Women entrepreneurs have opportunities unlike any other time in history. But their growing success is not without significant challenges and barriers. The TPE community shared this list of the biggest challenges facing women entrepreneurs today:
1. We Care Too Much
I believe our biggest challenge, but also our biggest opportunity is the fact that we care too much. Most women entrepreneurs I have come across over the years are very compassionate and caring people and we just don't have it in us to be "cut-throat, do whatever it takes to get to the top". We choose entrepreneurship because it gives us the freedom to spend time with our families, take the kids to the park after school etc. If you ask me, that's a small price to pay for a bit less success.
2. Superwoman is a Myth!
Many women try to be all things to all people. You CAN "have it all," but that doesn't mean you can have it all right now, this second, all at once! Learning the Universal Law of Proper Perspective is important ... know the PURPOSE for your goals, learn what is most important to do first, learn when you have given a person or a project all the attention it needs and it's time to move your attention elsewhere. It's essential to spend quality time daily in meditation to nurture your inner Self.
3. No hurdle is too big!
Many hurdles are faced by a woman or a group of women who start a business. Owning and controlling the enterprise by a woman is really a big thing. While a woman wants to express their skill and talent to the world, they should also possess the qualities of devotion, innovation and the capabilities of management and control. Being both left and right-brained is important. Women are great networkers, tenacious and are great at relationships, so there is no hurdle too big to overcome.
One of our biggest challenges is that people take us seriously. A few people actually have asked me if I was starting my business just "for something to do" or as a "hobby." Many times when I leave a message for another business person & they don't call me back, I'll have my husband call them, and they call him back. When we go to meetings, many times the other people will start talking to my husband first, even though it is my business. I have to work extra hard to be taken seriously at times.
5. Too Many Hats
Men remove one hat before putting on another. Work is work, play is play and family is family. Women insist on wearing all their hats at once and are determined to balance them all. When we enter into business mode, we are still mothers, wives and friends. We are easily distracted by our many other priorities and find it challenging to focus all our attention on one area at a time. You don't find men hanging around the water cooler talking about their daughter's ballet recital. Focus Ladies!
I must admit that as a woman who has a PT job, runs a business from my home, and takes care of all household duties, that GUILT is #1 for me...if I'm working my business here at home I feel like I should be playing with my 2 beautiful boys. If I'm playing with the kids, I feel like I should be working my business to see more growth. The key is BALANCE!!! It's a tough chord to strike as a mom and entrepeneur, but I know it is possible....
7. Straining the Brain
I think a common challenge with women is over-thinking and over-analyzing everything. That causes us to self-doubt decisions and creates an inability to move forward at times.
8. We're Worth It!
Women Entrepreneurs run the risk of falling behind their male counterparts because they often are reluctant to invest in themselves! This applies across the board – whether it’s getting a bank load to fund business expansion, hiring someone to ease their load or even investing in a class to sharpen the saw. My # 1 piece of advice is this: stop living in deprivation mode and claim the abundance both you and your business deserve!
9. Pack Your Bags!
As a female entrepenuer, right or wrong, you need to pack your bags and get ready for a guilt trip-because we typically bring "guilt issues" into the game with us. These issues absolutely limit our success. Guilt for earning more than a spouse, guilt for investing too much time away from the fam...guilt for becoming more financially secure than family and friends. All of these issues MUST be addressed early-before they cost us our dreams, our health, our relationships...even our business itself!
Women entrepreneurs are often perceived as not having financial guts and strategies. In many cases this perception has affected the ability to negotiate hard, obtain funding and grow their businesses. If access to capital funding is balanced, it would provide women entrepreneurs the ability to have finanical backing and solvency to negotiate on a level playing field and aid them in growing their business.
11. Time For Some Girl Talk
In interviewing parents for my book, I was shocked by how open husband's were about what was really going on in their wife's home-office. By contrast, moms were quick to say what all those "other women" should be doing. Its time to get over ourselves because we need each other now more than ever before. And our children need us to show them how its done ladies!
12. Balance is the tipping point
One of the hardest challenges in being a women and mom entrepreneur is balancing work and family. If the kids need to be picked up, go to the doctor or practice, it is overwhelmingly expected that mom will do this. Therefore, it is so important to reach out and ask for help when conflicts arise.
13. Have a child=distractions!
I know a lot of women entrepreneurs are mothers with young children. They've don't work outside the home in order to raise their children and spend time with them. Then a great business idea comes along and/or they need to make a little extra money so they start a side business. The biggest challenge is finding time to spend on the business when a child also needs you (and you want to be with the child). It's hard setting time aside or not giving a little attention to both.
14. It's all in the mix
While a challenge for all entrepreneurs, especially those with home based businesses, maintaining a balance between family time and working on the business is particularly difficult for mom business owners. The line between where work ends and mom-time begins can be very blurred or missing altogether; it's a daily juggling act to keep the business meaningfully moving forward while most importantly giving one's family the undivided, quality attention they need.
15. Listen-Up Rednecks
I work with many talented and powerful women who find themselves in environments of good-old-boys who cannot overlook the physical differences in the sexes long enough to acknowledge the person in the skirt (or pants suit). My tip to business women is to never succumb to the sexist banter, demeaning comments and exclusionary behavior. The toads who treat you like a second class citizens are idiots who are missing the complementary values you bring to business. Avoid them or move on.
