The first step in starting a business has two components: doing something and then saying, "I'm doing this." Many female entrepreneurs struggle with the second part. I know I did.
One of the hardest things about starting a business is overcoming your doubts and believing your dream can eventually become a reality. For a number of reasons, taking those crucial first steps can be especially hard for female founders.
The first step in starting a business has two components: Doing something to get the ball rolling, and then saying, “I'm doing this.” Many female entrepreneurs struggle with the second part. I know I did. Here are a few ways to get unstuck.
Push yourself to "brag"
Making a declaration about what you’re doing is just as important as what you’re actually doing to start your business. It cements your commitment and starts the networking process of attracting like-minded people and organizations.
When I was starting The Dyrt, I found this step really difficult and constantly felt like an imposter. In 2013, I didn’t see a lot of other female entrepreneurs, and I constantly felt intimidated. I would now tell my 2013 self that most founders of all genders feel this way, even if the male entrepreneurs we encounter aren’t articulating this feeling and seem to have all the confidence in the world.
I remember feeling very disinclined to stand up and declare. It seemed like we should wait until we had a rock-solid accomplishment to say anything about it. But it’s almost impossible to get momentum for a new business while keeping it a secret.
The solution here for female founders is often just having awareness of this dynamic. Recognize that making a declaration may be uncomfortable and push through it. There’s no need to brag or exaggerate, though it will feel like you are. Just say what you’ve done and what you’re doing.
You also don’t have to speak at a conference or post on every social-media account you have. Sharing your visions in one-on-one conversations is often just as powerful or more so than declaring on a large stage. Clarity matters more than reach at this stage.
Be matter of fact about the potential you see for your business and the actions you’ve taken so far. Don’t undercut your declaration with self-deprecation. This is easier said than done and something I am constantly striving to get better at. You can acknowledge that it won’t be easy or that you’re just starting out, but own where you’re going and the steps you’ve taken.
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