Starting a business can be an exciting, yet challenging, journey. People start businesses for different reasons - to solve challenges, to challenge themselves, or to build financial freedom.
I remember when I started my business it took off fast. I had clients all over the USA, Nigeria, and Jamaica reaching out to me regarding my services. Although I was a new entrepreneur and still learning about the way of doing business, I was confident in my passion: writing resumes. I loved writing/updating resumes. Heck, I love writing PERIOD! However, I discovered throughout the journey that being a woman in business meant so many things politically, generationally, and inwardly. In the beginning, It was important for me tell myself daily that I didn't have to start a million-dollar business overnight, BUT I did have to start with a commitment to show up each day. One of the many reasons I did this was so that I didnt fall into the imposter syndrome.
“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman
But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”
- Melinda Gates
In short: a big part of the challenges that women face is themselves.
Studies by the US Small Business Administration show that 21% of women are less optimistic when it comes to sales growth and business performance. Similar studies have found that women in business doubt their decisions more often and are more likely to criticize themselves.
Yet research also shows that women entrepreneurs in the US rank their happiness three times higher than women who are not business owners.
Why? it could be that many women entrepreneurs find being a business owner a fulfilling process where you challenge your current beliefs and grow.
So, if you’re ready for the process here are the “need to knows“ before starting your business:
1. Trust your intuition. As we have established, women are more likely to doubt themselves. Learn to move past your self-doubt and trust your intuition.
● Accept that self-doubt and self-criticism are natural reactions when starting a business.
● Why are you doubting yourself? What stories are you telling yourself that lead to these doubts? Are those stories facts or feelings?
2. Strengthen your money mindset. Women have a harder time asking for money than men. To reach your fullest potential as a female business owner, strengthen your relationship with money.
● What stories do you tell yourself about money?
● Do you have trouble receiving money, asking for money, or raising your prices? Why?
● How do you feel about investing in your business? What feelings do you have about paying yourself from your business regularly?
3. Find a support network. Just because you are starting a business does not mean that you have to push forward alone. When starting a business, there will be bridges you have to cross and moments you will want to celebrate.
● Join or start your own mastermind.
● Become an active member of a business community.
● Ask a fellow female entrepreneur out for coffee.
● Attend business conferences or events.
4. Be persistent. Unexpected issues and challenges will be thrown your way as you start a business.
● Be ready to show up even through difficult times and tough challenges. If you find yourself wanting to give up, there is an underlying reason at the root of that. Learn how to show up even when you want to quit.
● Challenge yourself not to take “no” for an answer.
5. Features tell, benefits sell. One of the most important lessons in business is understanding that people buy benefits, not products.
● How will your business impact someone else’s life?
● What value do others receive as a result of your business?
● What transformation will your product or service bring into someone’s life?
However, the tips above are truly helpful but never forget to not let self-doubt or self-criticism get in the way of getting started.
Rac’quel Rogers is the founder of Latte Resume Consulting. She is a certified career, entrepreneurship, NLP practicioner, and workshop facilitator coach. She loves helping people reach their ultimate professional goal.