What’s It Like To Own A Small Business As A Woman?

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By Leslie Dawe

I have always been told not to start a business because it would be too stressful. I knew it would be, however, I wouldn’t consider starting my own business if I wasn’t aware of the various stresses and tribulations associated being an entrepreneur. I can’t help but consider that perhaps people believe I am incapable of running my own business because I am a young woman. These fears were unfounded, as I have already begun my own business.

I am a photographer and have already been running my own photography business using nothing but an online service to create my business cards, my own camera, and my own time. It is called Lee’s Snaps (insert shameless self-promotion) and I’ve already served a few customers. To begin, I got consultation from a local business set up to assist young entrepreneurs such as myself called Youth Ventures.

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While owning my business, I have been faced with how hard it is to get customers. Some of these hardships include my age and other 18 year olds trying to make a quick profit with what I'm good at. I have heard horror stories about men needing pictures done for something and something bad happening to the female photographer, whether that be rape, touching… or sometimes worse. Not everyone that I meet and tell that I have my own small business takes me seriously. The responses varies from being, “you’re too young to have a business” and, “leave that business to the professionals”. Well, how can I be a professional if nobody gives me the chance to improve myself as a person? I deserve to have the same recognition as the next person. A friend of mine has a older sister who has a bath bomb business called, “Da Bomb Bath Bombs,” fun and catchy. She does well, but she is not always taken seriously either.

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Making the decision to start my business was a difficult one, I felt as though I didn’t deserve to be where I was, and I did not want to take the financial risks associated with opening my business in the first place. I never believed that success was possible. I still am not known, but I will still try to get to where I want to be.

My developments remind me of those by the women of the past, they struggled but they conquered. I will conquer as well, and everyone can set a goal and achieve it if they try.