Whoever says it’s a man’s world clearly hasn’t met the women running it. Global statistics show that almost 40% of the entrepreneurs around the world are women. That’s not to say it’s easy for female entrepreneurs to have their cake and eat it too. What men and women have to do to succeed can be a tad bit different. If you’re someone thinking of transforming into a female entrepreneur, make sure you’re prepared for what the jump entrails.
Finding the dough
Do you have the perfect product or service lined up but no one to sell it to? The problem may be the same for men and women, but the approach to solving it can be different. What you need to do is focus on networking and marketing to find the right clients. What you need to be aware of as a female entrepreneur is that you are not without safety issues. There are some women who ensure that their processes have the right kind of support system in place already, so dealing with a client or connection isn’t something that can put them at risk. Make a plan for what you will or can do if such a situation arises. Thinking up worst-case scenarios makes it easier to tackle them later, no matter how unpleasant they may be.
Use the right resources
There are many networks, funds, grants, and other support systems already in place for female entrepreneurs. The glass ceiling is very real, and so is patriarchy. It’s like something external is slowing down the metabolism of your success with absolutely no link whatsoever to your real value. However, female-led projects are now getting more attention than ever. Look for women-only networking activities to find new contacts and customers alike. And while you’re looking for resources, make sure you check our tools for founders out too!
Tap into your uniqueness
There are multiple ways of solving a problem, and the most prominent are mostly solutions that men have come up with. There’s no need to follow the herd if you think you can go a different way. Look for niche areas that need a woman’s perspective. From clothing to car mechanics, there isn’t much that doesn’t impact women. Play to your strengths instead of going with whatever flow you’re being told to go with. Don’t try to push your way to becoming an “alpha female” because that’s just a toxic myth that men made up to make themselves feel better, be the real you, not a fake someone else.
Separate your personal and professional life
Female entrepreneurs get the unsurprising and often unwanted benefit of gaining a lot of followers and fans rather quickly when they begin to succeed. You go to sleep one day after putting up a new social media post about your business, and the next day you find 300 new requests from “friends”. As a businessperson, you would be stupid to turn away the attention, but your private life should be, well, private. A good (and possibly only) compromise is to have a dual set of accounts. Most entrepreneurs turn into brands themselves, so prepare for success and do it before you have to deal with the consequences.
Be the man
Well, not really. But the fact is that there are different standards for what works for men and women. A male entrepreneur blowing his lid just means he’s passionate and determined, but a female entrepreneur doing the same is labelled insane. So, instead of sitting and constantly wondering why the double standards exist, make sure you know how to work with the people around you, clients and staff included, so that you’re not on the wrong side of the net. You must be thinking, “But I’d rather change the double standards too, “but the reality is that that happens organically when more women succeed. Become the pillar of support for the next woman, join one of the networking groups that we’ve mentioned above.