It’s a good time to be a female entrepreneur. While there are still fewer of us than male entrepreneurs, the numbers are rising: between 1997 and 2015, the number of women entrepreneurs has risen 74%. Women own 30% of businesses in the U.S. I’d love to see that number become 50% (or more!).
You don’t have to be from Mars or Venus to know that men and women operate differently as business owners. While you can’t apply blanket characteristics to a gender, women sometimes find it difficult to ask for what they want, and when they are assertive, may be seen as aggressive. It’s silly, I know. If you’re a woman and haven’t jumped into starting a business, here are a few things you need to get over the hump.
You Need to Be Okay with Risk
There’s a certain amount of risk that comes with running a business, but those of us who have been at it for a while know it’s so worth it. Still, if you haven’t yet dipped your toes in the small business pool of life, it’s important for you to know and accept that running a business is risky. You aren’t guaranteed to make a profit your first few months (or even year). You don’t know if people will even buy your product. Still, if you’re passionate about what you want to do, it’s a risk you should be willing to take. Heck, as an employee, you’re at risk too. Who’s to say you won’t be laid off tomorrow?
You Need to Not Fear Failure
I learned this one the hard way, and I’m here to tell you that you will fail. Over and over. If you’re a perfectionist, this can be hard to swallow. Still, there are lessons in failure, and if you are open to learn them, they’ll make you an even better entrepreneur.
You Need to Act Like Yourself, Not a Man
As I said, sometimes when a woman is assertive, others think she’s being an aggressive maneater. Don’t buy into that hype. But know you don’t have to be tough or “act like a man” to be respected as an entrepreneur. Sure, sometimes it’s a good ole boys’ network you’re up against, but people will respect you more if you find your own leadership style rather than trying to adopt characteristics that you think people want.
Find a Great Mentor
There’s no reason you need to take this journey on your own. Find a great mentor to learn the ropes of your industry as well as running a business, as well as have someone to bounce ideas off of. This will help you boost your confidence, and you’ll learn how to be successful faster than if you did it all alone.
There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship, just like there are none in life. But if you’re passionate about what you want to do, and you yearn to make a difference, take the plunge.
CorpNet is here to make taking that plunge even easier. Talk to our small business specialists for a free business consultation to get started.