Women in roles of leadership and especially those building their own business are becoming more commonplace in modern times. As a culture, women have made considerable strides in the last few decades making their way into positions of authority. Women in business are stepping outside of traditional roles and thriving in the professional world. With every step forward that women take in society, there were women before them who were breaking ceilings and making room at the table. Today, with hard work, sweat, and determination, women can lead and build businesses successfully. Women can help other women learn from the lessons they faced in the past, helping and encouraging the future of women in business.
Women entrepreneurs know that the entrepreneurship grind does not come without hardships and struggle. Relying on the experience of other entrepreneurs who have gone before them can help them make the trek slightly less complicated. Seasoned and experienced mentors can be an excellent resource for budding women entrepreneurs. Sharon Bush is an entrepreneur who has expressed that women with more life experience can extend a helping hand to younger generations. Bush has started several businesses of her own and knows a thing or two about starting your own business.
Sharon Bush took the initiative to start several companies and foundations that help children in the United States and internationally. One of these ventures is called Teddy Shares. When a teddy bear is purchased from Teddy Shares, a Plump’Nut supplement is given to children who need nutrients and nourishment. Sharon Bush has also worked to leave a greener and more environmentally conscious world to future generations. She oversees business development for two companies, Protein Matrix, and GreenStract. Both focus on how we can better improve how we dispose of and break down waste. Sharon Bush has also invested her time as a board member in organizations that are vessels for positive change. Some of these include the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) and the UN Women for Peace Association (UNWFPA). As a mother, entrepreneur, business-woman, and teacher, she brings a wealth of information on the matter of balancing business and life. Sharon Bush passed on her entrepreneurial spirit to her children. Her daughter Lauren Bush is the CEO of a company called FEED, which also focuses on tackling the problem of world hunger. [LinkedIn]
As an experienced entrepreneur, Sharon Bush’s advice is to be open about your gender-related struggles. When we share stories about our experiences, our efforts, and how we grew through them and overcame them, we can give hope to those going through their own experiences- that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and hardships can produce great learning. Society places high expectations on women. To have it all together all the time and not look like you are breaking a sweat is delusional and a reality in which a normal human being would not thrive. To truly succeed, there naturally will be struggles along the way. Being open and authentic about those struggles allows people to relate, not feel alone, and give them a boost of confidence. To know that others who have gone before you and made it through also provides a sense of comfort. Women entrepreneurs are becoming more common, but you still might be a minority in a business world of men; know that what you feel, see, and experienced is not uncommon. Being vulnerable about your past struggle while navigating the entrepreneur world, can make a newcomer not feel so alone.
Bush also talks about intentionally seeking out high achieving professionals and being a mentor, taking them under your wing. To build up the next generation of professional high achieving women, it is essential to see them for where they are at and give them the advice and guidance you wish you could have had. It is crucial that women give each other a hand up and spread knowledge and wisdom where one can. With this mentorship comes a level of honesty that is intended to help. Bush also talks about giving feedback, even if it’s negative. To grow we need to be aware of where gaps exist, and sometimes it takes an outside eye to identify areas of growth.
Starting your own business is no small undertaking. Thankfully today, women can connect with those who have gone before who can mentor and advise on the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. It’s safe to say that being an entrepreneur can bring some extreme highs and lows and having one person to lend an ear or offer advice can make a significant impact on your experience.