Are you as tired as I am of reading about how women entrepreneurs create only small businesses and need to think bigger? Are you proud of the business you launched and happy with your $1/4M, $1/2M or $1M in revenues?
If so, than this blog is meant for you!
Not every woman -- or man, for that matter -- was cut out to lead a multi-million-dollar business. Many entrepreneurs, particularly those funded by venture capital, find that out for themselves when a seasoned CEO for hire is asked to take their place.
I know because I was one of those entrepreneurs who really didn't want to lead a giant business. At one time, I had twelve employees who looked to me for direction. I knew we had created a business model that worked and although investment bankers thought there might be an opportunity to translate our success to a larger model, I wasn't interested in what that would mean for me as an entrepreneur. Since I had not gone out for venture capital and owned the business outright, no one could unseat me and I was able to exit through selling the business. (A strategy I recommend to all entrepreneurs to consider and work toward).
A successful entrepreneur tends to be a visionary, someone who can see the future for the business (s)he is creating. But, although most entrepreneurs are visionaries, women entrepreneurs tend to be most heavily involved in the day-to-day operations as well as the minutiae of the business.
The question is always, "Why is it so difficult for women entrepreneurs to delegate?"
The answer just might be because they just don't want to -- they enjoy doing all the little things involved in the business they have created!
This answer is the key to the pundits query as to why women don't grow multi-million dollar businesses. In my opinion, they just aren't interested in doing so.
The fact is, women-owned businesses employ 23 million people (16% of all U.S. jobs). And, I know from experience that the people I employed were able to take care of their families, get healthcare if they needed it and have a flexible, caring environment in which to work.
So, when an article is written to dissect the fact that women in business have trouble growing their businesses beyond the $1M in revenues benchmark, perhaps we all need to ask ourselves if it is really necessary for every small business to grow into a major corporation? And beyond that, does every company have to plan for an IPO?
Starting a small business and choosing for it to stay that way is an admirable goal and it should be applauded much more often than it is. Our government should be encouraging, not discouraging, small business in times of economic instability. There is no better place to work than in a small business that is meeting the needs of a community. This country was built on businesses that did just that.
Take a look around your community and notice all the wonderful small businesses employing people and giving them an opportunity to raise healthy, happy families. Isn't this the true American dream? Is there really any community where families don't wish for just this type of career choice?
I applaud women in business and women entrepreneurs for making their dreams come true in starting businesses of their own and employing one, two, or more people. These are the stories that need to be told and honored and modeled.
Small businesses in America make it possible for people to raise families and prepare the next generation for accomplishing dreams of their own. Is there really anything better or more patriotic than that? I don't believe so.
So, the next time you read an article about how small women-owned businesses are, please raise a glass to all the women who dreamed of starting a business and did.