Entrepreneurs are imaginative business creators and builders who are also good at enlisting others to their cause. To date, the majority has been male but more and more females are taking on new business startup ventures and succeeding.
In my experience, female entrepreneurs are not better or worse than males. They are different. It is the gender differences that translate into different approaches to the conduct of business.
For example, walk into a female’s office and the décor is a little softer and a little more welcoming. The space is a more organised and there is often evidence of a balanced life outside work.
In my experience, females are good listeners – the best listeners. They tend to listen first and talk later, after they understand what’s important to others.
Women can be very shy but once engaged in a conversation, they are much more social and vocal. Women network really well, particularly with other women. It seems to make no difference whether it is play group or a business breakfast; women are capable of networking with each other many times faster than males.
In general I have always found a higher level of empathy among females. It seems to go hand in hand with their willingness to engage and listen. For mine, they are much better at putting themselves in another’s shoes, taking a genuine interest and taking the time to understand.
Women really get it! They know business is about socializing. They know it’s about listening, really listening; starting conversations, interacting, bringing people together and collaborating with each other.
There is a lot of ‘businessey’ stuff that many women don’t know. Many men don’t know it either but women are more likely to ask for advice. I find that they also heed good advice much better than males.
Women are smart enough to realise that they need help in certain areas and not afraid to ask. They are also less likely to allow ego to get in the way.
I have found women to be very diligent with planning as well. It is part of their need to be organised and knowing what is happening day to day.
One of Anita Roddick’s most famous quotes was, “Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” It seems to me that women are a lot more practical in their approach and have a lot less ego driving their business decisions.
Women don’t always have the opportunity to spend 14 hours a day in the office because they have other priorities to balance in their lives. In many cases, there are young children to consider, school hours to juggle, a home to manage and a partner to spend time with.
Opinion is divided on the value of a female’s ability to multi-task. It is said that trying to do too many different things at once detracts from the singular focus needed to succeed.
However, I believe that females have an advantage with their ability to multi-task. The reality of daily business is distraction. It is rare that you get to do exactly what you want in the day with out distraction.
For me, women create a nicer style of business. It is welcoming, collaborative, empathetic, and fair minded. I find a lot more win-win activity and a lot less ego-drive win-lose competition.
There are a lot of guys out there who could learn some valuable business startup lessons from our entrepreneurial girls.
Until next time!
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