You know the old joke that says that if a man is driving and is lost in unfamiliar territory he will never ask for directions but a woman, in the same situation, has no problem asking for help? There’s truth in that humorous statement. It turns out that it isn’t just in driving; a woman’s ability to ask for directions may also help her in running her own business.

According to Forbes Magazine, “One in twenty men feels they lack certain technical knowledge for their jobs. Compare this figure to only one in five women who feel the same. The difference between the two is that women don’t let this slow them down.”

A woman tends to research, ask pertinent questions, and work with colleagues to get answers that will result in success for her business. Whether it is in the area of technical, financial, or marketing, a woman who is in charge of running her own business doesn’t let a lack of knowledge stop her. She will learn and remember.

And women know that failure, however unpleasant it may be at the time, is only a stepping stone to future success. The old ‘failure is not an option’ idea is not always feasible. Women give themselves permission for possible failure because they know that, having learned from a mistake or misjudgment, they will regroup and begin again making it better than before. Women, it seems are not afraid to take calculated risks.

Against the advice of our accountant—who cautioned that running a business is more than a full-time venture, so little time for my family, there are so many legal issues involved, and why the hell would I want to take on all that work when I was already published by a traditional publishing house who did all that for me—I decided to open my own boutique publishing press, Skylight-NYC Publishers. I wanted to learn all about publishing and be CEO of my own company. I did my research, went to this site to learn exactly how to go about establishing my own business, found a lawyer to help with the legalities, and looked for another accountant.

I started out my new venture by publishing my new book series and the books of two other authors, also with their own books published by traditional houses, who were eager to try a different route. Today I have nine authors on the roster. It’s a work in progress that is successfully growing and, despite the enormous work involved, makes me very happy. I still work with my traditional publisher on certain books, but I also like the satisfying fact that I am in charge of my own publishing press. Successful women have figured out that if you’re the boss, you can set your own rules.

A few reasons why women are successful when they run their own businesses is as follows:

Women are excellent listeners, a critical social skill that helps to build business relationships. We talk, we listen, we calculate, and we decide.

Women are passionate about a business. It’s in our blood to have a passion for what we are creating.

We do not need to be alpha-managers. In a world of Internet connectivity, it pays to be a beta-manager. Beta-managers know how to build cooperative relationships between many sections. Working together to build a business has distinct advantages to the owner of that business.

As mentioned before in this article, women are better calculated risk takers and not prone to over-confidence. We can evaluate situations without ego tripping.

Something that I found to be interesting when researching this article is that age didn’t seem to matter when becoming a business owner. Women over the age of fifty are just as successful, and most times, even more successful than younger entrepreneurs. Why? This is a time in our lives when our family responsibilities are substantially less. We are more adaptable and free to do what we want to do than those in the child-bearing and early child-rearing areas of life. We can become more involved in creating a business and can devote our energy and time to making it a success. We have more knowledge, more advantages in knowing life skills, more patience, and more drive. As for the definition of success, like anything else in life, it is subjective. You may not become world-famous but you may be more than able to be well-known in your chosen field.

Don’t give up, don’t take anything personally, and never take no for an answer. Follow your passion and your gut-instinct. Remember the accountant who was so negative in terms of my starting my own publishing press? I left him and found a woman who runs her own accounting business management firm and who was more than happy to share advice and the pros and cons of having your own business. She’s a valued outreach to my business.

© 2021 copyright Kristen Houghton all rights reserved


  • Kristen Houghton

    Kristen Houghton

    Thrive Global

    Kristen Houghton is the award-winning author of the popular series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation.  She is also the author of nine novels, two non-fiction books, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, and a children’s novella. Her horror novel, Welcome to Hell, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Houghton has covered politics, news, and lifestyle issues as a contributor to the Huffington Post. Her writing portfolio includes Criminal Element Magazine, a division of Macmillan Publishing, Today, senior fiction editor at Bella Magazine, interviews and reviews for HBO documentaries, OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and The Style Channel. Before becoming a full-time  author, Kristen, who holds an Ed.D. in linguistics, taught World Languages on the high school and university levels. Along with her husband, educator Alan William Hopper, she is a philanthropist for Project Literacy and Shelters With Heart, safe havens for victims of domestic abuse and their pets . mailto:  [email protected]