Surveys suggest that over a third of the world’s female entrepreneurs have experienced gender bias. Only about 6.4% companies have women CEOs.
For too long the general idea has been that women cannot be entrepreneurs — in fact, they don’t even fit in the business world. Depending on their culture and the kinds of people surrounding them, most women are advised to get a “secure job” or become a homemaker.
But should these facts stop you establishing yourself as a woman entrepreneur? The answer is no — never!
If you are willing to work hard and passionately, to contribute your time and skills to experience the reality of your dream, you should never back down.
Being successful doesn’t always mean becoming rich. It means establishing your identity so the world will call on you. Female founders have climbed the stairs of success by self-funding their own companies. They have flourished with entrepreneurship skills in technology, establishing chains, and in other fields as well. What worked for them is following a few simple steps and letting the rest fall into line.
To become a successful female founder or entrepreneur you need to believe that you’re efficient enough to set up your own company — that doesn’t require you to have brilliant marketing skills.
Realize Your Dreams and Passion
Venturing into entrepreneurship demands a thorough analysis of self-perception. You need to know what you are passionate about before investing in your plans for better results; a crucial step towards success. I’ve lost count on how many times I had to ask myself, “Who are you, Jesseca? What do you believe in? What are you willing to fight for?”
At these moments, I take the opportunity to evaluate my next steps to take — to stir my life in the right directions. I’ve always been very passionate about supporting women, children, their education and livelihood — I wouldn’t be in a position to make a difference if I ignored these questions for myself.
Research, Explore and Learn
Do market research to help you understand your scope better and develop strategies for your growth. It’s important to know who your target audience is, as they form the roots of your tree.
Having said that, I don’t think most women need to be reminded of this. In my 12 years of experience working alongside other women, this is something that we do really well. In fact, we tend to overdo this step without giving much importance on the other steps in our growth process. To avoid getting stuck, keep in mind that the following points are just as important!
Plan to Succeed and Fear No Failure
Plan — this four letter word screams success in every corner of the world and we all know how essential it is.
Always make sure that your plans are realistic and actionable. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Failure is a hard pill to swallow, I know. I’m a competitive person and I used to find it difficult to accept that plans do not always work out. I left this mindset behind me when I found supportive communities and surrounded myself with people who had been there. I realized that failures are OK, they’re normal and part of growing as an entrepreneur. If your first plan fails, great — you’re on the right path because there can be no success without failure.
Find a supportive circle or community where you can learn and thrive, where you can freely share and discuss your plans, your challenges and mistakes without the feeling of being judged.
Consult With Experts
Don’t be afraid to reach out, ask questions, and collaborate. I never had any challenges reaching out to people whenever something puzzles me at work. But I learned the hard way that it’s a totally different feeling when you’re communicating on behalf of your own company or ideas. The predefined notion that women entrepreneurs are not good enough hit me — it’s so often ingrained into new women entrepreneurs and leaders, thanks to the lack of support from most communities and cultures.
Despite all these blocks, I decided to ask all the questions I wanted, until I gradually become more comfortable doing so. I started to discuss my plans with experts who I feel can give me an appealing outlook and fine tune my game plans. I can’t imagine what my business would have been like if I had not faced my fears of asking questions.
It was all worth it, now I’m all set to turn my dreams into a reality!
Join a Supportive and Engaging Community
Not all communities are the same. It will take a lot of hit and miss to find where you belong. Join as many communities as you can, whether they have good website or social media presence or not.
I had a difficult time finding a community that felt right, because flashy images, videos, and websites do not mean they’re the kind of community that will help you grow. The only way to find out is to engage and stay in the community for a days or weeks after you sign up. If the community is not engaging nor supportive, leave gracefully — that is OK.
Start Building Your Own Dream
Women have always been suppressed in various fields, especially when it comes to the ownership and establishment of institutions or organizations.
The best way to shatter this suppression is by believing in yourself — and believing in the entrepreneur that dwells within you.
Men and women are equals — they have always been. The strong representation of all genders is essential to our society’s growth and development. I’ve always believed that women are born achievers with amazing work ethics, leadership qualities, and that they are powerful influencers. In my experience, the first few steps of building your own dream and standing up for yourself and what you believe will always be difficult.
Remember: Not everyone wants to see you become successful, especially as an entrepreneur — your own boss. It won’t be a walk in the park. Start building anyway.
Be your own source of strength to achieve success. The only supporter you’ll ever need is you.
Thanks for reading!
Also published here.