Only a third of UK entrepreneurs are female. It’s a statistic that has led many to ask why. Often cited is a lack of role models and support for women. Whilst there are improvements to be made, there are certainly well-known females who have overcome challenges to become successful entrepreneurs.
Here, we detail a few of the most valuable leadership tips from those who have triumphed.
Don’t make sacrifices
The age-old saying of ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ rings true for many in business who fear to make requests. This can often lead to forfeiting what would be valuable to you. But if you are empowered, you can have a shot at what you want. Laura Molen, Executive Vice President of Lifestyle and Hispanic Advertising Sales Group at NBCUniversal, found this to be the case.
In a previous vice president role, no one had ever been able to work from home – but she desired time with her two young daughters. Even though her boss had a strong preference for an office presence, she won him over with a business proposal that proved homeworking’s effectiveness. Simply by asking for what she wanted, she didn’t have to sacrifice her family commitments.
Believe in yourself
What often stops women from making requests or becoming great leaders is doubt. If there’s even a shadow of this in the mind, the chances of success have already been lowered. By not believing in yourself, you’re making it a challenge for others to have such faith. Therefore, anytime you find yourself asking “can I do this?”, simply answer “yes” and move on.
Such wisdom is what Catherine Perez, Corporate Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Partnerships and Business Development at Nissan Motor Co. follows, and it’s clearly been a key contributor to her victories. If you do have times where you struggle with self-assurance, CEO of Ann Summers Jacqueline Gold CBE advises that you list your achievements. Reference these during moments of doubt, and you’ll be reminded of the power you possess, and that will uplift your confidence.
Lead by example
Part of getting others to believe in you is by being a positive influence. Considering how you would like to be led will help you with this. You’ll be able to pinpoint any habits you’ve fallen into, and improve on the areas that need it. If you have any staff, then you’ll set a better culture this way too. Employees can see what it takes to be a good leader, providing inspiration that may propel them to be successful themselves.
This is what Karren Brady feels is responsible for her achievements. Becoming Vice Chairman of West Ham United Football Club, the Senior Non-Executive Director of the Syco and Arcadia boards, and the Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party, are just some. Her values of integrity and enthusiasm have also proved essential to sparking fantastic leadership.
How tax software contributes to leadership
What can often block not just a woman, but any person, from becoming a successful entrepreneur is time. In those initial days especially, it can be difficult to balance all your responsibilities. Lynne Doughtie, US Chairman and CEO of KPMG, offers the advice: “prioritise the things that only you can do”. Leveraging your talents will allow you to be a better leader, and other time-consuming tasks can be delegated.
These include those that are administrative, like the burdensome tax return. But this doesn’t necessarily have to be outsourced to a person – you can let Self Assessment software take care of it.
Tools like GoSimpleTax do all the calculations so you can submit your tax return in minutes. It even makes tax-saving recommendations where relevant to your situation, meaning you’ll have not only more time for your entrepreneurial activities, but more funds for them too.