The Top 5 Mistakes of Beginning Female Entrepreneurs that Waste Time and MoneyJul 19, 2022
I've noticed five key things holding my midlife women entrepreneur clients back when it comes to building a business. I've seen these over and over again so I thought it was worth a quick blog post so you can see if this is happening in your business.
Reinventing the technology wheel.
Tech can be very overwhelming and it’s no wonder most people want someone else to deal with it. There are all sorts of businesses out there promising to build you the perfect custom tool for tens of thousands of dollars. This can look like building you a complex customized website or offering to create your ebook. There is nothing wrong with taking this path of getting help as long as it does not leave you beholden to someone who is charging you a fortune for a minor change. One of the things you need to be a successful entrepreneur is flexibility and you don't want some piece of software nobody else knows how to use to get in the way of your newest great idea!
I find the safest bet is to use tried and true tech tools. Kajabi just raised another $550 million and has a $2 billion valuation. If I can access all that for $200 a month, it’s waaaay better than paying $10,000 plus for a proprietary system. And if you have something popular, there are Virtual Assistants and lots of people trained on these systems who can do this stuff in their sleep if you need to make changes. If you get stuck, you can call their help line or reach out in the chat. Tell them you are a total novice and need help. They can direct you to help pages, videos or more often than not they will simply solve your problem because they love tech the way you LOVE what you do. Take advantage or free trials, take the help offered, and get to know the system that supports your business even if it's just enough to explain to your assistant what they need to handle.
Having imposter system.
You feel like you don’t know what you are doing? News flash: nobody feels like they know what they are doing except for narcissists and maybe surgeons. I’ve had conversations with all sorts of CEOS and founders who are outwardly crushing it and they all feel like they are about to be found out as totally incompetent. If you want to be successful, you are going to feel like you don’t know what you are doing a lot. As you keep uplevelling your business and your life, you’re going to be doing a lot of firsts.
- First client.
- First article.
- First interview.
- First assistant.
- First Full Time employee.
- First meeting with investors.
As an entrepreneur, if you feel like you know exactly what you are doing for more than a month, you probably need a new challenge! A lot of women feel blocked around this. Stepping forward and declaring ourselves powerful can feel scary. Do some journaling around your feelings, and do lots of self-care to offset the discomfort.
Justifying your seat at the table.
You’ve done your work. You have experience even if it’s not formal business experience. You know how to negotiate and advocate for yourself and your family. You know what you will tolerate and what you won’t. You know how to listen to your intuition. Likely, you also have degrees and work experience and volunteer experience that have given you skills (or transferable skills) that apply to your business.
You deserve your seat at the table.
You don’t have to spend valuable time justifying why you are there. Most people just care about results (this is why I love entrepreneurship so much for women who have stepped out of the workforce and don’t have a traditional resume) I know so many talented women who treat themselves like a hostile recruiter as they try to talk themselves out of doing what they want to do because of lack of credentials. Unless you are working in an area that requires licensed professionals (medical, legal, financial), you are good. You’ve got this!
Doing it all yourself.
I’m super guilty of this one. As entrepreneurs, we want to do everything ourselves, which can lead to overwhelm and burnout. When you start things up you want to keep overhead low, but see what you can outsource to technology or a virtual assistant. There is so much great tech that automates things like scheduling appointment in your calendar and you can use project management systems like Trello to keep everything organized and clear. A lot of delegating likely needs to happen on the homefront. Lots of people other than you can empty a dishwasher and if you are on your own, please hire a meal prep service with reusable dishes you can send back for cleaning!
Perfection is the enemy of entrepreneurship. I used to be a perfectionist. I’d rather die than let something go out with a broken link or a spelling error. Now? Whatever. People are here for content to help them find jobs they like, get over money blocks and start a business that doesn’t drain their energy. Will a misplaced apostrophe get in the way?
Focused imperfect action is what gets things done. You do your best, release the work into the world and move on. Woman have been pressured under patriarchy to live up to a perfect ideal (beauty, homekeeping, child raising) as a way of keeping us from real power. Perfectionism is one of the identified tools of white supremacy since a lack of total adherence to some western standards has been used to keep people out of jobs due so if you are a woman and a woman of colour in particular, you may have some blocks when it comes to releasing potentially imperfect work into the world.
I'd invite you to set yourself a challenge of doing one action item today you’ve been holding off on due to perfectionistic tendencies.
- Hit send on the email.
- Publish that blog post.
- Upload that podcast episode.
- Take that client call.
If you have resistance around doing this, perhaps start to do some reflective work around why.
As women, we often hide in perfectionism to keep us safe and free from criticism, but you know what really keeps us safe? The financial security that comes from getting our work into the world.
I'd invite you to do some work unblocking yourself in that area through journaling, conversations with a friend or coach or doing some therapy.
Entrepreneurship can feel overwhelming at times, as the process of creating a solid business requires we face our fears and overcome out blocks. The good news is that in breathing a healthy business, we are also creating healthy and happy selves. The inner work is always worth it!