Ever since we were young, we were taught to be kind and gentle, to agree, and be humble. While these are valuable skills for a person and entrepreneur, they aren’t enough to be successful. If you are a confident person, you might hesitate from self advocacy and self-promotion because of the fear of being judged by other entrepreneurs.
As a female entrepreneur, self advocacy goes beyond standing up for yourself. You also have to break gender biases and believe in your skills and ideas. You’ll run into challenges but that’ll bring a bigger growth opportunity for your business.
Here are 7 self advocacy tips I’ve learned ever since becoming an entrepreneur:
1. Establish Your Value Clearly
Only when you are confident about your business and how it benefits your client, will you be able to stand strongly behind your values. It is not just about self-assurance but also for people around you to recognise and appreciate your worth. Remember, your business is a reflection of your vision and hard work. So, tell your story confidently and loudly!
2. Build a Strong Network
You are who you attract. If you feel like your current business network is unproductive or toxic, stay away. Strong professional relationships should be supportive, offer advice, and bring in new opportunities. You can find other motivated female entrepreneurs through women entrepreneur groups, industry events, and LinkedIn. Only focus on businesses where there’s an equal exchange of support otherwise it will make you doubt your worth.
3. Negotiate Assertively
Negotiation is one of the most important skills as an entrepreneur to turn into a strong leader. Don’t shy away from asking for what you deserve, whether it’s funding, resources, or partnership terms. Preparation is key, so arm yourself with data and examples to back up your requests. Think of negotiation as a conversation and not confrontation and you’ll approach it in a different light.
4. Embrace Your Perspective
The way a person thinks is influenced by their personality, experiences, and viewpoints. And that’s why no two people can think alike. You might have some great ideas to share but unless you do it with confidence, no one will listen to you. Maintain the values of your business but always look for innovative solutions and strategies that set your business apart.
5. Develop a Personal Brand
Have you met a female entrepreneur and thought she was ambitious and inspiring? You can be that person! While you build your business, also work on building a personal brand that resonates with your values and strength. A strong personal brand can attract new opportunities and boosts industry credibility. Social media, public events, and blogging are three ways where your personal brand can shine the most.
6. Seek Feedback Actively
Regularly ask for input from clients, mentors, and peers. It helps you think with different perspectives on your business and bring out areas for improvement. Treat feedback as a learning opportunity, not criticism as it’s a valuable tool for your personal and professional development.
7. Prioritize Self-Care
Running a business is a fulfilling journey but self-care is crucial for maintaining your health, energy, and focus. Take time off for yourself, whether it’s through exercise, hobbies, or simply relaxing.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t expect yourself to be perfect magically.
As a female entrepreneur you already are an inspiration to so many around you. Visit our blog for more uplifting and motivating content for female entrepreneurs and side hustlers.