Gone are the days when entrepreneurship was considered a mans world, women are in the for the kill now. But we have challenges that hinder us from fully integrating us into this world we were previously never accustomed to being in. Here are the challenges:
Women entrepreneurs think they need to act like men.
Some established businesses often fail to move on to the next level of achievement and success because they become so stuck in their rigid ways and functions. What we build, that cannot be contended, is instinct.
Yes, a new way of thinking in the corporate world may cause discomfort and drastic change but it yields so many results. Besides, authentic people lead and organise people better. I personally do not believe in losing my femininity in business. But I do not want to necessarily be treated like a woman. The difference between the two is that in our patriarchal society, being treated like a woman means being spoken to like a child and given instructions, not led or guided.
Women-owned startups receive significantly less investor funding.
Although the number of women who apply for and receive capital has increased in the past few years, progress has been extremely slow. Women are not as experienced and are not educating themselves, this results in them not being as skilled as men at presenting their case to investors. We, as women, need to learn to tap into the resources around us unapologetically. We need to get to know people in the right places and make moves to network beyond our circles in order the gain optimum success.
Another factor to this is the fact that as women, we hog our businesses just as we hog our make-up. We hate sharing! We need to learn to learn to be willingness to give up/share management control. We need to aim to build strong management team that are unbreakable; this creates a solid unbreakable foundation to continue growing and building on. And we need to be extremely persistent and never give up!
Emotions and nurturing skills can affect women’s businesses.
Women tend to be more emotional and nurturing, which can sometimes be an obstacle in running our businesses, but I think the key is learning emotional intelligence. In fact emotional intelligence is important fro all genders across all disciplines and levels or business. With emotional intelligence, even the tough decisions are tackled with personal feelings put aside.
Women often lack the support of other female business leaders.
We’ve probably all watched mean girls, but in the real reality of life, we have meaner women. It is appalling and sad actually. Women treat each other badly and we don’t realise how much power and position we have when we stand together. This behaviour is embedded in us, psychologically, culturally and socially. We need to identify when it creep up on us and choose to be better, kinder and more supportive. We need to be forgiving of ourselves and other women in order to all feel fulfilled.
As women we still feel like we live in a male-dominated society, so we feel like we are competing for a smaller piece of the pie. In actual fact we are all (male and female) compering for the same pie. We become too busy and preoccupied to help and build each other up. I personally run a few businesses, I have two kids and a husband. As i have mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ve chosen to outsource some of these functions, but this has not left me with any more time to do fully do all I can do. Men generally don’t do what we do.
We need to stop thinking of other women as our enemies and begin thinking of them as our closest allies, no matter who they are.
Many women have to balance raising families with running their businesses.
I’ve said before, running a business and raising a family is tough. I don’t have the answers and the solutions to managing and mastering it all. Work-life balance in my opinion is a goal all entrepreneurs strive for, but mothers who start businesses have to simultaneously juggle time for their families and their businesses. My answer was to outsource as much as I could at home and I am working towards creating a team to share the work-load with – it’s the only way I will be able to get a proper work-life balance.
Women entrepreneurs are afraid of failure.
In order to be successful, we must go through some failures. The goal to suppress that inner voice discouraging us and causing that fear of failure. When failure happens, get up and try again. We must never compromise our well-being and health in trying to be who we want to be. We need to focus on the dream and keep growing it.