Up until recently, women weren’t given many opportunities to really use their talents. While there are still many challenges facing women who want to start their own businesses, we’ve seen some exciting growth over the last few years. More and more women are taking charge, running successful businesses, and showcasing their ability to lead and excel.
It’s not always easy to be a leader, though, especially when you’re up against powerful stigmas and roadblocks that men just don’t have to worry about. We need more women to inspire future generations and break down those barriers so that women who come after us won’t have the same struggles. If you’re a female entrepreneur and you want to be known as a #ladyboss, here are 6 leadership tips to help you succeed.
You’re Not Alone: Find Your Mentor
The good news about starting a business as a woman today is that you don’t have to go it alone. More women than ever have made it through the terrifying first stages of starting a business and want to help other ladies find success. Finding a mentor is one of the best things you can do for your business, especially at the beginning.
With the number of awesome online groups out there geared specifically toward women, it doesn’t have to be hard to find someone you click with. You just have to ask–most women are thrilled to share their tips and tricks with a new female entrepreneur. It’s a lot less lonely when you ask for help.
Network Till the Checks Work
Network, network, and network some more until the big checks come in! Your network of other female entrepreneurs will allow you to build like-minded friendships and connections while opening up new opportunities.
Don’t forget to give back to your network by mentoring when you start seeing some success and always remember that building your network isn’t about finding out what others can do for you–it’s about building relationships.
Take it Easy: Utilize Free Female Entrepreneur Resources
Because women face more challenges than men in the workplace, there are lots of great resources out there for getting a leg up. Take advantage of them! From articles that outline the top traits of successful women in business to tools and examples of women in entrepreneurial or executive roles, there’s endless information and inspiration out there for ambitious women.
What’s Your Purpose?
When you start a business or lead a team, there are going to be some hard times. In order to get through those hard times, you need to have a strong sense of purpose. What problems are you trying to solve with your business? What do you want to accomplish?
A strong sense of purpose will help you to stay committed and help you prioritize. It will also help you inspire those you lead.
Looking For an Executive Leadership Role? Be Sure to Be Specific
It’s important to know what you want and to ask for it in the business world. Many women are worried about seeming rude or pushy and may not feel comfortable negotiating for titles, salaries, benefits, etc.
If you want an executive leadership role where you work, it’s important to be specific and to ask for what you want. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re already the owner of the business, but titles like CEO usually come from a board of directors in a larger company. It pays to think about your ultimate goals and to work toward the specific role you want.
Stay Confident: Don’t Let Imposter Syndrome Get You Down
Women are socialized to downplay their accomplishments, which often leads to imposter syndrome: thinking that you’re not good enough, smart enough, or talented enough for what you’re doing–that you’ll be “found out” as a fraud. It’s so common among female entrepreneurs that it’s a regular topic at conferences and within women’s networking groups.
Shedding imposter syndrome isn’t easy–it’s a struggle even very successful women have to deal with on a regular basis. You’ll probably experience it from time to time, and that’s okay. The important thing is to not let it get you down. Stay confident and remember that you are a #ladyboss and you are capable of anything.
GET THE BOOK BY
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books–written by men–barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.