Taking A Road Less Traveled – Startup Life For Women Entrepreneurs
Before focusing on what you need, start by taking stock of what you already have.
By Anagha Nadkarni (Co-Founder, Appguppy)
Studies indicate that women are less likely to state a preference for entrepreneurialism than men. With all the brouhaha over whether women can ever really have it all, I decided to put together my thoughts on the top three reasons why I broke rank and decided to pursue an entrepreneurial track in the middle of my MBA, in spite of the uphill battle it can present.
Reason #1 – Building My Own Corporate Vision
So much of job hunting during business school was about “finding the right fit.”
Recruiters consistently stressed the importance of finding candidates that were the “right fit” for the organization while most MBAs spent their time explaining how and why they saw themselves as fitting within that vision.
The difference between interviewing for a job and being your own boss is the power in setting that vision. You aren’t just contributing to a culture and vision or an organizational entity, you are actually building and executing it from the bottom up. No matter how small you are when you start, know this. One day, it will be you who leans across the table and asks someone how they see themselves fitting in to that vision.
Reason #2 – Creating A Wealth-Generating Enterprise
As an entrepreneur, you aren’t just responsible for yourself. You have the potential to be responsible for others. Whether you pursue a business to balance work and family, or to make money, you will begin to touch and impact the prospects of those around you.
At Appguppy, my business partners and I took hundreds of individuals and businesses mobile within days of opening the platform. Additionally, I began hiring my own employees. It can be incredibly stressful to bear this level of responsibility. It is also incredibly enthralling and empowering and allows me to explore practical applications of subjects I spent so much time (and money!) studying.
Reason #3 – Being A Role Model for Female Entrepreneurs of the Future
My business partners and I made a number of sacrifices to capitalize upon the opportunity to be among the first class of the Women Innovate Mobile tech incubator. Staring down those sacrifices three months ago, we felt a dual sense of trepidation and excitement about the journey upon which we were about to embark. However, I also felt a tremendous sense of obligation to those who would start weighing the pros and cons of the same decision one, five or even ten years after we would.
We can wring our hands and argue till the sun sets about whys, hows and whens of female entrepreneurialism and work-life balance. Or, we can choose to be that individual who steps up to the plate and says “I will show you that it can be done… because I made the same choice, and it is a worthy choice.”
I truly believe that every female entrepreneur is a role model for those who come after us, no matter the differences in our chosen industries. We each of us, validate the choice of entrepreneurialism.
As an entrepreneur, I can tell you that I fully understand why it is the road less traveled. It’s thorny and tricky and bandit-laden and you can never see too far around the corner. But what waits around that corner is so much bigger. Because what waits around the corner isn’t even necessarily money or fame or the mysterious work-life balance.
It’s you. Who you really are and what you are meant to be. A maker of dreams, a definer of vision, a slayer of dragons. It’s you as the entrepreneur, as valid a choice as any other. Make it!
Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.
About the guest blogger: Anagha Nadkarni is a Co-Founder of Appguppy. After leading marketing initiatives at companies including Patni Computer Services and Converge, she worked as an attorney for the US Government, specializing in real estate transactions to drive urban development in Southern California. After amassing a $500M closing portfolio, she left law for the business world to reach her goal of democratizing mobile for the everyday person. Follow her on Twitter at @asnadkarni.