There are over 11.3 million businesses owned by women in the United States. These businesses are responsible for approximately 9 million employees, $1.9 trillion in revenue, and 39 percent of all enterprises.
We businesswomen have made tremendous strides in chipping away at the glass ceiling. A recent study found 83 percent of Millennial women want to own their own business, yet very few are stepping up to the plate. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of entrepreneurs under age 30 is at a 24-year low. Why?
Student loan debt. The average student loan debt is $39K. Two-thirds of the estimated $1.4 trillion in student loan debt is carried by women. Free money sounds great on paper at first, but many Millennials did not have any comprehension of how horrible debt is until after graduating from college. I hired a Millennial woman who had one semester of college left and a $50k student loan bill. She too wanted to start her own business but was completely saddled with debt.
Lack of good credit. A recent study found that just over a quarter of millennials cannot correctly define "credit score." Credit reporting agency Transunion reports that 43 percent of Millennials have a credit score at or below 600. Most millennials I know don't think they should have to have a credit card and pay it off in full or on time to have a good credit score. They want to change the rules or not play the game. My Millennial employee didn't even know how much she would be paying in interest on her student loan. If you don't know what your interest rate is that means you're probably not paying attention to your credit and if you can't get a line of credit, it is very difficult to start a business.
Participation trophy to participation paycheck. I paid my employee $10 an hour for administrative help. I felt bad for her and wanted to train her to become a master of sales. She could average $80-100k her first year. After her first day of cold calling (I always test for resolve) she said she liked it and I thought she passed the test. I set her up to make a few thousand dollars her second day, but she said that she would rather make $10 an hour. I don't reward bad behavior, so I made a few calls and collected the money myself.
Improper mindset. A recent survey found that 90 percent of Millennials believe the road to entrepreneurship is driven by mindset, not simply starting a business, which is a good thing. However, an entrepreneur must have a mindset for growth and a vision beyond making a lot of money. If your drive is purely financial the ups and downs of entrepreneurship will capsize you. Starting a business is also risky. Eighty-one percent of Millennials who want to start a business refrain because of fear of failure.
No understanding of the sacrifice of freedom. The illusion that entrepreneurship gives you freedom from a boss is just that, an illusion. Americans in their twenties flock to the idea of being their own boss with 49 percent of them citing this as the reason they became entrepreneurs. The truth is if an entrepreneur treats his/her business as if they have a boss, they will be more successful. In all truth he/she will work so much more than eight hours a day. You must be prepared for true sacrifice of freedom.
In a time of such prosperity and growth, Millennial women should be more encouraged than ever to pick up the torch and further the progress on the road that we have paved for them.
Master Sales Coach Tamara Bunte advises and consults with Fortune 500 Companies, Executives, Managers and Sales Professionals in the areas of Peak Performance, Leadership, Organizational Behavior and the Psychology of Achievement and Sales. Over the past 15 years, she has excelled in the world of coaching, inspiring people at all levels to become the best version of themselves. Tamara is the founder of The Institute for Advanced Results, LLC and the foundation Focus on the Good. She is a Master Trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Certified Master Trainer of Hypnosis, National Keynote Speaker, Time Line Therapy, Peak Performance Coach, Health Minister, Dale Carnegie Instructor and Former Top Trainer for Anthony Robbins. Tamara has influenced hundreds of thousands of people with her inspiring sales presentations, CDs and book. She's positively changed the lives of sales professionals, taking them from being order-takers to trained sales professionals.