Because each type of female entrepreneur holds her own unique set of behaviors, characteristics and habits, each type must consider different things when it comes to her relationships. However, certain considerations apply to every woman business owner, no matter what her type. Making these considerations is essential in building and maintaining happy, healthy relationships.
Business ownership comes with its own set of demands – and meeting those while also striving to build and maintain healthy relationships can prove challenging for even the most energetic female entrepreneur. While every woman business owner is unique, certain considerations apply to all business owners when it comes to playing vital roles in their relationships.
Here are some thoughts every female entrepreneur should consider when it comes to her relationships:
In business with clients: make sure every relationship is symbiotic – beneficial to both parties. If a client is increasingly or consistently difficult to please and continues to drain entrepreneur resources, end the relationship. If a woman business owner and a client enjoy working together, the woman business owner should keep in contact with the client, even between projects, to maintain a network of people who can help her grow her business.
In business with employees or team members: provide clear and constant communication. If an employee or team member isn’t playing his or her part, provide feedback. If that doesn’t remedy the situation, end the relationship. Also, female entrepreneurs should focus on providing clear communication to employees and team members, and should make opportunities available to employees or team members who want to provide feedback of their own, whether it relates to the ground-level systems they know so well, or to the business owner’s communication style. Even entrepreneurs who value freedom and flexibility must make themselves available to people they hire.
In business with clients: strive to maintain perspective. Some female entrepreneurs take business more personally than others do. For some, this means they take business so personally that they struggle with day-to-day decisions. For others, it means they don’t take it personally at all, and can come across as brusque or abrasive with team members or clients. Keeping things in perspective and finding a balance between taking business situations totally personally or not taking them personally at all will provide women business owners with more effective work-life balance and with better communication.
At home with spouse or romantic partner: manage time well to ensure adequate time and attention on personal relationships. Every successful entrepreneur is passionate about her business, and must demonstrate the same level of passion about her family relationships so the people she loves don’t feel neglected. Women business owners must remember to ask their loved ones about their passions, and to avoid monopolizing home conversations with talk about the business.
At home with self: nurture the most important relationship – that with self. Many women business owners work so hard to provide for their employees, their families and their companies that they forget to provide for themselves. It is crucial in finding a satisfactory work life balance to set aside “self” time – and to stick to it. Find something relaxing – whether it’s a long walk, a massage, a facial, or a coffee break – and then schedule time regularly into the calendar to spend some time doing it.
At home with children and family: consider the effect business plans may have on home life. While some business owners report high levels of satisfaction with the work-life balance they strike, it is important to consider how changes in the business will affect family life. Depending on circumstances, for example, it may benefit a business owner and her family if she spends as much time with the kids as possible when they’re out of school for the summer, and plans a new product launch or business growth spurt to occur during the fall, when they are back in school.
At some point in the life of every business and every personal or family relationship, the two are bound to seem incompatible. However, by following the advice outlined in this article, female entrepreneurs can make strides towards managing this inherent conflict, so that their business and their relationships can coexist peacefully.
Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at www.janeoutofthebox.com