Entrepreneurship is the path to happiness for women
Now, you might think that growing your company and having employees is stressful. Quite the contrary. Women entrepreneurs who have employees and are growth-oriented are among the happiest people in the world, according to the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report, issued by Babson College and Baruch College. American women entrepreneurs ranked their well-being higher than other women in the U.S., higher than women entrepreneurs in other countries, and higher than men.
“It is no surprise to me that growth-oriented women entrepreneurs are so happy,” said Marsha Firestone, founder and president of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a peer advisory organization for women who own multi-million dollar businesses. “Entrepreneurship is the great equalizer for women.” Women entrepreneurs have control of what they pay themselves, how much influence and power they have, and their time. “They thrive on entrepreneurial endorphins that are produced when they are ‘creating the box’ rather than operating inside or outside the box,” said Amy Millman, president of Springboard Enterprises, an accelerator for women-led businesses in technology, media, and life sciences.
What’s good for women is good for the economy. “If women were as economically engaged as gentlemen in the economy, our GDP would be 7 to 9 point larger,” said Sallie Krawcheck, a former investment analyst and chair of Ellevate, a global professional women’s network, on Bloomberg TV.
What’s a girl to do?
Progress in women’s entrepreneurship sometimes feels like Sisyphus pushing that rock uphill. It’s frustrating. Whether your mountain peak is a company with a few employees or many, you have a better chance of getting to the top if you join forces with others.
There is a misconception that entrepreneurship is a lonely journey. If I learned one thing from the the interviews I’ve done as a contributor to Forbes and author of Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, a free book, it is that most successful women don’t do it alone. These women reach out and ask for help when they need it. They turn to co-founders, professional advisors, and their employees. They also turn to their peers.
Force multipliers: 3 adaptations to help women entrepreneurs scale big, research by Babson College Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership on EY’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, confirms the importance of finding like-minded peers. Women may form an informal posse or join a formal group. Groups like WPO and Young Presidents’ Organization shortcut and facilitate the process by bringing together a group of entrepreneurs on a monthly basis to problem solve. They also hold you accountable for the goals you set.