Jean Chatzky
More women are starting their own businesses in order to live the lives they want, says Victoria Colligan, co-founder of Ladies Who Launch. Jean talks with Victoria about her company, which provides a social network for entrepreneurial women, and about why and how women make the decision to launch their own businesses:
  • A woman's entrepreneurial spirit is driven by her lifestyle. Women polled by Ladies Who Launch cite freedom, flexibility and control as the top reasons for starting their own business, Victoria says. The second most important factors are creativity, fulfillment and passion. Money comes in third place, she says.
  • Connections count. Women who surround themselves with other entrepreneurial women are more likely to succeed, Victoria says, which is why Ladies Who Launch connects like-minded individuals and offers business skill-building workshops. "It's a way to start to think about your project and your dream in a very realistic and a very big way," she says. "It's based on the concept that other people could think differently than you could think for yourself."
  • It all starts with one small step. Whether you make one phone call, send an e-mail or make that first necklace, Victoria says all success stories start with baby steps that eventually snowball. Starting small—perhaps as a side job or from home—also lends to the high success rate among women. "Women start more organically, so they're less likely to take these huge risks at the beginning," she says.
  • Moms make great entrepreneurs. Victoria, herself a mother of two, says moms are more likely to start businesses and more likely to be successful. "They're already used to running something—they're running their households and they're juggling many, many different elements of their life, which are all things that you need to be an entrepreneur," she says.
  • Confidence is key. Speaking from experience, Victoria says women actually develop confidence through the process of launching a business, which in turn helps their endeavors grow. "Just start something in your life … you will have a happier life, you will feel more confident, and that's what it's all about," she says.