Ahavel Aborishade on Surviving the First Years as an Entrepreneur - Especially as a Woman

Surviving in the business world can be tough. The environments are often competitive, fast-paced and challenging, and statistics from 2018 show women as less likely to make it to managerial positions than men. Ahavel Aborishade knows that though the first years are hard, you can hit the heights you want with the right expectations and drive. Making it in business as a woman adds an extra layer of difficulty, but by utilizing these five states of mind, Ahavel Aborishade shows you how to gain some important headway.

1. Allay self-doubt.

Starting up a business can be immensely demanding psychologically. It’s easy to be affected by doubt about your ability, your service, your future success and how you’re going to structure your time around your priorities. Recognizing your self-worth is immensely helpful on the path to success.

Nobody made it big without the faith in their ability and the courage to proceed. Often, we’re so focused on the big steps that will propel our business forward that we forget the importance of the smaller ones. Be proud that you’ve made the decision to make it in your field, be proud that you’ve planned your future, that you have skills in your chosen area and recognize that self-doubt is a natural process that many go through.

Don’t listen to that nagging voice telling you that you can’t make it or that others are better – you can bring your own style to your industry in a way that no-one else can.
2. Don't be intimidated and speak your mind.

It’s no secret that men are more successful in the business world, but avoiding working with the opposite sex is not productive. A working relationship with men will make your business more successful.

Part of the thought process here is not to give in to feeling intimidated. Men are well-known for being competitive but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be competitive or that you should worry about appearing unfeminine. Men like working with women when they show a similar level of determination and acumen; in fact, some prefer it.

Don’t be afraid of being honest, of speaking your mind, and working with members of the opposite sex that have more experience than you. Neither sex is better in this area – just different – and both sexes have benefits that they can bring to the table.
3. Be passionate and love what you do.

It’s vital not to underestimate the importance of passion in enterprise. The one thing that is going to help you maintain your drive for when things get difficult – not if they get difficult – is your love for your business. If you have a love and passion for what you do, you will be indefatigable and push on when the going gets tough.
4. Don’t be sensitive, be strong.

In the business world, just like in daily life, there are many different types of people. Some will be helpful, some supportive and some kind, but there are also those who will be overly-critical, proud, arrogant, and unfair. It’s essential to be strong and prepared for the wide variety of people in the business world.

Sometimes it’s possible to be at the receiving end of sexist attitudes, but laughing these off and proceeding anyways can pay dividends and can gain you respect in the eyes of your critics. If you’re the type of individual who’s sensitive, you’ll have to develop a thicker skin to make it. If this doesn’t feel like ‘you’, “fake it till you make it” can be the best advice. Try adopting a persona – before long it’ll be second nature.
5. There’s no short cut to hard work.

This last one may seem obvious, but it’s the most critical. Many people don’t have experience of what it’s like to start up a business and it’s easy to get the wrong impression. Popular culture and social media don't help, with the idea of working calmly in cafés with a latte and a laptop seeming attractive and easy. Unfortunately, it’s not always so laid back – there will come times when things are difficult, stressful or confusing. If you’re not prepared to put the work in, your business won’t succeed.

If you have confidence, belief and care about your business it will grow. If things don’t work, try another way and above all, be persistent. Such attitudes can be extremely effective, generating revenue while helping to eliminate sexism and level the playing field.
Surviving and making it in the business world can be tricky as a woman, but thankfully there are many like Ahavel Aborishade who have been there before and who can give future start-ups good advice. Making your way as an entrepreneur is about state of mind and self-belief as much as it is about ability. If you develop your business using these five main concepts, making it through the first few years will be easier and more rewarding.
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