38 (Unique) Things About Women Entrepreneurs
Why 38? Well today would be my 38th birthday and I confess, it’s not feeling so great to be this ‘age’. I’m not one to complain about my age. Ever. I usually embrace it. But I’ve realized most of my 20s went to my great initial career. Most of my 30s have been given to babies – having, raising past baby stage).
But I do love the life I’ve created, enjoy my young family, my entrepreneurship, and all the amazing women I’ve met this year as a result of all the years before today. They have all led to this moment. This number would be otherwise insignificant, so to try to celebrate the remainder of this decade of my life, I thought I’d honour this “early mid-life” number with a great list! I’m certain the contributors and list will continue to grow!
Thanks for the contributions from MPowered friends who emailed and Tweeps (Twitter people) who took the time. Much appreciated! This is a really interesting list and I hope you enjoy the read… some great advice, insight, humour and observation ahead.
- Many women in business would have broken the “women in business” mold trying to climb the corporate ladder, but saw that ladders only reach so high and only in two directions, whereas entrepreneurship has no limits.
- Intuition is something all human beings have. Women can tap into it very easily. Women should use their instincts as the first ‘go to’ source for advice. Women entrepreneurs can take on “too much” (often conflicting) advice from other sources, which limits effective decision-making.
- Being authentic and honest (crazy, bitchy, focused, over-committed, determined, etc) does not make us less capable. It makes us human, approachable and “real”.
- Women’s egos can absorb setbacks more easily, therefore risking isn’t so frightening. (Thanks to Jane, Smallbones Studio via www.twitter.com/SmallbonesShop)
- Women are natural/biological multi-taskers (helps when you have +++ children…); easily handle multiple priorities. (Thanks to Julie, WriterWriter via www.twitter.com/WriterWriter)
- Balance is bullshit: there is no such thing for a womanpreneur. Should stop trying to juggle and accept that something will take a backseat (Thanks to Tamara, MOM Magazine via www.twitter.com/MOMmagRocks)
- I think women entrepreneurs are more motivated by the difference they make for others (& world) versus money. Can be good/bad. (Thanks to Gina, Gina Bell Inc. and IAWBO via www.twitter.com/GinaBell)
- 1440 minutes each day. Only some billable. All valuable. All have potential to make my family, myself or my clients (Thanks to Lana, Your View Communications via www.twitter.com/yourviewcom)
- I like that my girls see me as a mom and a business woman. They get involved in my biz and I think that’s cool! (Thanks to Nyla, Nyla Free Designs and Design in a Box via www.twitter.com/NylaFree)
- Unique because we not only know how to think outside of the box but we then use the box as an office & then a place to play in with our kids. (via www.twitter.com/B_A_Bookworm)
- Women are unique because we collaborate instead of compete, choosing to share & co-create! This can be both a huge asset & a downfall. (Thanks to Carla, MOMeo Community and MOMeo Magazine via www.twitter.com/CarlaYoung)
- They can juggle. Wiping a nose while on the phone sounding businesslike, working in the minivan outside of wireless access with a two year old in a car seat sleeping, putting on your business jacket and someone wiping their nose on it immediately- maybe this is mostly Mompreneurs, but women in general seem to keep so much in mind while they simultaneously accomplish their career aspirations. (Thanks to Fawna, Infinite Wisdom Consulting and Everspring Voices and www.twitter.com/FawnaBews, via email)
- As a Mompreneur, I am thrilled to know that my son will grow up learning that he really can create anything he wants in life by focusing on his passions, leveraging his strengths and by being willing to take risks in pursuit of his dreams. (Thanks to Stephanie, Inspired Coaching and www.twitter.com/InspiredCoach via email).
