There are so many babyboomer women who are running their own businesses these days, so I thought it was high time for us to talk about the challenges we come up against and how we deal with them. They are certainly different than what men deal with (and many times they, the men, have a rougher time than we do), but I believe it's different than younger women starting businesses too.
I kind of "fell into" my business over 12 years ago. You can hear my story here. I didn't know diddly about running a business (and I'm not sure I know NOW by the way that my taxes look!) back then, it all "just happened". What I'm saying is, it wasn't a concious effort to start a business. I was blessed with this crazy idea for a cartoon character who suffers with every single symptom of menopause and I had at least a tiny bit of hope that maybe I could make something out of it.
10 years is a long learning curve, don't you think? People keep telling me I should be proud of what I've done, but I keep thinking I should be MUCH further along in the game. I look at other women who have started businesses at the same age and within the same niche, with the same target market and they're going gang busters! Look at the Red Hat Society or Menopause the Musical! They're HUGE and able to capitalize on their talents and on this time in their lives. I can't help but wonder what I've done wrong to not reach the same level of success.
We've all had our handicaps, like doing all that we do at a time when our bodies seem to be working against us! Just like millions of other women, we have to figure out what is best for us individually so we can cope with the stresses and complications of running a business. I feel part of the reason we are able to do it is knowing we can do anything....that's one of the benefits of being middle-aged, we gain a lot more confidence in our abilities, plus we know what we want.
One of the unexpected issues that came up after I had been in business with Minnie Pauz Enterprises for about 2 years was the competitive nature of many of these other women. At times when I thought we could help each other by partnering on projects, I saw a lot of pulling back and mistrust between business owners. It even got to the point where I quit offering to give free publicity and advertising because the other party wasn't living up to their side of the bargain. There's a lot of talk about what women can accomplish together, but in business the "sisterhood" doesn't really hold much water.
If you have a business related to women, menopause, babyboomers, let us know how you're doing it in the midst of the hot flashes, insomnia and depression. Are you going it alone or do you have a partner? Do you prefer how you're doing it? How's business? :)