Women are now starting businesses at double the rate of men. More than 9 million U.S. businesses are now owned by women, employing nearly 8 million people and generating $1.5 trillion in sales, according to 2015 data from The National Association of Women Business Owners.
But there’s no magic formula for entrepreneurial success, of course. Stepping into the unknown is scary — and many women doubt their abilities, and struggle with all sorts of guilt on a daily basis. Women business owners struggle because they’re uncomfortable about what it looks like for them to be successful because they feel there is a social expectation for women to give everything away or do things for free.
Here are 5 things women entrepreneurs still struggle with and why they need manage it:
1. Setting Boundaries for work – As a woman, most of us were raised to believe that we are expected to take care of others first. So when a family member calls us to run an errand or we are the first one everyone calls when there is an emergency because we are in our own business, we tend to feel guilty and we run and do it, even when we have work that we get paid to do. Get over it and set your boundaries. You have set work hours just like everyone else and it is o.k. and necessary to make sure everyone knows that. Of course there is the guilt we feel about having to work in the evening or on the weekend when we fell behind in our work too. Which is another reason it is important to have a schedule and stick to it.
2. Not paying enough attention to our families – Striking a work-life balance is something you hear so many entrepreneurs talk about. There is never balance, it is just a myth. It is all about integration. That means that your life business and family are all one. Women often face greater pressure to fulfill their roles at home. Unfortunately we percieve that society often looks down upon working women. This is even truer for women entrepreneurs as they don’t have a simple nine-to-five job which they can complete and return home to their families. They need to work at odd hours, evenings and occassionally even attending an event on the weekend. Set your boundaries and stick to your schedule, get your work done then spend time with your family guilt free.
3. Taking Time Out For Ourselves – As over scheduled as our lives are these days, it can be quite a challenge to find time for yourself. In order to be the best you as a mom, friend, daughter, sister and entrepreneur you have to be in optimum health. Taking time for yourself gives your brain a chance to reboot, improves concentration and increases productivity. It is imperative that you take time for yourself physically, mentally and spiritually or else everyone around you will suffer.
4. Investing in ourselves – Women tend to feel guilty when they are spending money on themselves. They tend to buy for everyone else first, their kids, spouses and friends. We struggle the most with spending money on our self- care and on our business. Networking, workshops, conferences, continuing education and personal development will cost money. In order to be successful it takes money and work. Investing in your self care is key for yourself and for your business. If you look and feel good you do good. Becoming and staying successful in business will depend upon the people you connect with that can help you, keeping a positive mental attitude and mastering your craft so all of these things will be imperative.
5. Becoming too successful – Some of us were raised where the man of the house made the most money. We were made to believe that it was conceited or too aggressive as a woman if you made more than your husband or if you became too successful. You made it to where you are through hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, you’re there. Don’t conform yourself to anyones idea of what success should look like.
Ladies the sooner we are all able to get out of our own heads and let go of the guilt, the more successful all women will be at entrepreneurship. In the meantime, it is imperative to never lose sight of the end and stay focused on that. Our perception is not always reality. Believe that you are deserving of tremendous success and focus on your why and the reason that you are doing all of this for in the first place. Always remember to enjoy the journey.
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