As a female entrepreneur, different challenges will present themselves when compared to their male counterparts. Entrepreneurs have been commonly thought of as only males, but the National Association of Women Business Owners reports 9 million U.S. firms are owned by women and generated $1.5 trillion in sales in 2015.
The challenge is nowhere near impossible, but unfortunately, female entrepreneurs will face some of the following challenges that male entrepreneurs won’t face.
Overcoming the Social Stigma
At networking events for entrepreneurs, the majority of the room will be male. Female entrepreneurs have a couple of options when facing this situation. You can change your personality and try to adopt the stereotypical male and aggressive attitude. Or more correctly, you stay true to yourself and have confidence in their abilities and personality. Female entrepreneurs don’t get to this point without believing in themselves. Now isn’t the time to change your plan and be someone you aren’t.
Promoting Your Accomplishments and Abilities
Traditionally, female entrepreneurs will talk about the accomplishments as a team and as “we” instead of “me” and “I.” While that isn’t always a bad thing, it may not position you as knowledgeable and as successful as you actually are. What is the actual impact made by the female entrepreneur? Are you sharing too much information to people who shouldn’t be hearing it? Who can you trust? Who should you trust? Who do you need to gain creditability with? Think about that before you enter these conversations so you’re prepared to sound confident.
Not Asking for Assistance
Rather than doing everything themselves, entrepreneurs should ask for help when needed. Because nobody knows every aspect of running a business, entrepreneurs need to surround themselves with like-minded individuals who can help move the company forward. This includes mentors, peers, suppliers, vendors and others who understand how a business works and can answer questions and provide support. It can be difficult for female entrepreneurs to find mentors or advisers who are naturally open to helping them. Finding organizations specifically created for women in business (both online and in person) will set you up for success in this area.
Failing to Set Boundaries
Boundaries must be established between the entrepreneur and her company. For example, business decisions and personal decisions need to be completely separate. It’s very challenging to be a mother and run a business. Finding the right formula on when to be fully invested in your business and when to be fully invested in your family will take time, but it can be done.
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