3 Qualities Women Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed in a Man’s World

by Shonali Burke on March 10, 2010

Women entrepreneurs, where art thou?

Think of the word “entrepreneur,” and the names that come to mind are mostly male: Donald Trump, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and so on. The females in this category are largely invisible, not because they’re not as capable or successful, but maybe because they maintain a low profile and are not as brash as their male counterparts, or maybe because it’s largely a man’s world.

… or maybe because it’s largely a man’s world.

It’s no secret that women are regarded as the weaker sex even though they have proved time and again that they are just as capable as men in almost every field of work.

Famous women entrepreneurs like Oprah Winfrey have shown us the way to succeed in a man’s world, and that is to possess these three qualities:


It’s not easy to show authority even when you’re in a position that allows you to do so when you’re a woman, unless you step into the role completely and believe in yourself and your power.

Successful women entrepreneurs do not look at their peers and subordinates as men or women, but just as people whom they must lead or interact with in the course of their work.

When they eliminate the difference between the sexes in their minds, it’s easy to establish their authority at the outset; something that is very important when you want to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur.


Your attitude has to say it all – that you will not tolerate any condescension or pity because you’re a woman, that you are capable and confident in your abilities, that you know all that you need to know and are willing to learn what you don’t, and that you have what it takes to build an empire from scratch.

Without attitude, you’re going to let people walk all over you or push you in different directions like a rudderless boat. When you adopt the right attitude without coming across as arrogance, you have what it takes to be a successful women entrepreneur.


Finally, it’s all about changing with the flow; you cannot remain set in your ideas and ways of doing things when the world and your competition is changing.

You must be ready for change by anticipating it before it arrives and being prepared for it when it does.

When you adjust to the business world and all the changes that it imposes on the way you do things at your enterprise, you are well on your way to success.

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Image: Chuck Olsen, Creative Commons

Brenda HarrisGuest contributor Brenda Harris is the founder of Executive MBA Programs, an online resource for potential MBA students, as well as those who have graduated with the degree and business professionals. She can be reached via email at brenda (dot) harris91 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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