- Women entrepreneurs don’t look at business success like a tunnel – with a single point of focus, but more like a tree. They are trying to grow a strong, healthy, vibrant tree while maintaining the health and integrity of each of the smaller branches growing from it. The branches represent all facets of their business as well as their lives – clients, budgets, marketing, networking, family, friends, health, time management — They understand that the tree can’t thrive, unless each branch is healthy as well. (Thanks to Adele de Pauw, aspiring entrepreneur (one to watch))
- I think what makes women entrepreneurs unique is their genuine enthusiasm and support for other women in business. It’s a great club to be a part of! Without the support of other like minded women, the journey would not be as much fun or informative. (Thanks to Gloria Christie, Ultimate Chick Trips)
- Hmmm, so many things. We are constantly learning new things (how to tweet for example ) and simultaneously humbled by all we have yet to master! I think there is something about this learning that helps us keep perspective on what it’s like to be 3 years old with so much yet to discover and master.(Thanks to Amy Marshall, The Relationship Resource)
- We can acknowledge our failures and weaknesses out loud, inviting successes and help.
- We can handle ANYTHING as mom entrepreneurs except unending challenges deciding “if” to have or finding perfect childcare. This one can be a real showstopper on business success.
- Guilt is our Achilles heel. We must always try to make decisions from a positive personal or business place, not from guilt (stemming from managing business while managing other responsibilities)
- Our purse, work bag, and ‘kid bag’ are unusual. Mine holds a netbook, Blackberry, Starbucks card, Nintendo DS, 2 Leapsters, emergency Smarties, Lipsmacker, and a diaper. Always ready to embrace the techno telecommute and roadside emergencies (aka need to reply to clients in preschool parking lot and have kids quiet and entertained).
- Women entrepreneurs are walking zombies. This is because they have no problem staying up until 2 a.m. working on a project on a regular basis…. even though they know they shouldn’t.
- 85% of women entrepreneurs in an MPowered Marketing survey are moms who are over 32 years old.
- 95% of women entrepreneurs in an MPowered Marketing survey cite “self-fulfillment” as number 1 reason for starting a business.
- Many women entrepreneurs do NOT consider their family and friends part of their business network and feel ‘bad’ asking them for help launching or supporting their business. This must be overcome!
- Women must learn to acknowledge if their business is really a hobby to just make a few dollars at, or if it’s really a business they are going to invest in. Knowing the difference between the two is critical for setting appropriate goals.
- Women must meld personal goals and business goals. They are related, and often the same.
- Women entrepreneurs dominate Twitter for business networking…. At least according to my Twitter followers and followee lists.
- Women are natural social beings (even the introverted ones). We connect quickly on a personal level with other women entrepreneurs and customers in an authentic way. Big companies spend millions trying to make these personal connections with thousands of customers. Women entrepreneurs often only need dozens or hundreds of customers… we can build this almost entirely one-to-one, strategic “word-of-mouth”, social media, or small scale paid marketing.
- Women entrepreneurs are starting FASCINATING, unique businesses driven by making a meaningful difference in small or big ways.
- Women entrepreneurs are not just targeting other women for their businesses (but turns out most do).
- Women entrepreneurs with kids pretend their kids aren’t (a) home, (b) watching Treehouse, (c) eating cookies when taking “business calls”.
- Women entrepreneurs who are moms should get bigger tax write-offs for their vehicles (secondary or sometimes primary home office) and 100% cash refund on all caffeinated purchases. We are stimulated in order to stimulate the economy in our own ways.
- The direct selling (viable multi-level marketing/ home party) industry is undervalued for the dynamic entrepreneurs driving this economy.
- We can waste hours upon hours trying to figure out how to do things that we eventually realize we should outsource (aka hire experts).
- We know we are capable of “doing it all.” Sometimes takes us far too long to recognize we (a) can do it all but not all well, all the time, and that’s okay; (b) should play to our strengths and forget about trying to change our weaknesses.
- Women in business are solo entrepreneurs, direct marketers (home party), commission sales people, franchise owners, and career gals how are entrepreneurs at heart (future success stories).
- Women entrepreneurs never need to feel alone. There are amazing organizations, networking groups, success coaches, and online communities to boost us, focus us, encourage us. The same social activities that feed our soul also happen to be the very core of networking & business building efforts. Social connections and networking are viable ways to build a business.
- Women have the mental hurdle of (a) asking for the business; (b) asking to be paid for their work; (c) asking to be paid what they worth for their skills, talent and contributions. It’s obvious this affects business success right?
Feel free to comment with YOUR unique ideas of what is unique (good, bad, ugly) about women entrepreneuring.