Am I a female entrepreneur?
According to the dictionary, an entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.
I own my own business; therefore, I guess that’s what I am, although that’s not how I see myself.
Every year, on the 8th of March, we recognise International Women’s Day. A day set aside to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.
This year, in recognition of the event, I was asked what female entrepreneurism meant to me. I think my take is different from many people’s, so here’s what I said.
My thoughts on being a female entrepreneur
Before I start, I want to say this: everyone has the right to be what they want to be in my world. Neither race, sexuality, gender, nor education are barriers – in fact, for me, they are enablers.
Growing up in the 70s and 80s, my parents encouraged me to do well at school but not to go to university. They were of the mindset that, as a girl, I would study hard, get a job, get married, have kids, and become a housewife.
I worked hard at school, got my O and A levels, got a place with NatWest on their management development programme, got married, left work when we started a family and became a housewife.
At that point, I realised that it wasn’t for me. When our boys were small, I started working part-time for a charity. In my early thirties, I enrolled with the Open University and studied for a BA(Hons) in English Language and English Literature, from which I graduated with a first in 2007.
That was when I started my business. I was not a born entrepreneur. It was never on my radar. It came about as a necessity. I wanted to work, but I needed to find something fulfilling that could be done around my family. First and foremost, I am and always will be a mum (even though our sons are in their twenties). My family are my priority.
How I measure success
I count myself lucky to have found something I love to do, that I’m good at, and from which I can earn a good living.
Since launching Briar Copywriting, people ask me the same question: when and how will I grow my business. It’s as if success comes down to the number of staff I have or the size of my turnover. But that is not how I view success.
The simple answer to that question is I won’t.
I became a copywriter because I love writing and get a kick out of helping people express themselves through the written word. I don’t need a team of staff to achieve that type of satisfaction.
Not only that, but I have a fabulous work-life balance, which gives me the flexibility others can only dream of.
I never moan about my boss (because I am a delight), and I never moan about the hours I have to work. I get to work with some fantastic people, and I get to watch their businesses grow through my content.
Life doesn’t get much better than that.
Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean having to emulate the Bill Gate’s or Anne Boden’s of this world if you don’t want to. When starting your own business, do so to satisfy your goals, not those of your peers or coach. Do what feels right to you. If that means staying small, do so. If it means reaching for the stars, that’s fine too.
Just be true to yourself, and you will find the happiness and fulfilment you’re looking for.
Sally Ormond, founder, MD, and chief copywriting at Briar Copywriting Ltd, stands up for the small business owner because it’s the microbusinesses that the big businesses can’t live without.