Female entrepreneurs may be surprised when they discover what they must do in order to give more. For businesswomen who are passionate about giving, it is possible to do so without draining their own reserves, as long as they follow some simple – yet effective – rules.

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 two of those types and provides strategies each one can use to continue giving – and by learning to receive, so she can give without depleting her own resources.

Merry Jane is building a part-time or "flexible time" business that gives her a creative outlet (whether she's an ad agency consultant or she makes beautiful artwork) that she can manage within specific constraints around her schedule. She may have a day-job, or need to be fully present for family or other pursuits. Representing about 19% of women in business, she realizes she could make more money by working longer hours, but she's happy with the tradeoff she has made because her business gives her tremendous freedom to work how and when she wants, around her other commitments.

To give: because all the facets of Merry Jane’s busy life demand that she carefully manage her time, she may not have time to give, in the form of volunteering. Therefore, Merry Jane may consider making giving a regular part of her life and her business by committing a certain percentage of her profits to charity. The dollar amount isn’t important – this is Merry Jane’s small way of giving to the world when her time is limited (more limited than most of the other types’). Also, Merry Jane may consider mentoring a newer business owner, or even a younger, inspiring business owner. If her protégé could join her when she was working on her business, this mentoring relationship wouldn’t add much time to her busy schedule, but would provide information and insight to someone who could use it.

To receive: for Merry Jane, time is a major priority, so she should accept every gift of time she is offered and allow others to do large and small tasks for her. She may consider making a list of quick time savers that are simple to do so that no training or teaching is required. The precious minutes saved when someone else agrees to do the dishes, run to the bank, or make a quick call to schedule an appointment all add up in helping Merry Jane feel she’s got plenty of time to pursue her many interests and take care of obligations.

Tenacity Jane is an entrepreneur with an undeniable passion for her business, and one who tends to be struggling with cash flow. As a result, she's working longer hours, and making less money than she'd like. Nevertheless, Tenacity Jane is bound and determined to make her business a success. At 31% of women in business, Tenacity Janes make up the largest group of female entrepreneurs.

To give: because a majority of Tenacity Jane business owners are fairly new to business ownership, they should look for volunteer opportunities that leverage the skills they need in their business. For example, if a Tenacity Jane business owner wants to improve her marketing skills, she may want to volunteer on a committee that addresses marketing for an organization. This way, even while she is giving her time and visionary mindset, she also is learning and honing some of the skills she needs to improve her own business.

To receive: by allowing a mentor to come into her life and give her good advice, Tenacity Jane will find that she is able to move more quickly through the process of building her business. She can actively seek mentors who live a lifestyle she admires, someone who seems to have values in alignment with her own, with a generous spirit. Then she mustn’t be afraid to pursue their help. It’s important to recognize that most people are flattered and honored to be asked.

While it may seem like a paradox, learning to receive is the key to being able to give – and being able to give even more. Business owners who are serious about giving must therefore become serious about receiving, as well.

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 www.janeoutofthebox.com