Entrepreneurship is tough, be it for a man or a woman. But, for women, it definitely requires that extra bit to break the stereotype opinion. As an entrepreneur, I have been observant towards the way women in India think and perceive their careers, both entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial. In continuation to my last piece on survival instincts for women entrepreneurs, here goes the second one, on tips for all aspiring woman entrepreneurs on how to shift from mediocrity to excellence.
# Tip 1: Be opinionated
A man is allowed to voice his opinion in both professional and personal front. Whereas for a woman to voice an opinion is so “un-lady-like”. Blame it on patriarchal society we live in where a woman is adored in “sweet” and “submissive” avatar or only asked for opinion when it comes to fashion or lifestyle or celebrity gossip. If you are a woman and aspiring to be an entrepreneur, my first tip for you would be to stop worrying about being lady-like and have a strong stand for yourself by sharing and voicing opinions.
# Tip 2: Don’t shy away in shaking hands
Lifeline of any venture is not capital, but right contacts. Your shyness, inertness and apprehensions should be kept aside and your networking skills should get equal attention as your business plan. Identify individuals, groups and events which could give direction to your business or help you get valuable feedback. Ask for introductions, write to people and meet them in person. Get up from your desk, get out of your comfort zone and be there where the action is.
# Tip 3 : Share your accomplishments
Share your laurels and accomplishments, whenever possible. It’s not bragging or act of blatant self praise, but a great way to boost your own confidence and self esteem. This is also great way to sell and position your business as you as an entrepreneur is the face of your business. Never make an excuse for your achievements but give full credit to yourself. Be confidant of who you are and that will take you a long way.
# Tip 4: Take control of finances
As homemakers, women are experts in carefully managing household expenditure. However, balance sheets are different and need understanding. As an entrepreneur, you would be required to do cost estimation, long and short term strategies, negotiations, valuations, etc. Hence, understanding of basic financial concepts should be one of the priority tasks and should not be delegated. Only way to emerge as a strong leader and to grow your company is to be financially intelligent.
# Tip 5: Be competitive
Being complacent does not pay, but being aggressive might. An obsession for winning and fire in the belly are must-haves to lead, to create, and to build. The competitive spirit to win and be first in the race is what entrepreneurship demands. When it comes to personal relationships, women are wired with “Never Give Up Attitude”, this should be utilised well in the competitive world of commerce too.