16. Many hats and children too!
Biggest challenge avoiding the guilt. Some one is always suffering for that which a professional mother does. If work is a must do then the children are neglected. If the children need to take center stage then work is left undone. What is a woman to do? My answer is to sleep less work on things at night or early morning, meetings while they are in school and the best I can for homework, dinner and bed time. And then do it again tomorrow. Day by day the business is built.
17. Weight of the World
I had the Weight of the World on my shoulders and all my fears and shoulds. In that respect, I think we (women entrepreneurs) worry more about sustainability and longevity than my male counterparts. I learned how to do things on a shoestring and have developed great relationships with clients, media and the online community. I was able to be nimble. Now I share a space with another woman entrepreneur. So now, four years later, I can say, "The Journey to Myself and Be You Spa were worth it!"
18. Be one of the boys!
As a woman in the construction trades, I need to work 2X as hard to establish & maintain credibility than my male competitors. A woman often isn’t perceived as one of the boys until she “proves” herself, so this means throwing out the male/female mind-set, getting on the level with my crews, and letting the guys be the guys while also remaining a fair leader. Honed communications and management skills help, but if I can’t build camaraderie/trust, then I simply won’t remain in business.
19. No Money for Start Ups
The biggest challenge I have faced as an entrepreneur is lack of funds for investment in new business start ups on the part of banks. Most banks and fund sources require that you be in business for two years. The challenge is to stay afloat while you try to get your business going. I had to find a part time job to supplement my income until I am able to sign on more accounts. Even though the going is tough, I am willing to work hard to achieve my dream of being my own boss.
20. Catching Up
American women still earn 75 cents to the dollar compared to male wage earners. This, plus the 11-12 years most will spend as a caregiver for children or parents, means women start with less cash in savings and have less networking years than men. Women entrepreneurs need to operate at hyper-speed to catch up. They need to do extra research to balance out the traditional lack of financial education for girls, and they need to ramp up their personal confidence to compete for the best deals.
21. Put Yourself First
This is the hardest thing for women to do-they are trained from before birth to be caretakers. You need to be at the top of your priority list. If you are not there for yourself you will not be there for anyone else!
Thanks to: Marjorie Rand.
22. Women Must Believe to Achieve!
Stereotypcially speaking, men display their brovado that they are good and will succeed while women are fearful of whether or not the same is true for them. Women must from deep within find belief in themselves, bring that belief to the surface and then outwardly acknowledge they will succeed. Verbally telling others their plans rather than hiding them will also serve to get past their fear. Once mentally ready, they will be ready to set paced goals to achieve their vision.
23. The Multitasking Pitfall
Women are habitual multitaskers. The problem that many women entrepreneurs face is trying to get it all done at once. From my perspective, to ultimately be more productive we need to learn to multitask less, prioritize more (and/or delegate to a virtual assistant), and concentrate on the task at hand.
24. Go Get 'em Ladies
Sexism, BY FAR is one of the worst obstacles women face in the work place. They are still considered inferior by arrogant and insecure men. However, with the rise of quite a few powerful female CEOs, and many others, that is slowly but surely changing. This is due to the sheer tenacity and smarts these women are showing by simply doing one thing: believing in themselves. Any women that can believe in herself can go further than any man ever imagined. So go get 'em ladies.
25. Ask for Help!
Women entrepreneurs NEED to learn to ask for help, mentoring and support to recognize what they don't know and do whatever it takes to expand their skill sets and knowledge bases. They have to consciously increase their self motivation, to learn how to build a business, how to keep financial records, to set goals, to delegate what they cannot do themselves or don't want to, while they are designing their projects and their products. It's vital that they own and use their gifts and strengths.
26. Tody Keith Has a Point
"Let's Talk about Me" Toby Keith's lyrics ring home as it relates to making myself first so I can give all I can to my priorities which includes my business.Mind you,I really don't appreciate his portrayal of women in the video of this song; materialistic & viewed as sex objects. Women need to take responsibility for having the courage to be themselves.Don't surrender your integrity to get ahead. Stand in your power as the center of your community looking outward to how you can best contribute.
27. Family comes first!
The biggest challenge I face as an entrepreneur is taking care of my children and pleasing my husband. I am a wife and mother first, but I do need to make money to help the family, so I walk a fine line. Te cooking, cleaning, laundry, inside and outside chores need to be done, but my children and husband need love and attention also, so a woman's work is never done. I struggle with it weekly.
28. The Balancing Act
We say "yes" to too much and think we can handle and juggle everything, while battling self-doubt...we believe we have to. We don't. If we give ourselves the loving gift of the time to balance within, we find not only greater effectiveness but healthy boundaries that result in increased clarity, energy, satisfaction and joy. The fulcrum of the see-saw is your own self worth.
29. Cut Yourself Some Slack
As a male observer, it seems to me the biggest challenge women entrepreneurs have is holding unrealistic expectations about “having it all” to some unattainable degree of perfection. Perfect mom, wife, boss, etc. Prioritize, find balance between work and family, carve out some time to nurture yourself too, without guilt. The kids won't turn into pumpkins if they miss a soccer game and the world won't end if you leave the office at five o'clock for once. Have some chocolate, get a foot rub.
