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Receiving Support: Expert Advice for Two Types of Female Entrepreneurs

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A vast majority of female entrepreneurs go it alone as they launch, build and maintain their businesses – but they don’t have to. By seeking and accepting support from experts and from community members, businesswomen can shorten their learning curves and reach potential they didn’t even know they had.

Research by a trusted authority on female entrepreneurs shows there are five distinct types of women in business. Each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article describes two of those types and outlines various ways each of them can seek that support effectively.

Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and then she decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have started making something that served her own unmet needs and found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Although Accidental Jane may sometimes struggle with prioritizing what she needs to do next in her business, she enjoys what she does and is making good money. About 18% of all women business owners fit the Accidental Jane profile.

Because Accidental Jane values creating a work-life balance that allows her to make her own choices and maintain her freedom, she would benefit from connecting with a mentor/expert who knows how to build a thriving, happy and balanced solopreneur business – who has experience building a referral system, and who understands making money by leveraging time. Also, Accidental Jane should surround herself with a community of Accidental Jane business owners who understand how she wants to grow her business, and with whom she can share referrals and overflow work.

Go Jane Go is passionate about her work and provides excellent service, so she has plenty of clients – so much so, she’s struggling to keep up with demand. At 14% of women in business, she may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she’s eager to make an impact on the world and she often struggles to say no. Because she wants to say yes to so many people, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. As a result, she may be running herself ragged and feeling guilty about neglecting herself and others who are important to her.

Go Jane Go businesses are often thriving – and sometimes at the expense of the Go Jane Go business owner’s personal well-being. Therefore, Go Jane Go will benefit from connecting with experts who can help her with her time management skills, who will hold her accountable when it comes to making time for herself, and who can take care of tasks that do not require Go Jane Go’s own attention. Whenever Go Jane Go has the opportunity, she should delegate to qualified experts to free up some of her own time. If Go Jane Go seeks a mentor, that mentor should be someone who has gone through what she is going through, and who can help her learn to delegate and prioritize. In terms of community support, Go Jane Go should seek a pressure-free community where she can relax, have fun and be herself – where she can feel supported.

For women business owners, seeking expert and community support saves time, frustration and even money – and can accelerate the path to success. Being a solopreneur doesn’t have to mean doing everything alone.

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research, Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients such as Starbucks, Frito Lay, Tropicana, Texas Instruments, Hoover Vacuums and Verizon Wireless. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides female entrepreneurs like YOU with powerful resources, such as educational blogs, teleclasses, newsletters, and books. Take your Jane assessment to determine your own business type at www.janeoutofthebox.com Also, she is the author of two successful books for female entrepreneurs, “See Jane Succeed” (at www.seejanesucceed.com) and “See Jane Collaborate” (at www.seejanecollaborate.com).

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