Trouble being taking seriously as a female entrepreneur? Prove them wrong!Nowadays it is possible for women to become entrepreneurs (start their own business) without people (openly) judging them. We are allowed to loan money from the bank, register at the Chamber of Commerce and hire staff. But there are still traps and pitfalls in this ‘mens’ world. Once you get out of these traps and pull yourself out of the tumble, you are ready to take your business to the next level.In business there are many types of men you will meet. But two types are most likely to come on to your path more than once. The flirty type is the type who likes a woman in a tight pencil skirt, high heels and a laptop bag. They love the fact that you, a woman, has started an own business and will do anything to make her brand, product or idea happening. They dare to be flirty to you because they know they have something you just might need. Maybe they own a promotion company, or is a writer for a magazine your product would be great to feature in. He wants to help you out, but only if you are willing to help him out with his… thing. Oh you’re married? All the more reason to keep this ‘friendly business arrangement’ a secret.Trap #2: Downgraded looks and whispers The flirty type might not be the solution, but it might give your confidence a (temporarily) boost and/or makes doing business with this person a lot more fun. The second type you are most likely to come across, is the one who will also look at you from top to bottom, but in a downgrading way. Even though we live in the 21st century, some men and even some women have a mindset of a marketeer from the 20th century. The first couple of times somebody gives you downgrading looks, it can make you feel uncomfortable and/or insecure. You might also notice or even hear whispers about you. This can always be hurtful, hearing what others think about you, or your brand. You start overthinking about everything. You might think your brand is not good enough or will come very far. Sometimes a 1000 good compliments can’t win from that one bad whisper. The only thing you can do with whispers is see if it’s true. Think of it as feedback and see how you can turn it around to prove them wrong. They might think you won’t be able to make it, but don’t forget: you are already further then you probably ever dreamed of. Also, you are in the same event, office or meeting as them, which means you have the same privileges they have. Don’t let downgraded looks, get you down. They might look intimidating for you, but the people giving you that look are probably intimidated by you. Work it! Remember, nobody can get to you unless you let them. Trap #3: Genuine or jealousy?Unfortunately jealousy might turn into fights, and even in situations where you can no longer see eye to eye with the other person. But as in any other situation, there are ways to turn this all around. Communication is key, talk to the other person; ask them if something is bothering them. 9 of 10 conversations will turn out in a fight, but don’t see this in a bad way. Throughout anger people will easily say what they feel and think. The things they say might come out harsh and even give you the feeling that you are doing something really wrong in trying to achieve your goals. But don’t let that take you down, try to lift them up with you. Show them what you have seen and what you have learned. Help them grow with you or try to involve them in your work. This way they also feel like they are part of your growth and you can inspire them to aspire their own dreams. So how to deal with all of this? If the flirty, downgraded or jealous person can’t appreciate you coming up for yourself, let them go! There are a dozen other people who do want to help you and create solutions instead of traps. Don’t be afraid to create new friends, and new business contacts. Search your network, socialize and ask your friends if they have a helping hand. Use social media, and dare to ask! See to it that the ones you love are always in a near sight. Even if you are thousands of miles away, call them, text them, facetime if you will. Don’t let all conversations be about you, ask them what they did, how their day was etc. These are the people you love; you should be interested in their lives and their updates. It is also very important to stay true to yourself, the minute you ‘accept’ behaviour you do not feel good about, it can damage your integrity, which will harm your self-confidence. This is one of the most important assets you have on making your business a successful one.
Starting your own business takes guts, or balls if you will. In a biological way of thinking, women don’t have balls, but put it in a matter of speaking we all hear the following quotes about women who want to take risks and follow their dreams, such as: “grow some balls!” But in our opinion, we don’t need to “grow some balls”. The only thing women need to grow is confidence and perseverance.
Trap #1: Flirty with a helping hand
Now there is nothing wrong with a little flirting or being a little more kind, but never forget your boundaries. Always be on the look out and teach yourself to recognize when it does or does not feel safe or comfortable. When you are in a position that you dislike a certain approach make sure you can say ‘no’ to that person. Say it polite and clear, like: ‘I am sorry but I don’t feel comfortable with the way you talk to me, can we keep it professional?’ The signal your giving to this man is more than clear and it’s likely that he will feel embarrassed, (just maybe) apologize and still help you out.
Not everybody is set out to give their dreams a boost like you are. So jealous people are all around, even from corners you don’t expect it. Yes, it could be family, past co-workers, friends and even a spouse… People that love you, will have a hard time seeing you grow. It is hard, because you might go to places, geographically and spiritually, they never been before. You might travel a lot, see the world and visit high-end events, whilst the ‘jealous type’ might stay home. You can also meet (new) people, the ‘jealous type’ only dreamed of meeting. The worst part for the ‘jealous type’ is seeing you change, even if it’s for the better. You are no longer the person they used to know so well. But most of the time, it is about time and attention. Because you are so busy, they feel like you will forget them. When you really think about the ‘jealous type’ it is actually really sweet… They feel the way they feel because the only thing they want is to be with you, have your attention, your time, be your friend or lover. It is quite flattering.
Furthermore, put on your high heels, chest in the air, and confidence on your face and chase your dreams. Don’t let your standards be downgraded in anyway by anyone, you started your business for a reason, and that reason is the only thing you need to keep going.