Women's Business Coach: TIP OF THE WEEK: Having It All!
Women's businesses make up more than 40% of all small businesses in the United States. For more than 25 years, women have been starting new businesses at twice the rate of men in this country. The surveys demonstrate that the number one reason women start their own business is because they not only want but need to find greater flexibility in their work/life balance. During the research for my book HER TURN: Why It's Time For Women To Lead in America I learned from thousands of women why they left corporate jobs with six figure incomes to start their own business and make do with less income but greater access to home and family. Truth is men have as much difficulty as women today with work/life balance but our society has less sympathy for their plight. As a women entrepreneur myself, I know that starting and running your own business doesn't mean less hours of work. In fact, it requires more time yet with more control.
But back to having it all. Do women business owners have it all? What both men and women business owners have is more choice. Choice in how much work to take on but not always in when to do the work. Customers are even more demanding of owners than they are of employees. Owners' responsibility generally requires more hands-on involvement. It is one of the major reasons customers choose to work with small businesses. So if having it all means more responsibility you better be prepared for this part of the bargain of business ownership.
It is often said that it is possible to have it all but just not all at the same time. Businesses have a cycle of launching, growing, stabilizing and eventually (hopefully) selling. Families, and particularly children, also have a cycle. At birth and during the early years, children have the basic needs that can be somewhat easily adapted into work/life balance. It's in the middle years and particuarly teen years, when children require more time, guidance and monitoring. Balance at this stage can be extremely difficult to orchestrate as crises happen more often without advance notice and require parental intervention. When both parents, or in many cases a single parent, has business ownership responsibilities getting a replacement for home or work duties is not always possible. Whereas in a corporate setting very few people are completely indispensable.
So clearly, having it all can vary depending on the stage of the business and the family complexion.
My definition of having it all is being in control of my destiny. Knowing that it is within my power to choose the path I take at any given moment be it work or family, and being able to combine the two as often as I decide. Appreciating the fact that as a business owner, mother and wife, I am a role model to others who question the decision to strike out on their own and realize that this too is a powerful piece of having it all.
Yes, having it all may mean taking bits and pieces of what you need along the road and making sacrifices when necessary. But in the end you will have done it your way!
HIRE VICKI TO SPEAK AT YOUR NEXT EVENT!