When I launched my business I did not expect it to be all plain sailing but I did not expect the problems I encountered, lack of confidence, feeling torn between family and business and having to convince family and friends. I learned how to work through those challenges with a bit of girlpower!
This is my story:
It is different for women to set up their own businesses and be successful – not necessarily more difficult but certainly different.
To start with we’re often juggling looking after young children, working full or part-time and then adding starting a small business on top of that. So, often we need completely different support and advice to men who strive to start their own businesses.
When I decided to embark on my journey into business the challenges I might face, other than the normal finance, intellectual property and accounts, didn’t even occur to me. I was following my dream, inspired by my own children, convinced that my puzzle adventures for children were great fun and determined to make a success of it for the family.
It was only once I was several months into running Tall Tales Puzzle Parties, alongside a part-time job and a demanding young family, that it dawned on me I was being swamped and struggling to market my business successfully because of it.
I was lucky. A friend introduced me to a great Facebook page The Girls Mean Business and its daily bitesize marketing tips – all aimed at women in exactly the same position – and that then led me to booking a business coaching session with The Girls Mean Business owner, Claire Mitchell.
Claire’s business is there for women business owners and aims to help them “get unstuck” and it immediately struck a chord with me.
Yes, I was stuck – I needed help finding the best way to build my business that fitted in around my young family.
And having joined The Girls Mean Business Club I know I’m not alone. There are hundreds of women out there, all with fantastic businesses and all of whom need support, understanding and realistic advice on moving their business forward.
Claire said: “Women in business do have different needs, different issues that hold them back and stop them from realising their full potential and the full potential of their business.
“We suffer from what I call “mind monkeys” – those little voices in your head that tell you you’re not good enough, you’ll never make a go of your business, what are people going to think of you. If men get these thoughts I’m sure they just brush them aside and get on with it.
“We also have “helpful” family and friends to contend with, a member of the family or caring friend who says “Why don’t you just give it up” or “When are you going to get a proper job.” It’s meant to be helpful but it’s the kiss of death when you’re having a bad day.”
Claire’s right and just hearing someone say it really lifted a weight off my shoulders almost immediately. Plus with The Girls Mean Business Club on Facebook there’s always someone there to “listen” and either buck me up when I need it or give me advice as to what to try next, sometimes I just need to hear someone else reaffirm what I was planning to do. It’s not easy coming out of an office environment and suddenly working on your own – there’s no one to bounce ideas off but The Girls Mean Business Club gives me that.
Would I be making a success of Tall Tales Puzzle Parties without The Girls Mean Business?
Probably or at least possibly but it would seem like an awful lot more hard work and I bet there would be a few more mistakes along the way!
- Stress reduction for entrepreneurs and SMEs (thestartupmag.com)
- How To Get Paid (thestartupmag.com)
- Why start-ups should strive to turn innovation into investment (thestartupmag.com)