No one goes through the journey alone. We all have people on our team who support us, but when we get help from other women entrepreneurs who have been where we are (and found success), it’s especially inspiring.
Often, though, we don’t realize that we can also help other women entrepreneurs. (Sometimes we don’t think we’re ready to help them yet because we’re not “perfect.”)
Instead, what if you decided to do something right now to help a new woman entrepreneur? Whether you are a seasoned businesswoman or are still in the beginning stages, it’s easier than you think to support a fellow woman entrepreneur.
Simply Say Hello
Sometimes just knowing someone is available for us if we need them is enough encouragement to get through tough times. By making yourself available for a mentoring relationship with another female entrepreneur, you’re opening a door for her to reach out with questions.
If you’re looking to form a solid relationship with someone, check in with her from time to time just to say hello and ask if she needs anything. This simple act will reinforce that she can ask you for advice or can vent when needed. You might be surprised to find you get just as much out of the relationship as she does.
Share Your Story
It can be scary to tell a stranger about all of the mistakes we’ve made during our journeys toward being successful entrepreneurs. But being transparent with others can bring unexpected benefits to everyone. Not only will this honesty help us embrace the uniqueness of our own lives, it can help ease the fears of others who are walking the path we were once on.
Without a doubt, there’s an art to telling your own entrepreneurial story, as you want to walk a fine line between being authentic and yet not oversharing. Start by thinking about what might have made a difference for you when you were first starting out. Whether you focus on mistakes to avoid or encouraging someone to be resilient, being honest about your journey can be hugely impactful.
Show Your Support
If you have a friend or acquaintance who is just starting on her entrepreneurial journey, one of the best ways to pay it forward and show your support is to buy her products or services. Now that’s not to say you should spend hundreds of dollars on items you’ll only give away later at a white elephant gift exchange, but showing a genuine interest in what she’s selling can provide a boost of confidence.
Think about how it would have felt when you first started your company to have a friend support you and demonstrate their belief in your mission. Not only does it encourage her to keep going, it builds up her track record and ability to network. Next time a friend wants to show you her latest idea, think about making a small investment in time or money.
Ultimately there are a lot of ways to mentor and support women who are just starting out in the entrepreneurial world. These are just a few tips, but no matter what you do, remembering what kind of support you wish you’d had at the beginning will be the best guide for you.
No matter where you are on your business journey, there’s something magical that happens when we mentor another entrepreneur. And even better, both parties tend to benefit from the relationship.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.