Have you got what it takes to be a successful businesswoman? Find out whether you have the five common traits of female entrepreneurs, and if not, how to acquire them!
Jo-Ann Hamilton from SecretBirds explains why female entrepreneurs don’t just act uniquely, but think differently, and how you can harness the same benefits.
Entrepreneurial women THINK differently
Working with female entrepreneurs, I notice that there are many shared qualities among the ones who make a success of their venture.
They frequently demonstrate a similar mindset and approach to their business – qualities that are even more important when you are juggling your work around your responsibilities as a mum. In short, they don’t just act differently, but they actually THINK differently.
Five common traits of female entrepreneurs
So how do female entrepreneurs think differently, and how can you acquire the same qualities? Here are the five specific specific traits that I believe are common among businesswomen.
1) Self belief
A female entrepreneur is an incurable optimist. Despite what anyone says, her glass is always half full – she really believes that things will work out as they are supposed to, and in her favour. (In fact, research shows that we’re much more positive than our male counterparts.)
And that kind of optimism is a necessary prerequisite to achieving any goal. After all, if you don’t really believe you can achieve what you set out to do, how can you dig deep to find the inner resources that will push you beyond what you have comfortably done before?
Entrepreneurial goals often demand a wide set of skills you may not yet have acquired. And they certainly need self belief to keep you pushing at them, even when things don’t appear to be going your way. By cultivating a mindset that is geared towards the positive, you will be better equipped to handle whatever is thrown your way and keep you from plunging in despair and giving up.
The good news is that, like many skills, you can learn self belief. You can read seven steps to acquiring it here.
2) Acceptance of weakness
Identifying your strengths and knowing what you’re good at is hugely important in any venture. But acknowledging and accepting your weaknesses is just as essential.
Acknowledging it means that you are confident to discuss it with others who are in a position to help you. And acceptance puts you in a place of power because you can now do something about it.
And that doing is important point. Acceptance doesn’t mean getting hung up on your weakness (and we all have them) or letting it hold you back. Instead, successful entrepreneurs turn their disadvantages into opportunities for their business – and you can only do that if you acknowledge them.
So try not to see your weaknesses as a blemish but rather a beauty spot, depending on how you choose to look at it. If you need a little more help reframing setbacks, read five surprising reasons why you should love failure.
The ability to restrain yourself will serve you well along your entrepreneurial journey. But resisting the need to make a decision based on impulse and temptation is something that takes time and practice.
Anything can be achieved with the right amount of discipline and consistency. So the more you can resist temptation and distractions and tap more into your intuition, the better.
Stay committed to a routine and make sure you see it through until the end. This way you will reap the benefits of your hard work – and hard work when coupled with restraint is a winning combination!
Need more help with discipline? Here are two exercises to help you resist temptation and knuckle down to get LOTS of work done in a short space of time:
- A quick technique to help you overcome procrastination.
- How to do a day’s work in just 90 minutes using focus blocks.
4) The ability to embrace challenges
Rather than accepting defeat, female entrepreneurs understand that in life there will be many battles – and challenges are opportunities to grow and develop.
Running your own business will push you in ways that you couldn’t have imagined. Challenges will reveal what we perceive as a limitation, and whether we rise above them or succumb to them depends whether we see then as a limitation, or an opportunity to shift our mindset.
If you are able to embrace those tough situations, with time you will find that you will become an expert problem solver, and are able to turn even the most difficult situation into a positive experience.
(Need help overcoming personal challenges? Learn the four big fears that hold you back from success.)
5) The willingness to build and join teams
Every successful female entrepreneur is not only a member of several teams, but she also makes an effort to build them. She understands the importance of relationships as well the need to be with like minds.
So build a team of women like you that you can meet with on a regular basis. Join multiple teams where you will meet women who you can share the ups and downs of your journey with, and women that represent where you want to be and whom you admire – one group will sustain you and encourage you, and the other will remind you of where you want to be.
It may take a while to find a group that feels a good fit. And if you don’t find one, don’t be afraid of creating your own. Get together a group of women you know and meet regularly, or approach people you admire and ask if they’d fancy meeting up.
(Think you don’t have many opportunities to network? Find out how to network when you’re a mum.)
Start thinking like a female entrepreneur
Starting and running your own business is an exciting journey. And to make it as smooth as possible, uncover and develop your unique personal qualities and skills – and start thinking your way to the success you want.
And remember that it may feel like you don’t know much now, and certainly there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way, many of them unexpected. But running your own business is as much about personal enlightenment as it is professional.
Your capabilities are articulated through your drive and passion to create a life that will make you happy and feel satisfied. Choosing to create this life is what makes entrepreneurial women think and act differently, and with the right qualities and attitude, you will succeed!
Jo-Ann A Hamilton, is the founder of SecretBirds, an enterprise, which encourages, supports and empowers girls and women through entrepreneurship.Jo-Ann Hamilton