30. Multi-Tasking Mayhem!
By nature, women are fabulous multi-taskers. We have an easier time embracing the "unplanned" as opportunities rather than distractions. The downside to multi-tasking? Priorities can get lost in the whirlwind of day-to-day operations! Daily updates to short term goals AND weekly updates to long term goals help keep priorities in check :)
31. Demand Respect, Show Results
Men, by nature, are stupid. Some men make stupid assumptions, such as viewing women as less inferior business professionals. This may occur through abusive pricing, wages, professionalism (or lack their of), and so on. To help resolve this, women must be bolder and demand respect by showing their success. Women should always be upfront and transparent about their professional experience and what they have accomplished. Upon doing so, men can no longer have ignorant assumptions of women.
32. Get Over It
The challenges I face as a woman have much more to do with my priorities than any inherently female issue. My husband and I have six kids. They are a priority to us. We value our nearly 25-year marriage and make it central. We volunteer in the community. And on and on.
Business isn't the end all be all. Be design. I simply don't allow myself to get all wrapped up in gender issues or to worry that I'm being treated unfairly. I provide honest value. And it pays off.
33. Let's Delegate
I believe the biggest challenge that women entrepreneurs face and need to overcome is to delegate some of their work to someone else. I believe they want to do everything themselves. They could hire someone, they could get a virtual assistant, or just ask for help. She does not have to Super Woman. They need to learn to delegate! They do not have to do everything themselves. Let someone Help you-Please Delegate!
Sheila A Caruso of AVON
34. Bedroom or Boardroom
One challenge many women face and have expressed is the fear of how to dress for success when networking with men. The question women should ask themselves before they leave their home to do business is am I dressed for the bedroom or the boardroom?
35. Managing Home and Office
I born in the family of entrepreneurs. My mother and wife both have their own businesses. And, the biggest challenge I think they face is managing home and office at the same time. I think that Time management is more important for Women entrepreneurs than Men
36. Think Again!
We're passionate about what we do and we're determined to see results. Sometimes we jump on ideas we think are GREAT, only to realize they're not right for our type of business or it's not the right time to put them into place. Before the investment, we need to reconsider some of the ideas we come across.
37. Multitasking has to STOP!
Women are great at multitasking and this is a huge problem. Having focus is much preferred over distracted, diluted work. When it is time to work, WORK! When it is time to play, PLAY! Don't be tempted to think that just because you can do it all, you need to. Give yourself some time off and just enjoy the freedom to FOCUS!
38. Entrepreneur's Challenge
Many female entrepreneurs have an issue with owning their power and realizing their value. I network with both sexes, and since I also run a networking group, I am constantly meeting new people. More often than not, it is women that I encounter that give away too much for free (yet feel like they haven't given enough!), and struggle with charging what their services are worth. I speak from experience! Realizing our value helps us become more successful. Own it!
39. Reality not fiction
The biggest challenge women need to face and overcome is the authenticity challenge. Many have adapted to get noticed and breakthrough and the irony is that to really succeed they need to be themselves again.
40. The Power is in the ASKING
I believe one of the hardest things for Women Entrepreneurs is to ASK For what it is they want and need, and yet it is such a powerful tool that works. I am on a mission to get women to start doing this as I have seen magic happen when they do express their needs and wants.
41. Giving vs. Receiving
As a woman, a school counselor, a mom a strength of mine is connecting with people. I'm honest, open and giving. Those character traits have at times led me to unwise business decisions.
I think sometimes women have a difficult time setting boundaries and saying no. We can feel uncomfortable asking for what we need. Just remember in business, as in life, the better you take care of the foundation (yourself) the more you will grow and the more you will have to give.
42. Being taken seriously
The biggest challenges that I have faced as a women entrepreneur, especially when I was just starting out was being taken seriously by others in my industry. I started a collection agency which was a field dominated by men when I was starting my agency and many were not supportive or made comments telling me I would fail.
43. Stop Analyzing, Start Acting
John Gray's book--Men Are from Mars, Women Are From Venus--reported that the typical female analyzes a problem methodically, discusses it repeatedly with colleagues, and seeks group consensus before taking action. Meanwhile, men are likely to chat about the issue informally for five minutes, then lunge into action without a unanimous vote. So, ladies, spend less time deliberating in the boardroom and more time dealing with difficult employees, dissatisfied customers, and great prospects--now!
44. Family versus Business
Many women (and men, for that matter) will face the enormous challenge of juggling family responsibilities with the time-consuming job of being an entrepreneur. There are no easy answers to this careful dance that must balance these two key parts of most peoples' lives.
45. Learning to say "no"
Most women are multitaskers and can generally handle several responsibilities at a time. But, then they run the risk of spreading themselves too thin. Knowing when to say "no" to an opportunity is just as important as knowing when to run with it.
46. A Womens Work Is Never Done
The Biggie is to BE SELF reliant FIRST. We are born with our nature to nurture. Society preys on this GOD given instinct and we wrestle with it everyday. Who needs me today? I NEED ME!
And yet ALL men and women face this one challenge don't we?
It's a struggle that keeps a good women/man down. "God will not have his work made manifest through cowards"~Ralph Waldo Emerson
The "work" with-in is YOU. Nurture YOU. By your example others will to!
