So you’ve got a great idea and you’re really excited about it? You’re ready to get started so you can see your new company grow and flourish. Maybe you’ve even read tons of books on motivation, productivity, and entrepreneurship. Well, there are some things you may not learn until you’re knee-deep in building your new business. Here’s a little advice for female entrepreneurs who are just starting out…
You Can Begin From Anywhere
As women, we often feel insecure about diving headfirst into the world of business without the right level of credibility or clout. We worry (more than men do) that no one will listen to us.
Just remember, it doesn’t matter who you are if you have a good idea and the drive to see it through. You can forget about your economic background or academic credentials as long as you have the work ethic. Don’t feel insecure about where you come from or if others around you have a leg up, family money, or an ivy league education. Today, the playing field is more level than ever for entrepreneurs with great ideas and the motivation to see them through.
I was a high school dropout from Puerto Rico with three kids… who no one would hire. As a young, single mother, no one took me seriously when I applied for jobs. So I hired myself! It seems crazy to think that I’ve come from living in a group home to starting my own business, but the path to entrepreneurship is different for everybody. It’s all about finding a way to make yourself and your idea shine, and then throwing your all into it.
Patience is a Virtue
When you’re first starting your business, you’re eager and optimistic, but things usually don’t move as quickly as you’d like. There might be legal hoops to jump through, heaps of paperwork to do, technology concerns to handle, and of course, financial issues to take care of. You’ll have to be patient… even though you’re ready to just skip to the part where your ideas take shape! But more importantly, being patient can often help you see things more clearly.
Sometimes you need to be the one who exudes that patient force and calming, laid back energy so that those around you can do the same. In addition to having patience with others, women generally excel at being supportive, nurturing, and caring, which is crucial for keeping your team happy and motivated. Tell others why they’re great and what about them inspires you. I like to remind people how special and important they are to me just by being themselves.
You’ll Need More Time (and Money) Than You Think
This advice might sound like a given in the world of small business, but it’s true! It’s also one of the reasons you’ll need that patience we talked about. Registering your business, working with government entities, contacting lawyers, getting the right permits, hiring people to help you – all those things will take time. And money. Often, a lot of it. So budget more of both than you think you’ll need.
Your goals will also take longer to reach than you imagined, but as long as you expect the delays and setbacks, you’ll be much better equipped to handle them during the early stages of your business.
You Have to Believe in Yourself and Your Idea Before Anyone Else Will
It’s definitely tougher to be taken seriously in business as a woman, so you have to find that confidence within yourself, your idea, and your own unique skill set to keep going and push for the attention you deserve. Do your own thing for a while. Figure out what you’re good at. See what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to fail, because some things really won’t work. Keep tweaking your idea. Hire people who are good at your weaknesses.
Personally, my life changed when I started meditating. Having that time to reflect can help us see that sometimes, the only thing in our path is ourselves. While it may not be your thing, I’ve found that implementing a morning meditation ritual each day is a powerful tool that helps me connect with the essence of believing in myself.
The way society has treated women over the years has affected many of our mindsets so that often we don’t trust our own decisions, instincts, or even ourselves. But here’s the key: Once you’ve thought of your idea and decided to pursue it, you’re basically halfway there. So just keep moving forward and don’t look back!