Female entrepreneurs: Conquering the work/life balance
Occupational Psychologist Sherridan Hughes lets us in on her tips for being a successful female entrepreneur and gives advice on achieving a work/life balance. Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?
With over 20 years of experience and thousands of satisfied clients, Sherridan Hughes has witnessed the development of women in the world of business. She has given invaluable guidance and assisted many fempreneurs with clear and directional advice.
The era of the fempreneur has seen a proliferation of female led businesses across the UK. A significant shift in priorities has taken place with Simply Business recording 37% of start-ups in the past year being down to women.
“Typically, entrepreneurs are daring, ‘can-do’ people. They tend to be chaotic creatives who are questioning, forceful, confident and resilient, with a passion bordering on obsession,” says Sherridan.
Red magazine carried out an investigation to find out what drives women to achieve. We found that passion is the key factor to success; giving them the ability to put every minute they can into making ideas work. Failure to fit into the corporate structure was a main reason for many women to take the entrepreneurial route.
“They want to have their own baby in the form of a business,” says Sherridan. “They become entrepreneurs as they grow and develop their own business in something they can relate to, be it fashion or cookery, arts or science.”
However, starting your own business is no mean feat. Here are five top tips from Sherridan on how to boost your chances of success.
“Network, network, network.” Building contacts is vital. It’s all about who you know, and you never know when that person may have appropriate expertise.
“Communication is key.” Ensure everyone you work with is on the same song sheet and that everyone feels inspired and empowered.
“Stay focused.” Don’t just open doors, remember to close them too. Get organised, manage time and budgets, and prioritise.
“Be emotionally intelligent.” The best leaders have charm, empathy and create or possess an atmosphere of mutual respect. This will foster a positive climate and make for good customer experience.
“Always think ahead.” Once you have that winning formula, don’t rest on your laurels. Look for the next opportunity and for ways to develop, grow and future-proof the business.
By following these five steps, entrepreneurs can be truly effective in all areas of their business, regardless of their specialism.
Running your own business comes with a heavy workload, as many female entrepreneurs know. Organisational skills and effective time management are a must, particularly when juggling multiple commitments.
In this month’s addition of Red magazine we met female entrepreneurs Josephine Fairley and Katherine Tanswell. Jo has managed to delineate a phenomenal career, including co-founding Green and Blacks, writing Beauty Bibles and setting up the award winning Judges Bakery, with defined time off. Katie, owner of dress boutique Walk in Wardrobe, has found organising the work/life balance much harder.
We had a look at each of the women’s daily routines to see if Sherridan could help them achieve a better balance.
Establishing an effective routine that works for you, your career and your lifestyle is essential to achieving a healthy balance. By making little changes, like turning off your work phone in the evenings or setting time aside to exercise, you can make vast improvements.
According to Sherridan, studies have shown that with a greater work/life balance female entrepreneurs will be more effective, productive and less prone to sickness. With regular breaks, many women find they become even more inspired.
Networking is a key piece of advice Sherridan always gives to her clients. It allows female entrepreneurs to meet like-minded people and receive the support usually gained in a corporate environment. Have a look at our online map to see networking events going on in London this month by clicking here.
Do you think it’s possible to balance a hectic career with other responsibilities like raising a family? Vote in our poll below.
Listen: We speak to the director of Speed Networking Events and find out what the benefits.
Watch: Find out how Zoe Burt, founder of Stamp and Stitch, set up her online business.
Explore: Have a look at out interactive map to see networking events taking place in London this month.
Q&A: Carrie Green on the Female Entrepreneur Association.