Once a female entrepreneur has determined what caused her to stop living her ideal entrepreneurial type, and what she can do about it, she may feel ready to begin the transition to her new ideal type. At first, the transition may seem daunting – but with the right tools, strategies and motivation, a woman business owner can conquer her fears and rediscover the success she deserves.
A recent study from Jane Out of the Box, an authority on female entrepreneurs, reveals there are five distinct types of women in business. Based on professional market research of more than 3,500 women in business, this study shows that each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. When a woman is living as her ideal entrepreneurial type, she feels satisfied, personally and professionally. This article outlines four steps a business owner must take when she is ready to make the change.
1. Assess the gaps between the current situation and the ideal situation, for the business owner and for the business. If an entrepreneur has previously lived as her ideal type, then she knows what that feels like, and it will be relatively easy for her to determine the changes she needs to make to become her ideal type again, even if that is a different type than she lived as previously. Assessing the business-related gaps will determine what adaptations the entrepreneur must make within the business so that it functions as she wants it to (whether that means sustaining itself or growing).
Advice: In determining her ideal type, the entrepreneur already should have examined her own behaviors, habits and belief systems and determined which ones she needs to change to become her ideal type. Now it is time for her to begin to change those behaviors, habits and belief systems. That means that in every situation, she must choose to act like her ideal type, even when doing so feels uncomfortable, difficult or challenging. Of course, setbacks will occur as a business owner falls back into familiar habits, but over time, as she continues to act like her ideal type, she will become her ideal type. As for the business itself, the entrepreneur must find ways for it to adapt, just like she is doing. For example, if a business previously offered graphic design services only to high profile clients but is now running short on new clients and/or jobs, maybe the business owner needs to branch out and donate her services to a nonprofit organization as it launches a fundraising event. This particular job may not bring in a paycheck, but providing the service is a great marketing tool and allows the entrepreneur to use her creativity. Also, the business owner could consider calling her contacts and letting them know about promotional prices she’s offering, thereby gaining her some new clients.
2. Create a plan for change. Many entrepreneurs find that creating a written plan, or “to-do” list, helps keep them motivated when they’re making a change. Writing down each step in the transformation provides an excellent visual reminder of each goal, and allows the entrepreneur to make changes and additions as she needs to. Plus, crossing off each completed item gives a business owner a sense of accomplishment.
Advice: Business owners should write down every single goal they want to accomplish, whether it’s creating a new system for office organization or designing a new company web site. Then, they should break each main goal down into smaller steps. For example, the new system for office organization may require the entrepreneur to clear out or destroy her old files, create new file folders, relocate her filing cabinet to a location more convenient to her desk, buy a desktop organizer with designated slots for incoming and outgoing mail, buy a desktop calendar, clear the clutter on her desk and empty her desk drawer. Also, business owners should always closely monitor their progress, so they can celebrate their accomplishments and make adjustments where necessary.
3. Recruit a support system. No one can reach her goals alone, so business owners must not be afraid to ask for help and support in different forms.
Advice: Support systems can include several types of people: those actually doing the work with or for a business owner, those who can provide advice or resources that make doing the work easier, more efficient or less expensive, and those who can support the business owner as an individual with moral support or by holding her accountable.
4. Recognize and reward hard work. As women, we beat ourselves up a lot. Every business owner deserves to recognize and reward herself for confronting her challenges head on, and for making the sometimes-difficult changes necessary to fuel their transformation. The vast majority of people perform much better when they are praised and recognized, than they do when they are afraid of punishment.
Advice: Female entrepreneurs should give themselves loving care whenever they need it, so they can keep moving forward, ever more positively, and arrive at their final destination. Whether times are so tough they need to celebrate every single phone call they made without procrastinating, or they just need to celebrate the major milestones, those celebrations are important.
Taking the actual steps to shift to an ideal situation from one that feels less-than-ideal is gratifying, confidence-building and inspiring to business owners who have experienced setbacks in their businesses. By following these four steps, female entrepreneurs will find success.
About the Author:
Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at www.janeoutofthebox.com