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Ask the Expert: Rieva Lesonsky, President and Founder of GrowBiz Media and Business Writer

What is your best advice for Women Owned Small businesses?

Be confident. Overcome a fear of failure. Know your value and don’t let anyone undermine that. Studies have shown that women think they must excel at every part of a potential job or project—before they’ll even bid on it, while men might fill 3 of 10 criteria and just go for it. I hate to say “fake it till you make it” but you will get 0% of the projects/jobs you don’t go for. Many women (too many) are afraid to scale—because they’re afraid they’ll fail.

What is the #1 thing that Women Entrepreneurs that you work with struggle to achieve?

It varies for every woman. For many though it’s time. Women still tend to handle the bulk of the tasks in their personal lives—and that takes away valuable time from investing in themselves and in their businesses. I’ve known women that didn’t go to a conference because of childcare issues, for instance.

Also, many women have a problem with delegation. They’ve personalized the tasks so much, they believe no one can do it as well as they can. All too often they’re spending time doing trivial tasks that could easily be accomplished by someone else, instead of focusing on the big picture jobs that only they can handle.

What is the guide or resource that you think Women business owners should research further?

At our website we offer the valuable—and useful information all business owners and entrepreneurs can profit from. Plus, we have a section devoted to women entrepreneurs.

I believe that about 80% of the information entrepreneurs need to start and grow a business is the same, no matter your age, gender or ethnicity. The fundamentals of business apply to everyone. But there’s that 20% that varies, often greatly, depending on who you are (age, gender or ethnicity) and how others perceive you. That’s why I talked about confidence being a prime factor for success.

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