4 Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make in Business and How to Avoid Them
| 4 minutes read
Though women own 40 percent of U.S. businesses, making real money is oftentimes more the exception than the rule. Here are some things getting in our way. Read here some mistakes women entrepreneurs make in business and how to avoid them.
Every business comes with a challenge and to start a business from scratch takes a special effort for every entrepreneur to start and reach the top position.
There has been a long debate coming from experts about male and female entrepreneurs. The number of women entrepreneurs is indeed less when compared to men entrepreneurs. But research shows that women-owned firms have an economic impact of $3 trillion that translates into the creation and maintenance of 23 million jobs—that is 16 percent of all U.S. jobs.
Being a woman in business can be particularly challenging, especially if you work in a male-dominated industry with an “old-school” mindset. Decades ago, women in the workplace may have felt the need to mirror men to succeed. Gone are those days when women have to be dependent on men and any decision-making process. Now the women entrepreneurs are bold, independent, and ready to make decisions in favor of their company.
However, we still make mistakes that can hinder our progress in the business. We believe we need to identify the errors and move past them in order to achieve our full potential as businesswomen.
No matter our situation, all of us women in business could benefit from more self-awareness. That alone will help us identify pitfalls and shortcomings and overcome them to become all that we can be.
Let’s take a look at four mistakes women entrepreneurs make in business and what we can do to overcome them.
- Underestimating your value.
- Learn to say no.
- Comparing yourself to others.
- Waiting for opportunities to come to you.
1. Underestimating your value.
Never underestimate yourself; always think you’re the boss and you can do anything. Generally, the majority of the women often fall into the trap of just taking what is offered to them with gratitude. We all know there is a wage gap in most countries. How many times have you negotiated your salary or asked for that promotion or wage? Studies show that men do this far more often than women. In order to truly succeed in business, women need to own who they are and need to recognize their capability; women should ask or demand what they need to be successful and help our organizations shine. It becomes important to believe in your abilities and have confidence that you can succeed in business. At the end of the day, no one believes and cares more about you than you! So, advocate for yourself.
2. Learn to say no.
Warren Buffet says that “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” As women, we tend to bring our cherishing side to work and end up taking on too many tasks. While being a team player and feeling needed is gratifying, too many duties will fail with a lot of them. But how do we say no to that next commitment or opportunity so that we can keep saying yes to that which is most dynamic? That’s when it’s important to focus and simplify. It means saying no again and again to all of the extraneous things each day in order to remain focused on saying yes to the few things that really matter in our lives.
3. Comparing yourself to others.
We know almost nine out of ten will agree that they had compared themselves with others. And believe us there’s nothing wrong with that, but things go wrong when you continuously keep on comparing yourself to others. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. I often compare myself to other CEOs, and I generally find myself lacking – I’m too soft, too harsh, too mouthy, too brash. But I’m not. I’m me, and I’m successful at being me. Remember that success is a process, and everyone’s process might be different. Remember that you need to take risks to achieve your idea and prove to the people around you that your ideology and thought are one of the best you can have. You can’t stay still in your comfort zone for long, don’t copy or compare with anyone; if you think your idea will help your company, then do it without bothering what others are doing. Generally, women think and compare a lot more than men, so focus on the result rather than spending time comparing.
4. Waiting for opportunities to come to you.
As young girls, our society dictates rules for female behavior. Thankfully these “rules” are changing! It’s no secret that we are taught to be polite at an early age, along with saying “please,” “thank you” and waiting for others to stop talking before sharing our ideas. The “nice girl” attitude you may have learned growing up doesn’t work in business, and customers, leaders, and clients may tend to doubt your abilities or, worse yet, try to take advantage of you. Focusing on being heard rather than being polite can help get your ideas to the forefront of the conversation and solidify your expertise. Try to grab the opportunities that come towards you, don’t wait; otherwise, your competitors will grab your chance.
As women in today’s world, we do have so many opportunities to excel. We have made great strides as professionals in every industry, which is why it shocks me when women entrepreneurs continue to repeat the same mistakes outlined above. Without hesitation, it is time for us to be more aggressive, learn to communicate on an even playing field, and assert ourselves more. We add value to the business and will continue to do so by owning our journeys. So, stand up for you and for other women you know! We’ll all be better for it.
To wrap it up, be MORE flexible in your approach to success, STOP telling yourself you are not good enough and STOP peeking over the fence to see what others are doing!
As women in today’s world, we do have opportunities to excel. To do so, it’s critical to pay attention to the cues around us and embrace behaviors like networking that may not be second nature to us. By stepping into these new comfort zones, not only can we succeed, but we can help right the gender imbalance in business and be role models for a whole new generation of top women leaders.