While the battle of sexes has dropped quite a bit in recent years, that doesn’t mean that women have it any easier when trying to start up their own business.
In fact, many women believe there is more pressure on them when beginning a business – pressure to be taken seriously, to make the right calls, and in some cases to realize a lifelong dream.
Many of those dreams have been realized, as recent reports indicate that more than a quarter of a million women nationwide own and lead businesses with annual revenue exceeding $1 million. In fact, a large number of these companies are multimillion-dollar enterprises.
Challenges that Come with the Territory
With the prosperity also come challenges, perceived or not. So what are some of the challenges awaiting a wife, a mother, a daughter, a single woman etc., when wanting to start their own business?
Among them are:
Being taken seriously – This is one that gets under the skin of many women, noting that they should be treated no differently than their male counterparts. While that stereotype likely still exists, it is one that can be changed when a woman shows the world that she is equal to or even better at running her own small business than a man. Don’t doubt yourself or live within stereotypes, break from them!
She’s too emotional – Women have no doubt heard this one over and over again. She’s going to let her emotions cloud her judgment and therefore make mistakes. The fact that women tend to be more emotional should actually work in their favor. While men at times make hasty decisions, a woman tends to think things through more clearly, weighing the positives and the negatives. Having some emotion regarding your business is certainly not a bad thing when used correctly.
She can’t handle all her responsibilities – For many women, having their own small business also comes with the responsibility of raising children, sometimes in a one parent environment. The perception from some is that she cannot handle the balancing act between kids and running a business. In fact, many women do just fine being both a mother and a small business owner. Yes, the work hours can be tremendous, but many women eagerly await such a challenge and meet it head on.
Pretty but uneducated – This is probably the most upsetting comment that a small business woman will hear. If you stop and think about it, many women run their family households when it comes to money, the necessary organizational plans and more. Just because she has a pretty face doesn’t mean there isn’t a great education and savvy business sense to go along with it.
She was not raised to be the leader – From an early age on, many women are taught or perceive that men are the leaders, following their lead in the process. While this is the case in some instances, we know all too well that this idea is wrong. As more and more women climb their way up the corporate ladder to head major companies, more and more women seeking to open their own small business need to follow the idea.
Worry will set in – While women oftentimes get the label (deserved or not) of worrying too much, there are countless female small business owners who prove better heads of business than men. Having a little worry in them can actually be a benefit, in that it means the woman is looking at all options and covering all her bases. If someone is a little worried about something, one thing it shows is that they care.
Whether having a small business has been a lifelong dream or a recent wish, women should plow forward the same way men do.
At the end of the day, there are many small business women who can attest to having success following through on their career dreams.