Facing the Obstacles We Encounter as Women Starting a Business

By Diana Hernandez

I recently finished watching Hulu’s show “The Dropout” which is based on the very incredible and bizarre story of Elizabeth Holmes. In one of the final scenes, as Elizabeth is talking to an old professor who already knows she’s a fraud, she’s told about how much damage she’s doing to the other women who are trying to step into business and succeed. It definitely stuck with me.

As women, we constantly fight an uphill battle towards our goals and find obstacles that maybe men don’t encounter as often. But what are those obstacles and how do we face them or find our way around them?

The first one is definitely balancing our responsibilities. 

As women, we are faced with many responsibilities from a young age. We are constantly striving to fulfill the demands of our family, our professional life, and most importantly ourselves. The expectation to excel in every front of our lives is a big one and is only reinforced by the “She-ro” type of influencers we always see on Instagram. 

Rest assured, no one has it all under control. And that’s fine. 

Yes, finding your perfect work/life balance is important, but also delegating and surrounding yourself with a community of like-minded individuals who are also happy to help you take off some of the family and household load off your plate so you can be productive is a big help. You’re not abandoning your family for your business. You’re trying to provide and be a great example for your kids as well. 

Another big obstacle is finding a way to fund your business as a woman.

Women-owned businesses are among the leading venues that often lack financial support. Gender and cultural biases tend to play into the fact that women are more likely to be denied support from financial institutions. 

One way to work around this obstacle is to research some of the federal government grants for small business owners. You can also research any other programs for investors or microentrepreneurs. Many financial institutions are actively trying to fight this biased by offering these opportunities. Don’t be afraid to take them. 

Not knowing enough to get started is also another paralyzing obstacle.

Maybe your access to relevant business information and emerging knowledge is limited. Maybe you tried dipping your toe but felt too overwhelmed with every tip and article you found online. It can all be intimidating. 

Do things at your own pace and find a content creator that aligns with the way you want to learn. You can always start by listening to the Monday Morning Marketing Podcast for a start! Because who better than two lovely ladies to help you learn about marketing? 

And, on the same note as feeling overwhelmed, not having a good support system through the trials and tribulations of starting a business is also an obstacle.

When it comes to business, no woman is an island (see what I did there?). You need to create relevant connections in order to fulfill your goals. You need mentors and guides to help you through this path. But don’t worry, you don’t need to spend all your money on coaching sessions.

Finding a community of like-minded ladies who are working towards the same goals also helps! Check out Facebook Groups as well as LinkedIn communities and connect that way. You’ll learn so much and you’ll be able to also build a support system and great connections! 

In the end, no obstacle is impossible to work around. All you need is to be willing to put in the work and be patient, not only with the process but also with yourself. The world is already tough, don’t make it harder on you.