By Roz Jones
“A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman, but the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”
– Melinda Gates
Starting a business can be an exciting yet challenging journey. People start businesses for different reasons – to solve challenges, to challenge themselves, or to build financial freedom. Many women (including caregivers) need a way to make income from their own homes.
The number of new women-owned businesses is growing twice as fast as their male counterparts, according to the Kauffman Foundation. But what challenges do women face when starting a business?
In short: One of the biggest challenges that a woman will face is herself.
Studies by the United States Small Business Administration show that 21% of women are less optimistic when it comes to sales growth and business performance. Similar studies have found that women in business doubt their decisions more often and are more likely to criticize themselves.
Women are also less likely to ask for financing over the lifespan of their business. And when they do ask for business financing, they ask for about $35,000 less than men.
Yet research also shows that women entrepreneurs in the US rank their happiness three times higher than women who are not business owners.
So female entrepreneurs are more likely to doubt their own decisions in business – but the women who do enter business are more likely to be 3 times happier.
Are you thinking about starting a business? Here’s what you need to know.
- Trust your intuition. As we have established, women are more likely to doubt themselves. Learn to move past your self-doubt and trust your intuition.
- Accept that self-doubt and self-criticism are natural reactions when starting a business.
- Why are you doubting yourself? What stories are you telling yourself that lead to these doubts? Are those stories facts or feelings?
- Strengthen your money mindset. Women have a harder time asking for money than men. To reach your fullest potential as a female business owner, strengthen your relationship with money.
- What stories do you tell yourself about money?
- Do you have trouble receiving money, asking for money, or raising your prices? Why?
- How do you feel about investing in your business? What feelings do you have about paying yourself from your business regularly?
- Find a support network. Just because you are starting a business does not mean that you have to push forward alone. When starting a business, there will be bridges you have to cross and moments you will want to celebrate.
- Join or start your own mastermind.
- Become an active member of a business community.
- Ask a fellow female entrepreneur out for coffee.
- Attend business conferences or events.
- Be persistent. Unexpected issues and challenges will be thrown your way as you start a business.
- Be ready to show up even through difficult times and tough challenges. If you find yourself wanting to give up, there is an underlying reason at the root of that. Learn how to show up even when you want to quit.
- Challenge yourself not to take “no” for an answer.
- Features tell, benefits sell. One of the most important lessons in business is understanding that people buy benefits, not products.
- How will your business impact someone else’s life?
- What value do others receive as a result of your business?
- What transformation will your product or service bring into someone’s life?
Starting a business can be a fulfilling process where you challenge your current beliefs and grow. What’s most important is to not let self-doubt or self-criticism get in the way of getting started.
You don’t have to start a million-dollar business overnight. Start with a commitment to show up each day.
I’ve just launched Shop With Roz, my online store filled with supplies and gifts for every caregiver. You can find a wide variety of products in the store to help yourself and your loved one. Check it out here!
After you have a look through the store, see any products you use and love as a caregiver, and think we should share them with everyone? Let me know!
It’s here, I am so excited to share a new caregiver app called CircleOf….This app will allow you to surround yourself with resources and experts from your community including ME!!!! As you are looking through the app, you will see my familiar face. I’m excited about this partnership and new ways to support you as you support your loved one. Here’s the link so you can explore the app. I would love your feedback and spread the word by sharing the link to family and friends.
Visit http://www.rozjonesent.com for more information on addressing mental health as a caregiver and check out my upcoming book!