Entrepreneurs have incredibly full lives. This is even more true for women entrepreneurs with familial responsibilities. Taking care of a home and family takes up more time than our society will ever acknowledge, and then there is the business we gave birth to that occupies most of our waking hours and keeps us up many nights!
I don’t know about you, but despite the many systems put in place over twenty-two years in business, there is always something I remember just as I start dozing off or before I even open my eyes in the morning. Something that needs to be attended to immediately and involves a customer, a supplier, or a team member! And holidays are never 100% holidays, because our business is in our phone and continues to cry for attention all year—and it usually cries harder when you say you are out of range!
Most of us wouldn’t dream of giving up our business for a soul-deadening J-O-B, but sometimes, just sometimes, a little voice asks us if it’s worth it. The voice is loud on days when you feel sick and can’t call in sick. It’s louder on a sunny Sunday when you would rather be out enjoying a stroll like everybody else but must work on a business plan, crunch numbers or develop a client proposal. It’s tinged with guilt on the days when you arrive late to the school activity or stay out for a business dinner and miss the bedtime routine. It’s heavy on the heart on evenings when you are alone in a sterile hotel room instead of snuggled up to a loved one. And it’s loudest of all when despite all your efforts, the bottom line is nothing to smile about and you have to explain to your family and friends why you refuse to hang up your shingle and go work for the government!
And yet, there is a pull to create that enterprise that carries your DNA, that has the potential to make a better life for yourself and your family. In our heart, we know we can make a difference in our community or even the world. There is the excitement of venturing into new territory. There is the challenge and opportunity of learning something new each day. There is the never-ending variety of the work. There is the victory dance when you win big and the thrill of hearing prospects saying yes again and again. There is the warmth of a customer conveying her appreciation and detailing the impact on her life. We entrepreneurs have the power to truly create our life and reinvent ourselves time and time again. What a blessing!
For those of us who are very stubborn like me and decide there is nothing like being your own boss, take heart! We are part of a growing community of women who work for themselves, work from home, work within structures created by us for us. We are shaping the future economy and setting the example for numerous young women following in our footsteps, who will be creating tracks of their own.
We have to remember that ours is not the lonely road we sometimes think it is. We have to know that whatever problem, obstacles, dilemma we have, other businesswomen have experienced and resolved. We have to realize that we all experience the same fears and learn to move forward anyway. I have found other businesswomen to be generous in their coaching and support. I have also never hesitated to take time to share a coffee and ideas with another woman entrepreneur. Maybe it’s a reflection of how women have been socialized, but we thrive in groups and networks where we give and also receive.
As difficult as it is to be a woman entrepreneur, keeping the home fires and the night oil burning, I wouldn’t trade my career for anything. And I know the same is true for most of you. I’m grateful to know so many women are out there making a difference with their passion and hard work, grateful to be a part of this dynamic and supportive community.
I want to thank Canadian Small Business Women for the opportunity to contribute to this blog for the last 6 months. I hope you will continue to reach out to each other and won’t hesitate to reach out to me, if I can be of service.
Dennery Resources Inc.
Dominique Dennery is a bilingual coach, facilitator, and management consultant with over twenty years of experience. She has worked with everyone from young adults seeking direction, to mid-career executives looking to become more effective leaders, to high-level boards of directors and executive teams.