Danait Berhe

FOUNDER - THE ASMARA AGENCY

I'm a brand and marketing strategist that partners with female founders to help them strengthen their brand and create a dent in the universe. I do this through primarily through brand strategy, design, and strategic marketing.

What inspired you to start your business?

It was actually my close friends and husband (fiance at the time) who encouraged me to go out on my own. I had always been entrepreneurial and knew I would run my own business one day, but of course all the self-doubt told me that I wasn't ready, old enough, experienced enough to do it. Then when I didn't get an opportunity I really wanted I was kind of lost on what to do next. My fiance and a close friend encouraged me to take my expertise and strike out on my own. So grateful to them for that push and vote of confidence!

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

1. Grit is essential to entrepreneurship. I think we all have those moments where we want to give up and burn all of it to the ground. We are constantly stepping into the unknown and following our fears so those feelings are normal, but our ability to fight that urge to go back to our comfort zones and step back from the edge of the cliff is what makes us CEO's. Allow yourself to feel those feelings, but then get back in the ring, fight for your dreams, and reclaim that deep desire to live life on your own terms.

2. Truly understand the value of what you do. I think so often we start our businesses and just price based on our money mindset, fears, and what we think we can get away with. I challenge you to spend some time truly understanding the value you provide and putting a number to that value. I find that when I can back up my pricing with some hard evidence like knowing what it costs to produce something and how long it takes me I am so much more confident when I present them to my potential clients.

3. Lastly, treat everything as an experiment. When I first started I was so hung up on everything because I thought every decision was a make or break thing. I sometimes couldn't even make up my mind because I was agonizing over every little detail. It wasn't until I took my research background and put it to use in my business that things started rocking and rolling. What did I take from my research background? Everything is a hypothesis. When everything I did became an experiment I wasn't crushed when it didn't work out and was happy when it did. This also helped reframe failure in that when something didn't work out or failed it was a valuable lesson for the next experiment!

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

In terms of hobbies, I love interior design and spend a good deal of time on home renovation and design projects. I also love reading and you can find me reading a lot of historical fiction and business books.

I am also really passionate about environmental issues, diversity and inclusion, and female entrepreneurship (especially representation and funding) and so I am usually educating myself on these topics and finding ways that my business (and even myself personally) can support charities that are doing the work or get involved.

I am also a co-leader for my local Tuesday's Together group and it is just a highlight of my month being able to show up for the incredible group of people that are a part of that!