With more women entrepreneurs making a name for themselves and earning respect from the startup ecosystem, one really wonders if misogyny at the workplace is a myth.
I will tell you why: I have been travelling solo for almost seven years now, and I have been working in this so-called ‘male-dominated ecosystem’, but honestly, I have never faced sexism in my day-to-day work. My challenges while running ghoomophiro.com were more or less similar to what any male entrepreneur would have faced while running his venture.
Hardly have there been occasions wherein being a woman has bothered me or held me back from pursuing what I want. Though at times people might ask you uncomfortable questions, I think one answer should be enough to let them know that you do not tolerate nonsense. It is quite surprising to many of my peers that I do not believe in preferential treatment of women.
During multiple conversations with fellow female entrepreneurs, I realised that most of them echo similar characteristics, which I thought I could pen down as ingredients common to most of us.
Realising her self-worth is the first step for a woman while pursuing entrepreneurship. Unless you believe in yourself, you can’t make others believe in you. One needs to truly believe in their dreams. Self-belief imbibes confidence, which helps you gain respect and trust amongst your peers. Confidence improves your networking skills, which is one of the pillars of a successful venture.
Always have high ambitions. In India, we women are often asked to keep our ambitions low, as our life is assumed to circle around family, but the onus is on us to be successful at both our professional and personal life and accept it as challenge. One needs to be really ambitious to strive towards their goal. Never settle for second best.
Passion and persistence
Be always passionate about your dreams and ambitions. Talk about them aloud. Discuss them, understand them and be persistent to achieve them. There shall be several hiccups while you are going through your enterprising journey, from family inhibitions to finances, but never give up. Just remember you started this journey solo, and success might be just round the corner. You have to consistently push yourself out of your comfort zone. Always feel joyful while doing the things you enjoy or are passionate about. Always attach your passion with a sense of purpose. It could be as small as bringing a difference in someone’s life. This will give you sheer joy.
Humility and a willingness to learn
The more humble you are, the more successful you shall be. There is a saying, ‘Work hard in silence, let your success make the noise.’ Each day on the entrepreneurship playground is for learning and growing. Never be overconfident about yourself and stop learning. One needs to constantly upgrade oneself with knowledge and innovation. Always be open to criticism and conversations and take them politely.
Hard work is the key mantra for anyone. Priortise your day-to-day tasks and be prepared to invest time, because your enterprise is your baby. No one can do justice with it the way you can. Initial days will be difficult. Set high goals for yourself and keep moving.
Ensure your vision is woven around your firm value system, because this will give you a sustainable venture. But, there are still days when one does feel low and wants to quit. Always recall your achievements till date, your support system and keep looking for solutions to existing problems, and be open for spontaneity as well. The more open you are to ideas and conversations, the easier it gets for you to get a hold of success.
About the author – Prachi Garg is the author of ‘Superwomen’, collection of journeys from 20 women entreprenurs. She is also a serial entrepreneur, and after failing miserably in her first start-up “Managing Minds”, she started “Ghoomophiro.com”, which organises travel for corporates and solo women travellers.