Tips for Aspiring Women Entrepreneurs
The world of entrepreneurship can be overwhelming and difficult to navigate—especially if you’re taking on a leadership role for the first time. While there is plenty of information out there about how to be a good manager and how to bring your team together, there isn’t nearly enough that focuses on you, the leader. Here are some tips for setting yourself up for success:
Do it for you
While it’s important to have business goals, and equally important to make sure your team has everything they need, many women find themselves worrying about accommodating others’ needs, because we tend to focus on people-pleasing and serving others. Make sure that you keep your focus on your own personal goals, and don’t pander to others more than necessary.
It can be scary to take on the mammoth task of starting and running a business. Bravery is a quality that we only discover in those moments of uncertainty and fear. Know that you can do this, and make sure that you are exuding confidence in your decisions and plans. Even if you aren’t sure of yourself, act like you are. Eventually, the confidence will become second nature, and you’ll have much greater success with all of your endeavors.
Identify your support system
Just like any other aspect of your life, you need to be certain that you have people in place to help you when you need it. This doesn’t just mean employees and vendors—you need to know that there are people who can help you balance your work and your life. You no longer clock out at 5 and head home; your position as the owner of a business is a 24/7 job. Even when you’re not there, you will be planning, brainstorming, and dealing with the stress. You’ll need friends, family, and a community to help hold you up when things get tough.
Make it a priority
Don’t let your business be an afterthought. It shouldn’t be something that you get around to in your free time. Make sure that those around you understand that your work is important to you, and that it shouldn’t be treated as though it were a hobby. Make sure that when you schedule working hours for yourself, you get to use that time for work.
Learn to delegate
We tend to feel like we need to handle everything ourselves. Make sure that you have chosen people on your team that are competent and can handle what you need them to—and then let them. Believe that you’ve made a good choice in that person, and then trust them to do the job that you’ve hired them to do. Trying to micromanage and handle everything yourself is a recipe for burnout and an unstable team.
Know when to say no
Women have traditionally been taught to be complacent, compliant, and accommodating. Whether it’s being asked by a friend to help plan a party, or a client wanting more from you than you’re able to handle, you always have the right to say no. Agreeing to take on too much is a sure way to guarantee that every aspect of your life — work life, home life, and social life — will suffer. Know your limitations and don’t let people talk you into doing more than you are comfortable with.
Take care of yourself
No matter what else is going on at work or at home, make sure you set aside some time each day to take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. Read a book, relax, unwind, or take a trip to the mountains or the beach. Running a business full-time is a stressful but rewarding adventure- make sure that you’re managing the stress so you can reap the rewards in peace.