Being a woman in business isn’t always easy. Especially when there are “The Top 3 Challenges as a Female entrepreneur” I’ve seen again and again. Depending on what industry you work in and who your target audience is, you can run into some boy’s club vibes. Since starting my company, I haven’t really faced too much adversity but I do remember a specific event back in high school when I became fully aware of the negative impact you can experience as a woman.
I was up for an internship against another guy, which was going to be a graphic design placement at a steel plant. Of course, the plant was a total man’s world – it was probably somewhere around 98% men in terms of employees. Anyway, the two of us had to complete a design task and, I’m being completely truthful here, mine was pretty awesome while his was some animated GIF BS. The difference in quality and skill was totally apparent but somehow, this guy ended up getting a round of applause like he had just created the most amazing design while I was just put in a corner.
It sucked but it was an eye-opening experience for me and I do think that it has played a role in how I look at the world as a woman running her own business. My digital team right now, for example, is completely female and it works wonderfully for me and what I’m doing.
I want to talk about 3 of the most common challenges female entrepreneurs can face.
1. Pushing GO
The first is the challenge of even starting a business. If you’re coming from a full-time corporate gig, it’s not easy to give up the steady income and the safety net. But if you’re truly passionate about something and have a pretty solid plan, I say just do it. It’s easy to not do something because you’re afraid but you have to ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could really happen?”
Taking the first step is always the hardest but once you cross that hurdle, it’ll get easier and easier if you just stick with it. And don’t forget to surround yourself with a positive and supportive network and ask for help when you need it.
This is probably a good point to stop and say that it’s not giving up if at some point, you realize that you need to step away and take a break or that it just isn’t for you. We’re all too afraid of failing and giving up but we shouldn’t be. If you recognize that what you’re doing isn’t serving you in a positive way, then don’t hesitate about leaving it behind. Life is too short to be doing something that doesn’t bring you joy and fulfillment.
2. Put Yourself First
If you do find that your business is perfectly you, the next challenge we womenpreneurs tend to face is finding that good work/life balance. For this, I say PUT YOURSELF FIRST. Make it clear to your clients that you only work certain days and hours, and stick to it. I once had a client who would call and text me while I was on my honeymoon It was such a stressful time for me because I wanted to enjoy my trip but I also wanted to keep my client.
So be a little selfish and do things for yourself. Work out, get a massage or a mani/pedi, make a reservation at that restaurant you’ve been meaning to try out, and put your phone down.
We as women often push ourselves too hard, whether it’s out of necessity or stubbornness as we try to prove a point. But I want to remind you that you need to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. There are going to be rough patches and you’re going to make mistakes. Just treat those as learning lessons and pick yourself back up. And stop being hard on yourself (I know easier said than done).Take a mental health day or two if you need it. The world will not end and your business will not crumble to the ground over night.
3. Stop Saying Yes to Everyone / Everything
Finally, stop saying yes to everybody and everything. This is a biggie that I wish I had known when I first started my business. At the beginning, you’re so grateful to have any work come your way and want to accept everyone but that’s not the best way to go about it. I made that mistake and ended up with clients that just weren’t the right fit. And then I’ve had to fire those clients because we were such bad matches. Rather save yourself the trouble from the beginning and be more discerning about who you work with.
Be the best version you can be for yourself, and remember that there will be challenges along the way. Use this as a start to follow your dreams, and know you aren’t alone.
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