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When you’re a woman in a man’s world, specifically the business world, it can be hard to gain traction. You’re not always respected or paid as much as a man is paid.
This is not my opinion, but actual facts, which makes it more difficult to build a successful business. Take James Chartrand, founder of Men With Pens. Her story is quite shocking (yes, her!) as James is the pen name of this lady boss.
Whether you’re a career woman in the corporate world or a stay-at-home mom, there always seems to be a gender gap.
But by believing in yourself, and with a little hard work you can make big things happen!
You must first change your mindset so you can survive and thrive as a female boss. Here are 8 motivating things you can do to stand out as a lady business owner so you can prove everyone else wrong.
1. Believe in yourself and your mission
This is one of the most important qualities for a woman in business to gain. You need to have confidence in yourself and in your business, whether it’s a fantastic product or an excellent service.
Once you believe in yourself and your mission, other people will be positively impacted by your passion.
How to build confidence:
- Choose work that you’re good at and that you love
- Turn your passion or hobby into a career
- Find other successful female bosses who inspires you
- Don’t do it for the money, but know that getting rich is okay
- Know your worth and never let anyone tell you otherwise
Every female business owner has something to offer and should be paid accordingly. Don’t sell yourself or your business short by cutting corners, which includes asking to be paid what your skills are worth.
2. Cultivate marketable skills
Women in general have lots of marketable business skills, like communication skills, management skills, social skills and the list goes on. Spend a little time to cultivate your skills and learn to make some serious money with them.
How to increase your skills:
- Take an online class or a course at your local college
- Read books or blogs within your field
- Learn from other inspiring business owners and their experiences
- Mentor, teach, or tutor others (nothing makes you an expert like teaching)
Once you believe in yourself and your mission, the increase in skills will easily follow. Experiment within your area of expertise by opening an Etsy shop, Amazon store, or rent a booth at your local trade show.
This will give you the ability to test the waters before diving in, so you can see what skills you need to develop more.
3. Manage your time effectively
We are constantly juggling family responsibilities, household chores, long to-do lists, and financial decisions on a daily basis. Thankfully, when it comes to managing multiple projects, women are some of the best people for the job.
Some of us like to use the latest apps or technology to increase productivity, while others enjoy the old fashion paper to-do list.
How to manage your time better:
- Simplify multi-tasking by focusing on one thing at a time
- Divide your work into categories, like urgent/now, current, weekly and monthly
- Write. It. Down. Get it on your calendar and take lots of notes
- Set an alarm or reminder on your phone — don’t depend on yourself to remember (it’s just too much pressure!)
Ladies let’s face it; we all think we’ll remember everything, but that’s one of our biggest mistakes. We take on too much, we rely on our (already overloaded) minds and don’t set enough reminders.
Your brain will be so much more clear and organized once you write everything down, and get it out of your head.
4. Prepare your mindset
Working as an entrepreneur has it’s hardships, but add in being a female and it can become even more difficult. One of the best ways to combat this, is to prepare your attitude and mindset before you begin.
Respect yourself and others will do the same. Know your worth and other people will see it too. Be positive in your thinking and don’t let your mind belittle your skills and talents.
You can do this!
How to stay positive:
- Join like-minded groups or small networks
- If you’re unhappy or don’t like something — change it (don’t settle)
- Create a stable support system with friends and family
- Review projects regularly and get rid of the ones that aren’t serving you anymore
While learning to survive and thrive in the business world, you need to know it won’t be easy. But when you pour your heart and soul into a business it can be very rewarding. No matter what, it’s imperative to believe in yourself, your mission, and your skills.
5. Increase your financial savvy
An article I read recently from USA Today caught my eye, because it said that women’s financial power grows faster than their savvy.
As a woman who runs my own online business and as someone who interacts with other female entrepreneurs, I found this kind of alarming.
Even though women make up the majority of college graduates, are nearly half the work force and are the primary earners in many households, most of them remain out of the loop when it comes to talking with their partner about managing money.
Never stop learning:
How can women be effective as the boss and run their own business, if they aren’t properly educated about finances?
- Invest in yourself by hiring a business coach or mentor
- Hire a bookkeeper or accountant who’s qualified
- Experiment with new budgeting ideas and money management tools
Never let your lack of knowledge deter you from trying something new. No one ever learned or grew as a person by staying in their comfort zone. And if you’re worried about the cost, think of it as the investment into your future that it is.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask
I am a firm believer in the whole “knowledge is power” and the best way to do that is to educate yourself. I actually had to learn this lesson the hard way, and nearly burned out with my business.
The first step though, is realizing when you have a problem. You have to come to grips with the fact that it’s not okay to dig your head into the sand when it comes to business problems.
How to find help:
- Collaborate and connect with local boss babes in your area (Facebook groups are great for this!)
- Exchange services with a family member or friend
- Outsource chores and household to-dos instead of business tasks
Your business and your future are at stake here ladies! So, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
This could mean hiring someone to help pick up the slack, or simply telling your clients that you need a break. And if you’re lucky enough to find someone who’s had experience with something you’re facing, or is an expert in a certain area, take advantage of their expertise.
7. Use the right tools
No matter if you’re male or female, managing the admin parts of your business isn’t always fun. But billing clients, keeping a budget, and following up to get paid are vital parts of running a successful company.
Cash flow is one of the best ways to gauge the financial health of your business, so it’s an important tool to understand.
The good news though, is that tracking your money can actually be a fun experience. You just need the right tools! With the vast amount of tools at our fingertips, there’s no shortage of resources out there.
Experiment with new tools:
- Use Personal Capital to see all of your business and personal accounts in one quick snapshot
- Determine what the best online accounting system is for your business
- Try out BillFixers as a way to lower your monthly bills and save money
- And remember, if a tool or app isn’t working — stop using it!
And you might just learn something new about yourself in the process. Maybe you’ll find out you have a love for spreadsheets, a digital geek who likes to work with mobile apps, or you’re an old fashioned pen-and-paper kind-of-girl.
Whatever your preferred method, finding the right tools could make all the difference between financial success or failure.
8. Surround yourself with like-minded people
One of my biggest goals for this year is to connect with people on a one-on-one basis. In order to make that happen, I have to go outside my comfort zone and invest the time it takes to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
“You are the sum of the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
If you surround yourself with financially savvy men and women, that’s what you’ll start to become. And likewise, if you surround yourself with people who are careless with their money, their behavior will influence you too.
Find like-minded peers:
There are a two key types of support your like-minded peers can offer:
- Emotional support – Sometimes you just need someone to share in your success, or pick you up when you’re feeling down. The right kind of peers can give you that shoulder to cry on, or a comforting pat on the back.
- Practical support – Most business goals require time, energy and physical resources. Fellow boss babes can offer help in practical ways like connecting you with a knowledgeable colleague or recommending a good resource.
You don’t have to have a master of science in management to start your own business, but the knowledge gained could certainly help in the decision making along the way.
So, be careful who you surround yourself with, find the right tools to keep you motivated, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!