If you are a mother who owns her own company, chances are you are dreaming big. I know that I am.
Right now my office is set up in my home. I have two small fold out tables that I use to hold my computer, my WACOM tablet and my other business necessities. I stare at blank walls and, through the window, at the side of my neighbor’s house. I can wake up at three in the morning and wander the hall to my office, sit down, and begin to write (which, now that I have a ten month old, happens more times than I care to count!)
My dream is to grow my company so that one day I can set up shop in a cute little brick building that faces a quaint downtown street and overlooks other cute brick buildings, a few trees, a small bench and perhaps a courtyard filled with flowers. I can see my office, downstairs, through the bay window, just my computer, some other equipment and perhaps one or two other full time people on staff. Snow is on the ground. (Yes, this is my dream-no snow in Southern California, but in my mind there is!)
That I dream big is not out of the ordinary. I would guess that most business owners do.
The fact remains, though, that I may never make it past $10,000 a year in revenue, since this is the magical number that most women who own companies top-43% of us, in fact.
Over 70% of women in business make less than $50,000 and only 3% of women business owners have companies that top one million or more, according to research conducted by the Women Presidents’ Organization. Men are twice as likely to hit that million-dollar mark, but why? And what can you do about it so that you step out of the 43% and into the 3%?
Several reasons exist that might explain why women-owned companies aren’t growing at the rate of those owned by men. Perhaps we are a bit less risky when it comes to business. I know that though I do dream about owning my own brick and mortar marketing company, in order to get to that place I have to start taking more risks, and these risks scare me. However, when I talk about them with my husband, he tells me very matter of factly that this is what has to be done to succeed. While I see some aspects of moving forward as risky, he sees them as necessary, and perhaps that is why I have a tendency to hold back when he, if he were the owner, would be more likely to push forward.
I believe that mothers might be a little more hesitant about growing big just because of the time constraints it would place on the family. Men are more likely to have been brought up believing that they need to conquer the job force and make a lot of money because they are the providers, while we were probably more likely to be told that we needed to take care of the house and be available for our families.
It is very difficult to do both, and impossible to do both 100% of the time. In fact, it is quite difficult to do either of these 50% of the time. As women who own companies, we sometimes have to give more than fifty percent to the company, and at other times we are able to expend more than fifty percent of our time and energies on our families. This, I believe, is the nature of the mother owned business beast.
I truly believe that to grow a company from small to large you have to invest an inordinate amount of time into it, which means hours spent away from the home and in the business (even if your business is in your home). Some mothers may be hesitant to do this-at least while their children are younger and more dependent.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this, so feel free to post! If you are a woman business owner who has been pushing forward in hopes of growing your business, or if you have succeeded in doing so, please send me an email with information that I can share with the other mother readers who are opening or currently running a business.
Supporting one another is just one step that we can do to ensure that our companies are creeping up the reveneu ladder, one rung at a time.