When a publicist asked me if I wanted to review Women Entrepreneur Revolution: Ready! Set! Launch! by Jenn Aubert, my immediate response was, “Definitely!” If there is one thing I am enthusiastic about, it is entrepreneurship whether for women or men. I’m a fan of entrepreneurship even for salaried employees because I like to see people have freedom, choice, and opportunity, three things that Aubert argues are increased by entrepreneurship.
To write Women Entrepreneur Revolution, Aubert interviewed 100+ successful women entrepreneurs about what works and what doesn’t when you launch a business to design a life you love.
As context, Aubert notes that there are eight million women-owned businesses in the U.S. and women will create over half of the nine million new small business jobs by 2018. Many of these businesses will be micro (less than five employees). Aubert considers all these women to be entrepreneurs, even if purists want to argue otherwise because some people believe only certain types of businesses qualify as entrepreneurial ventures.
The first premise of Women Entrepreneur Revolution is that we should all stop limiting our list of female entrepreneurial role models to women who have built million and billion dollar businesses. Oprah Winfrey, Arianna Huffington, and Sara Blakeley are inspiring but they are not typical. Aubert cites research showing that “elite women” don’t always make the most useful role models, especially if you are just starting out. Instead, it is easier to identify with and relate to women just a few steps ahead of you.
Aubert is a realist who warns that the four year survival rate for businesses with less than 20 employees is 37%, and the 10 year survival rate is 9%. Also disappointing is that in 2010, U.S. Census statistics showed that 75% of women-owned businesses earned less than $50K in revenues. To improve the longevity and profitability of businesses, Aubert recommends that entrepreneurs build a tribe to support them. Members of a tribe might include investors, a board of directors, other business owners, joint venture partners, mentors, peers/colleagues in related or complementary professions, financial advisors, web designers and other technical professionals, coaches, a virtual assistant, and people who help with self-care or tasks at home so that an entrepreneur can focus more effectively on the business at hand.
Unlike a family, a tribe is chosen. Aubert says to decide in which business areas you need to improve, and then find people who can be part of your tribe and are willing to help you learn. She gives lots of detailed advice about how to find the people you need to meet or observe via media.
Aubert also includes material about…
– The psychology of success,
– How to develop clarity of focus
– How to create a personal definition of success
– How to increase your comfort with calculated and thoughtful risks
– How to keep taking action
– How to develop self-discipline
– How to manage energy and time
– How to be comfortable with self-promotion
Throughout the book, Aubert intersperses her own advice with material from her interviews with the women entrepreneurs she interviewed. When reading the book, I repeatedly found myself wanting to know more about the women she mentioned. So I spent a lot of time Googling her interviewees and putting their blogs into my Feedly reader. Because of Aubert’s book, I now have access to the insights of a lot of interesting new women.
In each section of her book, Aubert also recommends relevant music, movies, and books, which is a nice creative touch and I appreciate the suggestions.
If you have ever considered becoming an entrepreneur (or you are one already), I highly recommend this book.