Updated: Mar 23
Being an entrepreneur is not easy but it becomes even more complicated as a female entrepreneur, let alone a mom entrepreneur.
The challenges are many. Varying between social expectations or stereotype images of the competitive, aggressive male entrepreneur that pushes a lot of women to adopt male-like qualities in order to succeed. Then there's the difficulties in finding mentors and having a support network that promotes success, accessing funding, earning respect in male-dominated industries, and finding balance between work, life and family responsibilities.
We expect a successful female entrepreneur to be superhuman – navigating all these challenges, adopting a male attitude and, at many times, denying her own self, while also being modest (as is expected of her role as a female in society, otherwise she would be accused of bragging)...and still be able to fully play her role in her family and, in most cases, taking complete ownership of raising her kids.
The first thing every woman should do is to take full responsibility of her destiny. Because when your destiny is up to you, and not in the hands of external forces and circumstances, then you are in charge. You have within you all that is necessary to start bending the world to adapt to you, rather than the other way around.
Here are six ways mom entrepreneurs – and women in general – can feel empowered and be their best self.
1. Get over negative self-talk
If you are a female or mom entrepreneur, shout out to you! Just being on this journey and overcoming obstacles to reach where you are says a lot about you.
In many cases, women tend to not see and recognize their worth, values and accomplishments. Instead they dwell on negative self-talk and their shortcomings. If you want to take charge of your world, you have to take charge of that conversation in your head – 80% of success lies in your mindset.
We have about 60,000 thoughts a day, 95% of them are repetitive and 80% of them are negative, so notice what are you saying to yourself.
Do you say things like:
“I’m not good enough for this” “I feel like an imposter” “I can’t do this” “What would people think of me if I do this?” “I’m guilty for leaving my kids at home” “I feel like I’m a bad mother”
Or do you say:
“I can do this” “If it’s to be, it’s up to me” “I believe in my ability to figure things out” “I got this, this has my name all over it” “I’m being a role model to my kids” “I deserve my success”
The more you love yourself and talk to yourself as you would your own beloved child, the more you'll develop the confidence you need to step up and take action.
2. Change your patterns to change your world
Do you fall into patterns of perfectionism, permission-seeking or procrastination? That’s because something is holding you back from doing the big, scary ‘thing’ to move your dreams and business forward.
If you want to move your business forward or do that BIG ‘thing’, then you actually have to DO IT. The reason you don’t is not lack of motivation, it’s not that you don’t know enough, or you don’t have it in you. The reason is the FEAR. So your way out of an endless loop of holding yourself back is to cut through that fear and move forward with confidence and become a successful mom entrepreneur. Only once you identify and let go of your limiting beliefs and address the fears that are holding you back, will your actions and results reflect your new empowering beliefs and identity.
3. Focus on your zone of genius
Most of us tend to focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. Your strengths should be at the forefront of your mental dashboard. From there, figure out the skills that are necessary for you to lead and be successful in your business. Either make a plan to acquire these skills or hire people who already have them. Also note that your zone of genius is not only what you’re good at, but also what you LOVE to do. It’s what makes you tick and come alive during your day. As a mom entrepreneur, the more you’re clear about your zone of genius and arrange your daily activities to include more of it, the more fulfilled and motivated you’ll be on your entrepreneurship journey.
4. Put yourself in the right environment
A weak person in a strong environment wins over a strong person in a weak environment. The quality of your environment is the biggest predictor to your level of success. Are you surrounding yourself with people that challenge you, support you and encourage you to move forward? Are you part of networks and communities that will help you connect with the circles that will propel you forward and help you achieve your goals easier and faster? Nobody can do it on their own. What you need is someone to have your back and help you stand up again when you feel knocked down.
5. Build resilience
Your ability to succeed on any entrepreneurship journey is directly correlated with how fast you bounce back from setbacks. In fact, instead of labeling setbacks as failure (as most people do) and get discouraged by it, consider failure as a signal to observe what worked and did not work. Then implement more of the strategies that do work, and/or pivot to try out something new when things do not work.
Resilience is also being able to recognize the opportunities in every situation regardless how dire it may seem. So continuously asking questions like, "what is the opportunity in this situation?” or “what am I learning from this?” will help you to quickly shift your mindset from focusing on the problem to focusing on solutions.
6. Realise YOU are the source of time
I’m not saying, “manage your time”, I said “YOU ARE the source of time”. One of the biggest discoveries in history is Einstein’s theory about the relativity of time. When you’re stressed out, you’re worried that there isn’t enough time. Or when you’re in a hurry and keep glancing at your watch to make sure you make it in time, time passes extremely fast.
The funny thing about time is that people blame it. They say: “there isn’t enough time to do this or that” or “I wish there are more hours in the day”. The reality is it’s not time that needs to be blamed, it’s how committed we are to what we want to do. Let’s say, for example, you woke up one day and realized you had a flat tire. Wouldn’t you MAKE the time to get it fixed before you get to work, even if it takes 30 minutes out of your schedule? Now what if you wanted to start exercising? You may end up making excuses for not having 30 minutes to exercise. Then, who’s to blame? The time or the lack of commitment and necessity for exercising?
In short, if you want to make things happen, to finish that ‘big thing’ for your business, exercise, or spend time with your kids, then don’t wait to find the time – MAKE THE TIME. Be clear on your priorities at the beginning of each month, week and day, and schedule those activities first by blocking time on your calendar. Because if it’s not in your calendar, it’s not going to be in your life.
A certified high performance coach from the High Performance Institute in the US, Lara Cattan is a trusted expert in success, wellbeing and motivation. She’s helped entrepreneurs and professionals around the world reach their true potential.
For more information on Lara Cattan, visit www.sparksofone.com