Why don’t we see ourselves as entrepreneurs?

     So often I think there is this huge disconnect with what it means to be an entrepreneur.  When we think of entrepreneurs, we think of people who started a business in their garage with a couple hundred bucks and an idea and now they're millionaires!  Amazing!  When we read business books we see advice that seems to mostly apply to small and large companies, not individuals who have a business.  It’s hard for me to constantly see The Best Business Advice Ever and then I read it and none of it applies to me. 

Working a craft fair with baby in tow! 

Working a craft fair with baby in tow! 

     The reality is that most entrepreneurs are probably not like that and may never be.  I had a hard time taking myself and my business seriously because I knew I would never be that, you don’t make millions being a pet sitter.  If I couldn’t live up to these big entrepreneurial success stories was I really an entrepreneur?  If I wasn’t changing the world with my idea was I really an entrepreneur? 

     I see and share statistics all the time about how women own only around 36% of businesses.  We are making leaps, for sure, but we still don’t come close to the men.  Why is that?  A big part of the reason is that we don’t see ourselves as entrepreneurs.  We see ourselves as someone with a side hustle to help our families.  A mom with a hobby that happens to make a little money.  We see stories of these millionaires who started with nothing and now post perfectly curated and styled photos on social media and we look at our little one person businesses that we can only dedicate 20% of our time to and we think that’s not me.

     Would I love to be one of those people?  Did you hear about her, she started her business with $500 and some cheap business cards and now she has 100 employees and makes millions! Of course, we probably all would love to be that person.  The fact that we aren’t, and may never be, does not change the fact that we are still business owners.  We are still entrepreneurs.  While these stories may be inspiring (I’ve been biz crushing on Sara Blakely recently, so I totally get it), they don’t always give us the actual motivation we need because they aren’t relatable.

     So what really does make an entrepreneur?  If you are your only employee, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you can’t afford a professional website so you use a cheap (or free!) DIY one, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you only make a few hundred or a couple thousands dollars a year, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you only have the time to work an hour or two a week, you’re an entrepreneur.  If you have any kind of service or business, no matter how small, you are an entrepreneur!  A real one!  Trust me!

     You don’t have to have dreams of grandeur, you have to love what you do and believe that you are a real business owner.  Do you think I expect to get rich off of pet sitting?  No way, but I love what I do.  I’m passionate about giving people a safe, affordable option that isn’t sticking their pets in cages all day at a boarders.  I’m passionate about being the best and doing my best.  I may never the be the success story you see in a magazine, but I’m my own success story and you are yours and we are each others.

Baby wearing lets me do my pet sitting appointments with a baby! 

Baby wearing lets me do my pet sitting appointments with a baby! 

     We need to SEE the stories of other female small business owners.  I didn’t start this page to be a business, I started it to be a wonderful community of women who uplift each other and learn from each other.  Who encourage each other and motivate each other.  It’s a space where we can see each others successes and see what we are capable of.  It’s our space, so be there for each other.  If you see a fellow business owner doing great, tell them so!  If you see one of us struggling, be supportive!  If you know of a badass mother runner who deserves to be spotlighted, send her my way so others can be inspired by her.

     While I think it is incredibly important to make female entrepreneurial role models accessible as a whole, my main focus is and always will be mothers.  It’s not enough to see women entrepreneurs in the spotlight, we need to see small business women that we can actually relate to. Women juggling kids and work like we are. Women who share the same struggles as us. Business owners that we see ourselves in. You can’t be what you can’t see.

     If this sentiment resonates with you, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I hope to explore this topic much more in the future!

 

Yours in business and motherhood,

Brittany