The (Im)Possible Journey to Success for Female Entrepreneurs
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” Audrey Hepburn
Why does it feel so impossible to become a successful female entrepreneur?
Is it that you don't know the right network of people? Or maybe it's you don't have the money to really set yourself up for success? Oh wait....what about time? It's gotta be because you don't have enough hours in the day to make it successful? Or what about time management? Trying to fit it all in - life, work, being a mom, homework while trying to figure out what to make for dinner?
As a mom myself who runs a thriving coaching business that started while I was working a full time job in corporate America, here is a gentle reality check - it's none of those reasons.
I am going to a get a little factual with you for a minute so bear with me but I feel it's important cover some quick statistics:
In a recent article by USA Today roughly 20% of new businesses survive past their first year of operation. Half of all businesses no longer exist after five years. Only one-third make it past their 10th anniversary.
On the surface that sounds really discouraging, right? What can we as female entrepreneurs do to ensure we don't become part of the "not around in five years" camp? I'll get to that but let's dive into a couple of more facts:
In FitSmallBusiness.com's article "15 Entrepreneurship Statistics You Should Know" we learned 46% of businesses fail due to incompetence, 30% due to lack of managerial experience, 11% due to lack of experience.
To add to it entrepreneurs who succeeded in a prior venture, such as a company that went public, have a 30% chance of success in their next venture. On the other hand, first-time business owners have only an 18% chance of succeeding. Entrepreneurs who previously failed have a 20% chance of success.
But here is the good news for those of us who are humble enough to admit that we don't have to figure it out and stumble our way through it all on our own; there is a way to defy these odds and from feeling like this whole thing is impossible to uncovering new opportunities and turning the impossible into definitely possible - Hiring a coach who specializes in Business Strategies and Planning.
Now before you roll your eyes in denial and bounce off to avoid dealing with this truth head on to lose yourself in pinning recipes that you will probably never even make, let me share with you my personal story.
Here is what having a Business Strategy Coach taught me:
1. You must have a solid business strategy to execute - without a plan the alternative is a painful and costly alternative of making a lot of mistakes.
2. You must have leadership skills even if it's just you running the show - if you can't lead yourself well how can you lead others??
3. An outside-in perspective is critical to ensure you see both sides of the coin and not just want you want to see.
4. Serve your customers greatly by selling outcomes and experiences, not products
Let's cover points #1, 2, and 3 together.
In a recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report (2016), the most critical factor to an entrepreneur's success was determined to be:
- Basic business skills like marketing or computer applications (42%)
- Leadership and management skills and rhetorical abilities (37%)
- Entrepreneurship in practice such as business plans or business simulations (37%)
- Finding creative approaches to problems (31%)
- Entrepreneurial role models (32%)
- Learning from the analysis of entrepreneur success stories (24%)
Makes sense right? So how does a Business Strategy Coach help with this?
Business Strategy Coaching provides leadership skills and keen understanding of business vision and strategy and the importance of their alignment through execution and the desired results (metrics). They co-create a business strategy with you, allowing an outside-in perspective of your business so bigger thinking and new ideas can propagate to form distribution channels, partnerships and affiliates, and spectacular customers experiences putting service at the center of all you do.
A Business Strategy Coach will help you see the possible in the impossible and bring a handful of their own success stories to share shorting your learning curve, a community of confidants for you to connect with, and an arsenal of knowledge to pull from when creativity is required.
Ultimately your success is their success so a great Business Strategy Coach will pride themselves to go the extra mile for you in order to help you write your own success story.
As you probably know from your own experience, 80% of entrepreneurs use their own money to fund their businesses. The remaining 20% may come from family, a bank, business grants or investors. Either way, the money that is going into your business is an investment that needs to be paid back quickly. I know in my situation I was eager to see a return on the money I was putting into my business sooner rather than later.
The best way you can protect your investment in your new business is to hire a Business Strategy Coach who has "been there done that" to guide you through the process, leave no stone unturned, and position you for success so you don't become one of the statistics I referred to at the beginning of this article.
What I have seen in my experience is female entrepreneurs coming hard out of the gate with lots of creative ideas but they have no idea how to break those ideas down into a working plan they can consistently execute to produce results. Many fail because the business plan and strategy, which is the most important piece and foundation, is an afterthought.
Can you easily answer these basic principals of your business:
• Do you know your unique selling position?
• Do you understand the needs of your niche?
• Do you know how to write a business plan?
• Do you know how you will weave your business into your daily life as a woman and mom without losing your sanity?
• Do you know how you will market your services and/or your products?
If not, your creative ideas will die hard and die fast. I would hate to see that happen because I know what it feels like to have a burning desire to help people and design a life on my terms and I definitely want that for you. I love to work with my clients by providing customized packages based on your unique business needs. I do offer a special 7 Day Business Breakthrough Challenge twice a year so depending on when you reach out you might be able to jump aboard to test the waters and provide group coaching through my Aspire To Be community.
Let's dive deeper together so that I can help you take what you see as impossible as doors of unlimited opportunities by creating a solid fail proof plan and strategy for your business!
Kendra Dahlstrom is a mom of two, author, keynote speaker, organizational leadership expert and business strategist coach for driven female entrepreneurs who helps clients transform from ordinary to extraordinary by unearthing their natural-born leadership so they can live to their full potential in life and at work, all while scaling their business and balancing their lives so faith and family can come first. She is also the founder and CEO of Aspire to Be International, a global platform for female entrepreneurs to connect, share, learn and grow.