5 Things I’ve Learned About Being a Female EntrepreneurCelebrate Women’s History Month by learning from these strong, successful businesswomen.
With the empowering #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, the push for more women business leaders and the increased awareness of women’s accomplishments in the media, female entrepreneurs are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
In the business world, “womenpreneurs” are making an impact and inspiring the next generation of femmes to step up, start their own businesses and “Run the World,” as Beyoncé commands.
If you are just beginning your own venture, check out these insights and advice from women already leading the pack. You can learn from their missteps, take up the torch and light your own path.
Network with other female leaders
“Every startup business is a networking business, so start building your network right away. Reach out to the other women in your industry, and ask how you can collaborate. And remember to give back more than you receive, [because] it will pay dividends in the end. Contrary to popular belief, nice girls do finish first when it comes to entrepreneurship.”
— Christel Oerum, founder of DiabetesStrong.com
Reach for huge goals
“One of the challenges I face, and that I’ve seen with the women business owners I’ve coached, is that we tend to play too small. We have a tendency to be satisfied with earning enough to survive instead of going for a ‘thrive’ level. Men are more likely to have huge expansion plans and are willing to get loans and external investors much more readily than women.
“Part of me thinks that needs to change. However, if a woman is fulfilled and has a business that honors her values and allows her to take care of her family, that’s great too. I just like to see more women consider these things as an option.”
— Elene Cafasso, founder and president of Enerpace Executive Coaching
Don’t be afraid if you don’t know everything
“As a female entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to start something you don’t know everything about. I failed twice in previous experiences as an entrepreneur; however, I look at [those] as really valuable experiences and knowledge to apply to the next adventure.
“As a founder and CEO, you will always run into decisions you’ve never had to make before. Even today, I face new issues and decisions almost on a daily basis. My advice is to apply the best knowledge you have, seek advice from your network, hire experts and make your own judgments in the end.”
— Angela Pan, CEO and founder of fashion-focused technology brand Ashley Chloe
Find the right crew
“Having the right people in your corner can make or break you. It isn’t about hiring a big agency to represent you, it’s more important to have people work with you that believe in your vision. Build a team of talented people who have similar values and take ownership of their work. And when you find those people, treat them damn good. I’m so grateful to have people in my corner who push me and balance me out.”
— Kariyma Hamilton, founder of DEFY Lingerie
Follow your gut
“Never blindly follow someone’s advice without checking with your own internal compass. Also, be very wary of hiring a business coach or getting a mentor early on. Instead, surround yourself with supportive family and friends and get rid of anyone with a bad attitude or jealous heart.”
— Nicole Faith, founder of online business creation service 10 Carat Creations