Women carry millions of great business ideas in their hearts that never see a light of a day. These are those fragile dreams that stay forever hidden and keep their owners anxious and frustrated, as is the case for all unfulfilled dreams.
According to research by RBS only one in three entrepreneurs are women, a gender gap equivalent to over 1 million fewer female entrepreneurs in the UK. Closing the gap between women and men could add an additional £250 billion in Gross Value to the UK economy, equivalent to 4 years of economic growth.
The key findings of RBS Female Entrepreneurship report:
1. Low access and awareness of capital
2. Greater risk awareness
3. Perceived missing skills & experience
4. Disproportionate primary care responsibilities
5. Lack of relatable sponsorship/mentorship/role models
We have met thousands of women and based on our experience the greatest obstacle for more women entrepreneurs is not lack of role models or funding but lack of self belief, which in the RBS report comes as no 3. Once women build that confidence, then we are unstoppable and find a way to overcome all the other four points.
DrivenWoman’s LifeWorking™ framework was created to help women overcome self doubt and procrastination. Women who have a business idea and want to build a company around what they are passionate about need to first strengthen their attitude rather than their skills. Men tend to posses more of the ‘go and get’ attributes than women.
Women are passionate and flexible and often well prepared financially. We do our market research and asses our options from many angles which are all great qualities for any entrepreneur. However, there are 5 distinct personality traits of female entrepreneurs who will become successful in building a business doing what they love.
5 Personality Traits Of Women Entrepreneurs
Women should build endurance and grit. There may be a tendency to give up too easily because obstacles are taken as a sign that this path is not for you. Women might not fully believe it’s ok for them to build something for themselves as they are used to putting others needs first. Women need to build stamina to get over those obstacles and keep going. We must accept there will be lots and lots of difficulties and we have to persevere and not listen to the nay sayers.
This is closely linked with the first attribute. Women often have wrong expectations on the time horizon on what it will take to build a business, and that the route to success may be completely different from the original plan. Wrong expectations about how fast things can actually going to happen seems to be a major road block (based on the experience we have with women in our groups). You must build durability and commit to your path for the long run. You will have to be comfortable starting even if you don’t quite know the end vision and not to expect an overnight success.
This is one of the main obstacles for women in improving their lives in general, whether they want to set up a business, a side project or build an amazing career. Women simply don’t protect their time the way many men do! Women put their family first – as they should – but don’t understand that there is still a lot of ‘grey area’ between being 100% dedicated to your family or being 100% dedicated to your business. If a guy wants to work all Sunday evening on his business it’s ok, but for a woman to do the same and not be the parent who puts the kids to bed is – eh, selfish. Protecting your time and not letting other people run your schedule is one of the major attributes you must pick up if you want to be successful.
4) Tolerance for risk and imperfection
The fear of the unknown is a major barrier of entry for women who consider starting their own business. Girls are very good at school and are praised for their grades. They are rewarded for being predictable and groomed for getting the ‘golden stars’. If boys behave recklessly the commenting goes “well, boys are boys”. Women must learn to adapt a little bit of that recklessness and try things out with a bigger brush, even though the end result is often far from perfect. Stop trying to colour inside the lines, little bit of splashing and a lot of mess is part of the process!
Everything of course comes down to self-confidence, to the fundamental belief that you’re entitled to be successful and get what you want. To be successful women need to be confident enough to surround themselves with confident and successful people, but often are more comfortable surrounding themselves with a superficial crowd bragging about their husband’s achievements. To be confident is also to be open for criticism and to be vulnerable. Many are too proud to expose themselves if their facade ‘looks great’. To try something that might fail requires authenticity and openness and you must be prepared to do what ever it takes regardless of what other people might think or say.
Do you have the personality traits of a successful women entrepreneur?