Happy International Women’s Day! Every year, it makes me happy to see the continual progress and strides women have made in their careers, education, and rights, and gives me hope for a better world for my daughter Cara to grow up in. But can female entrepreneurs have it all?
Women today still face many challenges. As the female CEO and Founder of Lunch Actually Group and Viola.AI for 14 years now, I’ve often been asked if women can have it all. Can one balance being a successful entrepreneur, loving wife, and responsible mother; to juggle these mammoth tasks at the same time?
Can female entrepreneurs have it all?
To me, the answer is “yes”.
Having it all as a female entrepreneur is possible, BUT it also involves constantly prioritizing your roles well on a daily basis.
I am fortunate enough to have founded Lunch Actually Group with my then-fiancé-now-husband Jamie Lee back in 2004, so I work together with my husband. I am also a mother of two children, who will be 9 and 12 this year.
Fast forward 14 years later, my business has expanded to include online dating platform esync, dating app LunchClick, date-coaching service Lunch Actually Academy, and blockchain-based A.I. app Viola.AI.
After so many years, these are my 5 key takeaways on how to juggle “having it all” while being a businesswoman, wife, and mother:
1. Have a schedule that incorporates all your roles
I have monthly one-to-one dates with my children, which I incorporate into my personal and work schedule. These dates are my bonding time with my children, doing things they like and learning more about them as they grow into teenagers and young adults.
My PA and team know not to touch those times for work-related duties. It is also important for me to have romantic dates with my husband, outside of work and home. This way, I ensure that I pay attention to all my roles.
2. Remember the best way to inspire your children is to live your best life
Guilt is inevitable, and I do sometimes feel the guilt that I think a lot of women entrepreneurs feel about juggling work and family. I wonder if I could spend more time with my kids, or if they would thrive even more if I was a full-time mom rather than an entrepreneur.
However, I tell myself that the way that we can inspire our children is also to live the best life that we can live. And I believe that my kids would also feel short-changed if their mom is unhappy, and not feeling that she has lived up to her fullest potential.
3. You must stay hungry and driven
I encourage women entrepreneurs to stay hungry and driven. Persevere through challenges – for there will always be challenges – and stay focused on your goal. Cut out the noise that is negative towards you, especially about your gender.
4. Female entrepreneurs must use their strengths to their advantage
I believe that as female entrepreneurs, we need to use our strengths to our advantage. For example, rather than taking on a more masculine persona to blend in with the guys, we can leverage on our fluid communication and interpersonal skills to achieve our objectives e.g. persuading the person to our point of view.
5. Share your stories to encourage other women
Finally, I think women entrepreneurs should open up, share their stories in business, mentor, and support other women entrepreneurs. We all need role models and mentors, and it is uplifting to personally see glass ceilings get broken. I look forward to mentoring younger women entrepreneurs as well, and encourage them towards success.
What do you think? Can female entrepreneurs have it all? Let us know in the comments!
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