“Take risks in your life. If you win, you can lead! If you lose, you can guide!” ~ Swami Vivekananda
The age of women entrepreneurs or who are also known as womenpreneurs has finally started. A robust ecosystem clubbed with inspiration, know-how, and funding, women entrepreneurs are finally becoming a force to reckon with. Women are founding companies at a historic rate, but, there’s still a long way to go — female-led businesses only make up 30% of companies around the world. There’s a lot of opportunities ahead with research stating that female-led businesses are set to create 5 million jobs by the end of 2018 around the globe.
The focus should immediately be paid to hearing what women have to offer and recognizing the value of investing in them. So what is really sparking women’s interest in the start-up scene? Experts name marketplace trends, expanding financing options, the rise of venture-backed funds led by women and greater access to mentors are some amongst several.
In the years of my journey as a woman entrepreneur, I have encountered several non-believers, people who have criticized me, people who have constantly found faults in me, people who have condemned me. While I may have across gender roadblocks all my life, they’ve rarely affected me. Here’s something I keep saying to myself, “You are worth so much more than the ways you’ve been treated!”
People have and will constantly discount your capabilities and business ambitions because you’re a woman. I say the process of self-discovery is vital for women in a “man’s” world to build the type of confidence that breeds business success. I always encourage women to try new things and take on new challenges to find out what they are truly capable of, the reason I run three very diverse companies across three completely diverse business verticals. Each day is a new opportunity to confront your darkest fears and innermost vulnerabilities. In the process, the true prize is not fame or success, but rather confidence! Change is not always a process of improvement. Sometimes it’s a process of the invention. When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he didn’t start by trying to improve the candle. He decided that he wanted better light and went from there.
One more thing I have learned the hard way is that exhaustion can hinder even the most successful high-achievers. I once collapsed so bad from sleep deprivation that I hurt myself real bad. It was the wake-up call I needed to reorient my viewpoint. Also, when you’re pitching, refine your message into a story that is relatable to everyone.
No matter how many people tell you, “you were born to do this”, mind my words, they’re lying in plain sight. You aren’t born an entrepreneur, you become one! There’s no “genius gene” for entrepreneurship. I am born to doctor parents, but right when I was 15, I knew I didn’t want to become one. Entrepreneurial instinct kicks in when you actually take action on your idea. There are no special people or business unicorns that are destined for success. Only those that take the plunge and execute their idea will learn and grow into entrepreneurship.
Women are bringing a fresh perspective to a mostly male-dominated space. The idea of developing confidence, embracing failure and the idea of hyper-targeted messaging might be traits that may come as second nature to men in the business. But the tide is changing and as more female entrepreneurs embark upon entrepreneurship and share their findings with other women, the cycle is bound to continue. If the trend of women in entrepreneurship continues on the same course, women could very well make up a large part of the business-owner population. Imagine a world where women not only can start and run businesses but they are seen as the pulse of a healthy economy.
As long as more women take the leap, keep learning and keep empowering their own circles, there’s a good chance that future generations will take note—supporting and promoting the idea of entrepreneurship among women.