Today, more than ever, women are tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit and striking out on their own. While we still have a long way to go, there are more supports in place for modern women business owners than there were even 20 or 30 years ago. Go back much further than that, and a female boss was almost unheard of, or she was limited to specific businesses or trades.
Now, women are gaining expertise in many more areas, and it makes sense that, as their expertise grows, so does their sense of independence. The bottom line is that women make excellent entrepreneurs, and women-led businesses are among some of the most successful businesses in the world.
If you want to jump on that train and be a boss, here are some tips to build up steam and get you going.
Call Me Ma’am: How to Boss Up like a Lady
You’re most likely going to feel it as a little spark at first. It might happen on day one of your first job. Maybe even during the interview. Maybe you shake the boss’s hand and hear a voice, your voice, say, “I should have your job.” Woah, wait a minute! Where did that come from?
It came from you, darling. And that voice may speak when you’re 23 or when you’re 63, but whenever you hear it, you should listen. That voice is the entrepreneur within you. It’s the voice that says you’re tired of working for others; you want to work for yourself. You have something to offer the world, something only you can offer. And you want to offer it your way.
It may be a little frightening to hear that voice, at first. We get so many messages, especially as women, of the way things are supposed to go. You’re supposed to climb the ladder, not set the ladder aside and build a ramp to ride a motorcycle, daredevil-style, to the top.
But guess what? You can do it. And if you’re hearing that voice, there’s some teeny tiny part of you that knows you can do it.
You may feel that, in order to be a true boss, you have to do it all on your own. This simply isn’t possible. You’re going to need support along the way. And needing that support doesn’t make you any less of a boss. You’re not weak because you lean on others. Actually, you’re making the smart choice.
By the way, you’re also participating in something that business leaders and bosses have been doing for generations. It hasn’t always been recognized or known, or named. It hasn’t always been talked about. It’s called networking.
Networking is nothing more than meeting and building a support system of people who can fill in your weaker areas. Like caulk. Or people who can advise you. Or people who can introduce you to people who have something you need.
No one goes it alone. Not even CEOs or presidents. Behind every leader is a network, a team, a safety net. Leaders routinely fall back on others to help them bounce back up and over hurdles.
Have you ever noticed that the super successful among us use “we” more often than “I” when talking about their next action or project?
Now, we know you’re going to have some hurdles. It ain’t easy in this world, especially for new business owners. Double especially for women business owners. Take all the push back and and limitations you face in your life as a woman, and carry all that right on over to starting your own business.
But don’t get discouraged. When you find yourself slipping or shrinking back, refer to the previous two steps we’ve listed on how to boss up. Revisit that fire you found to get started. Reach out to your squad. They’ll be there for you, cheering you on. You may find that you’ve come across naysayers, or even brought naysayers into your group.
Let’s be clear. Pluck those naysayer weeds out immediately. Sure, you don’t want to completely surround yourself with people who only tell you “Yes.” (“Hey, maybe we should open a second location for my cupcake bakery in the middle of the rainforest!” No, no you should not.) But you do want to make sure you have encouraging people around you who, if they have to tell you no, are able to come up with an alternative for you that respects your drive and ambition.
Don’t let anyone kick you while you’re down, or take advantage of your tumbles. Keep an attitude of getting back up, and keep people around who will dust you off.
Once you make it to the top – and you will – know that it’s your responsibility to look back behind you, find those women and girls who are looking to follow in your footsteps, and help them out. As an entrepreneur, especially as a female entrepreneur, you may feel that your place is too precarious for you to lean over and try to bring someone up to your spot.
It isn’t. Life isn’t a tree branch. The more people you lift up to your level, the stronger and more sure you all become. Gratitude goes a long way, and as you build your assets, count gratitude just like you count cash. It really matters.
Today’s hopeful future entrepreneur could be tomorrow’s link to your next step. Just when you think someone may be gaining on you or surpassing on you, you may look up and find that they are themselves reaching back and extending a hand. Never be afraid to help others.
Speaking of helping others, PayWow loves to help new business owners. We believe in entrepreneurs, and that includes women entrepreneurs. PayWow is a payroll solution that you can custom-build to suit your business, just as it is. Get your start, then get going with PayWow.
In addition to payroll, we provide time management and tax compliance services. All of these features are included in one product, so you don’t have to pull something together piecemeal. We’ve made it incredibly easy, so that even new entrepreneurs can operate like the big bosses with accountants on staff and full payroll departments.
We crunch the numbers, so you can go out there and crush it.