The constant drumbeat of change is all around us and for those who don't embrace it, "the train," as they say, "has left the station."
Women entrepreneurs, in my experience, embrace change more often than their male counterparts. I say this because I believe that women have a natural understanding of the cycles in their life and, although they don't always transition easily, they instinctively expect change.
First, because women are still relatively new to entrepreneurship (the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was enacted in 1974, giving women the right to get credit in their own name), they are not tied to the idea of the status quo -- meaning keeping things as they are. Launching a business, for the majority of women, means putting their skills to work and, at the same time, being able to control their own time and destiny. The status quo is most likely the reason they are doing it on their own.
Second, Steve Jobs is famous for saying "the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do," and what he said in the 1994 documentary One Last Thing is something women really should take to heart:
When you grow up, you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That's a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is [this]: everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That's maybe the most important thing. It's to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you're just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
So, why does what Steve Jobs said matter to women? Because women, like Jobs, know they have more to offer the world than what has been expected of them thus far. Do I hear an "AMEN"?
As a business coach, every conversation I have with a woman entrepreneur starts with why she knows she has so much more to do in her life and how she is just looking for the encouragement, support and/or confidence to change the world in what ever little way she can. It's that vision in her head that she wants to turn into a business that is the seed that could and will change the world.
All over the world, right at this moment, women entrepreneurs in every country are launching businesses with and without money. Women know that life is constantly changing and that they don't need permission to change right along with it. For example, take a look at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide
The fact is women entrepreneurs start at all ages -- I've met one who was 10 and heard of others in their 90s. Women entrepreneurs start businesses regardless of their education level -- in Third World countries many have only a basic education, but succeed because of self-taught skills. Yet, in the United States, where women are now the majority of the educated workforce, women choose to leave high-level jobs with generous compensation in order to fulfill their passion of owning their own businesses.
Change for women is happening, albeit slowly, but together (we) women will be the change the world needs.