Women In Business
You Have What It Takes
Anything men can do, we women can do better. Ummmm, probably not all the time. I do know wives who make more money than their hubbies, and it's not a bad thing. As long as there is understanding and respect between partners. So, what does it take for a woman to get into business, and become her own boss?
It will take a lot of guts and preparation to start a business. I don't know if being a woman has anything to do with it, but i can see where in some places, it can be a plus factor. I was a model before becoming my own boss, or director of my own modeling agency. In my chosen field, i had to play the glamour game all the way. And, it worked well, based on my success. You have to know your strength, the skills you have and if you are willing to take the risks involved to go for the long run. Study, research, and make sure you know exactly what you want, and what it will require of you
Being a woman in business is not a disadvantage. It is not a weakness as some tend to think. We are so fortunate to be living in an era of our genders incredible liberation and empowerment. Just look around us, and there's a sea of very amazing, bold, hardworking and high achieving females. I have been inspired by their stories, picking nuggets of lessons from their struggles and victories. Know yourself, your passion, and value the woman that you are.
We are not competing with men. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by anybody for any reason, because we are different. Personally, I've always felt equal to men, and early on, made up my mind, i could do just as well, if not better. This i think, was the very attitude that helped me build a strong career. I had great admiration for my male mentor, who happened to be my dad. When i decided i was tired of modeling, and i could be in the other end of the business, i asked my father to help me. I shared my ideas about how i wanted to start a modeling agency, and i listened to him as well for advise. Men can be our allies, rather than a hindrance.
Make a decision for youself, what you want to get into. Do a lot of research on it's pros and cons of your choice. Accept the fact that there are risks involved in becoming an entrepreneur. While success is not guaranteed 100% all the time, you can reduce the risk with a thorough study and research on the field you choose to play.
Do the math, Find out what capitalization your business will require. I didn't have all the money to start big, so i used what i had to the max. I was aware of the demands for models in the advertising industry, so i knew i had to build an attractive portfolio. I needed to find talents, get a good photographer and let the market know there was a new kid in town. With a little creativity, i sent a bunch of 'teaser-letter' that aroused so much curiosity among the advertising executives, the calls came. I saved on my first photographer , who was a hobbyist who was thrilled to take pictures of gorgeous creatures. My assistant, my headhunter, was a young, pretty, not so articulate, but worked like horse girl.She was a learner and eventually when i retired, she took over, and continued to grow what is still a very successful business.
Learn how to manage your business and your time, Discipline is critical. Business is very demanding and will require good management and focus. If you're a mom, you will have to be good at juggling activities, from family priorities to your business. Others have done a good job, while others have had more difficulty. I had a good nanny while raising my daughter as a single mom and running my business. I made sure i gave quality time to my child, which was more important to me than anything. I refused to be a workaholic, by working long hours and on weekends. Hiring the right people who could take over, made this easier.
Get a mentor who can help you. My dad who was retired from business was a big help. I learned a lot from him, lessons only one who is experienced could give. I also learned from his own mistakes, specifically where he failed in being more informed about changes in the market and being more innovative. it was fatal. So, I told myself, "Ok girl, you gotta be sharp!" So, I've done everything i can to be on top of the information highway.
Overcome your weaknesses. Is there something about a womans makeup that can work against her? I can only speak for myself. I am more emotional, and in business i knew it had to be kept in check more, for the sake of professionalism. If you're not ready to face a tough, 'dog eat dog' world, then think again. I remember an incident where a client mistreated a bunch of our models. I felt very bad, but i knew it was expected of me to be not just a protective 'mother hen', but to be a 'tough cookie' as well. I had to check with my legal counsel where we stood (play safe), and then i dealt with the problem intelligently and calmly. I could have been angry and hysterical, but i doubt if i had gotten any respect (plus the right result), which i did.
Give it your best shot. Don't be a quitter by giving up too fast. Any good business takes time to build. There will be days, as you go along and you may feel overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. It's ok. Seek help if you don't know how to proceed. Learn to lean back, relax, and analyze your progress. My days as a single working mom, and taking my daughter to the beach every weekend was a fantastic break from work and proved to be an important key to my making the right decisions. I could turn off the noise of the hustle and bustle of the rat race, and think clearly.
Some still believe that a woman's place is in the home, only. I don't disagree with that, if you are raising children and have a husband who is very capable of being a solo breadwinner. I was 20 yrs old when i put up my business. It was a choice i made after a divorce and i had a 2 yr old to take care of. I didn't want to go back home to my family, which meant i had to pick up the pieces and start from scratch. This was very liberating, for one as young and inexperienced as i was. I made many decisions to chart my life and i had to overcome many fears and roadblocks to get to my destination. It's been all worth it. Times have changed radically and with the ongoing economic challenges we all face on a global scale, what comfort zone is there for anybody, man or woman? Take the step. Do not let fear keep you from your dreams.