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Women Start Business in Record Numbers in 2009

The United States has seen many women making it to the top and becoming successful leaders. This is despite the fact that the environment these women grew up in might not have facilitated their direct access to the business world or provided these women role models in which to emulate. Nevertheless, many women have managed to learn enough about conducting a business and leading a team through education and mentoring.

Although in most cases women are still the ones who manage the household and would not normally have the time that running a business requires, many have set their priorities straight and have successfully entered the business world. Recent statistics show that women are starting businesses in record numbers and bringing significant changes to an environment which, not too long ago, seemed to be structured primarily for men and their ways of thinking and working.

Until recently, very few women have managed to succeed as business leaders. Be it for the disturbing lack of flexibility, men’s solidarity in business or women’s lack of confidence in their skills and abilities as leaders, the reality is that not many women have succeeded to in leadership roles. Moreover, in the absence of any grants from government agencies, women have to turn to private and non-profit organizations for assistance in starting a business. And, unfortunately, such grants often address minority women or women that come from economically disadvantaged communities. In spite of a nationwide network of programs and centers that offer business training, assistance and educational resources specifically for women, the actual business opportunities women are presented with are not too numerous.

Despite all these major drawbacks, what we are witnessing today in the business world is something that many would consider surprising, to say the least. Things are changing and evolving rapidly to an unprecedented presence for women in the business environment. Statistics show that over 23 million people in the United States (approximately 16% of the workforce) are now employed by women-owned businesses. This is almost double the number of employees that the biggest fifty companies in the U.S. have altogether. In addition to this, women-owned businesses generate $3 trillion in revenue and are tantamount to the fifth-largest gross domestic product on a global scale.

The first question that comes to mind is “Why are women starting their own businesses?” The most obvious reason would have to be “Because they want to be financially independent.” We all know that depending on someone else for everything you need, from the food you put on the table and the clothes you wear to going on vacation or buying gifts for the holidays can be frustrating at times. All women feel the need to indulge themselves on their whims every now and then, and not all of them have the chance to do so, as long as they depend on someone else for money. Of course, it’s not a question of housewife versus business leader. Women are now almost half of the nation’s workforce, which means that most of them have a steady income source and are able to provide for themselves and their families. But this is not the kind of financial independence I’m talking about. I am referring to the cashflow that a profitable business can generate, to no longer depending on a monthly paycheck and to not being forced to give up on many of your wishes and ideals. And if we take into account the fact that a woman’s average salary is around 75 percent of that of a man’s, it makes all the more sense for women to consider owning a business.

Could it be that women business owners saw a challenge in starting their own businesses and being successful like so many men before them? This too is a plausible reason. Now that equality between sexes is no longer an issue (except for maybe some remote parts of the world), women have the opportunity to prove that they are just as capable as men when it comes to setting up and fueling the growth of a profitable business. Many have succeeded and a lot more are attempting to.

Flexibility at their workplace and family-friendly benefits are yet another reason why women are considering business ownership. It is very difficult for a working mom to find the perfect balance between family life and career. Very few companies allow for family leaves or sick days, and even fewer provide their employees with high quality childcare. It is only natural that women try to relieve these burdens and attempt to set up an environment where such benefits would no longer be an issue. Given the minuses of the current employment market, it is safe to say that many women have chosen to start a business as a lifestyle choice. Everyone would like to have the flexibility that comes with being self-employed. Under these circumstances, there is little wonder why the number of women-owned businesses has seen such an astounding growth over recent years.

As I stated earlier, most women are the managers of their household and families. Statistics show that approximately three quarters of the decisions regarding purchases for the household are made by women. And in most cases, they do a great job managing everything around the house. Many women have decided to take a step forward and use this innate talent or acquired skill of juggling multiple tasks simultaneously, with the purpose of running a business of their own. The number of women starting businesses nowadays is almost three times the rate of men. Whatever the reasons for this growth may be, I am certain of one thing-we should all welcome this rise in the number of women-owned businesses for several reasons.

