make these mistakes. It's very common. Many companies have ousted co-founders. The key is to be prepared with a long-term vesting schedule and the use of cliffs for everything. You can also identify problems early. If the shared vision isn't there, it's not going to work. - Abraham Kamarck, True Made Foods, Inc.

3. Ignoring Your Instincts

I didn’t listen to my instincts about a business adviser and almost lost my business. In my gut, I didn’t trust him, but he convinced me otherwise. My mistake was not verifying his claims. I now do extensive due diligence and verify people by learning who they surround themselves with. Honest people will not be afraid to share their group of friends. Show me your friends, and show me who you are. - Hadari Oshri, xehar

4. Starting Without Proper Funding

I started my business without proper funding, and although I made it work, I had to move back in with my mom and work from her spare bedroom for a while because I couldn't afford my own rent. It took a year to build the business up, without any backing, to be able to afford an apartment, then another year before I had an office and could hire. Be prepared or be ready to sacrifice! - James Moore, Small Business Owners of America

5. Overcommitting Yourself

As an early entrepreneur, you are hungry and driven by success. Success can come in multiple forms, such as developmental milestones or revenue growth. For those focused on revenue growth, it can be easy to overcommit yourself and your team. By doing so, you are setting yourself up to fail and only making your company's scalability more challenging than it already is. - Ryan Christiansen, Ntooitive Digital

6. Not Prioritizing Sales

Sales are everything. Make sure you can get people to pay you money for your ideas before you spend months, or even years, trying to build a company around it. - Jason Wardrop, Arsenal MKG, Inc.

Helping Your Business Thrive: Seven Key Components Of Entrepreneurial Success

Post written by

Young Entrepreneur Council

  YEC is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most successful entrepreneurs 40 and younger.    

Running a business toward sustained growth and development is generally a combination of hard work, a pinch of luck and, above all, the right entrepreneurial traits. With approximately 50% of small businesses failing in the first five years, it is essential to find the right balance between these factors if you want your organization to achieve success in a highly competitive business world.

Even after developing your skills and putting in the long hours, there are a number of other crucial components of entrepreneurial success you need to embrace. From revenue growth and cultivating a solid reputation, to finding your tribe and overcoming perceived limitations, here are seven things members of Young Entrepreneur Council say are essential to helping your organization thrive:

Photos courtesy of individual members

Members of the council identify seven key components of entrepreneurial success.

1. Revenue Growth

You could sit and plan for days upon weeks, but what really matters is rolling up your sleeves and driving revenues that grow your business. Expanding into new verticals too quickly without solidifying your main product or service will be the death of a blossoming young company. - Philip Carter, Aura Funding, LLC

2. Vision

The modern approach calls for being data driven, but people get this wrong because they become followers of market trends instead of leaders who have courage to create their own path and meet the market at a future point. Being visionary is not extrapolating current trends: It’s predicting a better reality for everyone, and then building a company around it. - Gabby Menachem, Loom Systems

3. Good Online Reputation

Maintaining a good online reputation and presence is so important these days. It is so easy for an upset customer to badmouth you online and for you to lose business, even if they are being unreasonable. The stats vary, but anywhere from 85 to 94 percent of consumers look online before buying, in order to check out a company. - James Moore, Small Business Owners of America

4. Implementation

Focus 100 percent on implementation. Knowledge is good, but unless it is followed by massive action, then it's of little worth. - Jason Wardrop, Arsenal MKG, Inc.

5. Courage To Tear Down Limitations

Success comes in the places where no one else is looking. Innovation happens when you break through walls that hold others back. If you want to contact someone who others say can’t be reached, send them a DM. You never know until you try, and most people don’t try because others say it can’t be done. Successful entrepreneurs ignore the limits. - Hadari Oshri, xehar

6. Investment In People

Disruption is critical in this day and age, and there's no shortage of great ideas. Continued innovation and standing out is what makes the difference when making it — or not. All of this being said, having the right team around you and the right culture for your business will ultimately determine if you truly achieve success. Investment in people is the most important investment you make. - Ryan Christiansen, Ntooitive Digital

7. Your Tribe

Know and grow your tribe. We live in an over-marketed world. Every media channel is saturated. Social is saturated and everyone has great content. To stand out and really connect with your customers in this landscape, you have to start with your tribes. Find your tribes and then find ways to connect with them. Make it personal. It's the only way to stand out above the noise. - Abraham Kamarck, True Made Foods, Inc.

