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Starting a business is exciting, challenging, and emotional. Women entrepreneurs are faced with a myriad of obstacles along the way, but recognizing potential mistakes before you make them could be the difference between business success and business failure.
Following are five common mistakes that women entrepreneurs make when starting businesses. Don’t make these mistakes with your startup. Instead, learn to recognize them and avoid them before they get in your way or damage your efforts.
1. Trying to Do It All
Most women entrepreneurs have an innate belief that makes them feel like they have to do it all. Whether that belief comes from family history, their environments, or psychology doesn’t matter. What matters is that you recognize you cannot do it all. You need to learn to identify when you need help and pat yourself on the back for finding the right support when the time comes. It’s not a sign of failure to ask for help. It’s a sign that your business is growing, so view it as a positive, not a negative.
2. Trusting the Wrong People
Many women entrepreneurs want to be liked and want to trust that people will do what they say they’ll do. Unfortunately, the reality of the business world doesn’t always work that way. Teach yourself to make people prove themselves to you before you trust them. Leverage the tools of the social web and invest time in networking with peers and experts who can help you find people whom you can trust.
You don’t have to do it all on your own. For example, start with a social networking site like LinkedIn and join groups where you can build relationships with other female entrepreneurs, investors, online influencers, and so on. Leverage the tools that are available to you online to find vendors and employees. When it comes to finding investors, Pave offers a fantastic way for female entrepreneurs to connect with successful, experienced, and trustworthy backers who can help you meet your business funding needs.
3. Succumbing to Mommy Guilt
Mommy guilt—it’s an emotion that no one can possibly understand unless they’re a mother. Rather than succumbing to mommy guilt, you need to realize that it will never go away. As mothers, we will never feel like we’re doing enough for our children. Rather than lamenting the time you can’t spend with your kids as you build your business, make the time you do have with them the best it can be. If your kids are happy, you’re doing just fine.
4. Giving It All Away
One of the most important things you need to learn if you want to be a successful business owner is how to say, “No.” You’d be amazed at what people will expect you to give to them for free. It’s not just free (or discounted) products and services that people will try to get from you. It’s also your time. Don’t feel guilty about charging people for the time you spend talking about their projects or needs. A free one-hour phone call is acceptable once, but set expectations early in the relationship by warning clients that they’ll have to pay you for your time in the future.
5. Not Believing in Yourself
It’s normal to have times of self-doubt, but don’t give into them. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should customers, vendors, investors, or anyone else? Build up your network of fellow business women and entrepreneurs that you can communicate with, learn from, and ask for help. Find a mentor who can help you through the difficult emotional times. You can do it.
This article was paid for by Pave.
Pave connects investors with prospects who need funding for their careers or education. Investors receive a compelling return and prospects get affordable funding from real people.
Pave provides a way for millennials to raise funding upfront from real people and in turn make payments based on their earnings. For prospects, this means that payments are always affordable. For investors, it offers an opportunity to share in the upside of prospects’ success. Pave provides a transparent way to invest directly in people with measurable financial and social impact.