Coaching female CEOs and entrepreneurs is what lights me on fire. I relate to the struggle women often face in working hard to prove themselves in male-dominated spaces, and the fear that comes with starting their own business ventures. The truth is, there is no one more efficient with their time than a mom who’s running a household and a business — these are the women who inspire me every day.
But at the end of the day, we’re human, and fear often holds us back from making big moves. I see it all the time: A female entrepreneur will have a great idea with amazing potential but is scared of failure, of not having enough time to be a successful wife, mom and entrepreneur, and of what other people will think. Fear is truly the biggest thing that holds people back from accomplishing their goals.
These are the top three fears I see in female entrepreneurs and my advice for how to conquer them:
- Self-doubt. We’ve all been there: you have a great idea and are excited to tell someone about it, but their reaction isn’t what you expected. They might bring up all of the things that could potentially go wrong and deflate your confidence. You tell yourself, ‘Maybe they’re right — can I really do this? Is this really a good idea?’ My advice? Go with your gut! I remember a business coach once told me that starting a niche website for moms was a bad idea, but my intuition said differently, and I had a feeling it would succeed. As a mom, I wanted to connect with other moms online. I knew advertisers would want to sell to the prime audience of women aged 25 to 54. I ignored their negativity and went with my gut, using their doubt to fuel me. On many late nights, however, that voice would creep back into my mind. Was he right after all? Was I wasting my time and energy? But I didn’t give into the self-doubt — I was on a mission and wasn’t going to let anyone stop me from doing it my way!
- Time. Many women are afraid they don’t have enough time to succeed. Balancing kids, family, your home, your business, friends and other commitments can make it seem like you have no spare time to pursue anything else. Women tend to feel afraid to commit to a business because they’re afraid other areas of their life will suffer. But the truth is, we all have time for what’s important to us! Is starting a business important to you? Will it give you more financial freedom? Will it help your family? What will your life look like if you didn’t have to worry about money and you could hire people to help you do the busy work at home and in your business? With the extra time, could you be a better wife, mom or friend? What would it do for your business if you only did what you were great at and delegated all of the other tasks? You have to identify your why — why you want to start your business — and remind yourself of it every day. Then, you’ll need to adjust your schedule and only do the things that are most important to you!
- Ego. As women, we have a tendency to feel like we have to please everyone. It’s important, however, that you stop spending your time trying to appease or impress others. You’ll waste time, money and energy trying to get people whose opinions aren’t important to say you’re great. As far as social media goes, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of endless scrolling or stressing over likes and comments. I run an online digital agency, so social media is how we make money. I’ve been in the social media trap before, and it’s just not worth it. People often ask if I saw this or that on social media, and most of the time, my answer to them is ‘No.’ Sure, I post and put content out, but I try to not spend my time scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. I have million dollar goals I’m trying to reach, and spending my time browsing social media isn’t going to help me get there. I have clients who spend hours stressing over which picture they should post on their social media, but in my opinion, it’s not worth the energy spent stressing over something just to see if it will get likes. Put your ego to the side, post what you want to post, and people will respond to it. It’s hard not to care what people think of you, especially on social media, but you have to remind yourself that it’s not the most important thing and that you have bigger goals to reach.
Is fear holding you back? Is it getting in the way of you pitching to a big client, or going after a major investor?
Fear is a story we make up in our heads. Try telling yourself a new story — one that shows you as a confident, successful entrepreneur living her best life.