I overheard a brilliant home chef sharing about her newly found entrepreneurship journey to another guest on the table. She mentioned how pricing takes a backseat and her focus is on the quality of the food and keeping her customers satisfied. In her voice, I heard the excitement and eagerness. I am sure her customers are not just satisfied but elated. And my worry was, for how long will her excitement and passion keep her going and help sustain the business?
At several networking meets and crowded seminars, I have noticed that the number of women entrepreneurs who are present can be counted. Over the last few years, the numbers are definitely improving. When I interact with these women, I see strong women who are not just passionate about the product or service they sell. But they are also very passionate and determined about running a successful business. They constantly seek avenues to up-skill themselves, believe in collaboration, and do not hesitate to speak up or ask for help. There are many things to learn from these strong women.
The first and foremost lesson being, ‘money is not a bad thing’. What we should acknowledge is ‘money is important’ and crucial. Not just to take care of our family and us but also to ensure that the business runs and sustains.
When we were discussing this in our circle of mom entrepreneurs, one of the women raised a valid concern. The few times, when a woman does ask for money then there is a backlash and is a very different situation from when the man makes the demand. Society, in its own inconspicuous and conspicuous ways, defines a good woman to be selfless. So how do we address this social conditioning? We break away from these ridiculous expectations and claim what is rightfully ours. When more and more women rise and demand for what’s rightfully there’s, then that shall become the norm. For this to happen, every woman should understand and acknowledge the worth of her time, skills and self. We should be more focused on becoming happy and successful rather than trying to accommodate everyone else’s expectations and render ourselves unhappy in the process.
In my interactions, I found that many mom entrepreneurs stumbled upon their business idea, when they as a mom faced a challenge and they eventually devised a solution. They are confident that there are more like her and are eager to take the product to the market. In fact, mom entrepreneurs have a huge advantage. They understand moms better, they are intuitive, observant and can easily identify the need for an unmet service or product. This is true for technology products as well. Yes, women can be equally passionate and innovative when it comes to technology products. And we have great examples.
We as entrepreneurs feel very proud of our offerings, which is great. What is also equally important is to look beyond it and chart out the bigger picture. And the bigger picture should definitely include profitability and numbers. Do not hesitate to ask for help. Statistics reveal that entrepreneurs with mentors show higher rate of success. Mentors inputs and guidance can greatly help women expand or scale their business.
So when we talk about women, entrepreneurship and money, I cannot emphasize how important these things are
– Passion for the offering is important but running a successful business is even more important
– Know and Acknowledge one’s worth – and ensure that everyone you interact with also does
– Have a vision and solid business plan for a successful business
– Learn to own your successes