Business ownership is on the rise. And while women and men do face many of the same challenges when starting a business, there are some unique and specific concerns holding back female entrepreneurs.
If you’re a woman who’s often thought about starting your own business, you know the pull of entrepreneurship—giving life to a dream—having a blank canvas that is yours to create, yours to define, that is open to your unique interpretation.
If you haven’t taken action, it may be because you also feel the challenges. And you’re not alone.
A few years ago I helped coordinate and served as a speaker for the Global Women’s Summit hosted by Kauffman FastTrac®. The intent of the summit was to gather strong, ambitious, creative, empowered women from around the world to discuss everything from global business trends to intentional networking to strategic visioning. To be honest, the topics covered would have been as relevant to men as they were to the oversold audience of women.
The day was filled with lively conversation and interaction. But having a room comprised primarily of women altered the dynamic and changed the conversation. It brought light to some of the specific concerns of entrepreneurship for women. For example:
- How can we increase women’s willingness to take a chance on themselves and not put their business ownership dreams in the “someday” column? Too often dreams of business ownership are put to the side due to other obligations or a fear of failure. While there is always some amount of risk, there is also a great deal of opportunity just waiting to be explored.
- How can we help women leverage and build robust networks? Many times, women’s networks are comprised of their girlfriends, neighbors, parents of their children’s friends, professional colleagues, etc. Women need to intentionally get connected with key people in the community who will help women from a business perspective. The concept of building a network is especially important when considering the world of business, board appointments, etc.
- How can we rid ourselves of the work-life balance concept and instead find time for things that are important to us? I am not a fan of the terminology “work-life balance.” To me, it is a bit like chasing windmills. There is however, a very real conversation that needs to be had about how to make it all work. Often you will hear that being a successful entrepreneur is a 24/7 commitment. And—to some extent—it is true. There are however, many women business owners who are quite successful, who also have life commitments that require their attention, and who manage to make things work beautifully.
What’s keeping you from moving boldly to start the business you’ve always wanted?
I’d like to challenge you to think about entrepreneurship and address the issues that previously may have prevented you from exploring your business ownership dream. Maybe some of these sound familiar:
Heart – Take a closer look at your “nagging doubts” and those areas you need to think through before launching a business—so you can believe in yourself and know in your heart that you can achieve your entrepreneurial dream.
Head – You need more than passion to run a successful business. Start thinking beyond business startup, toward solid business principles, an understanding of business finance, branding your creation and developing the right network of talented, experienced mentors and advisors.
Hands – Make a difference in the world and give your dreams momentum. Even dream ventures that are for-profit businesses can keep an eye toward helping others, solving real-world problems and creating innovative, sustainable change. Listening and uncovering the “bigger” positive impact, propels us to think more creatively and work harder so we can maximize our profits … and therefore our impact.
From grade school children with lemonade stands, to middle and high school students with exciting technology ideas, to those aged 50+ exploring “encore” careers, entrepreneurship is seen as a viable pathway to personal reward and financial stability. Your business ownership dreams are within reach.
This article is the first in a series written to help women entrepreneurs like you take a closer look at what’s keeping you from moving forward, overcome doubts and understand the fundamentals and the mindset needed to help make you successful. They are not designed to help you build your financials or create your marketing plan, but rather to prod you to think bigger … and begin thinking with the mindset of an entrepreneur. They will appear on our blog: https://insightsnationalseminarstraining.com/ and in our free monthly women’s newsletter which you can subscribe to: http://www.nationalseminarstraining.com/womenslink/index.cfm