What Women Want
“Women-owned businesses are trailing in size and revenue.” I read this recently from a Fortune article about the state of women-owned businesses. It’s one of many articles like it that paint a picture of the sad state of women-owned businesses...
“Women-owned businesses are trailing in size and revenue.”
I read this recently from a Fortune article about the state of women-owned businesses. It’s one of many articles like it that paint a picture of the sad state of women-owned businesses as they lag behind other male-owned businesses.
But here’s the problem with that perspective: The statistics and data evaluating women-owned businesses by those metrics are defining and measuring success only by size, revenue and team members.
For example, research shows that 90% of women-owned businesses have no team members. Many business “experts” see that as one more indication of how they are lacking.
But after years of my own research as well as working with women at all levels of business, my perspective is entirely different. I believe that many women-owned businesses don’t have team members; not because they can’t have them but because they don’t want them.
What if everyone doesn’t measure business “success” by size, revenue and team members? What if women approach business differently in many cases and they want something altogether different? What if growing, scaling, expanding and hiring aren’t on her list of goals and dreams at all? What if her small home-based business that provides an income while giving her the freedom to be with her family is exactly what she wants, and is therefore a huge success? It was Earl Nightingale that said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal.” And by that measure, many women-owned businesses are incredibly successful.
This isn’t just my idea either. Research actually shows that women start businesses because they want more flexibility, freedom, and opportunity to grow in their strengths. A Forbes article I read also notes: “With the cost of starting a business at an all-time low, women are saying ‘no thank you’ to spending years climbing and clawing their way up the corporate ladder, dealing with corporate politics, and working long days without feeling the overall fulfillment they crave.”
Women know what they want and are going for it. I just spent two weekends in a row in May with almost 3,000 women representing all stages of life and all levels of business. And regardless of their background, industry, number of team members, or level of revenues, they all are out there on the front lines making money doing what they love.
That’s why I know that many women-owned businesses aren’t “trailing” at all. Instead, they are creating, pursuing and achieving their own version of success, which is the only version of success any of us should want anyway.