If I sum up what I believe it’s like being a woman entrepreneur, two words come to mind: Sacrifice and Suffering.
I’ve recently decided to ask myself “why I do it?” and “how I’ve managed to do it for 30 years.” More importantly, how I will continue to do it for the next 30 years. I wonder, sometimes, if I’m insane! I've jokingly called it an addiction. I’ve shared struggles with friends. Most have asked me the same two questions. How do you do it? And why? My reply has always been “I don’t know. I just do.” Not a great answer. Especially, when I consider it comes with a cost to my health. High blood pressure, body aches, overeating, just to name a few.
I own a beauty salon. On average, I manage 15 employees, run day-to-day operations and work as a stylist behind the chair. On a personal note. I’m single. I have four young adult children, a grandson, two cats and a puppy. My life is full of relationship-building and problem-solving. If I’m not intentional with scheduling time for me, my needs are pushed aside to tackle unexpected situations, which can be stressful and debilitating. I’ve learned, the hard way, it’s essential to be strong and healthy. Not just physically but mentally, and most importantly spiritually.
I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet many women throughout my career. I've encountered the same self-deprivation of self-care in others. Not just in small business owners. In executives and stay-at-home moms. Woman are infamous for putting their own needs aside. I've beaten myself up for not always being the successful, beautiful, happy woman I long to be.
Ironically, the one thing I pushed aside for so many years is the one thing I needed most to be the successful entrepreneur, mother and (hopefully one day again soon) wife: Realizing that with consistency and self-care, I can persevere.
Sharing our stories calls for vulnerability and courage. We're thrilled to have Evelyn Kershaw, owner of The Evelyn Kershaw Salon, share the places in which she's watched entrepreneurship come with a high price.