Women in Business 3 or More Years - Assess What's Working - What's Not?

Women in Business 3 or More Years - Assess What's Working - What's Not?

If you're a woman in business and you've been in business 3 years or more January is a great time to assess how it's going. You're hitting the crucial 3 to 5 year mark where, I'm sorry to say this, most businesses fail. Or, your business may bump along, more in the way of a hobby than a real business.

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Taxes & Fear Go Hand in Hand for Women in Business

Why do women in business make themselves so crazy with the fear, avoidance and resistance to paying taxes? We know they’re due a year ahead of time. Yet, we procrastinate up until the last day. A hundred years ago if you didn’t pay your taxes you could be hauled off to the poor house. While that’s not the case any longer, as April 17th approaches I notice a strong whiff of anxiety as I’m out networking and talking with women business owners. It’s hard to not get caught up in fear when it’s so prevalent. But, of course we don’t talk about that feeling of fear in the air. We put on a game smile, pretend as if everything is just FINE and struggle in silence because we think others know so much more or are doing so much better than we are.  Not the case.

As a life and business coach talking to women in business every day a couple of things are clear. One – when you’re self-employed the goal has to be to SAVE enough over the year to be able to pay your tax bill at the end of the year. But many don’t. They’re caught up in daily survival, often are just making ends meet and don’t know how to develop a longer-term perspective.  Others get caught in the vicious loop of paying BACK taxes, which makes it doubly hard to pay this years taxes. Ow! And then you have folks that earn plenty, but don’t save a thing because they just don’t manage their money well. As Robert Kiyosaki, of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame says, “It’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.”  That comes home to roost as we get older.

Second, the economy has wounded the heart and soul of many women (and men) in business. Losing a house, having to file for bankruptcy, downsizing your life and expectations takes its toll. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine things getting better. But imagine and work towards this, we must.

So then the question is – how do you deal with money fears that create avoidance and exaggerate money troubles? I know you’re not going to like this but the answer is to courageously look at the facts as they relate to your money situation and create a plan to deal with it. Get help if necessary. Women in business: we get past fear by confronting what makes us afraid and by taking the daily right action necessary to stay conscious of what’s happening with our money. As Suze Orman says: “Every money challenge can be solved by the person you see in the mirror.”

Women in Business Don’t Take Enough Financial Risks

Is it true that women in business don’t take the financial risks necessary to get ahead? We know that women still earn only 78 cents on the dollar compared to men and though there are plenty of women middle managers, there are dismally few at the CEO level. According to Lois P Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich, these are symptoms that reflect the social training girls and young women receive about “doing good and being nice” over getting ahead. Making money and being the good girl, wife, or employee can be in direct opposition to a path of power and women will often pick the path of least resistance. Though understandable, this is not a great strategy for your bottom line, (and I don’t mean the bottom you sit on). This is especially true as women move into their retirement years.

What are the risks women should be taking?  To name a very few: 1) starting a new business or 2) investing in real estate or the market or 3) NOT giving their adult children money to bail them out of self-induced situations. This last one is a huge money mistake for women and pops up all the time with my Money Coaching clients.

Women in Business: Here are a couple questions to think about to give you Financial Peace:  1) Where do I sit on the risk continuum? Am I fairly conservative, risk aversive and so need to work for someone and get a steady paycheck? Or am I ready to leap tall “start my own company” buildings, and get sound business help to do so? 

2) What risk am I willing to take in 2012? It could be as simple writing down all your purchases for thirty days. As Ellen the talk show host says in her new book: Seriously, I’m Kidding, (paraphrasing) “Stretching is more than doing yoga, it’s taking risks.”