As clichéd as it sounds, being a woman entrepreneur is certainly not a walk in the park and it does come with its own set of nuances, considering there is still a huge gap and gender disparity in the workplace. However, with that being said, I staunchly believe that there is nothing more exciting than being a woman entrepreneur in today’s times. With a plethora of companies pouring in technical and advisory support for aspiring women in technology, there is certainly no dearth of a pool of available resources. The key is to maximize your potential and make the most of it at every entrepreneurial stage.
It has been a little over two years ever since I started my own venture; Rugs and Beyond which is an Ecommerce platform for home décor, empowering local weavers and craftsmen. I certainly would like to admit that in spite of all the obstacles and challenges I have faced, it surely has been one learning experience, and I wouldn’t have wanted it in any other way. My journey thus far has certainly been a learning curve with the course of progress produced till date. There are a number of lessons I have learnt as a woman entrepreneur which are as under:
1) Never hesitate to Initiate
I always urge other fellow women entrepreneurs to take the first step and initiate matters that are of key importance in business. If you are not going to take the first leap, someone else will. There is absolutely no room for shyness and for people who are always hiding behind, just because they think about how others will perceive them or their ideas. Go that extra mile, its never crowded.
2) Make firm decisions
It does take a lot for a woman to be taken seriously in the workplace. I still recall, when Rugs and Beyond was at a nascent stage, all those naysayers would question my entrepreneurial venture and were of the notion that it would be so hard for me to survive in a male-dominated carpet industry. But I was firm in sticking to my ground and made things happen rather than waiting for things to happen on their own. Hence, its so crucial to make firm decisions and not get swayed by all those people who are constantly trying to drag you down.
3) Learn to say No
It is not humanly possible to please everyone, even more so in the workplace. If you are of the opinion that something is not right or doesn’t add value to your business, simply say no. You are absolutely not accountable to anyone to give further justifications and it’s about time that people should accept a no for a no. Many a times, when a woman refuses for any task for whatever viable reason, a lot of peers raise eyebrows instead of supporting her reasoning. This needs to change and we all should stand in solidarity in such circumstances rather than contradicting the same.
4) Strike a Balance
Of course, it’s not an easy task to strike a balance between professional and personal life, considering the fact that we all are so caught up in the usual rigmarole of life. Being an artist and a writer myself, there are times; I do find it absolutely difficult to allocate my time to various activities. However, the one thing that I follow is The List, which enables me to write down all my pending task and strike off when the same is completed. I must confess that it certainly is a satisfying feeling when you accomplish small victories.
5) Enjoy the Journey
The last and the most important part of being a woman entrepreneur is to enjoy the journey. What’s the point of diving into an ocean of other species, when you are not going to enjoy the swim yourself? Although it is key to have your goals intact, what’s important is to cherish the ongoing ride and not worry about the end destination. Being a woman entrepreneur might not be easy, but nobody ever said that it will not be worth it.
Originally Published on Business World