47. WONDER WOMAN!
For me it was trying to be Wonder Woman without the bracelets to help me. I wanted to be a great homemaker, career gal, church and community member, and especially mom, I wanted to do that REALLY well. That's a lot to juggle, particularly the motherhood. These kids are your greatest creations after all. I don't think men feel this tug quite as strongly. The momma guilt gives a really strong tug of war with the worker bee in us. That was the hardest thing for me.
48. Front & center: communication
Getting finances, being taken seriously, monetizing efforts and more - in my opinion center around an inability to communicate directly. If you don't have personally saved money to invest, you depend on a bank loan, not easily secured. If you have difficulty balancing your family or personal life and work, your intentions may be misunderstood. If your sales aren't up, either your own sales communication is faulty, or your sales staff isn't taking your direction. The hub - direct communication.
49. Conflict? What conflict?
If asked, most women entrepreneurs would say they are terrified of conflict. But what they don't realize is that conflict, if handled properly, can be a great starting point for opportunity, real change, breakthrough thinking, a better relationship. The key is to know how to manage conflict: Identify the problem, Determine your mutual needs, Brainstorm possible solutions, Agree on a solution, Implement the solution and monitor. Don't fear conflict, it's part of building a successful business.
50. Stop Giving Things Away
I work with dozens of female entrepreneurs, and I think the biggest challenge women face is being too nice. We love people, we want to help and connect others, and we sometimes forget that we're running businesses, not non-profits. It's okay to be helpful, it's good to be a connector, it's great to help others when you can, but don't forget that your time and services and ideas have value, and you should charge accordingly. In other words, stop giving things away!
51. Being A Bitch
Many women strain to be collaborative when it is time to assert authority. This stems from years of hearing assertive behavior in men described as bitchy behavior in women. My advice is "Don't let it get to you. You cannot please everyone and you need to do what is right for yourself, your customers and for all of your staff."
52. Self-Worth (aka Confidence)
Being a woman entrepreneur myself, I question my self-worth continually. Can I compete on a larger scale? Larger market? What do I REALLY have to offer? How can I innovate? I'm quite sure men ask these same questions, but are they prejudged like women? Toss in family and household obligations and the scenario alters, yet again. I think the question should be "What do YOU do to break through the stereotypes of women in business?"
53. Venus vs. Mars
One basic challenge women entrepreneurs face is that women communicate differently than men. A simplistic and general example: we think of orange in many different hues - coral, salmon, tangerine, etc. Men think of orange as just that, orange. Understanding how men communicate and process information will go along ways in building rich professional relationships with splendid rewards.
54. Wonder Woman?!?
A big challenge I see/hear with women entrepreneurs is their desire and attempt to "be all and do all" elements of their business. From marketing, accounting, selling, creating and offering the product, customer service; many women do not write a business plan to affect through gaining advice or using professional services where needed."Under" or "just right" capitalized Wonder Woman seem to end up exhausted while playing a too small game with their business. Network, hire great help as needed.
55. Challenges schmallenges...
My thought on challenges is that there are no challenges only excuses. What people call challenges I consider opportunities. If you have the limiting belief that there are things holding you back, other than yourself, then you won't be very successful. If you don't like your job then go into business for yourself. If your company isn't as successful as you would like, then get off you butt and get some new clients. My success and failures are totally dependent on what I think and do.
56. The Mompreneur Juggle
As a mompreneur, I can speak for many in saying that it's not an easy task to juggle work and home, but one worth taking! My day is busy from start to finish, but I would not have it any other way. Balancing Strategies that I use: 1) Ask for help from a friend, spouse, or colleague. 2) Take time to yourself. You’ll likely even be more productive. 3) Be flexible. 4) Problem Solve. That may mean asking for help. 5) Find humor in a situation. 6) Get on the same page as your spouse.
57. Balancing Act
As a work at home mom, my biggest challenge is balancing my entrepreneurial duties while giving my daughter the attention she needs and deserves. Often, I have to take a step back to see if my actions are inline with my priorities. The key for me has been to remain flexible, to get creative with scheduling and to remember why I a became an entrepreneur in the first place - to be able to raise my daughter while creating an income from home.
The biggest challenge I have found in working for the past 10 years with women entrepreneurs is ourselves. With 80% of women entrepreneurs making less than 50K gross per year we have hit our own self imposed glass ceiling. A variety of reasons for this from balancing motherhood and business ownership to not paying enough attention to our business numbers. The solution is a mastermind process. It works!
59. Business Communications Styles
The one big challenge women entrepreneurs who are in business for the first time may face is effectively communicating with vendors and partners. Many people have a very direct and goal oriented approach to business. If you tend to be more nurturing and less structured in your conversations, you may feel uncomfortable at first or think these people have a problem with you personally. Understand this is simply a difference in communication style and in no way a personal reflection on you.
60. Find the Balance
I have often joked that I know there's a balance because I see it when I swing past. But this really is an issue for many women. Fair or not, we are often tasked with taking care of many more things than our male counterparts. Whether it's by keeping a strict schedule, delegating better or simply saying no from time to time, finding a balance where we still have time to breath occasionally is very important.
61. Embrace Yourself
Women often feel the need to set their goals/dreams around what society or their family feel they should be doing instead of what they want to be doing. Reach for the stars, embrace yourself it takes determination and courage. Figure out what your likes, wants, dreams and passions are from there create your boundaries that honor yourself.
