Women continue to open businesses in the U.S. at twice the rate of men. So why don’t they have million dollar bank accounts that reflect their hard work? According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, there are 10.4 million women-owned U.S. businesses. What people aren’t talking about is that women-owned businesses aren’t doing all that well. According to the Women Presidents’ Organization (comprised of women whose businesses annually gross over $2 million):
* About 43% of all women-owned businesses have revenue of $10,000 or less per year.
* Over 70% have revenue of less than $50,000.
* Only 3% have revenue of over $1 million (compared with 6% of men-owned firms).
Today’s entrepreneurial woman wants control over whom she works for, what she does, how she spends her time, and how much money she makes. Most of all, she wants to know that what she is doing is making a difference in the world. So why aren’t women-owned businesses more successful? Often the barriers to business success for women are self-imposed.
What Women Do Wrong
1. They dismiss their intuition. They dismiss their inner knowing. They don’t take their intuition seriously. That’s not hard to do when today’s business culture scoffs at women’s intuition, makes fun of their intuitive knowing, and pooh-poohs intuitive insight. Intuition is not a hunch, a suspicion, or a guess. Intuitive knowing is deep, sure, and trustworthy. Know this!
2. They wait for approval and permission. Women have the hardest time with this. Instead of making a decision for themselves, they look to others for approval and permission before making business decisions. Wake up! You do not need anyone’s permission to do anything. Men know this much better than women do.
3. They think something is wrong with them. When something goes wrong in their businesses, men focus on the business itself, looking for things they can change, correct, and fix. For women, however, it’s just the opposite. When something goes wrong in their businesses, women look for things they can change about themselves. 4. They think other people know best. Often their inner voice—what I like to call a woman’s Inner Samurai—is giving them a clear indication of what is for their highest good and greatest well-being. Yet, because that inner voice conflicts with the advice and information they are getting from the outer world (often from those around them), they discount their inner voice in favor of another’s voice.
What You Can Do Right
1. Look outward for support. Look inward for guidance. Surround yourself with those who support your business vision and daily business activities. Go inward for guidance. Tap into your Inner Samurai. Understand that no one knows you as well as you know yourself. What other people think is best for you and your business is only an opinion—perhaps a well-informed opinion, but an opinion, nonetheless.
2. Say yes. This is one of the hardest words for women to say. Women like to keep their options open, check everything out, and test the waters before taking action. Stop hesitating. Say yes. Move ahead. You don’t have to know how something is going to turn out before saying yes. Just say yes. You can handle whatever comes up. You can even change your mind.
3. Stop with all the positive thoughts and affirmations. Being positive and saying affirmations are not enough. You have to back those positive thoughts with focused, definitive action in the direction of what you most want to be, do, and have in your business. Fortune favors the bold.
4. Cultivate relationships. Women are naturals at building relationships and connecting to others. Connect, certainly, with other businessmen. However, be intentional about cultivating relationships with other businesswomen. Forget what they say about women being catty. Sure, some are. Most aren’t. Those are the ones you will intuitively be drawn to. Connect with them to build strong, mutually beneficial business relationships.
Women have been opening businesses at twice the rate of men for many years now. However, they have not been as successful at bringing in the big bucks as men. That’s because they try to run their businesses the same way that their male counterparts do — from the head down.
Women, on the other-hand, do better when they build and run their businesses from the inside out and from the heart up, firmly connected to their Inner Samurai. Running your business this way means that you are in control of your financial future, you can have the life you’ve always dreamed of, and you can be in the best place of all—making a real difference in the world.