Being entrepreneurs and business leaders is not easy for anyone- it can be doubly challenging for women. Along with the innate challenges that come with running a business, women are also constantly pressurised to strike the right balance between family and work. The expectations completely differ for a man, though the menfolk have their own challenges.
43% of women leave the workforce after bearing kids, unable to normalise working hours and still keeping up with a growing family. Yet, women have become the rising tribe of entrepreneurs. That they own 36% of all businesses. That the golden age for women entrepreneurship has begun.
In the face of such expectations, it becomes crucial that women hack business growth, become savvy networkers, be in the know of the latest in their fields. Yet, all this becomes a possibility only when they are able to manage another thing- their own productivity. Whether it is running a large or a small business, there are some ground rules that will help women maintain their sanity.
1. Get Help
Women have this tendency to avoid delegation of tasks, in an impression that it might not get done as well as they think it should. It might be true, but great businesses are built on the shoulders of a great team and it begins with trust. There might be a few misses, but it is definitely worth it in the long run. Also, don’t be afraid to hire top-notch people. Also, there are several resources that are available to help women entrepreneurs succeed and opening yourself to these options is a great way to get ahead with your business.
2. Avoid hedging language
Study after study has found that women tend to avoid unambiguous communication and use hedging more. For example, when there is a disagreement, women use sentences with words like “I kind of like this better” or “I sort of don’t agree with that” leaving an impression that they aren’t very sure of what they want to say. Here are more examples of the common hedging behaviour women indulge in.
3. Get Your Family to sign up for your success
Most women thrive with the support of a community- a healthy and happy family and a close circle of friends. Science says women are more prone to feelings of guilt if their work takes over their family time. The best option is to build work and personal habits that work around the routine of the entire family. Also, make it absolutely clear to them that they are important to you, but their support is needed and appreciated for your success just as your support is required for their success.
4. Give yourself me-time
Every woman I know( myself included) enjoys a little time away from the family. I love my family, but I still enjoy being by myself. It’s healthy to admit it and give yourself a break. Also, it’s important to build in time for personal care every day. Take time to exercise, meditate, put on music, dance or simply go for a long walk.
5. Stay focused on one thing
Science says women are better at multitasking, simply because our brains are wired that way(which is also why you need to sleep longer than men). However, it does not mean it is the most efficient way to get things done. Staying focused on one big concept, and blocking time off to get one to three big tasks finished in the day is the best strategy to be productive and get things done, rather than switch between several tasks within one block of time.
It’s time to stop thinking that women have to do it all. We can still have it all, but we need to stop doing it all and be open to help. There are no easy buttons or quick-fixes for success for anyone, and it’s no different for women. Let’s not make it harder for ourselves than it already is.