What key trait makes a female entrepreneur successful? The question has been on my mind lately, so I took to Twitter and asked women business owners to raise their hands and share their insight on the topic. What I found as a common theme in the responses I received was one main trait: Perseverance.
Many of the women I spoke with explained that this quality was what helped them survive the ups and downs of building a business over time. From raising funding to managing growing pains, it's the one characteristic that has always kept them on the path to success.
Perseverance: Sticking with it through the good and the bad
Why perseverance? For one thing, it's a quality that seems to be especially important for women working to raise capital for their new businesses.
Take Sara Blakely's story as an example. Blakely, the founder of Spanx, originally struggled to get male investors on board with her product. They didn't understand her offering or see much value in it--so she was repeatedly shut down when she asked for help raising capital. But she kept working at it. Again and again, she made her pitch. Now, thanks to that perseverance, she's built a billion-dollar company.
Other female entrepreneurs have faced similar situations. Michelle Breyer, author and founder of beauty brand NaturallyCurly, explained that in the early days, raising money was difficult because she too was often pitching to male investors. "They didn't really understand our business," Breyer explained, "And they didn't take us as seriously as our male counterparts."
Melanie Travis, founder of Andie Swimwear, also ran into similar difficulties. "In the beginning, I struggled to sell my vision to investors--most of which who were male," she said. "They just didn't believe or understand the pain point my customers were facing."
In all of these situations, perseverance paid off. By working through the roadblocks to business growth, these women were both able to get the funding they needed and built businesses that now reach and connect with thousands of customers around the world.
But it's not just in the money-raising department where this trait comes in handy. Shari Lott of SpearmintLOVE said she's also found success through perseverance and an unrelenting work ethic. "I think there is always this inclination to look for the short cut or the 'secret' that everyone else must be using," she said. "The secret is most successful people just work harder; it often borders on obsession." It's paying off: Today, her successful company is being studied by Facebook for its creative advertising approach.
Hannah Davis, founder of BANGS Shoes, agrees as well. She explained that while she'll probably never be the smartest or richest person in the room, her willingness to put in the work and make sacrifices for her company has been what's made her brand achieve success thus far. "I think that undying perseverance has to count for something," she said.
Staying Power: A Key Trait Shared by Successful Women Business Owners
What I found interesting about all of the women who answered my questions on this topic was their unrelenting dedication to the brands they are building. Even when they encountered roadblocks or were told "no", they kept on pushing ahead. They persisted.
Male or female, perseverance seems to be an essential trait that indicates which entrepreneurs will be able to stand the test of the journey to business ownership, and ultimately, success. You have to be able to survive both the good and the bad and keep moving forward if you want to find success.