62. Super Woman Syndrome
Women entrepreneurs typically fly into the day at breakneck speed with a to-do list a mile and a half long. Instead of one long daily to-do list, try scattering tasks over two or three days. Make sure each day you're devoting time to relax and recharge, recognizing downtime is when creative ideas flourish. Don't stress yourself out with self imposed expectations and deadlines. It's easy to want to approach business with Super Woman Syndrome, forgetting that we're human beings first!
63. Baby Boom
Balancing motherhood and running a company is one of the biggest challenges. Whether moms with infants who conduct business from home, Gen Y and X mothers with new startup ventures or single parent entrepeneurs, it's a difficult juggling act that women entrepeneurs face and continue to overcome. Perhaps, the navigation course has become less frantic as more and more books, articles and information is made availble. The support of grandparents, close friends and involved dads help too.
64. Home-base Challenge
If you work at home, as I do, the biggest challenge is getting the others in the household to understand you don't fix snacks or do dishes during your work hours. I never hear those complaints from my male counterparts--their distractions are usually self imposed. Boundaries, gotta have clear, solid boundaries!
65. Strong at Work/Soft at Home
All entrepreneurs face challenges, successful entrepreneurs face greater challenges and successful woman entrepreneurs face the greatest challenges of all. Woman entrepreneurs are expected to handle it all when it comes to business, but when it comes to their home lives are ususally expected to take a more traditional role. That can be a tough balancing act. Strong, driven and independent at work, but not at home. This kind of balancing act can add to an entrepreneurs already stressful life.
66. Work/Kids Balance
As a new mother, it's very difficult balancing the overwhelming amount of time needed to be a good entrepreneur with the needs of your baby and family. I think it's important to sit down with your spouse if you are in this situation and plan on some small changes that need to be made in order to insure you aren't doing the brunt of the domestic duties while still trying to run your own business, it's just an overload of constant responsibility!
67. Undervaluing Capabilities
I'm always leery of generalizations. There are so many exceptions to the rule. My experience is that women tend to devalue their skills, abilities and experience more than men do. You have to value your offerings in order for your customers and prospects to value them. Indeed, your ability to get compensated well for the value you provide lies squarely on your ability to look the customer/prospect in the eye and state, with confidence, that it's worth the price you're charging.
68. A Woman's Worth
Far too many women need to overcome the self-imposed challenge of undervaluing themselves. In my own case, I underestimated my own worth when I submitted my very first proposal. Fortunately, some financial angel in the firm called to tell me I had omitted a zero in the amount I quoted. My bid immediately increased in value ten times over!
My advice to my sisters: at the very least, compare competitors' prices to your own before quoting.
69. Beware: The Other Woman
To be successful as an entrepreneur you must be independent, humble, highly successful at personal growth and, for the most part, non-emotional. The single biggest challenge I've found throughout my career are the other women who don't understand me, my values and drive. Because I am a female too, it takes every core of my being to stand above these who choose to talk about people, so I can walk instead with those who prefer to discuss ideas.
Jennifer Thompson of Chainje
70. Multitasking can be a crime
One of our biggest talents can become a problem when you are an entrepreneur, multitasking, specially when you are starting a business. You see, we get so many great ideas and we want to implement all because if we don't we might forget. Or we might be reaching out to too many gurus. The solution: as hard as it sounds, is to simplify. Take advice from one mentor and implement one idea at a time.
71. Venus vs Mars
Women have to try and balance their "feminine" side with their "masculine" side in ANY business undertaking to avoid being a) a *itch, b) ready to cry at the drop of hat, c) looking for a husband. Trying to balance family life with our professional life can be tough, but being comfortable in your own power as a successful entrepreneur (you KNOW about your business, you KNOW your market) and still being able to express your feminine side can only add to your success.
The biggest obstacle a woman entrepreneur has to overcome is managing her priorities! Women are constantly pulled in 20 directions, including nurturing her family, raising children, cleaning house, staying in shape, looking beautiful, staying in touch with friends, etc. and...oh, yes...running her business! #1 priority HAS to be the business most of the time to be a success!
73. Turning on/off "Mom Mode"
The toughest challenge I face as a mom entrepreneur is managing my work time and my mommy time. Most of the time I work while my children are in school or asleep, but sometimes to get a project done I have to work after they come home from school. It's challenging when they are vying for my attention and I really need to get the project done. Likewise, sometimes I have to pick up something or do something at school during my already limited work time. Balancing a business and family is hard.
74. It's OK to be a winner
I think one of the biggest challenges many women face is the fear being more successful than their spouse, and thus they sabotage their own success to keep someone else happy while shortchanging themselves.
As far as I'm concerned, if a man is intimidated by a woman's success enough to not want a relationship, that's a relationship the woman doesn't need anyway.
75. Consider Purchasing Power
I teach more women entrepreneurs than men. I notice that women are much more likely to conceive of a new business before considering how much money people can afford to spend on their idea. As a result, they often go after markets that won't spend enough to meet their objectives for growth and profits.
76. Super Woman is a Myth!
Balance is the buzzword that makes you think you can do it all. Yet, nothing is ever really balanced. Do you really only work 8 hrs a day? Get 8 hours of sleep? Do everything else in those other 8 hours?
