To round out the discussion we’ve been having over the last couple of months around visibility and entrepreneurship, I’ve recently been speaking on the blog and during Tuesday morning chats, the necessity for creating a visibility strategy. I’ve spoken about:
- what to focus on when developing your strategy,
- the blocks that arise depending on which part of the strategy you’re focused on, and
- viewing the pursuit of visibility from a deeper viewpoint.
This last topic – deepening your understanding of visibility – points to why it’s so necessary to have a visibility strategy. Understanding your own ‘why’ is a deeply important thing to anchor into. Otherwise, you end up focusing on so many other aspects of your business only to turn around one day and wonder why everyone else’s business seems to be growing and yours is stagnating.
This is a very predictable pattern. It’s not personal. It’s not life working against you. It’s just what happens when you don’t have a clear sense of how you’re going to connect with the people who are waiting to hear from you. You’re like a ship stuck in the middle of the ocean without a captain or any navigation equipment. You end up going nowhere in particular.
Implementing your visibility strategy shouldn’t occupy every waking hour of your day, it just needs some of your attention. After all, if you don’t take the time to reach out and connect with people who want to hear from you, what actually is the point of all the effort you’re putting in?
Also, in conducting some research recently, I came across a few statistics I think every entrepreneurial woman should be aware of.
For me it says everything about why visibility, and particularly overcoming visibility blocks, is sooo important for women.
GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) in conjunction with colleges and universities around the world, produced a report of global trends in women’s entrepreneurship for 2016/2017. Here’s just some of what they found:
- During that time, in the 74 economies they reviewed, the total entrepreneurship rates of women increased by 10%, and the gender gap narrowed by 5%.
- Also, they found that women entrepreneurs are 5% more likely than men to be innovative in their businesses.
Good news for female entrepreneurs! But don’t celebrate just yet. They also found that:
- women entrepreneurs have lower growth expectations than men, and
- higher rates of discontinuance.
In short, we’re continuing to step toward entrepreneurship, and when we make the leap we’re more innovative, BUT we expect less and we give up faster.
Even more interesting is this: ‘women’s perceptions of their capabilities of starting a business are inversely related to level of development: lower in innovation economies and higher in less developed economies. This same trend is observed with education.’
In other words, well educated women in countries like Germany, the US, Japan, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, France, South Korea, and Australia have lower perceptions of their capabilities than women in others parts of the world.
I’m not telling you anything new when I say our perceptions, our expectations, and our resilience are huge factors when it comes to our success as entrepreneurs. And now we know that globally we need to do more work in these areas.
Patriarchy has stripped us of our confidence. Particularly our confidence to participate in capitalist economies.
It’s time to reclaim it.