We have recently begun advertising our fourth coworking space (check it out here now!), and desks are beginning to fill up. Amidst the excitement of our new space becoming an active hub, I was initially unaware of just how strong the male presence was in comparison to females. And it got me wondering: where are all the ladies at?
According to recent ABS studies, women make up 34% of small business owners in Australia, which represents a 46% increase in the past two decades. In other words, ladies – we’re getting somewhere. This is great news and it is worth celebrating! YAY!
But what more could we be doing to increase this number? What is preventing women from taking a leap and manifesting the idea we’ve had brewing for months and months? In our years of working with small business owners, we at MIC have observed that often women are victims to society’s misbeliefs. These misbeliefs are repeated to us, over and over, until we start to believe them, begin telling them to ourselves, and worst of all: we let them prevent us from taking action.
1. You’re way too busy to make it work
This first misbelief is particularly targeted at full-time mums who are chasing around small toddlers or teenage kids. If you’re getting a bit restless at home with only your offspring to keep you company, then don’t be disheartened. Research shows that “mumpreneurs” are in fact more effective with their time then most full-time employees. No one nails time management like a mother! If you have a passion, it is possible to commercialise it. Don’t get us wrong, it’s going to be a challenge and you can’t be scared of hard work – but, trust us, it will be rewarding.
2. People don’t take mumpreneurs seriously
Unfortunately, this has a small amount of truth to it. Some people, and sadly it can be our friends and family, think that these ventures are created to keep us busy and make us feel useful, with no financial benefits. This is your chance to prove them wrong. Show them that they shouldn’t underestimate the power of a determined lady and her laptop. In theory, it’s only these people you need to convince (and yourself!). If people love your product or service, they won’t care if you’re in an office, a park or your living room, they’ll buy your product because they can’t live without it– not because they feel sorry for you.
3. You’ll never have a healthy work-life balance
A healthy work-life balance is about making a choice. It’s about planning to have a weekend – and sticking to that promise. It’s about working on responding to emails for two hours after work/uni /yoga/putting the kids to bed and then turning your laptop off and relaxing. It’s setting rules and sticking to them. For some people, it’s allowing home to be the place you switch off, and finding a completely different environment to work. Facilities such as our new Greensborough coworking space with easy access to schools, childcare and gyms, as well being surrounded by other like-minded small business owners and mentors, are perfect for women who want to leave work at work (whether full-time or part-time). It truly is possible to have a healthy work-life balance when you run your business. We’ve seen it. Be the person who achieves success because of the boundaries she sets.
Let today be the day you take a risk. Write down a business plan and take action. Feel free to call us if you’re seeking mentoring, office space or events. We’re always keen for a chat!