It will never be perfect but life can be harmonious when you give up the myth of Super Woman and trust that it all works out with a little adjusting, shuffling and lots of love. Self-love, family love, friendship and laughter. We can do it all, just not in balance!
77. You Can't/Shouldn't Do It All
There's a misconception that since women are so great at so many things, one of them being multi-tasking, that we MUST do it all: job, home, yard, family, friends, etc. As in your business you may be great at sales or numbers or networking, but not very good at or are not interested in writing, web design, or management... you can't be all things in all areas of your life. You have to delegate some things, let go of other things, & change the priorities on yet another segment. No guilt required!
78. Toot, Toot!
Women have been trained since childhood to work behind the scenes, don't make a fuss, and take care of others first. In order for women entrepreneurs to succeed, they have to put themselves forward, take a risk, break the ice, and toot their own horns. This means overcoming a lifetime of behavioral training - a daunting task for many of us.
79. S.O.S. Let someone save you
Our biggest challenge is in asking for help. We try to do it all ourselves. Either because we don't believe anyone can do it better or to cut costs to get those who don't think we'll succeed off our backs. There are two things we need to do: (1) set a budget and let the pros help - your time is money; (2) grow thick skin and stick to your guns. No matter what they say, it takes money to make money - you'll have to spend some at one point or another.
80. Women Need to Play the Game
One of the major challenges women face as an entrepreneur and in Corporate America is they aren't taken seriously.
In order to overcome this challenge, women need to play the game and earn small wins that put them in a great light with their male peers.
From my experience, by obtaining a few short wins on your side you become more well respected and when women need their male peers for bigger things men are more than willing to support you based on these past wins.
81. The Large Male Audience
The biggest challenge I noticed is when you try and tell some men about what you do or present them with your ideas they don't always listen. A lot of men only want to listen to other fellow men and not a woman even if they know just as much as a man would. This is tough when starting out but you have to realize that you deserve to be where you are and don't be afraid to tell them what you know. If they ignore you it's they're loss and just move onto the next person.
82. We Are Amazing...right?
There is a real struggle for us to visibly own how amazing we are. We feel like it's too "salesy" or we're uncomfortable sharing our passion and our hearts. We just don't feel that it's business-like. However, the truth is that passion and heart is where business is at these days. And, showing how amazing we are has always been right.
83. Principle Over Personal
As women, we have a nature that can be described as perceptive, intuitive, and caring. I believe these qualities make us personable leaders. They make us aware of the importance of relationships in all walks of life.
The other side is that we can personalize. We may "feel" too much. That can skew judgment.
Adhere to principle. Stick with the right thing to do. Some people might call you insensitive. But you will rest at night knowing you operated to your highest level of integrity.
84. Beauty can suppress any beast!
Most women in business fear the expressions of beauty, both inside and outside - often even suppressing it to compete in what is generally deemed as a 'mans world", leading to stressful emotional states. Women can and must leverage their authentic business 'personality' to attract more abundance into the business.
85. There's Nothing I wouldn't do.
My biggest challenge are my kids. My sweet little babies. I'm a very busy grandma,wife, entrepreneur, maid, bookkeeper and friend. I have a big heart and want to help everyone. But the kids... I just can't tell them I'm too busy to for them. They are my world. I'll work late into the night and get very little sleep as long as I can enjoy their sweet little faces light up when they see me. Cramps, headaches, swollen feet are nothing compared to a sad face when G'ma doesn't have time.
86. Walking the tightrope
Women often feel like they need to please everyone! Customers, business associates, partners, employees; women entrepreneurs have a long list of those they need to keep happy in the business world. That doesn’t even include their husband or partner, their children, the family pet, their own parents and on and on. And, for a lot of women, our biggest critic is probably ourselves. Finding balance in the chaos that is our lives is like walking a tightrope!
87. Thinking Bigger Is Better
Less then 1% of women owned businesses earn a million dollars or more annually. Women are thinking too small, shooting too low. They plan for their businesses to give them a living, rather then planning to build a huge enterprise that builds wealth, serves many more clients and proliferates their values into the community. Women be big and bold with your planning, take bold steps and be loud and proud about the value to bring. Set your sights on a million dollars in revenue and see what happens.
88. Balancing Business & Family
The ONE biggest challenge is to draw a perfect balance between business & family.
Single women need support of their parental family to reach out for opportunities present today. Support could be emotional, monetary or of sustained confidence.
Married women & those with children have greater challenge to balance. They can not be absent from home for a very long time.
This can be overcome by working from home office and outsource larger part of activities. E.g. Accounts,Deliveries etc.
89. Battling Your Inner Demons
The biggest challenge women entrepreneurs often face are the internal ones, not the external challenges. As women, we can overcome the external challenges much easier than battling our inner demons that keep us from succeeding. Figure out what emotional road blocks you have, whether it’s a fear of success or failure, lack of comfort charging enough for your services or procrastination. Work with a business success coach on those blocks and you will see tremendous growth in your business.
90. Unfailing Confidence
All the successful women entrepreneurs I know have overcome inner doubt. They are fully confident, and know they are just as knowledgeable, just as capable, and just as competent as their business competitors. With that total and unfailing confidence, they are 'free' to fully embrace challenges, express their knowledge, and lead their customers to successful outcomes.
