What Challenges Do You Face As a Female Entrepreneur?
One of the questions I am frequently asked when I am either giving an interview or with my one-on-one personal clients is “What were the biggest challenges that you faced as a female entrepreneur?”
This is an interesting question, as it falls into two different categories, firstly as a female entrepreneur when starting out in business and secondly, now as an established female entrepreneur.
Firstly, I was raised to believe that anything that I achieved was positive and genderless,
My traditional education was in an all female environment where again, gender and ‘suitability’ for an achievement were never questioned. It was only when I went to university and commenced on my business journey, that I became aware that some people regarded me and my achievements as ‘lesser’ or not as valuable as theirs. This rather astonished me, as it was a new concept to me and, because of my background and schooling, one that I was unprepared for in commencing my adult life. The effect was somewhat sobering and had the result of leading me to doubting myself. Am I not what people used to think I was? Could I have been raised in cotton wool? Deliberately shielded from this aspect of life, that everyone else learned so much earlier than me, and how do I get over this hurdle?
When I first started out in business, I found that the biggest challenge was having people take me seriously,
I was young (under 20 years old) and this affected how people saw me. Young and female. What could I possibly know? What could I bring to the table that they hadn't already reviewed and rejected? This caused me, as I was standing in the shadow of some powerful, older, male entrepreneurs….to doubt myself. Subsequently, it generated massive self-doubt due to the general, but not entirely so, there were exceptions, reactions from mentors I had studied, looked up to and regarded a mentors. Note, at this point, if you are just starting out, choose your mentors wisely and with critical awareness. Don't blindly follow or accept.
Then, there were the male entrepreneurs who were quite open to talking to me about my business concepts……
Unfortunately, some (not all) of them were not even vaguely interested in my ideas, but simply wanted to ‘date’ me. It was a matter of sifting and navigating their intentions and to grow the antennae of discernment and suss out the genuine business interest and recognise quickly the intention behind their motivation. This came with time and experience.
This was challenging for quite a few years and I actually quite often felt like having massive childhood tantrums and yelling “Why won't anyone take me seriously!!?” I found myself wishing that I was ten years older and better established. However, I had to go through those experiences to grow my intuition and my discernment.
Now, as an established and recognised, powerful, female entrepreneur that discernment still stands me in good stead,
As I now get overtures from younger people starting out and I find that I still need to sort out the genuine folk who reach out and those who wish to ride your coat-tails and bask in any light that you happen to shed their way, without actually developing themselves and their businesses independently.
However, my one piece of advice in all of this is, be sure not to let any of this stand in your way, remember, you are a powerful woman and you absolutely can have it all.
#Abundance #Attractmore #ReganHillyer
Want to know more? #Askregan
You Absolutely Can Have it all
…and you can give back as well.