Tips for Women Business Owners — By Women Business Owners
Are you a woman business owner looking for some inspiration, advice and support from like-minded women? We’ve got you! We interviewed four fierce American Family Insurance agency owners who are dominating their dream.
Keep in mind, these women didn’t jump into a sea of success right away — it took hard work, determination and a fearless dreamer mindset to get where they are today. And guess what? Just like you, they’re working passionately every day to continue growing, learning and finding ways to stay motivated to reach their bottom line.
From rationalizing fears and overcoming challenges to staying motivated and having work-life balance, these four women business owners have some advice for you — take a look!
Work-Life Balance as a Women Business Owner
Christina Smith-Gallagher was six-weeks pregnant when the doors of her agency first opened in 2011 in Lodi, Wisconsin. She admits fear crept in, and she questioned how she’d manage a new family while growing her new business — but she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dream. After all, being a fearless dreamer means you acknowledge the fear, but you rise above it.
Before opening her own business, Kendra took time to gain some experience in sales and startups. I've surrounded myself with smart and not-so-smart people throughout my sales career and you learn a lot from both — how to be and how not to be!” She soaked in everything she could and eventually, this led to her opening her own American Family Insurance agency in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2005.
Kendra admits that, even though everyone has some type of fear when embarking on adventures, “fear is a sign that you’re challenging yourself to get after new things!” We celebrate Kendra’s motivated mentality — doesn’t it make you want to get out there and try something you’ve never done before? The next time you experience an obstacle on your dream pursuit, think like Kendra, and remind yourself that it just means you’re experiencing the rush of something new!
She also points out that, not only is there fear to overcome when owning a business, but there are also oppositions you’ll encounter. “Whether you’re a business owner or employee, you have challenges within your workday. The primary difference is that as a business owner you’re responsible for others, like your employees. Business owners want to make sure not only their customers are taken care of, but also their employees are happy and finding success.”
Kendra says one of the most rewarding parts of owning her own business is being a part of her employees’ successes. She loves helping, fostering and observing them grow professionally.
“I’ve learned over the years that if I take the ‘me’ out of a problem and focus on those involved, those impacted and those seeking help, the challenge gets resolved rather than dissolved.” This mindset — we before me — is key to creating a working environment with passionate people who genuinely want to help you reach your bottom line. As Kendra puts it, “There is nothing solo about success.”
Being a woman in business specifically has its own set of hurdles to overcome. But Kendra says some thick skin and strategy helps. “Just like everyone else, you have to learn to roll with things, pick your battles and take that fire in your belly and use it as fuel to display success!”
She also believes that confidence, willpower, persistency and hyper-focused behaviors are key traits to have as a woman who wants to be successful. She credits her immense amount of drive and persistency to keeping her motivated. Her suggestion is to find things you can be proud of. “My proudest agency moments are each time we’re able to help our community through philanthropy. It doesn’t get any better than that!”
Kendra’s 5 Tips for Successful Women Business Owners
- Be a risk taker — don’t worry, eventually your risks will be more calculated.
- Create a diverse team. Don’t hire people just like you! Hire team members that have skills and experiences that you don’t have.
- Passion alone cannot withstand the ebbs and flows of marketing, so make sure your business strategy is just as strong as your passion.
- When you’re working, you need to 100% hyper-focus on work. When at home, stay hyper-focused on family. Your strategic attention ensures your business nor family ever get cheated of quality time with you and your energy.
- Keep your pulse on future trends to stay relevant — study your industry, competitors and observe other business owners’ actions, successes and failures.
Whatever your dreams are, we hope these stories inspired you to pursue what you’ve been dreaming about. And if you’re looking to get protection for your small business aspirations, get in touch with your local agent to see how they can help you champion your dreams.
Support for Your Dream
Finding the right support as a women-owned business can make all the difference. From family to employees to peers and countless other resources available — support can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. At American Family, we’re here to be a go-to support system for you with helpful resources and articles that can help you passionately pursue your dreams.