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How Confidence Plus a Mentor Helps Women Succeed in Business

When it comes to the decision to venture out into the world of starting a business, women are less likely to take the leap into entrepreneurship than men. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “male entrepreneurs in the United States outnumber their female counterparts 3.5 to 1.”

What do some women have that encourages them to jump right in while so many others consider the possibility yet continue to sit cautiously on the side lines?

“The tenacity, confidence, guts and ambition they display make it possible for them to take the risks necessary to be successful,” says Leslie Bradshaw, COO of JESS3, in a recent article for Forbes Magazine. The most critical variable is the level of confidence a woman has when starting her own business. Bradshaw says that she was greatly alarmed to read the results of a 2010 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Study that showed that “less than half the women surveyed (47.7%) believe they are capable of starting and running a business (compared to 62.1% of men.)”

How can women who are just starting out develop the confidence and resilience they need to move forward? The key thing to remember is not to go it alone. Women who are just beginning their businesses need to reach out to other business owners who already have flourishing businesses to show them the way. “Connecting with other women and developing a reliable support network will help women everywhere gain the confidence they need to close the gap-all the way.”

Another key resource that women can greatly benefit from is to develop a trustworthy long-term relationship with a mentor. When choosing a mentor, women should look for someone who is highly skilled in providing guidance, constructive feedback and is a strategic problem solver. Expertise in growing a business and developing business partner relationships are other great qualities to seek in a mentor.

“The successful ones have several things in common-but one that sits at the very heart of their stories-all had a business mentor at their back before they launched. This was the go-to person with experience that they could turn to and ask what do I do next?” writes Kerry Hannon, Financial Expert and Contributor to Forbes. Hannon cites a Gallup survey that shows the strong correlation between those people who are considering starting a business and have a productive relationship with a mentor with those who do not. “Gallup surveys in 83 countries indicate that adults who have access to a mentor are three times more likely to say they are planning to start a business than those who do not have a mentor,” according to Gallup researchers Sangeeta Baal and Rajesh Srinivasan.

Not only can a mentor show women the practical steps they need to take to get going, working with a mentor increases a new business owner’s belief that they too can achieve success. “There are tangible and intangible benefits of having a mentor. Gallup’s consulting work shows that pairing an entrepreneur with a mentor increases confidence and self-awareness, as well as enhances business thinking and risk taking among the entrepreneurs.”

This article was written by Nancy Kay. To get more great advice from Diva Toolbox Media Diva Nancy Kay, visit her website at: