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Sharpening the Saw: How Women Entrepreneurs Can Upgrade Their Skill Set and Achieve Success

As economic and career opportunities increase, an unprecedented number of enterprising women across the globe are entering the world of entrepreneurship.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), that screens 40 economies worldwide, the entrepreneurship rates among women increased by 13 percent versus 5 percent for men in 2017. Also, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shared that nearly 12 million firms in the U.S. are owned by women, generating a revenue of USD 1.7 trillion.

Starting a new venture not only allows go-getting women to achieve their aspirations, but also enables them to create a life and change the face of the industry they are in. Moreover, self-employment enables them to balance their personal and professional goals.

The entrepreneurial journey, though exciting and rewarding, is full of challenges that impact the long-term success of a venture. Despite the fact that they have pretty big shoes to fill, the world’s most influential women entrepreneurs spend most of their time honing their skills, learning, and making connections, thus becoming their best selves.

The sure-fire ways to achieving unparalleled entrepreneurial success are through self-renewal, self-care, and self-improvement. If you are an ambitious businesswoman, the tips shared in this article will help you upgrade your skill set, thus enabling you to

maintain a healthy entrepreneurial pace.

Collaborate with Other Women

Perhaps you will relate to this scenario. When you attend an entrepreneurial conference or a seminar, you can barely see women entrepreneurs around. Unnerving as it may seem, successful women entrepreneurs are overcoming such situations by collaborating with each other and building a strong network.

Communities are critical to every ecosystem. The journey of women entrepreneurs is full of challenges and it can get lonely at times. Joining global communities for female business owners like Sheworkx, Her Corner, Girl Tank, and Womeneur can offer you the necessary support, encouraging you to stay updated on the entrepreneurial world.

Such communities are fuelled by the power of collective intelligence of enterprising women who share their experiences, and offer support and advice to women who desire to start their business. These groups provide limitless opportunities to learn and achieve excellence in a particular domain.

Be a Perpetual Student

Customers value authenticity and expertise. Being known as an expert in a particular industry is one of the best ways to achieve entrepreneurial success.

Aiming at establishing expertise in your niche will encourage you to think like a leader. Thus, the onus is on you to hone your skills and stand out from the competition. In order to stay relevant in the industry, you should not only build your foundation, but also add new layers through continued learning.

Online platforms like Grow Her Business and Alice are curated with an extensive library of online resources, tools, accelerator and incubator programs, learning opportunities, global experts’ network, and communities, thereby allowing women founders to scale their business.

Mentorbox is a valuable resource that offers handpicked books, audio books, and video workshops on business success and leadership, offering a primary learning platform for budding and established entrepreneurs.

As a woman entrepreneur, the hurdles of establishing your business may often seem intractable. However, upgrading your skills through constant learning can help you achieve excellence in your domain.

Leverage Human Capital

Women entrepreneurs looking to make it big in their respective domain should leverage their existing human resources and strive to build a strong ecosystem that supports them. This also includes finding themselves a mentor who can guide them through the various stages of their business lifecycle.

A mentor can help in creating a vision, hiring the best people, cultivating key relationships, and setting high standards, thereby keeping you ahead of the learning curve.

Raising capital for a venture is one of the toughest challenges faced by women-owned firms. Women not only need to create a lucrative business plan, they also need to navigate through the entrepreneurial world that tends to unfairly favor men-owned businesses.

If you are looking to access capital through innovative sources such as crowdfunding, community development financial institutions, microloan programs, and angel investors, you should develop the skill of networking with others in the industry.

Breaking bread with your peers (including competitors) can help you share critical entrepreneurial lessons and best practices, enabling you to find ways to apply them to your business.

Join organizations like Women Entrepreneur, Count Me In, Astia, and NAWBO that help women entrepreneurs get their ventures off the ground. Attending the top global conferences, namely Million Dollar Women Summit, Women in Technology Summit, and Forbes Women Summit can also help you network with other people going through the same journey, thus enabling you to find innovative ways to upgrade skill sets and accomplish your goals.

Several cities have local accelerators and incubation hubs that offer budding women entrepreneurs the required office space as well as opportunities to network with peers, mentors, and investors.

A successful business cannot be built alone. Overcome your fear of rejection and leverage human capital like it’s your job.

Be Open to Feedback

Feedback from your customers, team members, and competitors can teach you important entrepreneurial lessons. Feedback helps you sharpen your communication strategy and come up with a product or service that is relevant to the current market.

Take time to read customer reviews, do an in-depth analysis of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and determine how your service is filling the current need gap for your customers.

If you have an innovative business idea, crowdfunding can validate your business, allowing you to look at your idea from a different perspective and dip your toes in the waters of the real market. Richa Kar, Founder of Zivame, had no role models in her immediate family to guide her through her entrepreneurial journey. Yet, she decided to take the plunge and used her own savings and crowdfunding to capture the lingerie category.

Being open to feedback helps you upgrade your knowledge and sharpen ideas, thereby enabling you to produce transformational business outcomes.

Entrepreneurship requires you to be agile and ready at all times. Several successful female business owners have proven that gender doesn’t define entrepreneurial success, but being updated at all times does.

If you are a woman entrepreneur who’s treading on the path of entrepreneurial success, use the tips shared in this article to sharpen your personal and professional skills to get on the path to entrepreneurial success.

Korie Cantor is a writer and blogger – connect with her on Twitter @koriecantor

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