Women Entrepreneurs: Tips for a Prosperous (and Sane!) Business
A new study from Jane Out of the Box reveals a significant segment of women in business who’ve achieved their dreams of financial success, but who tend to be overwhelmed by the day-to-day demands of their business. This article provides important “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for duplicating the prosperity of the market segment known as “Go Jane Go”—while creating better balance in life.
Chances are, people who are in business for themselves view financial freedom as a motivating factor for venturing out on their own. Money in the bank—time off for friends, family and travel—and even a luxurious lifestyle can all be part of the vision that entrepreneurs have when they set off to build a business. But according to the latest research, when it comes to women entrepreneurs, financial prosperity isn’t the only carrot: the desire for “greater work-life balance” is also a primary motivating factor.
A new study from Jane Out of the Box, an authority on women entrepreneurs, reveals that there are a significant number of women in business who’ve created significant financial success, but who may feel overwhelmed by a to-do-list that is out of control. This article provides important “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for duplicating the success of the market segment known as “Go Jane Go” in the year ahead—without taking on the stress of her hectic life.
Comprising 14% of all women entrepreneurs, Go Jane Go is passionate about her work, and has no problem marketing and selling herself, so she has plenty of clients—but she’s struggling to keep up with demand. She may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she’s eager to make an impact on the world and may really struggle saying “no”. Because she wants to “say yes” to so many people, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. As a result, she may be running herself ragged and feeling guilty about neglecting herself and possibly others who are important to her.
At the same time, her hard work is also paying off. Go Jane Go takes home more money from her business at the end of the day than any other segment of female entrepreneurs, and she’s four times more likely than the average female entrepreneur to have hit the one-million dollar mark. However, her “big paycheck” may reflect a tendency to delay hiring people to help her get the work done.
Other types of women entrepreneurs can learn a lot from Go Jane Go’s can-do attitude that will help them achieve financial success. Just remember that it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Business owners who know they’re a Go Jane Go must pay careful attention to the pointers below. Where might a business owner be able to gain a little perspective that will help her gain better balance in her life overall?
1) DO—Be an idealist
A big-picture vision of her life’s purpose is a motivating force, and it’s a big part of why Go Jane Go is so successful. Knowing what she stands for will not only help her get out of bed in the morning inspired by the possibilities, it will attract clients to her door who can see big things for themselves.
2) DON’T—Be a perfectionist
While providing a great product or service is a virtue—and going the extra mile to make it happen can help to set you apart—pushing herself too hard is not a sustainable strategy in the long run. Perfectionistic habits may cause Go Jane Go to wind up working very long hours, contributing to her stress level and guilt feelings. Remember that satisfying customers, if an entrepreneur is a natural perfectionist, is often easier than meeting her own exacting standards—so learn to recognize when “good is good enough” – because Go Jane Go’s good will be better than many people’s “best”.
3) DO—Build a team
Go Jane Go knows how to attract other people who are equally good at what they do and can be an effective catalyst that inspires her team members to go the extra mile. She’s great at recognizing and appreciating others and gladly and generously shares all kudos with members of her team.
3) DON’T—Ignore Poor Performance
Although she inspires others to want to go that extra mile, Go Jane Go may be better at seeing someone’s potential than their actual performance. As a result, when a team member is not performing, she may tend to make excuses for that person. Rather than initiate what she may perceive as a confrontation, Go Jane Go may burn extra energy following up with the poor performer, attempting to understand the reasons behind the performance issue instead of addressing the problem directly. Or, she may start gradually removing work from the person, doing more and more herself as her trust in them diminishes. If an entrepreneur has had problems giving critical feedback in the past, she should commit to herself that she will no longer let such things fester.
4) DO—Deliver great customer service
Go Jane Go tends to be all about relationships, and this is a key factor in her success. She knows that integrity and communication are the twin pillars of lasting business relationships, and she knows how to be responsive to her clients’ needs, desires and time frames. As a consequence, her customers love her, and recommend her to everyone they know.
5) DON’T—Forget to set aside “self-time,” which is important as “business time”
Go Jane Go can keep herself so busy meeting others’ needs that she seldom has time to take care of herself. She is often last on her own “to do” list. This may manifest itself in taking client calls after hours or on weekends, giving more hours to volunteer activities than she originally agreed, or investing lots of time in counseling and supporting other people. While being responsive is important, returning phone calls after hours or spending weekends putting out fires are habits that quickly become counterproductive in terms of creating or maintaining the life balance many business owners seek. Most problems are not dire emergencies and will wait. People respect those who have good and reasonable boundaries. Also, while volunteering for a great cause can be a deep source of personal satisfaction, over-committing is another classic habit of the overwhelmed and over-stressed. Go Jane Go should carefully consider before investing more time, and make sure she is investing sufficient time in herself to feel rested and ready to go.
Go Jane Go proves that being loving in business, having high personal standards, and the confidence and passion to help others succeed are a winning recipe for financial success as an entrepreneur. For business owners who see this as their style, the key is to care for themselves as compassionately as they care for others. Over the long haul, this is necessary to ensure they can be their strongest, happiest selves … and therefore do even greater work in the world.
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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 joining 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 now available as a FREE membership. Claim yours today at www.janeoutofthebox.com