It isn’t easy to be an entrepreneur in the first place, but being a female entrepreneur comes with its own set of challenges. Female entrepreneurs receive only about 2% of all venture funding, despite owning 38% of U.S. businesses. Only 4.8% of Fortune 500 companies are run by female CEOs.
That being said, succeeding as a women entrepreneur is definitely possible… and it’s so, so worth it. The world needs women to rise up in businesses, corporations, and organizations everywhere. Your success won’t just affect you – it’ll help countless other women and girls who see your example and realize they can do that, too. And with October being Women’s Small Business Month, it’s a perfect time to redouble your efforts to achieve your goals and join thousands of successful, capable female entrepreneurs all over the world.
If you’re an aspiring women entrepreneur, there are a few things you can do to ensure your success. Here are a few of my best tips to help you become the powerful boss you were born to be and succeed as a female entrepreneur.
- Ask for what you want. In order to succeed in business, start asking for what you want. Asking for what you want is key to executing at your highest level. So ask for the raise. Ask for the promotion. Ask for the funding. Ask for the advice. Don’t be afraid of rejection – after all, what’s the worst that could happen? If you never ask, the answer will ALWAYS be no. But if you work up the courage to ask, you just might get a “yes” that’ll change your life.
- Make sure your confidence is greater than everyone else’s doubt. I hate to break it to you, but as a female entrepreneur, you WILL encounter doubters you’ll have to prove wrong. But it doesn’t matter how many other people believe you can or can’t do it. All that matters is your belief in yourself. If you truly believe that you can achieve greatness, if you trust yourself and your ability to do hard things, if you’re confident that you’re meant to be doing what you’re doing, you WILL succeed. Sure, you’ll have feelings of fear and self-doubt from time to time. That’s completely normal. But the trick is to learn to manage your fear and doubts instead of letting them manage you.
- Find a mentor. Do you know a woman who’s already accomplished what you’d like to accomplish? Reach out to her. More often than not, she’ll be thrilled to help build a fellow woman entrepreneur up. And of course, if you’ve already found business success, pay it forward. Look for women in your area that could use a mentor. Support female-led businesses and share your success with others – there’s plenty to go around! Not sure how to go about finding a mentor? Look for a local or national entrepreneurs’ organization in your area. (Or, if you can’t find one, start with a group of friends!)
- Look to other inspiring women for motivation. It’s true that we women have a long way to go until we achieve equality in business. But that doesn’t mean women aren’t already doing extraordinary things. There are countless women defying the odds, hustling like crazy, and changing the world. One incredible example is Melinda Gates. Just this past week, she pledged $1 billion over the next decade to expand the power and influence of women around the world. Her plan is to focus on three main areas: minimizing barriers to women’s professional advancement, accelerating women’s participation in sectors with large impact on our society, and increasing external pressure on companies and organizations.
But most of all, let yourself feel empowered and excited! There’s truly never been a better time to start executing as a female entrepreneur. Women are rising at all levels. The stage is set for women everywhere to start (and continue) doing amazing things. So be bold and ask for what you want. Be confident and believe you really can achieve your goals. Look for supportive mentors who know how to get to where you want to be. Draw upon the success of other inspiring women to keep you positive and motivated! You’ve got this!
Kim Perell is widely recognized executive, entrepreneur, investor and national best selling author. A great believer in paying it forward, Kim loves to help young entrepreneurs achieve success and is an early stage investor in over 100 start-ups, 14 of which have successfully been acquired by some of the largest Fortune 500 companies.