Small Business: a BIG deal for Women
Happy National Small Business Week!
According to the SBA, more than half of Americans work for or own a small business, and they create 2 out of every 3 new jobs in the U.S. each year.
Roughly 500,000 people start a new business everyday!
By now you’ve heard my story at least once right? How I’ve successfully started 12 businesses in the past 14 years. What I can tell you from first-hand experience is what it takes to start a business is no small feat. Let alone nurture a business through the beginning years (3-5 years for most startups) before being able to really measure your success in terms of profitability. Yup. Being a business owner is more than a full time job. It can be like having 3 full-time jobs. That’s why its so darn exciting to see women rising on the business stage. Taking a solid stance in the future of how business is done.
Thanks to a lot of brave people doing what they could when they could, the number of women in business has been on the rise in the past decade. As a matter of fact, The overall number of women-owned businesses has surged 3,000 percent since 1972. Women now own 40% of US businesses and are starting over 1800 new businesses every day. Ironically, this uptick in women owned businesses is on the backs of individual women with only 1.7% of the 12.3 million women owned businesses boast revenues of $1M+, and a vast majority of the rest boasting CEO’s and Founders taking on 3 or more tasks of the daily operation and management of the company.
Women owned businesses account for 8% of the employment in the country. So although we are rapidly growing our numbers in the world of business, we are not yet proficient at providing jobs for our communities. Most of our ventures as women in business are one-woman show gigs. Whether you’re a direct sales representative (think Mary Kay), or a Solo-preneur Service Provider (think Massage Therapist, Reiki/Energy Healer, Personal Trainer, Coach), a lot of the recent career opportunities for women in the marketplace that allow for flexible hours and good to great pay (a working woman's dream), are designed for one woman to do the work.
Did you know before 1988 a woman needed a male co-signer for any major loans procured from a traditional funding source such as a bank? Now of course women can go into a bank and apply for a loan on their own (thank goodness that’s changed!), however , women are still receiving on average 45% less funding than their male counterparts when applying for traditional funding, and receiving only 3% of venture capital funding.
So how are women entrepreneurs and executives supposed to compete, capture and win the hearts of their intended audiences? How can women in business leverage their potential and maximize their success in the face of a staggering gap of unfair lending practices and antiquated cultural agreements?
To answer this question, I looked in my own life as a woman in business for the past 20 years. I also interviewed women in business from different industries, backgrounds, races and ages. I took everything I discovered and distilled all the data and responses down to a single answer.
Now, I know you’ve heard the word before, but I want you to consider you’ve not lived it with the intention of winning like a woman. I mean sure, we all belong to at least one community. It’s awkwardly difficult to not belong to any community as a human being. The important distinction I am making here, that distinguishes the answer I was searching for, from a trendy word used to describe apartments and yoga studios is this; for women, community is the key to our success.
You see a future that is female isn’t one that excludes men. It is however, a future in which women are able to authentically be who they were created to be without judgment from themselves or each other. And in the wake of this feminine alignment, men will discover their capacity for true power and their ability to authentically be who they were created to be without judgment from themselves, or each other.
This type of empowering femme community of women is still practiced today; but most often as a cooperative bringing local native handcrafted goods to the global marketplace. You know what I’m referring to; we all love to shop at these places because it feels good to help a sister earn a fair wage in a third world country. It’s also easier to shop and vote with our dollars than it is to get authentically interested and involved with another woman in business in your own workplace.
And that’s why communities that empower us to be our best as women in business here in the ‘Western civilized world’ is so rare.
The authenticity required to create the foundation for a community that actually empowers and strengthens us as women is almost impossible to come by in our business culture here in the US.
Face it, you don’t know most of the women you work with, and you certainly don’t know them well enough to share your deepest fears and saddest stories with them, ironically the very things holding you back in your success and the very action that would propel you forward in your career. Only problem is we as women have been actively taught NOT to trust each other, from the line jumper in kindergarten to the boyfriend stealer in 8th grade. So is there any wonder that when it comes to our success in the workplace, we are just not savvy to how working together as women can next level our lives collectively?
Our first barrier of course is authenticity.
“Without authenticity in a community, failure is inevitable. At best the community will be a club of egos, at worst it will hasten the demise of the lives it was intended to support.”
The fair-trade collectives that source beautiful handcrafted goods from women artisans around the world support these local women in working together, purchasing from each other, celebrating together and ultimately succeeding together as they share their personal and cultural stories. Often women share that joining the collective saved their life somehow. Moving. Beautiful. Inspirational.
But. Where are similar stories for women in business here in the US?
We haven’t shared them yet.
Our stories haven’t been written yet.
We haven’t discovered our Collective Strength. Yet.
Real connection between two humans requires something of perceived be shared. A memory, an experience: traumatic or inspiring, etc…exchanges of this depth rarely happen on their own. Which is the direction we are to consider if we are serious about Winning Like a Woman.
Why are we so tight-lipped with each other as women. Honestly. We have something in common collectively that men will never have. That’s right. We are internally timed to keep in alignment with Mother Nature via the Moon. For women, living in concert with nature isn’t that far of a leap- no matter how modern we may have become. We all carry within us ancient wisdom that will allow us to expand ourselves and the human species into the future. Hell you put us in the same space long enough and our bodies will sync with each other. Without our conscious effort! We actually have biological clues that we are at our best when working together as a collective.
If you are a woman in business and you resonate with what I’m sharing so far, you’re not fully satisfied with your results in life so far, as great as they are, you know there’s room for growth and development as you expand your power and effectiveness, then I want to personally invite you to register into The 5 Laws of Success to Win Like a Woman Online Course.
The first module of the course is all about authenticity. That’s right. The first law of The 5 Laws of Success is Power; which is fueled by authenticity. Power is the first law because without Power, there is no drive, no motivation to succeed.
Want to know more about The 5 Laws of Power to Win Like a Woman Online Course? Click here to grab your copy of the 5 Laws of Success Infographic for FREE ! This will give you a sneak peek into the upcoming course that starts May 14th and give you a taste of what this course will provide for your personal and professional growth and development.
…So what about you? Where are you the most authentic version of yourself? Home? Family? Friends? Drop a comment and let me know!