Personal finance expert Helen Baker explains why now is the perfect time for women to follow their entrepreneurial dreams
What a great time to be a woman! The world is beginning to catch up to who we are and why we were made. We can be who we are and do what we want to do. It’s our choice. Movements such as #metoo, the removal of the glass ceiling and the focus on gender equality is seeing us represented and respected like never before. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #balanceforbetter which is driving the gender-balanced world. It’s everywhere so now is your time to jump on board and take advantage of this open door. No excuses.
Countries like Iceland have taken the stance to remove the gender pay gap – even making it illegal to pay women less than men. Wow! And sport is catching up with surfing leading the charge – paying women and men the same prize money. We are seeing more and more women hosting sports shows, including male sport. So, whether you want to be in business or you want to be a superstar at sport or on the music scene or in politics, the world is now your oyster.
We have moved from the “glass ceiling” and we are removing the “sticky floor”. Sticky floor is about keeping women at the bottom of the job scale. What I’m seeing is more and more women out there doing what they want to do – advancing their careers within organisations to the highest levels or stepping out and starting their own business for themselves. I’m sure you know a woman who is running her own business. Should it also be you?
Many women wonder “hmmm what could I do”? “Maybe I should take the next step and be an entrepreneur” and I would say go for it if you can!
For me it is as simple as 1 + 1 = more than 2.
My first #1 is – What is it that you are good at? What is that comes easy to you? Everyone has their own gifts and talents. You can often see it in others but don’t recognise your own. Why is that? Usually because you think it’s so easy and everyone can do it so you don’t think it’s special. But it’s only easy to you because it’s your gift. You can also tell what you are not good at. I know I was not born to be a singer. Which is great, I know I don’t need to pursue that.
The other #1 is – What is it that you are passionate about? For some people it’s fashion, for others it’s animals, for others it’s health, or leadership, or politics. I’m passionate about seeing women safe and succeeding – personally and financially. When it was suggested I should start my own financial advice business I was thinking “no”. But when I broke it down, I realised I’m good at finances, I have a project management background to get people from A to B, and I like people and getting to know them. I like fixing situations which is why I focus a lot on divorce, widows, terminally ill and professional women. I only read biographies and auto-biographies because everyone’s story is so interesting to me.
What is your 1 plus 1? If you are not sure – ask your bestie or your family. They can probably remove the mist if it isn’t totally clear for you.
They say, if you love what you do you never work a day in your life. I can say that is true. Why not make it true for you. You just have to be careful. Despite loving it so much and wanting to help everyone, you need to maintain some balance. If you go hard all the time, you will eventually burn out. But put your skates on and get out and be the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of. If you are thinking about it, it is probably because it is time.
About the Author
Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet: Steady Steps to Women’s Financial Independence. Her latest book is On Your Own Two Feet Divorce: Your Survive and Thrive Financial Guide. Proceeds from the books’ sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women. Find out more at www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au