“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” – Mae Jeminson
Being a successful female entrepreneur is not only challenging, its (in some aspects) rare. Women make up more than 51% of the U.S. population. But, the latest Census reports show that only 28.7% of all businesses nationwide are owned by women alone. New businesses that are being founded by women are at their highest peak in history but still trail significantly compared to our male counterparts.
Women have been recognized as major participants in the field of entrepreneurship and business. We have established ourselves as leaders and have played a role in growing this platform. We’ve said goodbye to many outdated stereotypes and old fashioned ideas and obstacles and have made a mark in this male dominated world. We’ve set benchmarks and male competitors are now recognizing the capabilities of a driven female entrepreneur.
Being driven is one of the dominant traits found among women entrepreneurs. However, having drive alone is not enough. Being driven is very important but there is a basket of troubles waiting for you at every nook and corner and you have to face them all with confidence.
We have a dreamy perception about being a boss but ask those who live this life and some of them would truly say that the price to pay for being the one who calls the shots is immense. You may know how to handle the obstacles as most of them are common to those faced by others and you know the way out, but there are some things you can do that will keep you fearless, innovative and driven.
Collaborate and Partner Up
Like I said earlier, female entrepreneurs are still the minority in measurable statistics like revenue and patents. But, the number of businesses started by women have skyrocketed by 50% since 1997. This means that there are more opportunities than ever to meet and connect with other driven female entrepreneurs. Search Meetup.com, The National Association of Women Business Owners or American Business Women’s Association and find those opportunities.
Greater awareness, social media interaction, and greater need to depend on each other for support have led to the development of a many communities of women. Business communities are formed at all levels from district to national and even international levels, to bring together ideas and innovation for better growth and development.
In the same breath, don’t limit yourself to working with only other women. Many businessmen understand that its beneficial to work with female partners due to many factors. There is a two sided perspective involved as men and women see things differently at times. People have come to accept the difference in perspective and learn from each other to establish a stronger business enterprise, better opportunities, more growth, and profits.
Starting or running a business can be stressful, frustrating, and even maddening. Have someone who can guide you through the obstacles, offer a different perspective, solutions, and be the person to keep your ego in control. Do not just go for a top business mentor, in fact, do the opposite, find one who understands you and is fearless enough to be honest. It has to be a balanced mentor-mentee relationship.
Try to have more than one from different fields, even genders. A combination of men and women works best. Try to utilize the different business practice groups and local networks.
Stay Focused on the Mission
The mission that you had in mind when you started your business should always be remembered. You have to take every decision with that image that you had in mind and they all should fall in line with it. Collaborate with people who have a common mission and common ideas. This will be easier to achieve and there are better chances of the partnerships succeeding.
Having a clear goal and mission will lead you back to the yellow brick road when distractions and other opportunities attempt to lead you away. If you are good at what you do, then there will be many doors that will open and many offers you will receive. The key is to weigh those options against your mission. If you started a home business to spend more time with your family but you are getting consulting offers 3 states away, then that may not be the path you should take.
That doesn’t mean you say no to every opportunity. But it does mean that those opportunities have to fall in line with your mission. Instead of flying out to do the consulting, perhaps use video conferencing as the primary communication method to avoid having too much time away from home. There’s always a way. You just have to commit to following your mission and be innovative enough to find those ways.
Drop all Fear
Fear of failure can be a debilitating factor on your life and performance as an entrepreneur. The best way to handle fear is to face it and defeat it. Draw yourself out of the comfort zone and take challenges, take risks, and go after success.
Coming out of the comfort zone and working wisely will boost your confidence like nothing else. This is the best way to make the most of an opportunity and also overcome your fear. You won’t know what you are capable of achieving until you try!
Establish and Keep Your Credibility
Trust and loyalty are important while entering into any kind of relationship. Your partners, customers, and associates need to know that they can count on you. If you have a valuable skill set, do everything possible to fine tune and develop those skills so that you are the go-to girl for the job.
As a leader, you must have a sense of fairness and justice to your business decisions. Be honest and build the faith in your partners and associates that you are worth paying attention to. Credibility is very important and some giants of industry are living examples of this. You should be an entrepreneur who people like to do business with and have faith in.
Be fearless, innovative, and honest and you are all set to rule the business community. There are no shortcuts to success and any compromise with dedication, truthfulness, and sincerity will lead to failures. Have clear a vision and great confidence but be ready to learn from small things and people whenever there is a chance. Be a person people like to do business with and success is assured.