Female entrepreneurship is on the rise. Yet even as those numbers grow, many more are coming up against the same barriers time and time again. Some of those barriers are societal, while others are more mental.
There’s no arguing that the gender gap is real, but certain actions and mindsets that female entrepreneurs can take advantage of to get ahead. The reverse is also true. Here are some of the mindsets that should be avoided.
Ambition Is a Negative
Many women are raised to believe that ambition is a negative trait to have. Or, they are told that having ambition and drive will make them come off as bossy, standoffish, or any other random negative description.
This is simply not true. There’s nothing wrong with having ambition. In fact, it is a requirement for all entrepreneurs. Don’t let this idea hold you back.
Who hasn’t walked into a room full of professionals and felt they didn’t belong? Women disproportionately feel affected by the Impostor Syndrome, and many are letting it hold them back.
The Impostor Syndrome is the belief that somebody is ‘not good enough.’ They shouldn’t be in the business of their choice or are somehow not professional enough.
Ever thought or heard the phrase, “I am very good at what I make/do, but I am not at…” This is an example of limited thinking. Here, the way a person thinks is literally limiting their actions, abilities, and attempts.
There are many different examples of this way of thinking, from believing that one is not good at sales to the belief that one shouldn’t be in the business world. All of these thoughts discourage the thinker and create a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.
The Need to Compete
It should go without saying that all female entrepreneurs should be raising one another up – not competing against each other. Yet, there is an ingrained expectation that women must compete, thanks to societal norms.
While it will take effort to tamp down those instincts, as long as one ignores them and does the right thing (IE: supporting others), then that is what truly matters.
Giving Up Too Soon
The biggest mistake any entrepreneur can make, regardless of gender, is giving up too soon. Entrepreneurs will face failure. It is a fact of life. Yet, the successful entrepreneurs are the ones that kept fighting, kept trying, and kept going until they succeeded.