Helping Your Business Thrive: Seven Key Components Of Entrepreneurial Success

By Hadari Oshri

You may have heard of retail fashion companies going out of business or filing for bankruptcy, but do you know why?

I grew up in Israel and all the clothes my mother bought me were in boring, muted colors. When I was in sixth grade, I decided to take a secret job washing dishes and saved up enough money to buy a new outfit, head to toe. When I walked into class wearing a bright cardigan with light blue slacks and fresh white pumps, the whole class stopped. I smiled from ear to ear. I looked great and I felt even greater! This was the moment I knew that my life’s passion was fashion.

Fast forward 15 years. I moved to America and opened seven fashion retail stores, including some in the most sought out locations. But I ended up getting rid of them all.


Because I saw the writing on the wall.

Now my stores are online and my brand sells all around the world. The future of fashion is not in retail stores. Here are seven reasons why you should stay far from brick and mortar.

The Wheel Is Gone

As an industry, not much has changed in 70 years. Styles come and go but the core day-to-day business has stayed the same. For generations, people in the business of fashion simply did the same thing that their family had done. There was no need to re-invent the wheel.

But now, there is no wheel. Technology and consumer buying behavior are shaking the fashion industry to its core.

Ever heard of a company called Uber? They started to get attention as they disrupted the transportation industry. Few people thought that it could become the biggest private company in the world. They took an outdated idea and made a new concept that was unheard of 10 years ago. Airbnb has been doing the same to the hotel industry. You simply can’t rely anymore on how things were done.

Off Point With Price Points

People will make purchases without giving them much thought if items are between around $19.99 to $24.99. This is why retailers like Zuley and Stich Fix (which just went public) have been so successful. They are priced right. Retail stores still stock a variety of price points in hopes of selling more products to a wider group of customers, but those customers are not buying the higher priced items.

The Economy of Loyalty

The numbers just don’t work out anymore. The internet has leveled the playing field, and the store with the most physical locations no longer wins. The companies that are strategic with their online marketing have a larger reach than the biggest chain of stores found across the country in empty malls.

In the last year, BCBG, Nasty Gal and Payless went bankrupt. Nasty Gal was reportedly spending excessive amounts on advertising and marketing to acquire each new customer, most whom never became loyal. ModCloth was bought out by Walmart, which was looking for a fresh new line for a hardcore millennial audience. ModCloth customers were not happy about this sellout and many turned away from the brand.

Window Shopping Is Real

When I go to stores, I find fun pieces, then head to the dressing room. But I usually leave the store empty-handed. Consumers still like to see, feel and try on clothes, but we just don’t like to pay full price. Millennials who are internet savvy know that they can walk into a store, find something they like, then pull out their phone and find the same piece or something similar online for cheaper.

Celebrity Nation

Trends and styles set by Kardashians age with the reality stars. You have to come to terms with the fact that we live in a world where anyone can become a celebrity. The next Kardashian is not at your retail store. They are on Instagram garnering millions of followers and setting their own trends that the fashion industry will have to catch up to. Online stores can better tune in to bloggers, YouTubers, Instagram models and social influencers as the trends unfold.

The Shopping Experience Is Expensive 

The malls are out of vogue with the millennials and older generations are spending less time browsing in department stores and spending more time sipping coffee with friends. Time is money, and going shopping takes a lot of time. The idea of traffic, finding a parking spot and walking the lengths of a mall are not as appealing or convenient as searching, scrolling and swiping on your phone.

I needed new leggings the other day. And instead of going to the Victoria Secret in Santa Monica, I got them on Amazon.

The Burden of Making Returns 

A barrier to online shopping used to be the challenges of returning purchased items if they didn’t fit. Online retailers have solved that problem, and shoppers are more and more confident about the purchase process because of the ease in returning items that they purchase.

Retail stores are at a major disadvantage because customers have to make a trip back to the store to return items. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it takes me forever to find the time to get back to a store and return something. The internet retailers are simply doing a better job.

Fashion is more than clothes, designs and seasonal colors. It is a full industry that has changed and will continue to change. Though much speculation surrounds what the changes will be, there is no denying that one of the biggest changes is the death of traditional retail stores.

So what happens next?

Now comes the time for fashion industry to grow, change and evolve.

Hadari Oshri is CEO of, a fashion tech company for curvy millennials with a focus on community and empowering women through building confidence.

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