Alright ladies, if you ever considered running your own small business but doubted yourself, you are not alone. I’ve embarked on my own journey with the same fear and doubt, and I’ve learned a few things about myself that I want to share with you. So, let’s get to it. Below are 5 reasons why minority women service members make great small business owners.
- We are no strangers to adversity. From day one many of us experience a long list of adversity unique to being a minority women in the military. At some point dealing with tough situations becomes second nature, which only serves to make us sharper and more capable leaders. Running a successful small business is chalk full of adversity. Your critical thinking and problem solving skills will kick in quickly to aid you in getting out of small and large jams alike.
- Quit and Can’t are two words that are not in our vocabulary. Telling us we can’t complete a mission or should quit is a lost effort. The words can’t and quit have basically been smoked out of us. In our service can’t and quit was punishable by verbal abuse. Instead words like can and will have be instilled in us. Those very words will help you push past any obstacle to be successful.
- We are risk takers. We are comfortable with risks. Signing the dotted line and agreeing to have someone yell and scream at your for 12 weeks is risky. Agreeing to go to a foreign country, away from your children and loved ones is risky. Standing up for what is right is risky. Our careers are saturated in calculated risks, so much so that we sometimes fail to see the true gravity of just how risky our service is and was. In business you are introduced to risk on a daily basis. Instead of looking it as a scary unmanageable beast, you will by nature look at it and want contour it.
- “Multitask” should be our middle name. Seriously I really can’t remember 1 time in my career when I only had 1 task to do. Once leadership learned that I was capable, that was the end of any notion of handling a single task. I know this is the same of you. First we are multitasks by nature. Minority women are raised to handle a lot at once. As an E-1 you may have been a squad leader or chosen to represent the company in a Soldier of the Cycle competition, while spit shining your boots, helping your bunk mate lead a creed and making time to clean the latrine. The multitasking just increased throughout your career. You didn’t think anything of it, because everyone was trained to the same thing. Well now that ingrained ability to work multiple issues at once will serve you well.
- We make friends quickly. The ability to make friends and allies in an extremely short period of time is second nature to us. Extrovert or not we’ve had to adapt to our ever changing environment, and gain allies along the way. A 1 week class can result in several long term beneficial relationships. To add to the wonder of our ability to bond, we don’t even have to meet the person face to face to form a solid connection. This ability to adjust and bond will definitely help you in business. Networking is so instrumental in developing a strong client base. It’s even more instrumental in growing your business.