Shared Leadership for the Future
As a business coach to women entrepreneurs, the first message I deliver is that starting a business is a lot like giving birth....
For me every day is another day to celebrate women's history as women are involved in every area of life and continue to change the world one woman at a time.
There are some questions that women entrepreneurs ask that men entrepreneurs would never even consider thinking about. One of the key questions I hear from the women entrepreneurs I work with is: "Am I in control or just controlling?"
Business is booming for boomers starting businesses. Women, particularly, are becoming entrepreneurs for the first time in their late 50s and 60s. What motivates women at this time of their life to launch a business? The answers I hear will inspire you.
I just read the recent issue of Inc. Magazine where some of the country's most successful entrepreneurs share their stories. All agree that an entrepreneur without a story is an entrepreneur without inspiration. For example, Sara Blakely's story of how Spanx was born is simple - she bought a pair of white pants and found that nothing she put on under them worked until she cut off the feet of a pair of stockings. Voila! No more bulges, panty lines or unsightly winkles - Spanx was born. So, what's your story?
Every entrepreneur, male and female, should be watching Shark Tank! (in Boston it airs on Friday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC) As a business coach, I encourage all of my clients to tune in and capture one tip from the presenters or the sharks each week. Women entrepreneurs, particularly, must watch the female presenters as they share their stories and gain important feedback. These women are powerful role models for what works and what doesn't to grow business.
Every entrepreneur wants to make more money this year than last year. It doesn't matter if the business is a year old or 20 years old, the entrepreneur/owner decides to achieve a new high for annual revenues. When asked, "What information are you basing your new revenue goal on?" the answer I hear is something like, "I just added 10%."
There is no doubt that the U.S. economy is being buoyed by women entrepreneurs. Every time a new business is launched money is distributed to a variety of vendors required to get the company up and running. In many cases, new employees are hired and put to work. So why are women entrepreneurs seen and spoken about differently than male entrepreneurs?
What does the customer want? That's the big question for every business and entrepreneur. If a company can provide customers with the best service and product/service required than it would seem clear that that company would be assured of returned business. As a woman entrepreneur I want to know "So what's up with the behavior of the two bullies in town offering TV, phone and internet? Yes, I mean Verizon FIOS and Comcast Xfinity.
Everyone knows the importance of prioritizing the business to-do list, but entrepreneurs have a particular problem since they tend to lack the individuals to delegate tasks to - and women entrepreneurs tend to have the most difficult time delegating. But, when you have too much on your plate - and let's face it in a 24/7 global economy where communications can happen at every minute - too much on your plate is every business person's biggest problem! So, what do you do first?
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