For one, women are more oriented towards communication than men and more likely to build stronger relationships with everyone around them, including the people they work with. Women feel the need to be part of a community more than men do, and a working community led by a woman is therefore more likely to be based on friendship and support.

Moreover, in most cases, women-owned businesses are closer to the kind of company that respects its employees’ needs. All the benefits I was mentioned earlier (sick leaves, daycare and family leaves) are more likely to be found in women-owned businesses. All in all, not everyone might think that the days of women as housewives are long gone, but the statistics beg to differ. Women start businesses in such record numbers that it is safe to say that women-owned businesses will play a major in the economic recovery.


December 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Maintaining Focus on Your Start-up Business Until You are Able to Quit Your Day Job

Before I started as an independent marketer, I had previously owned a successful accessories company for six years.  In the first year of our inception, I had to work two jobs. One a corporate day job and then I ran my own business at night and weekends.  God, that was exhausting.

Even though it was tiring, I was able to keep my focus with a steady stream of coffee and keeping my goals ever present.  I have always had a vision board. Sometimes, I put different images up in my office but mostly, I have the things I want to have in my life in my thoughts. I think about what I want for my life several times a day. I do not have the mindset of ‘When will it happen?’ rather, my mindset is ‘It is coming to me soon.’

I make many sacrifices. I routinely sleep 5-6 hours a night. Luckily, with my independent marketing job we sell health and wellness so I take plenty of supplements to keep me healthy. I also use our weight-loss program to maintain my weight. It helps me because I can grab some bars or protein shakes and run out the door.  I do not have time for television and I have to make sure my time is carefully regimented.  I know that while in my car, I can call my girlfriends and chat but sometimes, I set up my laptop in the passenger seat in my car and I set up a podcast on something that will help me develop my business. I am always multi-tasking.  Until, I reach my goals, I will maintain this lifestyle.

I have listed below several ideas that may be helpful while you are juggling your two jobs-

  • Keep goals in sight-Fiercely guard your dreams.  There are many dream stealers out there. Avoid them.  Visualize what it will be like once you accomplish your goals.  Taste it.  Feel it.
  • Avoid distractions-I have eliminated anything that is unproductive.  I love watching films and TV as much as the next person. However, for me to accomplish my goals that type of behavior is not helpful to me.  Everything I do is moving towards my goals.
  • Track your time-Sometimes I have to really plan my day out. I need to make sure every minute is productive.  I often question if something is worth doing or if I can push it to another later date. For instance, I do not go to the mall anymore. I shop online so I do not waste time driving, walking around the mall etc.
  • Get organized-Organize your files, desk, purse or anything else that is cluttered.  A lot of time is wasted when one is aimlessly looking for something.
  • Start slow-Rome was not built in a day and neither will your business. In fact, many a business has closed due to too aggressive growth. Take it slow.
  • Give something up-Let’s face it, you will have to give something up. Maybe it is as simple as not going to your Book Club groups or maybe you will have to scale back your gym time.  Unfortunately, you will not be able to do everything.  Remember it is not going to be for forever.
  • Plan ahead-Make your 6 month plan, 1 year plan, 2 year plan. The key is in the planning. I love the saying-How will you know where you are going if you do not have a plan?

Succeeding at your own business is incredibly rewarding. The steps toward accomplishing your dream can take time and at times, doubt may creep through.  However, when I am questioning myself, it only takes about 1minute for me to remember my goals for myself and my family. If you are one of the reported 70% of Americans who hate their jobs, think about what really moves and inspires you. Maybe you will take the leap of faith and do what you really want to do with your life. Think about it.

Christine Syquia is an independant marketer with The Trump Network. She can be reached at christine@ChristineSyquia.com or 323-974-6190.

 

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Achieving financial prosperity is something that most of us dream of, but only very few have managed to accomplish. In fact, the frustrations that stop people from not being able to attract what you want are sometimes so overwhelming that finances have become a topic which many people avoid discussing.

