Dr. Madeline Lewis
There are mixed opinions when it comes to women starting their own businesses. Some say women are at a disadvantage and grossly under-represented in the entrepreneurial arena. Some believe that there are age and marital status inequities that women will encounter. Conversely others maintain that women are at a greater advantage than men, given the resources available to women and minorities.
The reality is, your success isn't based upon your minority status or who does or doesn't represent you. Your success will be determined by your contribution to making your business succeed. Don't succumb to the notion that just because you're female your chances of running a successful business are slim. Statistics have proven that women are equally as capable as men when it comes to entrepreneurship.
A woman's motivation to start a business is typically different from a man's. Women usually start businesses for self-satisfaction, fulfillment, independence, and a sense of accomplishment; while more often than not men start businesses for the profitability and lucrativeness of it.
It goes without saying that there are many benefits in business ownership.
- When you're self-employed, you decide how long you want to continue working. Many business owners work well beyond the age of retirement.
- You have an enormous degree of satisfaction as a business owner when you're doing something you love.
- You have no one to answer to and no one's time-clock to punch. You are directing your own life.
- You choose what you want to do and how you want to do it.
The obvious benefits of business ownership are glaring. However, there are instances where women feel inadequate and believe they fall short of the ability to be as successful as men in business.
The reasons many women feel deficient in the area of business is because a large majority of them were home raising children while men have been in the workforce all along. Women feel that getting off to a late start puts them at a definite disadvantage.
Other limiting factors:
- Working in only one industry - (even if they have been a successful leader in an organization and worked their way up through the ranks, many woman still feel a lack of confidence because their knowledge does not span a broader scope of business).
- Women also tend to sometimes doubt their ability to produce and deliver products and services that people would buy.
- Retirement - (self-employed people, in general, often worry about their retirement funds and security. This is an area that underscores the need for a good financial advisor).
There are pros and cons in every situation- whether it be business or life in general. Each individual's circumstances are different. Therefore, when trying to come to a decision about going into business for yourself, you should carefully evaluate each pro and con with objectivity and an open mind.
Women-owned businesses have become increasingly important to the status of the U.S. economy. The number of successful women in business appears to be growing as women make their presence known in the entrepreneurial realm.