91. Trust Yourself
One of our strengths is our ability to collaborate, but as we seek guidance from others, we often dismiss our own intuition. Women need to be aware of this tendency. Yes, we should continue to consult with experts, but we also need to listen to our own gut reaction more often.
92. Getting Paid What You're Worth
The biggest challenge I've found is getting paid your true value. There seems to be an assumption that you'll work for less than a male counterpart, whether as a contractor or employee. It's never directly stated that way or even consciously noted by the employer, but the perceived value of a woman tends to be less, and even moreso if she looks young (say under 35).
93. Being a Master Time-Divider!
For me being a mompreneur is the toughest obstacle with capital coming in at a close second. I'm a military wife as well so being able to divide up my time wisely is a tough shoot for me daily. I'm working a 9-5 till my business takes off, so being a quad-taskin mama ain't easy but I continue to encourage myself with the light at the end of my struggle tunnel...it's not a train... it's the sound of utter financial freedom!
94. Mixed Up Multitasking!
Women are great multitaskers! However, I believe it's a great challenge for many women to stay focused among all the multitasking. As soon as focus is lost, fidgeting begins! To overcome mixed up multitasking in my own life and business, I use a timer for almost every activity I do. This keeps me on task, allows me to know that each task will get a turn, prevents me from getting carried away on any one thing, and helps me accomplish more every day.
95. Nice Gals Finish Last!
Women tend to be "givers." When it comes to business, you need to set limits on how much you give. A project is based on a formula of Time + Materials = Cost. A client will take advantage of new business owners because they know you are eager to get work in and don't want to disappoint. Don't fall into this trap! Clearly define the deliverables of the project and your time involved from the very start to avoid the grips of a time-sucking client. Time is money so don't fall into the client trap.
96. Taming the Emotions
My biggest challenge, as a woman in business, is setting my emotions aside and not taking things too personally. I want to make every customer and employee happy. So when one is unhappy with me I tend to over think it and take responsibility for their unhappiness. I work hard to fix any issue or wrong. I find it difficult to separate my business self from my emotional self. It is an area I have to work to keep in balance.
97. Demands of Self Confidence
One of the toughest challenges still, today, is having self confidence. There are many women in business, and while they are strong and independent, deep down many still lack the self confidence needed to survive. Internally, they're worrying about whether they can do it, whether they have what it takes, how they'll accomplish certain tasks, etc. My tip would be for each woman to do some morning meditation, repeat affirmations while mirroring and a little prayer can't hurt. It's there, find it!
98. Planning is NOT a bad thing...
As a woman entrepreneur, I think that one of the main things that I have to overcome is the lack of planning in the male entrepreneur department. Action plans, back up plans, even 5 year plans are something that I believe women are naturals at. Always ready to expect the unexpected! I am always on the ball -- one step ahead.. thinking of our next move.. males eventually come around -- and when they do -- everything is already in place ready to go.. :) That is why planning is so important!
99. We're Girls Who Can't Say No!
One of our strengths as women is customer service--and service period--since we've been taught since childhood to pander to everyone around us. Yet this is also our greatest weakness. Sometimes we need to say a blunt "NO," or, if we feel tactful, "Thanks for thinking of me for this opportunity but I need to decline." No explanations. No apologies. No bending over backwards. It's time to get our lives back and ditch energy vampires. It's time to say no to what's not aligned with our missions.
100. balance, anyone?
Women have so many things in their life to keep in balance - family & kids, home, and of course their business. It is difficult to balance your life around you, and also find time for yourself - for meditating, relaxing, reading a book. For me this is the ONE biggest challenge - figuring out how to balance life, plus your own sanity!
101. Challenges? Not!
Overcome challenges? Not women! We can do IT all...we are strong & weak. We are smart & funny. We are shy & outgoing. We are great talkers & great listeners. We are soft & firm. We laugh & we cry. We will fight to the death for something we believe in & we will bow out of a race so a loved one can win.
Okay...maybe just one. Maybe we think we HAVE to do IT all every day!Maybe we need to overcome just that one challenge. Maybe.
102. Entrepreneurial Exclusion
Entrepreneurial Exclusion for me quite simply means being excluded (or rather isolated) by your 9 to 5 friends. It truly is a different world, being in business for yourself. However, social media (a life saver for me) and masterminding are 2 ways to connect with so many like minded people for friendship, joint ventures, business support and great ideas.
103. My biggest challenge
My biggest challenge was my husband. Even though he saw the products being made, packaged and sold, he always would say that it must be nice to stay home all day and do whatever I wanted. He never understood the amount of time it took to market, network, manufacture, sell, etc every single day. His attitude made it hard for our kids to respect my working schedule as well.
104. I Can't is a Crock
Can't - the word rolls easily off our tongue -too easily. It's good friends with indecision, doubt and the mother of all, fear. The worst part of can't is that we buy into the times when others tell us we can't. Your best friend is the word - NEXT! When someone you ask for help from says you can't do what it is you want to do, because they don't catch the vision - blow them off. The Wright Brothers never had a pilot's license but that didn't stop them from designing and flying the 1st airplane.
