I recently did a survey in the Women’s Inspire Network Facebook group which has over 4,000 members, asking them what were their biggest challenges as a Female Entrepreneur. For me as a Woman I find it difficult to be taken seriously. Sometimes I wonder should I become more strict or tough but I don’t want to change how I am. I wondered were others feeling the same. Here are the results:
1.Time management and being disciplined with your time. Ensuring that you’re as productive as you can. If you’re a working mum not feeling guilty. Schedule in ‘me’ time – Lilach Bullock
2. The emotional roller coaster! Guilt for leaving your children, jealousy that your partner doesn’t juggle the same workload because dads don’t get the phone calls from the childminder and women are still (for the most part), the homemaker, joy and pride that you’re doing something for yourself – Karen Mc Evoy Beauty Bright
3.Expensive childcare costs & no tax breaks on it. Free years only apply to pre schoolers, they grow out of that stage fast. Full time healthcare tutor & all in between - Alison Metclafe
4. Being taken seriously….When someone looks you straight in the eye and asks to “speak to the boss” – Pat Murphy SmartHeat.ie
5. Being made feel guilty / crazy for having big ambitions & dreams… “Oh really that’s what you’re going to try & do.. and with 3 children? Hmmm, good luck”
6. Sometimes it’s a curse that we are such good multitaskers as we can push ourselves beyond the limits, by working to the point of collapse – Betty Kehoe Aisling Design
7. Confidence that you are doing the right thing and that you have all the boxes ticked and won’t look like an eejit if something goes wrong which leads to the second issue which is fear of failure which I think us women reflect on much more than our male counterparts? Also I feel that when you are the MD or owner of your business everyone in your business thinks you have all the answers and you know how to solve all the problems and well ….I don’t! This is why I need a really strong network of other business owners around me that I can call on whilst I say ” let me think about that and I will be back to you tomorrow” ….. This then leads to the next challenge which is building a network you can trust – Oonagh O Hagan CEO, Meaghers Pharmacy
8. Me Time. Like others managing work, long hours, family life (guilt). Fulfilling work ambitions. Finding time for just ME. I Always say I have a very demanding boss. Me! – Pauline Geraghty PassRight Drving School
9. Finding time for me, forgetting the importance of prioritising my needs, because as many others have said, still we manage and juggle so much. We have to learn to take care of us first! – Roisin Prizeman BusinessBuddy.ie
10. People thinking that what I do is a hobby – Carol Faughnan (web designer)
Other comments were: ‘My biggest challenge as a designer is that sometimes when you send a client a proof of either first design draft or a concept idea for a new business product, that at times they forget that business evolves around time and money and just because their own lives have got busy they simply don’t bother to get back to me for over a month or two which is really unfair as you had put in all of your own time to begin with. This results in the design project simply evaporating into thin air. A waste of time for both parties.’ – Lisa Marie Flanagan Bebrandbrave.com
‘Being in the Handmade sector, I find my biggest struggle is to be taken seriously as a business woman. People often make the assumption I’m a SAHM or Housewife looking to make pocket money. I don’t feel my male counterparts suffer these struggles.’ – Alia Moloney Terramor
So as you can see, most of us suffer from Guilt, lack of confidence, lack of time for ourselves and being taken seriously. I would be interested to see what your comments are. Do men face the same challenges?
If you would like to hear speakers talking about how they overcame these obstacles or learn time management skills and confidence building amongst others, the Women’s inspire network has a National event coming up on October 5th which will cover all of these challenges. There will also be workshops and networking opportunities too. With Lilach Bullock coming over from the UK and Anna Scheller sales queen coming from the US it promises to be an amazing event with great value and tools to implement immediately afterwards.
Book your tickets here.