If there were ever a time to have to roll with the punches, it’s 2020 and 2021 to date. Learning how to navigate challenges is something all business owners have to do. Female business owners face even more challenges since their businesses are typically less strongly funded. Being able to approach these challenges with the right financial support, and the right perspective or mindset is the key to surviving these challenges.
At the CFNMD, we place great importance on having a healthy mindset—seeing challenges as opportunities, and embracing an interest and willingness to learn new skills in the most difficult times. A recent article in Inc. Magazine highlighted five common traits of the entrepreneurial mindset; here is our take on how they relate to female entrepreneurs:
Resiliency - Listening, having a thick skin, and persistence. You can equate this to the Robot vacuum syndrome - hit a wall, back up and try again with a slight change to the approach angle. Resiliency has to do with the ability to take criticism, to fail, to be told you’re crazy, and to look below the surface of the unpleasant delivery of the message in order to understand the underlying value in it. Women face many of these challenges at home and exemplify resiliency in their day-to-day lives. Just remember, critics are not good at saying things nicely, but there’s always a nugget of truth in their criticism; a perspective that perhaps you were not aware of.
Resourcefulness - the survival instincts to generate solutions when faced with a problem. Another one that comes naturally to women, figuring things out along the way, but as an entrepreneur, it is best to not go at it alone. At one of our recent workshops, a panelist said, “if you’re facing a problem, someone else has already solved it,” so find out what that solution may be. Additionally, stress can lead to knee-jerk reactions which may not be the best solution; don’t let the first reaction get in the way of thinking through a problem and finding a solution for it.
Collaboration - Good leaders surround themselves with people who have different perspectives and opinions to complement their views, and so should you as a female entrepreneur. Effective collaboration takes listening skills and a supportive network of people you can tap into. Look to other business owners, family members, community organizations like CFNMD, and local Chambers for people you connect with on a personal level so they can see the great passion you have for your business and want to help you.
Curiosity - a great differentiator. As an entrepreneur, curiosity is probably a big part of your story. It’s also the skill that helps you come up with the right words for a tough conversation at home. Curiosity makes you dig deeper into problems, asks the tough questions, and motivates you to challenge not only the norms but also your own ideas - all leading to better solutions.
Action bias - our own addition to this list. Instead of getting stuck in the problem, find solutions and implement them. Running your own business can be frustrating, but dwelling on the obstacles doesn’t help you succeed. Only taking action will. You can spend time looking back at the problem once it’s been solved.
So, keep flexing these mindset muscles and you will find that you will have the stamina it takes to survive when you need it most. You got this!