Entrepreneurship isn’t easy for anyone. The highs and lows are relentless and the path you walk is certainly no gentle stroll.
Whilst there are more women launching into the world of entrepreneurship, there is still a long way to go until their success is equal to that of their male counter parts.
Whilst this is of course a generalisation and not all women face these challenges, women face some significant obstacles that are common amongst their gender.
Here are the 5 biggest challenges female entrepreneurs must overcome today.
1. Building a strong support network
Women who go into business often lack real support from friends and family who think it’s a hobby or a side interest to having a family. That lack of encouragement can be tough and foster a feeling of isolation.
One thing women have not been great at in the past is understanding the importance of having a strong network of connections and trusted advisors who are able to open doors for you. There is nothing more powerful than having someone who knows and trusts you that can provide you with a personal introduction to a potential new client.
Men have long understood the power of a strong network and have used them successfully to their advantage for hundreds of years. We call it the ‘Old Boys Club’.
To succeed women need to support each other and grow our own ‘Girls Club’.
Related Article: Why You Should Collaborate Instead of Compete
2. Lack of role models
If I was to ask you to name five male successful entrepreneurs, it’s my guess that you would find it much easier than five female entrepreneurs.
Women often start businesses is areas where they already have experience or see other have success.
In traditionally male dominated sectors like technology, where there is massive opportunity in our ever-expanding technological world, there are limited women in the workforce. Therefore there are so few other women to show the rest the way.
We must support and encourage more trail blazing women to inspire others to do the same.
Related Article: 5 Reasons Why Women Should Support Each Other In Business
3. Juggling it all
Women often face the expectation that they must be good at everything, all at the same time.
We must juggle our careers and our businesses, family, friends, looking spectacular at all times… We try to be the technician, the manager and the entrepreneur in our business and find it difficult to delegate and let go.
By comparison, in general, men are judged on how well they do in their careers.
It’s a real struggle to find the time in the day to focus on all the demands that we feel we must meet.
Like Oprah says, ‘I do believe that women can have it all, just not all at once.’
It’s important to get super clear on what is important to you, then put in place plans and goals and take action to achieve that.
Always remember to keep in mind that Super Women doesn’t really exist!
4. Letting fear stifle growth
In general women are more risk adverse than men. They are fearful of failure, of success, of looking stupid, of not being good enough, of being judged… and so the list goes on.
If left unchecked, this can hold women back in their businesses because in order to get ahead you need to be able to take decisive decisions, often without having all the facts or without being sure of the outcome.
It’s a common misconception that some people don’t feel fear.
Everyone feels fear, it’s just whether you decided to own it or instead let it paralyse and own you.
5. Trying to please everyone
Women are often encouraged to be ‘nice’ and to try and please those around them; this happens from a young age. They are taught that they need to be ‘liked’ by everyone.
Subsequently, this can lead to them finding it hard to say ‘no’ to requests made of them.
One of the most important factors of being a successful entrepreneur is to have firm boundaries.
Failure to be able to say ‘no’ can lead to the under charging of their product or services, over committing, undertaking projects which don’t align with them and allowing it all to impact on other areas of their lives.
Being a woman in business too, I really understand the challenges that female entrepreneurs face every day. I don’t think we should have to deal with them and helping women to over come them is why do what I do.
My mission is:
‘’To inspire a movement of audacious businesswomen, determined to build mission based, seven figure+ businesses, that have a positive impact on the world and then to join together to inspire others to do the same.”
Just like the Dalai Lama I believe that ‘the world will be saved by the women of the west’. In fact I’d go one step further because I believe it’s entrepreneurial women who will have the greatest impact by changing the way the world does business.
In this world money really does ‘talk’ and it’s time audacious women started to change that conversation once and for all. Who’s with me?
To find out more about how you can work with Claire to grow your business, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 0402 891 144Always remember to keep in mind that Super Women doesn’t really exist! Click To Tweet
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As well as being a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and ex-CFO with over 20 years experience, she has also worked extensively with small and medium sized business owners to help them grow profitable businesses.
She's also a certified coach, NLP practitioner, Metadynamics TM Consultant and contributor for Kochie’s Business Builders.
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