With a Little Help from a Coach

Nine Qualities Every Woman Entrepreneur Needs to Succeed in Business

Barbara Schwarck, PCC, MPIA

"If you are a woman who has goals to be an entrepreneur and to take this life walk on the path to success, this may well be your breakthrough book. Unfolding on these pages is a 10-day guide to uncovering an awareness of what you really want and what types of self-imposed roadblocks you have allowed to derail your journey. This book will change patterns"
--Suzanne Caplan, author of Streetwise Finance and Account

So, you want to be an entrepreneur! Be your own boss, set you own hours, make money for yourself, lead others and be completely independent. Sound good? Now more than ever before, women are starting their own businesses. Not only do women spend more than 50% of the GDP, but women-owned businesses have grown at two times the rate of all businesses, bringing the number of women-owned firms to over 10 million. With new franchises and home-based business popping up daily, there is no reason not to make the dream of having your own business a reality.

Each year, more and more women decide to become entrepreneurs. Women tend to start businesses an average of about ten years later in life than men (perhaps due to motherhood, lack of management experience, traditional socialization, layoffs or traumatic events). However, a new talent pool of women entrepreneurs is forming today, as more women opt to leave corporate America to chart their own destinies. The Center for Women Business Research reports that 10.1 million firms are owned by women, employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales as of 2008. At the same time, only one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned, and only 3% of all women-owned firms have revenues of $1 million or more (compared to 6% of men-owned firms). Furthermore, according to Dr. Peggy Marshal, women are making up 60% of all new businesses started today.

In 1999, I started Clear Intentions, an international people development company, on a part-time basis, while I worked full-time as a fundraiser for a foundation. My job at the foundation did not bring me great joy, and it came as no great detriment when I was laid off. However, the thought of being a full-time entrepreneur, essentially on my own without health insurance, a company sponsored 401k and other benefits, did seem scary.

It is now 10 years later and I have learned much about entrepreneurship. I am grateful to have taken the step to go out on my own. I?ve made a lot of mistakes, but I am still in love with being an entrepreneur and I certainly enjoy the ride. Part of being a successful business coach is assisting people about how to avoid pitfalls. In ten years as a business coach, I have come to learn that success is partially determined by the qualities a leader possesses. Who you are being determines want you want and what you do.

Are you ready? Do you know what kind of business you would like to start? Have you thought about what it will take to start and run your own business? Before you go any further, I invite you to take a look at what entrepreneurship is all about and what might be required for you to be a successful entrepreneur. For many, the initial dream of wealth and independence turns out to be a mixed bag. Every day presents new and unexpected challenges and tasks to accomplish. This can be a stressful, frightening and upsetting experience! Whether you plan to fly solo or lead a 500 million dollar company, here are nine qualities every women entrepreneur needs to develop in order to be successful.
  1. Decide what kind of a leader you want to be. Being determines what you are going to do and what you are going to have. Beingness will provide the internal fuel to carry out the external mission.
  2. Clarify your intention.Most businesses fail because they lack clarity. You need to know what you want, and why you want it.
  3. Be a servant leader. Be a leader who serves others. We live in a cycle of abundance. When we give, we will receive. We may not know from where the contributions will come, but this may not be necessary if we stay open to surprises.
  4. Communicate effectively. Learn how to effectively communicate your idea to a variety of audiences. People do not want to be bored, they want to be inspired, moved and touched.
  5. Be tenacious. You will need to work hard and go the extra mile, especially in the early years. Hard and smart work will pay off in the end.
  6. Have thorough knowledge. Know your product, know your market and find the matches. Be honest with yourself and admit your mistakes. It never pays to sell an unfinished or flawed product. In today?s competitive market, customers will switch suppliers in a heartbeat.
  7. Create balance. Every entrepreneur needs to have rest and play. After all, we are here to have some fun. Life is not all about work, but about enjoying the simple things. Workaholics burn out fast and miss the point.
  8. Be enthusiastic. People respond to excitement and positivity. You will attract what and whom you need when your outlook is rooted in authenticity and enthusiasm.
  9. Be bold. Most entrepreneurs don?t have the resources to be overly careful. Take calculated risks. If something does not work, you?ll learn from it and live to talk about it. Great entrepreneurs experience bankruptcy or failure at least once.
Take a look at the list again. If it resonates with you, perhaps you are ready to start your own business. If not, you may want to ask yourself what you can do to acquire those attributes or strengthen them. Just make sure you?re willing to go all the way. If you?re not willing to work hard, at least in the early years, being an entrepreneur is not for you.

As women, we are naturally qualified to be entrepreneurs. We have done it for thousands of years throughout history. Not only do we know how to juggle many different balls, but we also know how to keep everybody happy, and we do it all with grace and ease. So why aren?t women entrepreneurs as successful as men? Perhaps we don?t take the time to figure out what we want, spend too much time doubting ourselves, being confused, or being too nice, and giving things away, until we lose focus.

Barbara Schwarck, PCC, MPIA is the co-author of From Intuition to Entrepreneurship: A Woman?s Guide to Following Her Dream. Blending Eastern and Western traditions, this step-by-step workbook supports women in starting their own business. Within ten days, readers will find themselves well down the path to identifying a vision, ensure her energetic/emotional alignment with that vision, and then structure her environment to bring that vision into reality.

Barbara is also the president of Clear Intentions, Inc., an international people development company. We lead and launch people and organizations to manifest their goals, dreams and visions through, coaching, NET®, assessments, training and keynote speaking. To create immediate and lasting success in all areas of life, we use a technology called NET®, which aligns your body and mind with your goals. For more info on both, go to www.clearintentions.net