If you thought it was hard to start a business, spare a thought for those who are actually running businesses and trying to take them to the next level.   It's one thing to get off your bum and start a business that originates as just an idea, or the next viable step from working for someone else, but what happens when that takes off? Is it easier or is it harder.
Reasons why women don't always reach the same heights in business as men

I've been in both places in the business lifecycle and I've realised that both are equally as hard as each other, but there are some things that stand out as being hurdles that need to be overcome or struggles that never seem to go away.

They are:

  • Growing a business from startup to small business size is especially hard if you haven't done it before and learned the lessons you need to learn. You will find people who do this over and over again seem to get better every single time. 
  • There is no blue print for a woman owning a business. While I hate to say that women and men are different in business, the reality is mostly they are. They bring different things to the table. I can only go from my own experience, but I find it very hard as a woman, who sometimes gets a tad emotional to always be on my game. As a boss, you have to go to work and be a leader for 8 to 12 hours a day without fault, and without letting your guard down. While men have to do this as well, I find as a woman, we have more emotions at play. We also have to deal with the respect issue. Once again, while this should be all an equal playing field, I do find that at times women and men play a different card just because you are a woman in a place of authority. 
  • When you are growing a business it's impossible to have all the right skills; the bookkeeper, the CEO, the marketer, the finance person, logistics and so on. Then be good at understanding your product or service with the ability to sell it. Who teaches you this stuff? In my experience, too often the teachers of courses have never actually sat in your shoes and while they give you a good base, it never is enough.
  • Finance is always a killer. Managing cashflow and the costs to start a business and continue to grow it.
  • While we want to celebrate failure, I don't care who you are, but I am sure you are a little like me and in the back of your mind, you are afraid of failure or letting others down.
  • Anxiety over how people react to you, your success, or your position in the world. It's human to feel uncomfortable about the fact that there will be knockers for no reason at all, or some people may quite simply not understand you.
Business is exciting. It can be everything you ever dreamed it would be. The minute you take your business from startup to small and then on to medium, there are different challenges. It does get easier as it gets bigger in many ways, but less people will like you. The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in Australia that is for sure, but never be disheartened. This is your journey and no-one else's.

Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

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    monisha dang
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