Starting a business has been the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. I knew it would be hard. Cognitively you understand that when you set out to build a business. But I don’t think I fully grasped how this business would impact every aspect of my life, from my finances to my marriage to my friendships to my confidence… in such challenging but also such beautiful ways.
It has grown me in ways I don’t think any other situation could. It has brought me close to people I otherwise wouldn’t have met. It has allowed me to make learning my full-time job. It has given me the humbling opportunity to help others reach their goals. It has been a wild ride already, and it has been worth every bit.
Whether you’re developing an app, starting an auto shop or launching a clothing line, there are certain traits I see great founders having. I think these are amplified for female founders. We’ve all seen the stats that women receive 2% of venture funding, and so the creativity and drive it requires to start a successful business as a woman is even more astounding. Here are three of those traits:
I mean this in the best possible way. To even want to start a business means that you were unhappy with the way something in the world existed. You have to be stubborn enough to not be able to get it out of your head that this thing could be better and bold enough to think that you’re the one who can change it. You need to have that relentless drive when everyone else tells you you’re nuts. You need to be so fixated on your idea and your dream that you’re willing to make big sacrifices and take scary risks to see it come to fruition and not give up when things get really tough.
There’s a level of resourcefulness required, particularly for those with little or no funding. You have to find a way to create something from nothing. Quite literally. Whether it’s googling your way into a new skillset, hustling your way into an event or finding a way to piece something together that looks a lot more expensive than it was, you’ve got to get creative and know that there’s always a solution just waiting to be thought of.
Like it or not, as a business owner you are always selling. Even if you’re not selling your product or service yourself, you’re likely selling your vision to investors. You’re selling your company to employees. You’re selling your impact to the media. As a founder, you can try and fight this reality or you can embrace it. You can shamelessly sell what you’re building to everyone you meet. I know you believe it or you wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing, so it’s simply a matter of getting comfortable putting yourself out there and telling the world why it needs to be a part of what you’re building.
I mention this all to you as we prepare to launch a new series on our blog, Founding Females: I Declare My Independence the first week of March. I can’t wait to share the stories of some perfectly stubborn female entrepreneurs. Stay tuned and stay scrappy!
This week’s challenge
This one’s a two part-er!
Channel your inner founder and start something new. It could be a new Employee Resource Group at work or a new tradition for your family to partake in around the dinner table. Think of something you feel could be enhanced or that is missing in your life or work and create it!
Nominate your favorite #foundingfemales for our new blog series! We want to showcase the stories and voices of the brave women who are out there building businesses. Send them to this short interview page to tell their story!
We know you want to learn more. Here are some of our favorite additional resources:
- Get innovative: 5 Ways You Can Become an Intrapreneur
- For those founders thinking about funding, an alternate perspective: Venture Capital Kills Businesses
- Listen to new episodes: Season 3 of the Masters of Scale Podcast is Here
- In case your inbox has been building up: No, You Can’t Ignore Email. It’s Rude.