In a culture inundated with media hype about the “War on Women,” it might be surprising to learn that in the past year the number of women-owned $10-million+ businesses has grown 57%.
Not only is investment by angels and venture capitalists up for female-led entrepreneurial endeavors, it seems we’re on the beginning of an upward curve.
A recent worldwide survey showed that entrepreneurs in general are happier. Of the entrepreneurs, however, women are significantly happier. What’s the secret?
Women who start and run their own businesses make more money than their female counterparts who are working as employees. ($63,000 vs. $42,700)
2. Work/Life Balance
Women running their own businesses have the flexibility to manage family and business responsibilities in ways their counterparts in the general workforce do not. A woman who owns her own business can take a sick child or parent for care while still remaining on top of her responsibilities. As the business owner, she does not face penalties on her time or job evaluation.
3. Women Pay it Forward
Currently, women comprise 22% of business “angels.” That number has been steadily increasing. Women who succeed as entrepreneurs are willing to invest in other women seeking the support they need to succeed.
In a distinct vein, businesses started by women were often created to fill a gap in services or products. Generally, those services and products are things that other women need or want. Female entrepreneurs are paying forward so that others don’t experience the same hardships that led the entrepreneurs to create their business.
4. Thick Skins
Women who make it as business owners learn early that someone not liking their business idea is not the same as that person not liking them personally. Successful entrepreneurs know that they are never going to make 100% of the people happy. Instead, they invest their energy into the people they can serve and put all of their resources in that direction.
5. Capitalizing on the Feminine
Entrepreneurial women focus on their skills—- often skills that are attributed to all women. Recent studies have shown that women are more adept at predicting the resources needed to accomplish a goal more accurately. These women build strong teams by using their ability to combine intuitive and logical thinking.
Additionally, women know that listening to clients, potential investors and employees builds strong relationships. Finally, most women understand the need to nurture staff to earn their loyalty and best efforts.
6. Ignoring Real or Perceived Disadvantages
Talk to any successful woman who owns a business and she will focus on the things she can control or has controlled. These women recognize that things might be unfair in certain situations, but refuse to waste time and energy complaining. Instead they forge ahead working over or around any problems they encounter.
When talking to newly upcoming female entrepreneurs, they will not discourage her from going after government contracts (there is a law stipulating women-owned businesses get a certain percentage of contracts) or from working to end discriminatory practices. Rather, the seasoned professional will advise her upcoming counterpart to focus her energies where they are most needed. There is time for the rest.
7. Be Fabulous
Savvy women entrepreneurs know they are not men. Instead, they take the time to develop a brand—a certain style of dress, hair, shoes, or anything else to make them stand out. They embrace the fact that they are women and do not try to fit in with the business suits and somber attire of their male counterparts. The successful are able to walk that fine line between memorable and silly.