105. Pleasure In the To Do List!
Women don't take time for pleasure. We tend to feel guilty when we focus on ourselves and what brings us pleasure. Thus the term "guilty pleasure". We’ll try and make time for exercise to stay healthy but when was the last time you scheduled a time for something really pleasurable? Research confirms that taking time for pleasure and intimacy may be far more beneficial to your overall health than the time you spend on the treadmill.
106. Trying to do it all
Additionally, I think one of the biggest challenges of being a woman entrepreneur is juggling an existing career, devoting resources (time and $) to the new venture and then still having time and energy for family and self. Self is often the big loser.
Since women tend to be more sympathetic and nurturing, some people tend to equate that to weakness, or even incompetence. That attitude shows up, usually in dealing with people who are actually their peers in business, especially in a competitive situation. And there is still the belief of some that women can't raise families and be good business owners. A man actually cited 9 months of pregnancy recently as a reason women wouldn't make good business people.
108. Staying out of our own way.
Gender hazard: trying to be all to all. Stop it! Stop trying to prove yourself to the men ... and other women. Do what you do best, the best you can with as much integrity as possible. That is enough.
Be easier on yourself, kinder.
109. Go to work? or Go do laundry?
Which would you choose? I know that seems silly but the challenge to balance home and work resposibilities continues even for the entrepreneur. Add to that the real possibility of being a single parent entrepreneur. The traditional roles for women have expanded over the years but have not really changed. Household chores need to get done and someone has to do them. "Where did that chore list go now?" Setting priorities, delegating tasks to family, and learning to relax are first and foremost.
110. Knowing Your Worth
One of the biggest internal challenges I have found that women entrepreneurs face is valuing themselves as 100% worthy. While women entrepreneurs are courageous pioneers following a call to express themselves creatively through a business, the lack of complete self-confidence that plagues so many women can stand in the way of women succeeding at the highest level. "Fake it 'til you make it" works to a certain degree, but I think there's a deeper level of healing for women that needs to happen.
111. The dreaded ten-letter word...
The dreaded word: CONFIDENCE.
As a young girl, I was never taught about business. In fact, I was discouraged from taking business courses (other than typing) in high school. I was on the "college" path which was all about Algebra, Physics, & Literature. So when I got the entrepreneurial bug, I had ZERO experience and even LESS confidence to proceed. I know from talking with coaching clients that men face the same thing, but from experience, as a girl - business was nearly a dirty word.
112. Is this a popularity contest?
Women in power walk a line between high performance individual and power hungry shrew.
Team and client feedback is invaluable, but focus on the vision not the opinions. Many women care about making friends and pleasing people rather than their mission and standards. Successful leaders stand for integrity not popularity.
Overcome worries about negative comments; stolen quotes and gossip. I will never win everyone, but when I'm busy winning the game I don't notice the naysayers.
113. I'm Worth It!
Woman = Multi-tasker. It almost goes without saying. Much of what women do while multi-tasking (being a mom, a wife, a chauffeur, a nurse, a maid, a teacher, a caretaker, a cook .....) comes without a specified monetary compensation.
When a woman enters the marketplace, particularly as an entrepreneur, she is challenged to change her focus and place an appropriate monetary value on what she brings to the business. Too often women underestimate the value of their knowledge and skills.
114. I Am Woman, Hear Me Fall Over
If a woman falls into a heap on her bed at night, thoroughly exhausted, does anyone hear?
Unfortunately, women tend to put everyone else's needs above their own needs. And for female entrepreneurs, that backfires in a big way. (Yes, I know of what I speak... trust me...)
Now I must go and do things for others.
115. A Tale of Two Guilts
If you're a wife & mother as well as a business woman, the balancing act of giving quality time to each role can be a challenge. Even my 8 year old son will say, "A mother's work is never done." I find myself feeling guilty when I need to be away from home on a business trip or if I have to tell my son to give me an hour or two of work time before I can give him my undivided attention. Yet, building a business is like raising a baby, it's not unheard of to put in late hours "feeding" it.
116. Pleasers (& Perfectionists)
Many women are helpers & pleasers by nature. While assets in many ways, they can work against a business owner. Pleasers have difficulty setting boundaries, i.e. scheduling clients at the expense of their own self-care rather than setting regular business hours, not charging according to credentials or value & allowing clients to "dictate" fees, etc. To overcome 1st recognize, 2nd consult peers, coaches, or other experts, and 3rd implement change. BTW, when a pleaser is also a perfectionist...
117. Ladies .... laugh!
Being a female entrepreneur is a constant juggling act. Some of us choose it when we realise that corporate is not working for us. However, we find that it is just as, or more timeconsuming. What is different? The flexibility & control we have over our time. But then we end up working after the children have gone to bed way into the wee hours. Recipe for exhaustion & burnout! Solutions? 2 things - go to bed with the kids & wake up early, rather than stay up late - and laugh - a lot!!!
118. Even rock stars are human.
I know for the overachieving, successful, rockin' it female entrepreneurs that I see, that I know, and can myself be even after 20 years of lessons, being human can be drawback at times. Human beings are limited in resource and energy. They require food, water, pee breaks and rest. For a Rock Star woman entrepreneur it can feel like this impossible choice between success and self-care. As I was once told by a mentor: "No food, no body; No body, no mind; No mind, no work, so feed yourself first."
Thanks to: Dr. Stephanie Rasband.