Tough Lessons Learned as a Female Founder (That Have Nothing to Do with Gender)

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Does being female prevent certain entrepreneurs from success? One founder says no.

By Laura Woodroof (Co-founder, The Consultant Lounge & Job Runners)

People are always very intrigued to know what I think about the difficulties women face as entrepreneurs. The data show it’s harder for women to secure funding. It’s hard to be the only woman in the room. And women are typically less inclined to ask for more from advisors, peers or investors.

But, I sometimes feel that we — women — focus so much on proving how difficult it is to be a female entrepreneur/founder/CEO, that we lose sight of other more important things. While I certainly don’t think we should ignore the disparities that exist, my top three learnings (there are MANY more) from my first six months as an entrepreneur are focused on just being an entrepreneur, minus the female factor.

1. Your Biggest Risk is Inaction

Just do it! You will never be 100 percent sure whether or not you’ll be successful. But you can be 100 percent sure that you will NOT be successful if you don’t just get started and do something.

Don’t be reckless. But if you’re waiting for exactly the right time and for everything to be in place, with all the right resources and perfect product/app/service before you start… you’ll never start. I believe you should always start before you feel ready” because you’ll never actually be completely ready.

2. At Times, It WILL Be Soul Crushing

We humans are emotional beings. And we get emotionally invested in what we’re building. It’s ours, and we feel that it represents part of us.

Unfortunately failure in one way or another will happen. It’s how we learn and improve.

Whether it’s an email from a seriously unhappy customer, rejection from a potential employee, a big no from an investor, a partner who isn’t interested… it will happen and you may regret putting yourself out there. The key is to take a minute to feel sorry for yourself, (if you must) realize what the learning from the situation is, and keep moving. Done.

3. You’re As Successful as the Hours You Put In

Yes, it’s great to be able to arrange my life around my work when I need to. There are very real benefits to this, but all in, I work much more than I did before. And I love it.

You put everything you have into making your startup work. It consumes you most of the time mentally and physically. I realized very quickly that the amount of work I do and my actions directly correlate with how well my startup is doing, and that can be exhausting.

There is no finance, marketing, admin person to get stuff done, the buck starts and stops with me.

For now, I’m looking forward to what the next six months and more will bring, and what I’m sure will be an even longer list of lessons learned.

A version of this post originally appeared on Medium.


About the guest blogger: Laura Woodroof is a New York City based entrepreneur and one of the founders of TheConsultantLounge.com, a trusted career site for consultants, dedicated to providing the consulting professional community with everything they need to be successful in their career. Prior to launching TheConsultantLounge.com Laura was a Human Capital Management Consultant for 10+ years and worked on client engagements across numerous industries and with a number of fortune 500 companies. You can connect with Laura at @Lwoodroof.