Yesterday, I attended the 2018 ‘Women in Business’ Expo sponsored by the local joint Chamber of Commerce in my area.
Being a sparsely populated area, the attendance was about 100 woman (include a few brave men) — most who were either business owners or managers of local businesses.
Honestly, it’s been awhile since I’ve attended a community event like this. I usually am just happy to do my thing online and interact with my ‘people’ on social media, but I was glad I went to this workshop.
I’ve been a ‘woman entrepreneur’ for a long time — nearly 20 years and never realized how much changed in those twenty years!
First, Wikipedia’s lists that around 30% of US firms are majority-owned by women. And ” Overall, 40 to 50 percent of all small businesses are owned by women in developing countries.” That is phenomenal!
Back when I started my sales rep business, I ran into a few female sales reps, but a larger majority of them were men. Even now, sales is heavily represented by men (although, a popcorn producer I met in the 1980s tried very hard to talk me into selling for him as, according to him, woman made better sales people!)
At the workshop, I was most impressed with the female Presbyterian minister keynote speaker. Not only did she advocate for women in leadership positions, she talked about the unique perspective that a women can bring to a business setting.
Being a licensed Spiritual Practitioner myself, she caught my attention. What she explained, that I did not consider myself, is women make excellent ministers (despite the male domination in this field) as well as counselors, coaches and mentors because women tend to be natural nurturer and relationship builders! A much needed trait in today’s business world.
So, in honor of all women entrepreneurs (sorry men, bear with me on this), I would like to share the following quote by Amelia Gundersen-Herman from Entrepreneur Magazine:
“[My] most important piece of advice to any woman is don’t think about yourself just as a woman- you are not just a woman, you are a startup entrepreneur. That supersedes any other identity that you have… The minute you put another identity above that it becomes a limitation for yourself: limitation in your own mindset, and in your own perception of your abilities. If [entrepreneurship] is what you want to do, think of yourself first and foremost as an entrepreneur; not as your nationality, not your gender, nothing… Be brave. Go out there. Talk to people. Reach out to people on LinkedIn. Find mentors for yourself. Where I am today is a result of just being really audacious and very stubborn. For my early internships, I was sending companies 20 faxes in a week, and they would get so annoyed that they would contact me and say, ‘Why are you sending us so many faxes?’ I would say, ‘Because I want to do an internship with you guys,’ and they would be like ‘Alright, come over for an interview; we’re so fed up with all these faxes.’ So if you want something – go for it. Don’t be shy. Don’t be embarrassed. You are totally entitled to it.”