In a recent post by Lisa Calhoun on Inc. she listed out 30 surprising facts about female entrepreneurs. Reading through this list was affirming, inspiring, surprising and, you guessed it, frustrating. Let me give you some examples:
Affirming: "#3. Women entrepreneurs in the United States rank their happiness at nearly three times that of women who are not entrepreneurs or established business owners."
I can't tell you how many times over the past year-and-a-half I've said to friends and strangers that I'm SO MUCH HAPPIER than I was when I was working at a traditional office job, reporting to managers and bosses who I didn't necessarily agree with all of the time. As a female entrepreneur, I have the ability to make my own schedule, work myself to the bone because I want to, make decisions about goals and trajectory, and determine my own self worth without the structure of "what's expected".
Inspiring: "#14. A net new 340,000 jobs were added by woman-owned businesses between 2007 and 2015. At the same time, men-owned businesses shed 1.2 million jobs, according to a 2015 study by Womenable and American Express."
I can't wait to be a job creator! As with many start-ups today, Bite Size Learning is still in the phase where we contract out most of the work we can't do ourselves. That and automate, automate, automate. The day I can hire my first full-time employee will be a very proud one.
Surprising: "#15. No matter which crowdfunding platform they choose, female founders perform equal to or better than their male counterparts when raising money online."
Ok ladies! Take to crowd-funding! Plum Alley is a site devoted to female founded companies. And, if you're ready to take on PR...my good friend is the best in the business, particularly in the Kickstarter space. Find her at http://www.sabrinadax.com/
Frustrating: "#29. Almost half-of female founders (48 percent) cite a lack of available mentors or advisers as holding them back."
I've felt this first-hand. Whether in a traditional career path or as an entrepreneur, its hard to find women out there who are interested in mentoring. As Sheryl Sandberg mentions in, Lean In, the worst way to go about finding a mentor is to ask. Mentorship should be organic...that said, we need the women in a position to be mentors to step up to the task. Long gone are the days where it's ok to be a Queen Bee. Long gone are the days when it was every woman for herself. It's time to take a look around and actively put yourselves out to mentor those just starting. If not now, when?
So as not to end on a sour note...here's another inspiring fact from her list: "#6. There are just over 9 million women-owned companies in the United States." #awesome.