Why are women still hesitant about founding their own company in 2019?
Today we are living very exciting times when becoming a female entrepreneur has never been easier. The number of women launching their own businesses increased by 45% in the last 10 years. And as of 2018, women own 12.3 million businesses in the U.S. only.
There are countless examples of successful women entrepreneurs across different industries: information and communications technology, fashion and retail, healthcare, education, and even the automotive industry.
But why are women still hesitant about founding their own company in 2019?
Even though women still face multiple barriers like the lack of support from family and community or lack of funding opportunities, research has shown that the major challenges that women encounter are actually connected with their own mindset.
The bad news is that these challenges hinder women’s success in entrepreneurship. But the good news is that the mindset shift is more than possible if women want to be successful.
To help women get the courage to start their own business, we came up with a list of 3 most common things that are holding them back from succeeding. As a bonus, practical tips are given as to how they can overcome those challenges.
#1. Thinking you are at a disadvantage
Women have a tendency to think that they are at a disadvantage compared to men. When you think so, you start to believe it and it becomes your reality.
Even though men might be more present in business — and that will be questionable in a couple of years — women have proven to achieve whatever they put on their mind regardless of their status, religion or country of residency. Long gone are the days when women fought for their right to start a business or even to climb the career ladder.
Today, there are numerous opportunities, support and funding exclusively for women entrepreneurs. Crowdfunding made setting up business thousands of times easier and accessible for all.
So if there are so many opportunities for women, why do they still think they are at a disadvantage?
Although at a certain point of time in history it was true, women entrepreneurs still stick to that mindset. But if they want to succeed in business they should, first of all, get rid of that victim mentality and tell themselves that in business there is a place for everybody.
#2. Negative self-talk and endless self-doubt
If we put a counter on all the negative thoughts women are having about starting their own business, the counter will probably go crazy. One of the main reasons for this boundless cycle of negativity is the deeply-rooted self-doubt that ‘women cannot be entrepreneurs’.
A question arises, “Who decides who can and who cannot be an entrepreneur?” The answer is, “No one”. The practice shows that one cannot know without trying. And apparently, many women gave it a chance and actually succeeded.
So after fighting against ‘I am at a disadvantage” mindset, women should also fight against the limitless self-doubt they are experiencing every day.
One of the ways to fight the negative self-talk is by turning it into a positive one. Instead of saying, “I will not find funding for my business”, try, “If everyone succeeded in finding capital, I will, too”. The impact of using positive affirmations can be multiplied. Just by using positive visualization, i.e. visualizing a positive outcome of finding capital.
Another way of boosting self-confidence and self-esteem is by exploring. Use your top strengths and character traits. Studies have shown that people who know their own strengths and are able to utilize them are on average happier and more self-confident.
Women entrepreneurs should be the first ones to encourage themselves and believe in their own success. If they do not, no one else will.
#3. Fear of failure
Studies have shown that fear of failure is one of the major causes that hold female entrepreneurs back. But women should understand that fear is as important as success, and if they want to succeed they cannot let fear take over their triumph.
While a normal dose of fear of failure is normal and quite real, it can be dangerous when it becomes paralyzing. Failure is unavoidable, even for men, and great entrepreneurs take failure as a learning opportunity to make their businesses strive.
To fight against the fear of failure, first of all, it is important to acknowledge that fear and be able to stop it by asking for help or mentorship.
Women tend to manage on their own even the smallest aspects of their business. It’s essential to learn to delegate tasks and be able to trust. When surrounded by experts and trustful people, women entrepreneurs may no longer fear failure. Because even if they do fail, they will have a supporting team that will take it as a motivation kick for next time.
Women face many challenges while starting their own businesses. But there is nothing that cannot be overcome by women who want to achieve success. They just have to remember that most of the things holding them back are only in their head. And for those who take control of their mindset only sky is the limit.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” — Nelson Mandela
If you want to know more about building on your confidence, take a look at this article about strength-based confidence building.
What is your biggest fear that is holding you back? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
About the author:Jane Berkey believes in the power of strengths-awareness and positive thinking in achieving success. A content marketer from San Diego, she writes about self-awareness, career advice, and personal development.