Entering into entrepreneurship isn’t easy. And for us ( mothers, daughters, aunties, and well…all women) it may come with thick layers of complication.
We experience the lack of support, opposition (shade from other females), sexism (or are sexually objectified by male counterparts), pressures from family (to marry or have children as soon as possible) and quite frankly are sometimes underestimated.
Like it or not, as a woman in business you’ve must deal with these layers of complexities. How you deal with them —wearing them like a fur coat (HEY! look at me now) or shredding them (I guess that works, but may leave quite a mess to pick up after).
BUT who are we to judge. Whenever way you choose to deal with the struggles of being a woman entrepreneur we simply want to provide three tips to help you endure and overcome obstacles.
Because a lot of the times when the pressure mounts, it’s easy to want to give up .” Nobody wants that (well not I). In order to avoid any falls in your startup journey, follow these guidelines:
Collaborate (strategically and with wisdom)
Each time I’ve seen it, I’ve wanted to cringe. Mainly because it oversimplifies a very sensitive issue; reviewing and securing partnerships.
Collaborations are engagements, which may lead to long term marriage (partnerships) in business.
Let me put it this way. If you were engaged to an awesome man, and you knew another woman wanted that same man, would you work together in pursuit of that man? I’m just saying. Work smart, and collaborate with wisdom. Understanding your competitor’s needs will be exceptionally important in your pursuit of any partnership. Understand the difference between direct competitors and indirect competitors. Direct competitors are people that want or desire the same exact thing you have (either they want to dominate your market, take your market share, etc). Many of us are indirect competitors to one another. In other words, we all want money from consumers (and fight for their wallets), and perhaps want to dominate their attention (mind real estate)…however not for the same reasons, products, or services.
Overall, there is room for all, but not at the expense of totally losing your space. Stand your ground, understand your value and exchange it for equal or more.
Do not, repeat, do not stay in a room filled with people where you are not welcomed. Listen, you have too much to offer, and quite frankly are too blessed to be stressed. Be attracted to people who see your potential (even if you’re not currently maximizing it). So, as it pertains to the “you can’t sit with my crew” or the “mean girl or boy crew,” to heaven (resisting the spirit of petty) with them. If you’ve attempted a few times (and even offered your genuine hand to them), move on. To be honest, most of the time people’s resistance to you is not about you, but about where they are in life. Distance yourself, however, if you ever come across them, allow them to be a different person (don’t hold people to their yesterday). Nevertheless, proceed with wisdom and love. Value your space and the heart that you have so it doesn’t get tainted with bitterness, anger, or betrayal.
Be About Your Money $$$$
Beyonce said it best. “Always stay gracious, the best revenge is your paper.” And she couldn’t be closer to the high-heaven truth (YAS GAWD). Getting in financial “Formation” is necessary. The number one best way to get above the petty clouds is by laying on a stack of notes!!! When you’re busy making a profit (not just revenue), you’ll spend more time enjoying the fruits of your labor, looking to bless others, and as important finding new ways for your money to work for you.
However, if you choose to focus on the pain, bitterness and all other factors related to the experiences… well, you’ll immediately draw your eyes away from your goal; darting left and right at every nonsense around you and simply be broke. Worse, you’ll be mad and broke. At least if you’re going to be upset about the way you’re being treated, at least do so with finances covered. Just saying.
Hey there! I’m Sade Disu and founded an award-winning 15-year-old digital media and marketing agency And Brand Culture where I provide culture-focused advisory, storytelling, and content solutions for Executives and startup founders looking to increase engagement with multi-cultural audiences and media platforms organically.
My content strategies and proprietary live event platforms (like AfricaFashionWeek.com) are deemed unmatched for their convening power of global content, culture, and empowerment according to Forbes, LA Times, Essence, and Black Enterprise. And even more, was given a proclamation, by former Mayor of New York (now Presidential candidate) Michael Bloomberg in 2010.
Africa Fashion Week results increased brand awareness 8.5 million views; $300+ K in revenue generated per event, and 6 K+ newsletter subscribers per event. Media giants such as Hearst Magazines caught wind of my work and influence — the ability to connect to and with consumers through cultural content and experiential solutions. HEARST immediately hired my consultancy to advise, produce content, and launch its international spin-off of COSMOPOLITAN Nigeria.
My press-ordained and award-winning event platforms and digital content work have been leveraged by Shea Moisture, Kimora Lee Simons, Iman Cosmetics, Pikolinos, Zara, Roommate Hotels, and USAID. ( 4-page press feature in Black Enterprise and 2-page press feature in Forbes French Edition.)
Clients have used my four-tier prong approach “culture + content” = “community + commerce” when looking to connect with audiences with nuisance cultures and attitudes.