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Five things WOMEN must learn about entrepreneurship

This article will not win any points for political correctness, but I wrote it anyway. There is a problem with women in business that I have seen far too many times and I just can't hold my tongue anymore.

Therefore, here you'll get some tips on how you, as a woman and entrepreneur, can keep your good mood and improve your profitability at the same time:

1. Stop being ashamed of your skills
Look at your skills for what they are - a real resource. It's nothing to be modest about, on the contrary. You should always highlight and be proud of your skills, expertise and knowledge. Admit that you have probably been in many situations with male competitors where you think they are either talking nonsense or are completely transparent in their ignorance. This started back in school when the girls never dared to raise their hands to answer the teacher's question because they didn't want to stand out.
It's time for you to think again. Be proud of your skills and market them well. In the world of business, it's good to stand out - learn to become more comfortable in demanding attention and respect. You already have the benefits of having lived in the “other world”. It gives you exactly the fine tuned sensitivity to different situations that customers like - use that sensitivity more often. You have a big advantage against many of your male competitors here.

2. Learn to say no
Many female entrepreneurs I meet exceed the limits of what is reasonable to ask of a human being in terms of doing the job, work more or change things - without charging their customers. They just give, give and keep on giving. Giving is important for any business, that's what business is all about, but there are limits and you have to stand by them. Female entrepreneurs will benefit from learning how to set boundaries so that customers and the outside world learns them. They know how to make things understandable and to prevent people from challenging these limits. Be amazing to your customers, but charge them for it!

3. Don't sell yourself too cheap
Women entrepreneurs are experts at cutting down their own prices. My understanding is that they are too nice. Therefore, try doing a little experiment next time you’re about to charge a customer – and make it a real challenge. You sell something that others are helped by. Stop  being ashamed of it! Teach your customers what you offer that is for free and what costs money - and keep the boundaries clear. Customers will appreciate it and you will be surprised to notice that it's the value and not the price that most of your customers are mostly interested in. The extra money you earn will become your security buffer (instead of you barely breaking even and worrying about money).

4. Learn the secret to getting more time to spare
Know this: It's much better to do something good today, than something perfect tomorrow. There is a line between good and perfect that doesn't add any more value to the customers. For you, the difference between good and perfect, are the hours and moments of the week you can have to yourself on or off work.

5. Don't try to do it all
You can't operate your business successfully AND look after your home AND make perfect lunch boxes for the children's outings AND everything else that you seem to want to do. Delegate. That's right - delegate. Your family needs to help you and they will do it if you tell them to. You can't go whining about everyone throwing dirty clothes on the floor and not in the hamper if you continue to pick up the clothes - and you're not a worse person because you bought the buns to the kid's excursion from the store instead of baking them yourself!

Yes, you are right - this article is written in pure frustration. In my job as a consultant to business owners, every day I see incredibly talented women entrepreneurs who are too timid to reach their goals. Instead of having more time, more money or a better job every year, I see them trapped in a pattern of modesty (I can't find a better word than that).

If you want to yell at me for this opinion, please do so at the address

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

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"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
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