Elizabeth Hu, of Business Insider, reports women generate a 0.78 return on every dollar invested vs. 0.31 for men. Ouch.
So, why do we even bother working with male led companies? There are more of them. While business start ups have increased dramatically over the past 20 years by women (prior to 1988, women apparently needed a male co-signor on any loans, what???), the majority of the increase is for solo based businesses in industries not feasible for venture backing.
Why did I write this article? In my own analysis of the companies I’ve most enjoyed being a part of helping build, I noticed a trend heavily in the favor of female entrepreneurs. Both based on the character and the results.
One of the favorite entrepreneurs I’ve worked with of all time has been an entrepreneur named Ashley Whitman, the founder of Cappy Bug, LLC (Romp & Roost). She is a true representation of a great female entrepreneur and I’ve been honored to work with her for 4 years come September.
Read more about me and why I decided to become an entrepreneur here!
When I was in college, I worked a lot. Too much looking back. The 18 hour days, the traveling, the all consuming focus of “making it happen”. While it took me another 15 years to learn to value balance, one memorable trip taught me a lot about empathy.
Here’s where the embarrassing story comes in. I was flying back from a business event, and exhausted, I fell asleep. Not bad, right? Lots of people fall asleep on planes. Give it a minute. I woke up with my shoulder on an older gentlemen’s shoulder, and…… I had drooled on him. I was horrified. After a frantic apology, I asked, “Why didn’t you wake me up?”. He replied, “My wife (sitting in the window seat next to him) and I have 5 children all older than you. It didn’t bother me a bit”.
I was in awe of his empathetic demeanor and how kind he was. At that age (19), I would have lost it if the same thing had happened to me. It gave me quite the paradigm shift.
In business and life, you’ll have situations happen to you where you have every right to be angry. I call on you to be empathetic like the older man.
Since then, I’ve been fortunate to have empathy shown to me many times both personally and professionally and I’m extremely grateful. So, I’ve tried to show the same kindness.
In our business, we’ve gone above and beyond to help people who we had no incentive to help. We’ve forgiven many that have wronged us.
We’ve had people attack us and have had to take a step back – knowing that if we attacked back, we’d crush them and didn’t want to put that into the world.
Sure, you’ll be taken advantage of occasionally – but some will take your kindness for what it is and your mercy will be an everlasting reminder in their lives.
I grew up in an a family business. My dad was an entrepreneur and my mom supported him through each step. That meant learning how business worked at a young age. It is a topic of family discussion at the dinner table. When the business is growing, it’s a part of your weekends. It’s your summer job. It becomes ingrained in you. These are the roots of my entrepreneurial journey.
For five years , I worked as much as I could for my family’s business and mowed 3-4 yards per week, essentially running a micro business and cutting my teeth with pricing, recurring contracts, and customer satisfaction.
However, when I was 16 years old, I was on a fast track to becoming a doctor. I had straight A’s, I had been fascinated by medicine from a young age. I had scoped out the colleges I wanted to go to, and dreamed of being an orthopedic surgeon. That was, until I started meeting several who were not happy, were not fulfilled, and were all getting into business ventures.
Around that time, that I received my first copy of the book, “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The book changed my mindset. I stopped thinking about the impact I could make as an individual and started thinking about creating an impact with systems.
It’s my belief that entrepreneurship is the Archimedes lever. Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to achieve more than you would ever be able to as an individual.
It was that realization that put me on my path to filing my first LLC at 18 years old prior to going to Ohio State University where I would get into the world of startups.