In the beginning of our adventures in entrepreneurship, there’s a lot of uncertainty.
Sometimes it feels like money is flowing out of our vulnerable little bank accounts as much as flowing in (business coaching, website design, and fancy programs…and I can’t even imagine what it’s like for product-based businesses!). And although we know in our gut that this is a temporary phase, it can be absolutely terrifying.
And I’ll admit it, sometimes I feel tempted to close up shop and retreat back to the predictable (or more predictable) world of the 9-to-5.
Sometimes I just want to stop thinking about money; to simply go to work, do my thing, and have the exact same amount of money appear in my bank account every other week. It’s practically a dream, right?
And then I remember. A 9-to-5 job doesn’t allow me to do MY thing. It allows me to do someone else’s thing.
My partner sent me a press release this morning with some inspiring numbers on women and entrepreneurship in Canada.
A report from BMO (that’s the Bank of Montreal for all my international readers) found that 63% of women-owned businesses turned a profit after two years in business.
That’s pretty good, if you think about it. We’ve all heard the often-quoted “fact” that most small businesses fail within their first few years.
This study shows that for women today, that just isn’t the case.
However, the report also highlighted some of the struggles of being a woman in business. Maybe these are universal struggles, not women-specific, I’m not sure. Either way, I think the numbers reinforce things we all already know to be true…but there’s something about stats that can be so comforting.
Your struggles are normal. Here’s proof:
According to BMO…
- 51% of women entrepreneurs struggle with supporting their families until their businesses are profitable
- 43% struggle with obtaining the capital they need to get started
- 43% find it difficult to build a customer network
- and 20% struggle with getting the advice needed to get started
For me, these numbers were a quick reminder of the importance of resilience. Of getting qualified support, because we can’t be naturals at every single aspect of running a business (my weaknesses are pricing and long-term planning). Of having a support network of both friends and fellow entrepreneurs AND family members.
And most importantly, these numbers remind me that a little struggle is part of the game.
Because most of us are going to make it.
In the words of Ira Glass, it’s going to take a while. It’s supposed to.
What do these numbers mean to you?