Women – Stand Up and Roar!

Remember that memorable song, “I Am Woman …”? Well ladies, women shoppers are a whopping 86 billion dollar segment of the market today – and it’s time to be recognized by the business segment.

Over the past 2 years, some California businesses have complained that state regulations and high utility prices make doing business so expensive that it’s nearly impossible to make a profit. The Colorado governor even takes personal trips to Silicon Valley trying to woo firms to move. It’s true that California has some of the highest costs of doing business in the nation, but no studies have shown that there’s an entrepreneurial exodus from our Golden State. In fact, I see more hopeful entrepreneurs every week wanting to start a business in California, and a good portion are women.

Joel Kotkin, an expert on the California economy at Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute for Public Policy in Malibu, says that “Los Angeles and San Diego counties show more businesses are being created than shutting down.” In fact, many experts believe that our advantage is our proximity to the Asian markets, high-quality intellectual capital, and a strong tradition of start-up activity that will make California outpace the rest of the country in job growth. (I hope the experts are right!)

Regardless of what the experts believe or say, let’s face it – there are always those people who see only the “down” side of every situation. They constantly complain about the rain, and completely miss the rainbow that follows with the sun. Look, being an entrepreneur starting your own business is not for the faint-hearted! If you don’t go into it with your eyes wide open, expecting some bumps along the road, then don’t leave that salaried job with its benefits. I’ve heard so many people say, “I can’t leave my job now – I need the benefits.” They completely forget the benefits of having a dream, and working hard to make it a reality.

There’s been much “hype” and “blather” from governmental and financial quarters that if you want to start your own business and you’re a woman, a minority, or both – then you’re a “shoe-in” for loans etc. Don’t you believe it! A bank, is a bank, is a bank – and everybody seeking a loan must answer the bank’s 3 most burning questions. 1. How much of your own money are you investing in yourself? 2. What are your assets? And 3. How do you plan on repaying the loan? If you can’t satisfy the banker, then it doesn’t much matter whether you’re woman, minority, or vegetable the loan won’t be forthcoming.

Now I said all that to say, don’t let that derail your dream. Just keep on keeping on, and you’ll find out how it can be done. There are a lot of people out there ready and waiting to rain on your parade – don’t give them the chance. Let them rain all they want, you just keep on marching toward your goal. You write that business plan, your goals for the first year – and the second- and the third. If you can get over these first bumps in the road, then you’re on your way, as Dorothy said “Down the yellow brick road”.

Those businesses that leave for other states, are just leaving that much more of the market for you to tap into when you get started.

It seems that I’ve heard more “You can’t” than “Go ahead – give it a try” lately, and I just can’t understand why so many people are so anxious to shoot you down than help you along. I truly believe that if that was what our founding fathers would have heard, we wouldn’t even have a California in which to have a business.

I’m here to tell you that if you have an entrepreneurial dream there are only two questions you have to ask yourself. They are; 1. If I try it and fail, what’s the worst that can happen? And 2. Is that really any worse than if I don’t try at all? Go ahead – STAND UP AND ROAR!

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