This ain’t prejudice. Take any country and the story is same everywhere.
Having your own built startup is a dream plan for the Gen-X today. Man or woman doesn’t really matter…till the idea of having a startup is born. But when the idea starts taking shape, then it does matter.
I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough. – Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!
Agreed, both men and women are exposed to the same sources of information. But, still, there are so fewer numbers on the women’s side.
But the number is growing, and that’s what’s giving me a hope for so many beautiful ideas to see the light of the day in perfect shape.
What are the essential resources without which a startup can’t be successful, regardless of it being started by a man or a woman?
A great idea, nice and informative website, enough funds, good books, good people around, more than ‘overnight’s’ time, caffeinated energy and of course, a laptop with a great internet…
Hey, all women entrepreneurs, make some noise!
If you’re a woman reading this piece, it probably means that either the idea of having your own startup business is hovering over your mind and you’re looking for all favorable conditions; or, you’ve already just started up but want to be prepared for all kinds of hurdles that you might have to jump over.
In either case, just know this fact about starting a business as a woman, that-
It’s a road full of pebbles, and you’ve to walk this road wearing 5-inch heels. If you’re ready, let’s go!
But, wait, among the pebbles are some big rocks!
Here are some of the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs –
1. Lack of financial resources
Our society operates that way. Women are majorly not possessing any property in their names.
People think that it is very easy for a woman to leave her business or entrepreneurial work at any stage. That’s why they lack trust. I don’t know where this came from, but this idea strongly exists in the minds of people.
Try asking for a little money from your friends and relatives, mentioning that you want to invest in your new business. They’ll tell you what exactly the society expects from a woman in this field.
Investors are also reluctant. Why are we facing all this stupidity? Just because we are the ‘other’ gender in this male dominated world?
With the problem so strong, still, we have a lot of women who are raising their hands now in the corporate meetings and putting forward their opinions. A lot of women are being seen leading the groups of talented people in various startups.
2. Unacceptable societal rules
A woman should sit at home and cook because her husband goes out for work. This is such a widely ‘accepted’ lamest of the reasons for a woman to not earn on her own.
Even in the corporate setup, a startup event or a startup workshop, we see all the founders be males and yes, some women are present, but they are definitely not in any leading roles, except a few. Most of them are just brought along with the team to show off that they have this one lady with them.
It looks fake. And, it’s make-out-able!
The ultimate goal for every girl should be to get married first, and they say, “Just get married, and then do ‘whatever’ you want.” This is so so so ironical. Pushing in a trap where you’re bound by so many responsibilities, and then asking you to do ‘whatever’ you want. I know some of you might say, “No-no, my family allowed me to do everything. You’re talking trash.”Then, you’re just lucky, girl!
Then, you’re just lucky, girl!
3. The negative self-talk
When you walk around observing people working with you, and you’re leading the company, you should feel confident and hell positive. You have people taking orders from you, seeking your advice, looking up to you for support, and obviously expecting a paycheck at the end of the month.
But, why are you scared when you’re actually there? If not scared, there’s a conversation going on in your head with yourself that is taking you to believe that all this is happening out of fear of unemployment. Nobody respects you, nobody cares about you.
You feel that people are not willing to listen to your words, especially men, as they are not used to ‘this’ kind of atmosphere in a corporate setting. Women are no less. Even they are not used to take orders from another woman, so you feel that even women are doing their jobs unwillingly. You are shattered every day and killing yourself from inside for having owned that position.
But, hey, lady, ultimately you OWN it. It’s time you should own it completely.
You’re in that position because you made your way up till there. It’s your turn to understand that people will take the time to accept you, a woman, as their leader.
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4. Competing with ‘everyone’
It’s a male dominated world already, women are entering from the corners. You have to compete with everyone now.
Start with yourself. You have to first win over yourself to feel comfortable doing what you’re doing. It’s because at least you have to accept yourself and then push yourself to fight with others in the competition.
This is a fierce competition where the only person on your side is you. The other side has all the men, all the money, all the freakin’ societal norms that ultimately you’ve to follow, expectations from your parents and friends and yourself, responsibilities that you ought to follow – do or die kinda situation, and what not.
So, you’ve got a huge competition to win with your little feet. By the way, nobody trusts you for now, but they’ll do once you make it through.
5. Take the family along
You have to balance your family life along with this newfound entrepreneurial life. If you’re not married yet, you probably will in near future. And, then, you’ll be a wife, daughter-in-law, mother and so on. You’ll have to provide for your family. Your time, love, care and efforts will be needed in the family.
Please argue that even men have some important roles to play after marriage. Why don’t men think about so many things?
Thanks for putting straight this argument.
Men don’t worry about these things because that’s how our society has accepted them in the system. The man will earn the bread anyhow, and the lady will take care of the household.
You’re a modern woman and that’s why you were able to think in that direction. You might even put forward the proposal to reverse the roles of men and women. It’s possible. People are doing it in so many countries now.
So, the point is, which is not completely wrong, whether you’re a school teacher or a philanthropist, or an entrepreneur, and if you’re a woman above anything, you have to divide your time such that your family gets all the care, attention and love they need. Remember, there’s no extra hour for you even if you do extra work anywhere. It’s your so-called responsibility to mop the floor and take care of the family. The man will go out and do something to earn.
You can’t join him, you can’t compete with him and you can’t ask him to stay at home (don’t!).
6. Not ready to take risks
There’s so much to lose, that women fear a lot.
Women entrepreneurs have to forcefully look strong and decisive to give an impression of independence. This is a pride which they possess to show people that they are bankable and trustworthy.
The number of such women is so low that other women who want to be like them are not able to leave things aside and take the risks that those women have taken. There’s a safer and easier path they’ve been shown and asked to follow. They’re told that success lies if they follow what they’re told.
Silly girl didn’t realize that without risks who has achieved anything ever, nobody, both women, and men. Men also take risks and they do it beautifully, takings failures as a chance to do something more. Why not you women get some inspiration from the counterparts?!
Women who did, are doing great and are still taking more risks every day. Their family and surroundings start understanding and get along very well with them.
Your fear says that it will never happen with you. If you really believe it will never happen, then trust me, it will never happen. Start taking risks, humbly knowing what will be the consequences of failures, and what will be your next step. Now is the right time to look out to those women who have taken risks, are facing defeats, standing up again and again, because that’s where you’ll get your energy from.
Some last lines…
Now, lack of education is something I won’t mention as a challenge faced by women today. It used to be one, but now almost everybody gets the similar education with equal access to the internet. The only issue remains with this is those families who are still not open to the idea of education for the women and girls of their families.
So, lady, now you know what is and will be happening if you’re an awakened soul and want to shoot stars on your own. The best way to escape all this is to cheat. Yes, cheat. Be diplomatic, but don’t you ever say a ‘yes’ when your heart shouts a ‘no’.
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