by Bev Gray
The famous song by James Brown “This Is a Man’s World” may stir up some controversy among women these days and your feelings about this may vary. The reality is, though, that the business world can often be a man’s world on many levels, even in today’s modern society.
As a female entrepreneur, CEO, or business owner, you have overcome the odds to become a successful businesswoman, inspiring other women to follow their dreams and not be intimidated by the business world.
The internationally known founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, Mary Kay Ash, said the following: ““Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.”
For us women who have taken that step to achieve our business dreams, we must ensure that we take this responsibility seriously to create an easier and clearer path for the next generation of women dreamers who dare to try.
Be Educated – Before you venture out, make sure you are fully knowledgeable about your market and industry. Don’t just start something on a whim without fully researching to make sure your goals are realistically achievable. You don’t want to just become another statistic of a failed female start-up.
Leave Emotion Out of It – One of the major stereotypes about businesswomen is their lack of ability to control their emotions in the workplace. Women are undeniably emotional creatures, and that is part of what makes us wonderful nurturers, caregivers, and guardians. Our emotions can be a valuable asset in the workforce in certain situations, but we must be careful to balance our emotions with practicality when it comes to business decisions and our daily conduct.
Play Fair – As hard as it is to sometimes admit, there are certain things that someone else (even a male) may be better at when it comes to your business. The fact that you are a successful female does not mean that you cannot reap the benefit from an equally (or perhaps more) competent colleague. Don’t let female pride get in the way of acknowledging when you need help and when another man or woman can help you and your company.
Don’t Leave Home Behind – One of the biggest naysays against working women is leaving behind your family at home. A successful businesswoman must have her priorities straight and recognize there is nothing more important than her family. You must learn to balance your home and business lives, without neglecting either. If you can effectively pull this off, you will prove all the skeptics wrong!
Rock Your Man’s World –Men have an inborn instinct to provide for those they love. If your husband feels threatened by your success (justified or not), then this will potentially cause conflict in your marriage. Divorce rates are high among female business owners, so you must be intentional to reinforce to your husband your respect for him and for how well he provides for your family.
There are obviously countless tips and words of advice regarding how to become a successful woman entrepreneur, but following these main principles will help to dismiss all the doubters and to clear the way for future female business owners trying to make it in the Man’s World.
“Bev Gray is CEO of Exhibit Edge, a trade show exhibit and design company serving VA, MD, DC, and beyond. With over 19 years’ experience as a successful business owner, she hopes to share what she’s learned over the years to help other women business entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors.”