Just the other day my partner, Tom, sent me a link to an article about the myths of being a woman entrepreneur. I’m sure all of the outstanding women who contribute to this blog can see themselves in that article, as I see myself in it.
Here are some key points the writer, Margaret Heffernan, makes in her "5 Myths About Women Entrepreneurs" for the Boomer: Lifestyle section of MSN.
First, she notes that not all women entrepreneurs are ‘young.’ That’s a touchy word with women – especially today since we women over 40 still think of ourselves as young and… 40 is the new 30, right? Still, many new businesses are being started today by women who are either retired from corporate America, or just ready and eager to do something new and exciting with their lives. In the article, Heffernan showcases a woman of 67 – who didn’t let that number connected to her birth certificate keep her from starting a new business!
Heffernan’s #3 Myth-busting piece of advice is that you DON’T have to be an expert. I found this one very telling as I would have thought expertise was crucial to successful entrepreneurship. However, as Heffernan says of her example (a woman named Fisher who knew nothing about sewing but started a women’s clothing business, anyway), "What Fisher did have was the insight that as women’s lives got more complicated, they would want their clothes to be simpler." She also notes something I tell people all the time over at my marketing to women blog, "Women are responsible for 83% of consumer purchasing. We are the ones buying not only for ourselves but also for our children, husbands, and parents."
It speaks to the realization that what you don’t know, you can learn. Believe it.
This is an excellent article for all students of entrepreneurship. This is an excellent article for young women in high school – a true demonstration of the "can-do" spirit we call entrepreneurship. The other points Heffernan makes will rock your socks off.
(the article was originally published in MORE magazine, July/August 2007)