Today marks two years since I opened the figurative doors to glee Content Marketing. In that time, not only have I continued to sharpen my digital marketing skills by staying up on top trends, but I’ve learned to handle many new challenges that come with running a business.
Right now, the U.S. has 12.3 million women-owned businesses, generating $1.8 trillion a year. To celebrate glee’s birthday, I’m taking a moment to focus on the power of female entrepreneurship. I asked a few successful female entrepreneurs that I know to help me with this post by sharing their thoughts on starting a business and keeping it going. By sharing what they’ve learned and what they want other women to know, they offer inspirational lessons you can’t find in any business textbook:
Lesson 1: There are no limits
There are no right or wrong industries for women. There is no right or wrong time to start out on your own. And there is no limit to what you can accomplish or the impact you can have on others. Megan Carpenter is CEO of FIComm Partners, an integrated communications agency with a specialized focus on financial services. She says,
“Being a female entrepreneur is one of my greatest privileges. I have the ability to act on my desires for a more inclusive and equal work environment for women. I have the ability to create a vision that aligns my personal and professional aspirations. I have the ability to build a team that believes in our mission and lives our core values. I have the ability to drive change in an industry (financial services) that so desperately needs it. With these privileges comes an immense amount of responsibility and those responsibilities can weigh heavily on me at times – but it is so worth it!”
Lesson 2: Don’t ignore that little voice in your head
No one is rewarded by waiting. Renu Blankinship launched her company, Makermint. which offers pop-up craft workshops for kids and adults, in 2018. In a short time, she’s made New York City a lot craftier. She encourages other women to go for it and don’t hold back:
“When you have an idea in your head – a small seed – that is motivating you to embark on an entrepreneurial venture, push through the fear and the what-if situations and put yourself and the idea out there. Take things one step at a time: send an email out announcing your business, hold your first event. Get that idea out there, and then build, build, build on it and watch in awe as it becomes a deeply rewarding reality.”
Lesson 3: Feed off of the strength of your network
Start with those around you and build. Ask your network for help with the areas you can’t do alone. Ask your network for recommendations. Ask your network for the sale. Stephanie Heishman founded Freya, LLC to help organizations plan and execute events. She believes using the strength of your connections will help every entrepreneur keep all the balls in the air and driving toward their goals:
“Having started my business 5 years ago, I think one of the key elements to staying in balance with all of the moving pieces that come with being a business owner (clients, accounting, business development, etc) is to stay connected to my network. Getting new ideas, thoughts and different perspectives is so important, and helps keep my work fresh and relevant.”
As I look back on the past two years working for myself, I’m proud of my accomplishments and grateful for my relationships with my clients and colleagues. I truly believe the time for women to crash through the glass ceiling is now. We women can and should help each other achieve greatness. If you’re ready to create the world’s next great company, I hope you’ll take some inspiration from these women and do it. It won’t be stress-free, but it will be great. Let me know how I can support you and your ideas!