Tips for Being Taken Seriously as a Young, Female Business Owner

For anyone who’s ever filled out a job application or been interviewed for a position, you know that employers are looking for two things - education and experience. If you want to be a surgeon, lawyer, or psychologist, education is key. But in the world of business, experience is everything. Sure, you can get your degree in business administration or marketing to learn the basics of the trade. But when it comes down to building a business from the ground up, experience could make or break your success.


So what happens when you enter the business world as a young adult? One who, from first glance, appears inexperienced. How do you get people to take you seriously and realize that you have more to offer than meets the eye? Not only did I first enter the business world at the age of 22 but I did so as a female. Unfortunately, that meant I had two strikes against me before I ever left the gate. So how did I overcome these obstacles and go on to run a successful business? Read on to find out.

Use a Mentor or Partner

If you enter the business world as a young adult, be prepared to face criticism and dismissal. People subconsciously link business ownership with experience and longevity. Fellow business owners, as well as employees, may not take you seriously at first. Figuring you don’t know enough to oversee them or all the responsibilities that come with owning a business. One way to easily combat this is to create an experienced and talented team around you. This can come in the form of a business partnership or mentor. If you’re new to business ownership, investing in a mentor is a beneficial idea anyway. Find someone who is an expert in the field and learn as much as you possibly can from them. Once people realize that you were groomed by the best, it will instantly boost your credibility. Owning a business with partners is another way to equip yourself with knowledge and skills that you’ve not yet acquired. Pool your resources and skills. Just beware, business partnerships have their own set of challenges and pitfalls.

Toughen Up

I hate to say it but building a thicker skin is an absolute must as a young, female business owner. Although times are changing rapidly and women are being taken more seriously, there are still some situations where you are a woman trying to make it in a man’s world. And because of this, you may need to toughen up a bit. This means being a little less sensitive to certain comments. It means not taking things personally and trying to react from a place of reasoning and knowledge rather than emotion. Women are often more emotional than men by nature, but it’s important to keep your emotions in check as a young female entrepreneur and use them to your benefit. Focus those emotions into your passion for success. Hone those feelings of frustration or discouragement and transform them into ones of determination and a will to succeed and prove others wrong. But most importantly, understand that sometimes, constructive criticism can feel like just criticism. Learn to understand the difference. Internalize the advice that serves you, purge the rest, and move on!

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

Being a young female business owner can be intimidating. Especially when you’re faced with negativity and criticism. But it’s extremely important not to let this get the best of you. You need to stay strong in your stance and speak up. By sitting down and staying quiet, you’re simply falling into the stereotype of being weak and timid. You need to adopt an assertive, strong personality. This will not only gain you respect but it will also ensure that you’re taken seriously and your ideas are heard. It also validates your ideas. Stand behind what you believe in. The best way to achieve this is to gather as much knowledge as possible before speaking up. You want to make sure that the information you deliver is accurate and beneficial. In the early days of business ownership, learn as much as you possibly can from every experience. And don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you don’t ask, you’ll never know and that will impede both production and future success.

Admit Your Flaws and Work on Them

Perfection doesn’t exist in life nor business. The only way to learn and grow as a young female business owner is to stumble and fall. It’s important to understand that admitting your faults and flaws doesn’t make you weak, it actually shows that you want to learn and better yourself. The worst thing you can do is to become overly defensive. This will turn people off immediately and you might miss out on receiving the help and guidance you desperately need. Everyone makes mistakes when they’re first starting out. But owning up to yours and taking accountability for your actions will make you stand out. Admitting your faults shows strength of character and a certain level of maturity, which is the mark of a great leader.


Don’t Sell Yourself Short

When you’re constantly surrounded by negativity and doubt, it can really start to get to you. You might start questioning your own abilities and skills and think, “Are they right?” Never doubt yourself! It takes courage and strength to enter the business world as a young female. It’s also somewhat rare, which means people may not know how to react to you at first. A lot of times, something different or new is perceived as bad or strange. Don’t be surprised if when you introduce yourself as the business owner you get inquisitive or surprised looks. Take it as a compliment and the perfect opportunity to show them what you’re made of. Confidence is key when it comes to being taken seriously in business. Approach every task and interaction with a firm handshake and confidence in your skills and ability. Don’t let others make you question why you’re here, instead, show them.


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