Have you ever had the feeling that as a mompreneur you are not taken seriously? You’re not alone. Many mompreneurs complain that the success of their company is limited by people’s unwillingness to view them as a credible business owner. Follow these steps and when people meet you, they will perceive you as a professional and competent entrepreneur:
Never use your children as an excuse. The reality is that being a mother consumes every aspect of your life. You are never “off the clock” and sometimes mompreneurs need to put their work aside to address the needs of their children. Unfortunately, most customers don’t care about your personal life; they just need you to get the job done.
If you have a business, no matter how small, you are an entrepreneur. Never minimize the importance of what you do.
Take yourself seriously. How do you feel about yourself as an entrepreneur? Can you confidently introduce yourself and your company to a room of business people? Deep down, many mompreneurs feel like they are not real entrepreneurs. They may be afraid that their business is not big enough or they may not view themselves as the “entrepreneurial type.” If you have a business, no matter how small, you are an entrepreneur. Never minimize the importance of what you do.
Look the part. Since you are the face of your company, people are going to judge your business based on how you look. Make sure that you present yourself in a way that is consistent with the perception that you want people to have of your business. Consider the whole package; it doesn’t make sense to spend lots of money on a stylish suit only to ruin the effect with messy hair and unpolished shoes.
Ask for your family’s support. It is difficult to feel like a successful entrepreneur if you are being undermined by the people closest to you. Let them know that you depend on them for support. If your family members are reluctant to view you as an entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to demand it of them. Once you manage to convince your family to take you seriously, the rest of the world will be a piece of cake.
Pay attention to how you communicate. You can be saying all the right things, but if the way that you communicate doesn’t project confidence, nobody will pay attention to you. Try to become conscious of how you speak and the body language that you use. Ask your friends and colleagues for feedback. Are there any bad habits that you need to break? Sometimes a small adjustment can make a big difference in how you are perceived by others.
Unfortunately, you cannot control other people’s stereotypes. If they are unwilling to accept that women are a growing force in the business world, there isn’t much that you can do about it. However, if you always maintain an awareness of the image that you are projecting, you should be able to get most people to focus on your business instead of on the fact that you are a woman.