It’s no secret that entrepreneurship is hard. Whether it’s securing funding, managing employees, or building customer loyalty, running a business can feel like a constant uphill struggle. For women entrepreneurs, those difficulties are often compounded by gender norms and family responsibilities.
Molly Beck, founder and CEO of the podcast creation site Messy.fm, knows firsthand the obstacles to successful entrepreneurship. Graduating with a finance degree in the middle of the Great Recession meant reimagining her career path, leading Beck to content creation through blogging and, later on, podcasting.
During an appearance on the Disrupt Yourself podcast in 2020, Beck urged listeners to embrace unexpected change. “Being an entrepreneur is about making yourself feel really uncomfortable all the time,” she told host Whitney Johnson.
The number of women business owners has more than doubled in the past 20 years. In 2021, women accounted for 43 percent of entrepreneurs in Nigeria, according to an inaugural report issued by the FATE Foundation.
The report also found that startups — high growth companies with innovative business models or technology-driven products — are more likely to be owned by women than by men.
The Nigerian government and private sector leaders are coming to realize women’s essentially untapped potential in the workforce. Programs like She Works Here and ImpactHer Foundation have formed to uplift women in business through financial, educational, and community-based means.
Of course, adequate funding and support can only get a person so far. Throughout her conversation on Disrupt Yourself, Molly Beck outlined three keys to truly thriving as a woman entrepreneur: the ability to coach oneself, remain focused, and seek out industries ripe for disruption.
Being your own boss sounds fun in theory, but it takes real discipline. Whether your business is flourishing or floundering, it’s crucial to continue learning and evolving as the market changes. For Beck, that meant writing her blog Pretty, Smart, and Awkward, where she would find new ways to improve herself, such as strengthening her social skills or learning something new.
Check out this fantastic six-step outline in Forbes to learn more about coaching oneself.
New entrepreneurs tend to have countless (great!) ideas they’re itching to pursue. But following through on one business idea will always be more profitable than making vision boards for dozens of potentially interesting ventures.
It can also be difficult to remain committed to an idea when you can’t see the outcome just yet. Having faith in your capabilities during hard times goes a long way towards achieving your goals. For instance, the coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on the economy, but there’s hope for adapting to a new normal and creating a lasting company even now.
Seeking Industries Ripe for Disruption
Beck created Messy.fm, which essentially functions as a podcast starter kit, because she realized new podcasters didn’t have a platform equivalent to WordPress or Wix for bloggers to handle the technical aspects of podcasting.
As you set business goals, consider the needs of your family, neighbors, and community. What product could make their lives easier? What gaps has the pandemic revealed in the marketplace, and can you fill one of them?
Consider reviewing this guide at Entrepreneur full of tips on finding opportunities for disruption no matter the industry.