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Female Entrepreneurs: The Key to Success

From flexible schedules to higher earning potential women entrepreneurs …

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Now that we’ve just celebrated Mother’s Day, it’s a good time to reflect on just how much time and effort so many women around the globe sacrifice for their families — often at the detriment of their own financial futures. That’s why, in last week’s post, I suggested giving your mom the best Mother’s Day gift any child could give a parent: a financial education.

Now, I know most moms pride themselves on being selfless, always putting others first. But guess what? It’s time to think about yourself for a change.

Busting the success myths of motherhood

For women, who often take on the lion’s share of the child-rearing duties — from packing lunches and helping with homework to bath time and after-school activities — it’s incredibly challenging to also work full-time.

Traditionally, the mantra for successful working parents, especially for mothers, is to find the “perfect work-life balance.” Moms face tremendous pressure to always be on, for both employers and family, in ways that dads often aren’t expected to be. This creates a false definition of success that is nearly impossible for any woman to ace. It also sets up expectations for a work-life balance that are unrealistic and unattainable.

Darla Beggs, the chair of the National Association of Women Business Owners, shares a different point of view with Forbes in an article called “Fulfillment, Not Family: Why Women Business Owners Really Start Up, And What's Still In Their Way

“There’s no such thing as perfect work-life balance,” Beggs shares. “I think some women business owners feel frustrated by this conversation because they feel trapped into chasing someone else’s view of success.”

How female entrepreneurs define success

The Forbes article goes on to share what women entrepreneurs define as success. Among those surveyed, the following factors were defined as success:

  • Ability to do something you’re passionate about (92%)

  • The ability to be your own boss (89%)

  • Potential for higher earning power (77%)

  • Having flexibility to care for your family (65%)

  • Opportunity to create a legacy for your children, something to pass down (42%)

Not only are these women enjoying chasing their dreams and loving the fact that they have increased earning potential, but it’s also clear that one of the most enticing parts of being a female entrepreneur is the ability to create a flexible schedule — one that allows them to be the mom they want to be while doing the work they want to do.

Female founders are also making waves in employment opportunities. The annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimates America's total number of businesses headed by women climbed 21% between 2014 and 2019 to nearly 13 million establishments. Overall business growth clocked in at just 9% during the same period.

Women entrepreneurs provide livelihoods not just for their families but also for millions of other families in this country and around the world. They work hard, give all of themselves, and sacrifice much to do this. And if you think about it, that’s quite a motherly thing to do.

In the process, they are not only the backbone of society, but they’re also quickly becoming the backbone of our economy too.

Female entrepreneurship leading the way to financial freedom

So, moms, have you ever stopped to think about what your financial goals are? Maybe you’ve only thought as far out as, “not living paycheck to paycheck,” or “getting out of debt.” But there’s a lot more to achieving financial freedom than those goals.

If you don’t have any goals for financial freedom, ask yourself what you really want to accomplish in life, and then start making your dreams a reality. And there’s no reason to dream small. As our friend President Donald Trump says, “I like thinking big. If you're going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.”

One reason so many people avoid thinking about their goals is the fear of not achieving them. Well, don’t let fear get in your way — believe it or not, there’s actually an upside to fear. Plus, surrounding yourself with supportive people and increasing your financial education every day will go a long way toward reducing those fears.

And for those of you who have already started investing in real estate, businesses or commodities, congratulations — now it’s time to dream bigger and turn good deals into great deals.

How do you do that?

Finding the upsides when investing

Well, instead of just looking at the cash flow on a potential investment, start looking at the upside — in other words, what you can do to increase the value of an asset.

For example, you may be able to add coin-operated washers and dryers or covered parking to your apartment buildings for additional revenue opportunities. Perhaps, you learn about a new, medical breakthrough and can invest in a business that has expertise in this new technology? Finding solid investments that provide cash flow is good, but when you find investment opportunities that increase value with outstanding upsides, that’s exciting!

How do you find upsides?

Being successful in anything in life is all about solving problems, knowing what your customers want and delivering it.

Think about it: Steve Jobs gave us the personal computer. Henry Ford made it possible for the masses to have their own automobiles. Sara Blakely gave us Spanks® body wear. Anita Roddick gave us natural skin-care products through the Body Shop ... and the list go on and on. The same goes with finding investments with upsides.

The bottom line for turning a good deal into a great deal is that winners solve problems. So, think about a problem that needs to be solved.

For example, do your tenants want a washer and dryer in their apartment unit instead of having to carry their dirty clothes to an offsite or shared laundry facility? If so, look at the costs involved and how much you can increase the rent by adding the machines or hook-ups to each unit.

If the Net Operating Income (the gross income minus expenses) increases with this change, then you increase the value of the property. This means that you are not only giving your tenants what they want and helping to solve their problems, but you are also increasing your cash flow in the process!

Instead of stressing out about solving problems or purchasing a specific investment, be creative. Start thinking “outside the box” and get to know what your customers want so you can help make their lives easier. It can actually be an enjoyable process because you get to think of crazy solutions. And if none of them work, then you don’t have to purchase the investment. However, if your idea works, you may end up with a great upside, a more valuable investment and additional cash flow.

Stop worrying and start increasing your cash flow through female entrepreneurship

With so much going on in our busy lives, it can be easy to put our dreams aside to make sure we fulfill our responsibilities to family members, friends, partners, bosses, and more — and this is especially true of moms. But in order to achieve financial freedom, it’s essential to have a goal, get the financial education necessary to make that dream a reality, and then take action on what you learn to make it happen.

And once you start pursuing your goals, don’t forget to think big. Instead of fearing problems, get the support you need to be successful. Have fun and be creative. Then, you will be more likely to find solutions that will help your customers and turn your good deals into great deals.

In the wake of another Mother’s Day weekend, I want to salute the moms who make our world go ‘round. Thank you for all that you do.

Original publish date: May 16, 2013

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