Lessons from my father: How to be a female entrepreneur

You become a female entrepreneur, just like everybody else does.

How does a female navigate the waters of business ownership? Just like everybody else.

How does a female run a start-up? Just like everybody else.

How does a woman in business deal with rejection? Just like everybody else.

Growing up, I worked on the farm, threw hay bales, and sorted cattle alongside my father. I played sports, taught kids how to skate, and got in too much trouble on the weekends. I studied, passed my classes, and skipped school when I was bored, just like everybody else.

Growing up, my father would ask me for my opinion on new business ideas that he was always cooking up. He’d ask me about really important things like the size of a chicken barn, the type of flock, or the market he would later join. I had no chance of becoming anything other than an entrepreneur. There were very few (if any) events that stood out to me that would have led me to believe that I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.

I do know is that if you start thinking you are different from everybody else, you are. This mindset can work for or against you. I’ve talked to literally hundreds of gym owners between Two-Brain Business and Gym Lead Machine, and I can always tell if the products or services that we sell are going to work for someone. The people and businesses that TBB and GLM work for are the ones who know that gyms are not a new kind of business; gyms have been successful in many markets with the right tools- SOMEONE has been there and done that, and WON. The people who are not successful are the ones who think they are different from anyone else who has operated a gym, think they are in a totally unique market, and have a unique demographic – believe me, I’ve heard it ALL.

I started a gym in a town of fewer than 2,500 people in southern Ontario. I started the gym in a town with an overweight, aging population located in the middle of farm country. There were (and still are) two other gyms in town. So, I hired a mentor. I was smart enough to know that I didn’t know everything, so I hired someone who had made the mistakes already and could guide me away from them.

Not once did I say that I was different, not once did I mention anything special about my situation, and not once did gender ever cross my mind. So many women have started businesses worldwide in different situations- single, married, divorced, with kids, without kids, in cities, in rural areas, and the list goes on. You can let these things block you from advancing, or you can find someone else who is “just as different as you are” and copy what they did. Someone somewhere has been in your shoes.

If you believe you are different, and you “can’t do” something because of that difference, then you are probably right.

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