Many female entrepreneurs want to give. They strive to find new, positive ways to do so, all the time. An unintended – and unfortunate – byproduct of this spirit is that these women end up feeling exhausted and drained. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. By implementing entrepreneurial-type-driven strategies, every female entrepreneur can learn to give, and to nurture that giving by receiving, as well.

Professional market research of more than 3,500 women in business, by an authority on female entrepreneurs, reveals there are five distinct types of female entrepreneurs. This study shows that each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. When a woman is living as her ideal entrepreneurial type, she feels satisfied, personally and professionally. This article outlines three of those types and provides advice for how each one can continue to give while replenishing her own reserves.

Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and then she decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have started making something that served her own unmet needs and found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Although Accidental Jane may sometimes struggle with prioritizing what she needs to do next in her business, she enjoys what she does and is making good money. About 18% of all women business owners fit the Accidental Jane profile.

To give: Because she strikes such a “sweet spot” balance between enough work and the freedom she loves, Accidental Jane has the potential to be inspirational to other women considering starting their own businesses. Therefore, she may consider giving by volunteering for a local organization that helps other female business owners, or she may want to make a commitment to share her story – whether it’s as a speaker, on her blog, or with women entrepreneurs she comes across in the course of her work or other volunteer opportunities.

To receive: Accidental Jane values her work-life balance tremendously. She can “receive” by identifying other businesspeople in her field who she likes and trusts, and to whom she can send overflow work when her workload exceeds the amount of time she wants to put in to her business.

Go Jane Go is passionate about her work and provides excellent service, so she has plenty of clients – so much so, she's struggling to keep up with demand. At 14% of women in business, she may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she's eager to make an impact on the world and she often struggles to say no. Because she wants to say yes to so many people, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. As a result, she may be running herself ragged and feeling guilty about neglecting herself and others who are important to her.

To give: One of Go Jane Go’s trademarks is that she is constantly giving – often to the point that she is approaching burnout. Because she often refuses (however politely!) to accept help from others, she is denying them the opportunity to give to her. For Go Jane Go, then, to receive is to give – and she can work on shifting her mindset so that when someone does something for her, she looks at it as an indication that they are giving back for something she has done for them.

To receive: Because Go Jane Go has difficulty accepting help from others, she can create a list of things she needs. Whenever anyone volunteers, she can pull that list out, and give them a job or project. She may include “little” things, such as picking her children up from school, or even “bigger” things, such as helping her land an important client or helping her find someone to take on the customer service function in her company. Because Go Jane Go is a giver by nature, she must take this opportunity to focus on what she may not be doing as well – and that is receiving. In turn, she’ll realize that by letting herself receive, she will have so much more to give to others.

Jane Dough is an entrepreneur who enjoys running her business and generally, she makes a nice living. She is comfortable and determined in buying and selling, which may be why she's five times more likely than the average female business owner to hit the million dollar mark. Jane Dough is clear in her priorities and may be intentionally and actively growing an asset-based or legacy business. It is estimated that 18% of women entrepreneurs fall in the category of Jane Dough.

To give: For Jane Dough, business is business. Therefore, she can start giving by looking at the growth plans for her organization and determining how she can provide someone with a new opportunity – whether it is to give someone a job, or to give a new vendor a chance to work with her. Focusing on the more personal aspects of running a business, Jane Dough could work to invest in her personal relationships with her clients, her employees and her vendors. By taking the time to understand their individual goals – and helping them to achieve these goals – Jane Dough will earn loyalty and gratitude, and will reach her own business goals exponentially faster because of it.

To receive: Again, because Jane Dough operates on a “business is business” mindset, she may not realize the degree to which the people she works with are giving to her already. Of course she enjoys what she’s doing – she gets a rush out of growing her business and achieving her vision. On the other hand, she may not be as attuned to the potential relationships as she could be. To receive, then, Jane Dough may consider taking time to slow down so she can appreciate and celebrate the intrinsic rewards of business ownership.

Whether it’s a New Year’s Resolution or an ongoing goal, female business owners all over the world want to give back. The great news is, they can do so without running their own reserves dry, if they follow the advice outlined in this article.

Author's Bio: 

Michele DeKinder-Smith, is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research, Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients such as Starbucks, Frito Lay, Tropicana, Texas Instruments, Hoover Vacuums and Verizon Wireless. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides
female entrepreneurs like YOU with powerful resources, such as educational blogs, teleclasses, newsletters, and books. Take your Jane assessment to determine your own business type at