Launching your own business is like stepping onto a roller coaster – simultaneously thrilling and gut-wrenching. Although entrepreneurship is a never-ending series of highs and lows, each presents a unique opportunity to learn and creates momentum to move forward. More important, the very act of confronting and overcoming those fears builds confidence that you can handle any unexpected bumps in the road. But these lessons are hard learned. Below are three lessons I’ve learned as a female entrepreneur.
“Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, by any means, but it’s a ride that’s worth taking.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
When I launched my first business a decade ago, I was constantly worried about letting people down. There are so many people relying on me every day and there’s tremendous pressure in that. But I learned that I am not alone, and there are people who I can rely on to discuss strategies and bounce around ideas. For female entrepreneurs, developing a supportive network – both in and out of your industry – is essential and can help to empower you to make better decisions.
Don’t Be Afraid to Say No
Entrepreneurs often have to make compromises, but the one thing I urge you not to compromise on are your values and mission. After all, your philosophy is why you took the emotional and financial risk to start your own business. Don’t be afraid to say no, even if it means walking away from money on the able. In the long run, compromising on your core values will alienate more people that it will ultimately attract.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make (and Own) Mistakes
Being a female entrepreneur means taking risks and learning from both wins and losses. I learned that when you make mistakes (and you will!), own them. Don’t be afraid to let people know why you made the decision that you did and what you learned from that experience. I can guarantee you that every entrepreneur, male or female, has made mistakes, own them, learn from them, and move on.
Although the idea of entrepreneurship can be intimidating, it also offers the opportunity to dictate the terms that define success. Seek out mentors and build a network, know your worth and the value of your mission, and view mistakes as lessons. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, by any means, but it’s a ride that’s worth taking.