Written by Carolina Aponte | CAJA Holdings LLC | KNOW Charlotte
Let’s face it: money is an important topic for everyone, yet most women refrain from talking about it. Some women avoid the subject because of their individual relationships with money, other women avoid it because the world of business and finances is still heavily controlled by men. In fact, women entrepreneurs receive only about 2% of all venture capital funding for start-ups in the United States, according to a recent study from PitchBook. This means the securing of funding for female entrepreneurs is beyond statistically grim. But apart from these reasons, most women avoid discussing the subject of money because, apparently, “it’s rude.”
What I have come to realize while running my own business and working closely with other entrepreneurs, both men and women, is that having a confident and optimistic mindset can be a powerful way to achieve your goals. While there are certainly structural forces at play that make it far more difficult for women to find success than it is for men, there are individual actions we can make to help us get to where we want to be.
Here are some tips to push you toward a path of financial and entrepreneurial success:
It’s a mindset thing.
Whether you are starting your business from scratch or are looking to restructure the way you have been doing things, it is paramount to remember that you have a service or product you have worked hard to sell. You are not asking for charity. Stop feeling guilty for asking people for money to achieve your business goals. Think about the opportunity you are offering and show investors that you are giving them a chance to be a part of something worthwhile.
Develop a business plan.
If you are new to the entrepreneurial world, developing a business plan can seem daunting. Focus on developing simple, straightforward strategies such as outlining your ideas and setting short-term goals. Short-term goals can look like finding your personal business niche or visualizing your ideal career. As you begin to develop your business, your plan should develop as well. After all, this plan will be the roadmap you follow to achieve your goals.
Build your team.
No matter how much experience you have in owning a business, you will always need a support system to rely on. Sit down and make a list of potential tasks that could be assigned to others. Talk to as many people as you can – family, friends, business partners, and members of your community – to seek out skills and traits that may be useful for your growing business. Do not forget to reach out to other women-led businesses or entrepreneurs for advice and to learn how about they “get it done.”
Not all money is good money.
One of the most fearful aspects of running a business can be falling into debt. Entrepreneurs will often seek new investors to combat this but taking money from others is a huge commitment. When making this move, make sure you are not taking money from just anyone. Like any other relationship, there are good ones and bad ones out there. Be sure you do you due diligence before tethering yourself and your business to any person or entity. Knowing where your money is coming from and what expectations are attached to it will set you up for a trusting and productive relationship with your investors.
Own your accomplishments.
Many women can fall into the patriarchal trap of undervaluing or underselling themselves. We tend to worry about coming off as overconfident, arrogant, or like we are over-hyping our successes. However, confidence is necessary to get the funding or investments needed to jumpstart and sustain a business. No one else will invest in you if you are not 100% committed and assured in your ideas. Do not be afraid to ask for exactly what you want and remember that the worst case scenario – they just say no – is not as bad as you think it is.
Whether you are just getting comfortable with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur or you are a seasoned business owner, there is always room for improvement and growth. Working on your mindset by following these tips or others should help you achieve the financial and entrepreneurial success for which you strive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CAJA Holdings LLC
Carolina Aponte is the founder of CAJA Holdings, LLC an Accounting and Fractional CFO firm in NC. She is the author of ‘Pave Your Own Way: Thirteen Skills To Create Your Professional Success’. Carolina is the recipient of several awards including the Enterprising Woman 2021 Award and the 2021 NAWBO Charlotte Woman Business Owner of the Year.
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