By Meeta Vengapally
Women naturally know a lot about what it takes to be successful as entrepreneurs.
A dear friend of mine once said, “Life makes you an expert on things that you never made up your mind to be an expert on.” As an entrepreneur and mother of two children, that goes down very well with me. It’s one of the worst stereotypes these days to see a businesswoman who is also a mom and ask, “How do you do this?” Are men ever asked about it?
The fact is, women entrepreneurs have very different skills than their male counterparts, and this is out of necessity. Far be it from me to look at this and think that we are forced to kick and scream in order to learn to work harder, smarter and more efficiently than our male colleagues. In my experience, the best way to face the challenges is by thinking this is a gift.
Let’s examine six things women entrepreneurs know about business and life that men may not necessarily know but can never understand as well as women.
6 things women in business know
1. If you constantly face challenges, you can cope better with them
Entrepreneurs are known as people who generally question expectations and defy norms. As entrepreneurs, we defy norms from the start by becoming entrepreneurs first and foremost. Our companies are automatically in the minority, because so are we in the business world – there aren’t nearly as many women entrepreneurs as male entrepreneurs.
So if you start a business based on an innovative new app, service, or product like no one has seen before, there is less chance that challenges will discourage you because, as an entrepreneur, it’s you I am already breaking new ground by coming to the office every morning.
2. You have to take your place at the table, no one will give it to you
As a woman, have you ever stepped into a boys’ club environment and wondered where all the other women are? This is what it can feel like to attend a business networking event where it’s an uphill battle to pick up a conversation that is taken seriously. But we women entrepreneurs are not held back – it is precisely this barrier to the networking of companies that makes us good at it. You learn to hold your head up and speak with authority. You must be very grounded.
What always fascinates me is how women stay strong in situations where they are clearly in the minority. In my opinion, the strongest and sharpest women entrepreneurs get their strength from their sense of conviction: conviction in their business and their right to take a seat at the table. This isn’t easy, but over time women learn how to stay centered even when everyone wants to knock them over.
3. You have to learn to ask for what you want and need
Did you know that raising capital is far more difficult for women-owned companies than men? Of course you did because it probably seems obvious. Just as networking is more difficult, securing funding is also more difficult, which is vital for any new business to get started. Investors tend to invest in those who seem somehow similar to them, and it is clear that there are fewer female investors, just as there are fewer female entrepreneurs. When an obstacle is put in your way, you need to be very smart to get around it.
I always refer to my favorite entrepreneur television show, Shark Tank, because we entrepreneurs can learn so much from it. One of the most important things to learn while watching the show is to know exactly how much money you need to run your business and then ask for it. As women, we often tend to ask for less than is necessary. Once we learn that this is a huge mistake for anyone looking to start a business, we will surely always speak to investors to get what we need.
4. Take yourself seriously, even when others don’t
In a number of professional situations, there is a good chance that an entrepreneur will not be taken seriously. So what is the important lesson we must learn from this? We must first learn to take ourselves seriously.
Not only is this an amazing skill in business, it’s an indispensable life skill in general. More things are given to men in life than we are, and that means we have to do the extra work to give us the things that were never given to us. This is an empowerment, so it’s no wonder the most accomplished female entrepreneurs just happen to be some of the most confident women you will ever meet.
5. Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness
It’s a stereotype that men are more reluctant than women to ask directions when they are lost, but there is a lot of truth behind it. Research shows that women see a doctor before a health problem becomes more serious, are more likely to join a support group when they are in need, and reach out and help others more quickly when they see someone in need. These qualities, which are often misunderstood as weaknesses, are what make women such successful entrepreneurs.
Being an entrepreneur can sometimes feel like reinventing the wheel. There is so much to learn and none of it can be done in a vacuum. In order for a person to be able to build something complex from scratch (e.g. a company from scratch), support and collaboration are vital.
There is a wealth of knowledge that you can learn from hearing the ideas and perspectives of those around you, especially when they are from trustworthy sources. I’m not saying men aren’t good at it, but the female brain is wired to work together and there is so much to be gained in connecting with others and asking for help or offering it when and where it is needed.
6. You have to find a balance between the demands of life and the needs of the self
Last but not least, I’ll address this stereotype that I mentioned in my introduction. Do I think that the problem of reconciling work and family life for women can be solved? No, because I don’t think it’s a problem. Men strive for work-life balance just as much as we do. Co-parenting is more common than ever, and since many of us parents have worked at home for a while, we understand the struggle.
The balance I’m referring to here isn’t just finding the time to run your business while you are raising kids and attending PTA meetings, but it brings the demands of work and family life with your own intellectual ones and physical health needs in harmony.
We will all feel that we “lose” it sometimes. Stress is not only associated with running a business, but also with raising a family. It is common knowledge that women have greater instincts to find ways to slow down and take care of themselves, although this can be a challenge when life is so busy.
Am I saying that male entrepreneurs should take care of themselves as much as women? Not at all. All stereotypes aside, everyone has their own way of caring for themselves better, e.g. B. Exercise, exercise, meditate, play with your pets, or chat with a friend on the phone. Neither of these activities is specifically feminine. When you find the habit of grooming yourself that is best for you, you can take some time in your day to focus on your own wellbeing.
That is why women in business are geared towards success
As you can see, women naturally know a lot about what it takes to be successful as entrepreneurs, things that men never had to learn. Believe me when I say that neither of us feels sorry for this fact. I am grateful that the challenges I faced have made me the strong woman and entrepreneur I am today.
About the author
Meeta Vengapally is the founder and CEO of Garnysh and a top influencer on social media where she is the spokesperson for over 700 brands. Follow Meeta on Instagram, read her profile on Forbes, and check out her articles and full bio on AllBusiness.com.
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This article was originally published on AllBusiness.com.