Every year, thousands of women set out on their journey to become successful founders of their own businesses – women own 8.6 million businesses in the U.S and that number is growing. While these ladies are inspirational to other females with the same dreams of starting their own company, entrepreneurship still is traditionally a male-dominated territory – but it doesn’t have to be. Stop chipping away at your own success, and instead view these obstacles female business owners often face as challenges and work to overcome them.
Women Feel They Need to Act Like Men
Many female business owners who attend networking events may relate to this: You stroll into a busy seminar and can count the number of females in attendance on one hand. When women have to talk business with male executives, it’s intimidating.
Women also fear that because they are female, they may not get as good of a deal – something that wouldn’t be an issue if they were a man.
To protect themselves, women often attempt to adopt the stereotypical male attitude toward business – aggressive and competitive. But this approach doesn’t get you far. It’s okay to be confident and yourself. You aren’t a man; so don’t pretend that you are. You have made it this far through determination and perseverance, so believe in yourself and your business tactics.
Emotions and Nurturing Skills May Affect Business
Women, by nature, tend to more nurturing and emotional which can be a hindrance when running a business. You may wonder how to remove emotions from the business equation and not let your feelings get the best of you, but work to find a middle ground.
Men see business as the bottom line, but women see more than that. Women become emotionally connected and that can be a barrier when it comes to making tough decisions. Men don’t hesitate and are quick to fire or make major business changes that affect employees’ families, while women aren’t as impulsive. Women tend to be relationship-based in business and work hard to build relationships – a good quality to possess most of the time because connections are important to success. However, it’s important for females to remember to be direct and keep their eyes on their business goals.
Women Lack Support of Other Females in the Industry
Today’s women work hard to build a brand with passion – female entrepreneurs are hardworking trailblazers who are making their way through the business world of mostly men. Unfortunately, sometimes insecurity sets in when women focus on the fact that they are the minority. Women need additional support and camaraderie from their female peers.
Despite the quickly growing number of female executives and business owners in the U.S, there still aren’t enough business women to connect with. To find mentors and role models, look for networking events focused on women, and seek groups created for businesswomen and join online forums. The opportunities are out there; women just need to encourage other women in the limelight.
Women Often Balance Running Their Business with Raising a Family
A goal of entrepreneurs is often work-life balance, but mothers who start businesses have to run not only their families, but also their business. Running a business and being an involved mother is a challenge. It is possible to balance your time, but kids do make it harder to effectively run your business. Women, remember not to beat yourself up on your shortcomings or over little things. Momtrepreneurs have dual responsibilities and both family and business are important. It is vital to find ways to delegate time to your family and your business to achieve that elusive balance of work and life.
Don’t let hurdles stand in your way of business success – you have the skills necessary to run your business. Keep your confidence in the forefront of your mind and ignore that little voice that’s discouraging you from taking action or getting outside of your comfort zone.
What are some challenges you face as a female entrepreneur or momtrepreneur? How do you overcome these hurdles?