Many claim to hold the key to financial success and overall prosperity, but is it actually possible for anyone to open the door to the prosperity and wealth that all of us seek? Unfortunately, the answer to this question cannot be “yes”, because reaching your maximum potential and succeeding in the business world requires motivation, determination and a strong sense of self confidence, which not everyone possesses. However, we can all learn from other people’s experiences, use some of the most effective motivational tools and seize each and every opportunity that we are presented with.

There is a lot to be said about being financially successful, but one thing is very clear to me. Comprehensive knowledge on money, finance and investments, coupled with motivation and a strong will to succeed is what it takes for any entrepreneur to make it big in today’s increasingly competitive business environment.

My experience in this field has helped me compile a list of the most useful books dedicated to finances and self-motivation, which, in my opinion, are a must-read for all entrepreneurs. Reading these books will not turn you into a finance expert overnight, but it will certainly open new horizons and give you a completely different perspective on how to plunge into the business world and stay ahead of your competition. You will come to understand all the requirements of financial success, from building the right image for yourself and influencing those around you to your advantage, to achieving financial intelligence and fueling the growth of your business.

“Think and Grow Rich”, by Napoleon Hill is a very powerful motivational tool for everyone in pursuit of financial independence and a happy and balanced life. Hill’s biggest seller, “Think and Grow Rich” aims at imparting the author’s comprehensive and valuable knowledge to his readers and making them understand the factors that give certain people an edge over everyone else. The book’s most important topic is making contact with the world around you and changing everyone’s perception of yourself so as to achieve success and prosperity. As Dale Carnegie said, the society classifies everyone according to what we do, how we present ourselves, what we say and how we say it. Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” is an excellent guide to becoming a completely different individual in the eyes of the world and accomplishing your goals of financial success.

Another invaluable tool for unlocking and developing your true potential is Bob Proctor’s “You Were Born Rich”. This book has seen a worldwide recognition as one of the most effective and comprehensive systems of correctly assessing and developing your abilities and talents. “You Were Born Rich” focuses on achieving financial prosperity and outlines some of the most important steps to be taken in order to have great accomplishments and financial independence. From setting realistic expectations, becoming more effective and building the right image in your mind, all the way to truly understanding the concepts of “money” and “risk taking”, this book provides you with all the necessary tools to open the doors for abundance and wealth.

Next on my list is “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. This book, as the title suggests, will teach you everything there is to know about handling and changing people, making them like you and winning them to your way of thinking and eventually becoming a leader. As I stated earlier, Carnegie’s firm belief was that success is highly dependent on the image that you build for yourself. This book aims at helping you change the way that the society assesses and classifies you, so as to achieve prosperity in every aspect of your life.

Another book that can be seen more as a motivational tool rather than a practical guide to success and wealth is Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. This entertaining book reveals the author’s parallel learning experiences from his real father, the poor dad, and his friend’s father, the rich one. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” offers some very valuable insights on learning about money and investing, as well as on using the right business tactics to attain financial freedom.  To this day, I constantly refer to this book as one that changed my perception of working forever.

 Last, but definitely not least on my list of must-read books for all entrepreneurs is “Never Call Cold Again” by Frank Rumbauskas, a complete guide of the most effective practices of marketing. In this book, independent professionals, salespeople, business owners and entrepreneurs are provided with some of the most powerful tools, tactics and strategies required to build a successful marketing system that will increase sales and boost the growth of your business. The author aims at helping entrepreneurs achieve sales greatness through a variety of revolutionary strategies, whilst forgetting about old and ineffective tactics such as cold calling.  This is one book I just recently finished and the resources in the book are incredibly helpful. “Never Cold Call Again” is going to remain at my side for the next several years as I know I

In closing, I would like to say that it is my firm belief that all these books are very useful tools for everyone who wishes to exceed their potential and be successful in every aspect of their lives, including the financial one. If you have never paid too much attention to finance, these five books might just be the start of your financial independence. On the other hand, if you are already well on the way of understanding money and finances, these books will provide you with a completely new perspective on business tactics and strategies and what it takes to make it big in the world of business.

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment