Almost 90% of all women-owned businesses generate less than $100K yearly, and out of all women-led companies, only 2% generate more than $1M. I constantly ask myself, why?
Accelerating gender equality is the driving force behind what I do. But we’ll never achieve gender equality if women keep playing it small.
I’ve worked with thousands of women over the past 7 years, and got a deep insight into why women don’t make more money.
Here are the 6 main reasons why women tend to play it small, and what we can do to bring change.
If you want to listen rather than read, check out the podcast episode here.
Reason 1: Too many women treat their business as a hobby
It makes my hair stand up, but too many women don’t take their business seriously. I haven’t met a man who doesn’t take his business seriously. So what is really going on here?
My guess is that these women are wannapreneurs. A wannapreneur is someone who likes to call themselves an entrepreneur but isn't willing to do the work. Maybe they have a rich spouse and therefore don’t see a need to take their business seriously, or they aren’t driven to be financially independent. Maybe they just like to have a hobby business so they can call themselves a business owner. My take: If you want to be an entrepreneur, take your business seriously. Otherwise, don’t do it at all.
Reason 2: Women don’t invest enough in their personal and business growth
Nobody is born a CEO or entrepreneur. We all have to learn the skill of running a company and scaling it to six and seven figures. If I hadn’t invested in myself, I would probably still be stuck making less than six figures a year.
I continuously invest in personal and business growth. I see that people who do invest in themselves skyrocket their business within a few years. Those who don’t get stuck.
You should always invest forward if you want to grow. Not investing is having a scarcity mindset or a fixed mindset. Someone who has a growth mindset knows they can grow and change and therefore they are willing to invest. With a scarcity or a fixed mindset you cannot grow.
Reason 3: Women tend to be more risk averse than men
Investing forward is risky because you need to bet on yourself or on what you are investing in. I’ve seen a lot of women shy away from investing into paid advertising. That kind of thinking keeps you stuck. Investing forward is actually not risky — not investing is! But you aren’t going to have that insight unless you actually invest and see a return.
Reason 4: Women use family as an excuse
Women often use their children and/or spouse as an excuse for not being able to build their business, while men use their family as a reason. While this is slowly changing, I still hear way too many women use their children as an excuse.
It’s 2021, and we shouldn’t still be discussing this. Many of my most successful clients have very young children and some were even pregnant while doing my programs. Having children actually fuelled their growth.
Not working on your business because of your family sends the wrong message to your children, to your spouse and to future mothers. On the other hand, working on your business inspires others to do the same — and that’s when we can accelerate gender equality.
Reason 5: Women stop their business growth
I’ve noticed that a lot of women feel more comfortable with a lower revenue number. They might have replaced their prior income and are even making more than they did before, and because they feel comfortable, they don’t push themselves to grow more. They stay in their comfort zone. Why is this a problem?
A typical 6 figure business has no employees. It doesn’t fuel economic growth and provide jobs. You’re probably paying yourself a bit of salary, but you aren’t creating wealth. Financial freedom isn’t around the corner.
If you truly want to have an impact, you won’t just be making a profit for yourself, but provide jobs and fuel the economy with your business, so that everybody is better off. A women-owned business making less than 6 figures is not helping women achieve more equality.
Reason 6: Women take a break in the summer
This one makes me really frustrated. If I ask women in April or May when they’re going to do their next marketing campaign or promotion, many will say in September. This isn't a simple summer vacation. They are taking a long break from their business over summer, not making any money at all. I have yet to meet a man who takes three months off in his own business because it’s summer. No wonder women make less money than men.
Seriously, women, what is this?
I recently read a book by Malcom Gladwell where he talks about why some people have more success than others. He was talking about reading skills and mentioned studies about children who read during the summer months where there was no school. Unsurprisingly, these children became significantly better at reading.
And the children who didn’t read over summer? They experienced a learning loss. They actually lost some of their skills!
How does this relate to online business? Some entrepreneurs build their business in the summer. Many do not. Those who take a long break inevitably miss out. Those who keep up the momentum have a massive benefit over those who take a long summer break every year.
I had been running my business for over 4 years when I noticed this trend and I got so frustrated. But out of frustration, my best ideas are born. I created SOMBA Summer School — a 10 week intensive that helps my clients build their online business. Since then, I’ve been running the program twice a year and renamed it SOMBA Kickstart.
Also, I created the book “Kickstart Your Online Business” to help entrepreneurs kick off their online businesses and make sales. In this book, I share all the details of my Kickstart method to create an online course from scratch and make sales.
If you’re serious about building an online business that provides for you and your family and also has an impact, then this book is for you.