As a female agency owner I’ve faced exactly the same challenges as any male agency owner. Cashflow, pipeline, growth etc. However, women will face additional challenges that their male peers are less likely to encounter. Many women will suffer a lack of confidence and self belief as a result of those challenges, myself included.
In 2015 I suffered a devastating miscarriage and we subsequently spent 2016 trying to live a normal life, whilst grieving and beginning the IVF process. My confidence was rock bottom, I felt a complete failure in every aspect of my life.
Juggling this secret around sales pitches and meetings added additional stress that I just couldn’t cope with. I made the decision to be honest about my situation to a number of potential and key clients. They were understanding, flexible and extremely supportive.
By handling client relationships with honesty and authenticity, my confidence improved. I began to blog openly about our situation in an attempt to help others going through the same experiences. I was invited to speak about the blog on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
Women may feel they need to adopt a stereotypically ‘male’ attitude toward business, not speaking openly about personal issues. One reason may be a lack of positive role models, giving them the freedom to be themselves in a male dominated environment.
I believe being transparent is a key factor of business success for female agency owners. We should be able to speak openly about our challenges without fear of being judged. This is one of many reasons I’ll be launching an agency owners mastermind group.