Empowering Mompreneurs: Lean Into Your Natural Strengths for Business Success
Embarking on the journey of starting a business is an ambitious endeavor that often elicits feelings of overwhelming self-doubt, inadequacy, and confusion. The challenges can be daunting, and without effective strategies, a business may falter before it even has a chance to take off. In my experience as a mother, I've come to realize that launching and sustaining a business shares many similarities with raising a child. Both endeavors require intentionality, diligence, grit, tenacity, and perseverance.
Statistically, around 4.4 million businesses are established each year, but only approximately 70% of them celebrate their first anniversary, and a mere 50% make it to the five-year mark. These numbers underscore the undeniable challenges of entrepreneurship, where success demands not only a solid business plan but also a deep understanding of one's strengths and the ability to leverage them effectively.
So, I've pondered what every aspiring mompreneur could do to simplify this endeavor, and the recurring answer I've found is to "embrace your natural strengths and leverage them." This approach will vary significantly from person to person due to individual strengths, but early adoption of this mindset can make the entrepreneurial journey more manageable.
Before harnessing your strengths, you must identify them. Numerous professional development assessments and personality tests are available to help individuals understand how they learn, process information, and excel in different working environments. The Gallup StrengthsFinder Assessment, for example, not only highlights strengths but also reveals potential blind spots and provides insights on collaborating effectively with others possessing different strengths.
To aid aspiring mompreneurs in this process, I've developed a worksheet that helps identify strengths and clarify business ideas based on your personal and professional experiences. Recognizing and embracing these natural strengths can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs, paving the way for a more authentic and effective business approach.
I recall my early days in the advertising industry, where completing the Myers-Briggs assessment had a profound impact. This assessment allowed me to identify and embrace my introverted nature, a trait often perceived as unfavorable for entrepreneurs or those aiming to build extensive networks. In entrepreneurial circles, the mantra "your network is your net worth" is frequently echoed, which can be discouraging for introverts.
Networking initially presented a significant challenge for me, but it became an opportunity for growth when I decided to lean into my natural inclinations and reframe the solution. Instead of forcing myself into conventional networking practices, I took steps to understand why it felt uncomfortable and envisioned a different approach.
Reframing the solution, rather than focusing solely on the problem, became a pivotal strategy. By asking "why," I delved into the root of my discomfort – a distaste for unproductive small talk rather than a dislike for people. Armed with this understanding, I crafted an approach that aligned with my preferences. Rather than solely seeking business opportunities, I showed genuine interest in every person I met, engaging in meaningful conversations that went beyond the surface.
This approach not only made networking more enjoyable but also yielded unexpected benefits. By reframing the solution to align with my natural inclinations, I discovered new strengths that contributed positively to my entrepreneurial journey. Embracing discomfort as a part of the process became analogous to the challenges of raising a child – both endeavors require patience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn.
Aspiring mompreneurs can benefit from this approach by recognizing that embracing natural inclinations and reframing solutions can lead to the discovery of untapped strengths. While this process may be uncomfortable, it becomes an integral part of the entrepreneurial journey, offering valuable lessons along the way.
It's essential to remember that success in entrepreneurship is not solely about adhering to conventional norms. Each entrepreneur is unique, and the path to success often involves navigating challenges in a way that aligns with one's authentic self. Despite the difficulties, it's crucial to acknowledge your capability for success and embrace the rewarding aspects of the journey. In essence, entrepreneurship, much like raising a child, is a transformative experience that requires resilience, self-discovery, and a commitment to growth.