A dear friend of mine once said, “Life turns you into an expert at things you never chose to become an expert at.” This resonates with me a lot as an entrepreneur and mother of two. It’s one of the worst stereotypes these days to see a businesswoman who is also a mother and ask, “How do you do it?” Do men ever get asked that?
The fact of the matter is, female entrepreneurs have a whole different skill set than their male counterparts, and this is out of necessity. Far be it from me to look at this and think that we’re forced, kicking and screaming, to learn to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently than our male peers. In my experience, it’s best to approach the challenges by thinking, this is a gift.
Let’s explore six things that female entrepreneurs know about business and life that men don’t necessarily not know, but can never understand to the degree that women do.
So if you’re launching a business based on an innovative new app, service, or product that is like nothing anyone has seen before, there’s less of a chance that you will be daunted by challenges, because as a woman business owner you’re already breaking new ground merely by coming into the office each morning.
Something that I’m always fascinated by is how women stay strong in situations where they’re so clearly in the minority. To my mind, the strongest, fiercest female entrepreneurs gain their strength from their sense of conviction: conviction in their business and their right to have a seat at the table. This does not come easily, but women learn over time how to stay centered, even when everyone wants to push them over.
I always refer to my favorite television show for entrepreneurs, Shark Tank, because we entrepreneurs can learn so much from watching it. One of the key things watching the show can teach you is knowing exactly how much money you need for your business, and then asking for it. As women, we’re often inclined to ask for less than what’s required. Once we have learned that this is a big mistake for anyone who wants to start a business, we’re sure to always speak up with investors to get what we need.
Not only is this an amazing skill in business, it’s also an indispensable life skill in general. Men are handed more things in life than we are, and that means that we have to do the extra work to give ourselves those things that we were never provided. This is empowering stuff, so no wonder the most accomplished female entrepreneurs just happen to be some of the most self-assured women you’ll ever meet.
Being an entrepreneur can sometimes feel like reinventing the wheel. There is so much that needs to be learned, and none of it can be done in a vacuum. In order for a person to build something complex from scratch (such as a business from the ground up), support and collaboration are key.
There’s a wealth of knowledge to be learned from hearing the ideas and perspectives of those around you, especially if they’re trusted sources. I’m not saying that men aren’t good at this, but the female brain is wired for collaboration, and there’s so much to be gained from connecting with others as well as asking for—or offering—help when and where it’s needed.
The balance that I’m referring to here is not just finding the time to run your business while raising kids and going to PTA meetings, it’s balancing the demand of work and family life with your own mental and physical health needs.
We’re all going to feel like we’re “losing it” at times. Stress is inherent to not only running a business but also raising a family. It’s common knowledge that women have a greater instinct to find ways to slow down and take care of themselves, despite how challenging that can be when life gets so busy.
Am I saying that male entrepreneurs should take care of themselves in the same way that women do? Not at all. All stereotypes aside, everyone has their own way of practicing better self-care, such as exercising, playing sports, meditating, playing with your pets, or chatting on the phone with a friend. None of these are decidedly female activities. When you find the self-care habit that works best for you, you can carve out a bit of time in your day to focus on your own well-being.
This is why women in business are primed for success.
As you can see, women inherently know a lot about what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur, things that men never had to bother learning. Believe me when I say that none of us pity ourselves for this fact. I for one am grateful that the challenges I’ve faced that have turned me into the strong woman and entrepreneur that I am today.
About the Author
Meeta Vengapally is founder and CEO of Garnysh and a Top Influencer on social media, where she is a spokesperson for over 700 brands. Follow Meeta on Instagram, read her profile on Forbes, and see her articles and full bio at AllBusiness.com.
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