Gone are the days when women had no choice but to stay home and do the chores. The days of undervalued female workers are also approaching their end as today’s women own and run their own businesses or take that top spot in that company.
In fact, it is estimated that in the United States, about 30% of businesses are founded by women. This trend continues to go up in rates through the years. In other words, women are finally starting to be their own bosses, an idea that would have sounded ridiculous 70 years ago.
So if you are aspiring to be one of these women, let us share with you some tips – the dos and don’ts – you should know before starting to make it on your own. Let this be a short guide to being your own boss. These words of advice are based on the sharing of experiences of women who won the rat race of the corporate world.
- Researching and studying your area and making a proper plan is essential before starting.
DO: Get to know your area well – your market, your resources, your budget, your advantages and disadvantages, and the skills required, you have, and you lack. Based on your research, formulate a long-term plan. It need not have the tiniest details; just make sure you know what’s going on and what you are doing and are about to do.
From there, you can think of a proper strategy or other unique ideas which you can go with in the future. Make a schedule and to-do lists, and make sure to follow and accomplish them on time! Recognize not only your strengths but your weaknesses as well, and do not be afraid to seek help in areas you are not very familiar with.
DON’T: Slack off and go for it without a plan in mind. It is okay to “go with the flow” at times, but you need to have a direction and a goal in mind for your business and yourself to grow.
- There is no shortcut to success. You will inevitably make mistakes along the way, and that is okay.
DO: Be courageous and get out of your comfort zone. Some would say you should “think outside the box”, but we tell you to throw the box! There is the risk of making the wrong decisions, and you will at some point. However, you need not linger on them; rather, learn from them. Remember, even the most successful and richest women today experienced many failures and rejections before getting to where they are now. Be like them: do not let your mistakes, rejections, failures stop you.
DON’T: Sulk over the wrong decisions or in the worst case scenario, give up. Not forgiving yourself for your past mistakes will definitely take a toll on your future ventures. And why give up when you can stand back up and try again?
- Dare to be unique and different.
DO: Get ahead of your fears, and don’t be afraid to try something new. The corporate world is worked mainly by competition, it is important that you have something to offer that others in your area do not. This is the time for you to let your imagination wander about and your creativity flow, and this is the most exciting part for many entrepreneurs!
DON’T: Just copy or steal the ideas of other people. Not only is this wrong; it also limits you and prevents your potentials from truly coming out. Stop comparing yourself to others — you are an exceptional individual! Instead, work at your own pacing and strategy. It will not be easy, but the sense of fulfilment that you will experience in the end will be greater when you know you did it on your own!
- Practice good deeds – even the smallest ones – to others.
DO: It’s a small world; you will most likely encounter the people you have met in the past. You do not have to be the nicest person in the world, but respecting everyone as an equal, being graceful on your departures, and most importantly, never forgetting to express gratitude, can get you a long way.
DON’T: Burn bridges. It is not only unnecessary; the more bridges you burn, the greater is their impact on your future.
- Help employees and interns to grow.
DO: Nurture and train people who are working under you. Be patient in honing their skills so that their potentials can be actualized. Never forget to give praises when it is due as this is always a good motivator. This is a win-win situation, as you can get to have not only skilled but also loyal individuals working for you!
DON’T: Put them down or make them feel inferior. Crab mentality is getting nobody nowhere, especially when you are the boss; just imagine how bad relationships, controversies, and workers quitting their jobs would affect you, your business, and your future!
- Heed the advice of your intuition.
DO: Listen to what your gut tells you. All of us have had that experience of “not feeling right” about something without an apparent reason; and most of the times, it turns out that something actually was bad news! Sadly, we have to admit that there are people or companies in the corporate world who will wish to take advantage of starting entrepreneurs like you. Our instincts can be giving us a warning. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
DON’T: Disregard your gut instinct. You might regret it in the future!
- There is always room for growth and learning.
DO: Learn new things. Listen to suggestions and constructive criticisms without getting defensive or easily offended. Read books and research on different aspects involved in your area, especially those you are not excellent at or the aspects that are continuously changing such as the market and technology. Allow feedbacks from customers and workers and improve your system, services, and tactics accordingly. Consult with other people – family, close friends, colleagues, interns and subordinates, academics, and experts.
DON’T: Be complacent or arrogant. These kinds of attitude are hindrances to the progress and development not only of your business but also yourself, especially as a boss.
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