“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” But what if a female entrepreneur doesn’t want lemonade? When changing circumstances take a woman business owner out of her ideal entrepreneurial type, she may determine that rather than going back to her previous type, she wants to move on to a new ideal. Before she does, though, she must determine what that ideal is, and whether it is truly ideal for her own situation.

Based on professional market research of more than 3,500 women in business, 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 questions a business owner must ask herself when she is on the brink of change.

1. Is this a time for business growth, or a time to sustain? Business growth often requires more time and energy on the part of a business owner. Also, it increases the ratio of time spent strategizing to time spent creating. Therefore, an “ideal” type depends on the level of resources an entrepreneur is able to or wants to invest in her business.

Advice: If an entrepreneur doesn’t feel like she is living her ideal type, and wants to grow her business and transform into a new type, she’s probably considering becoming either a Jane Dough or a Go Jane Go type, since they generally run larger businesses. She must keep in mind that each entrepreneurial type comes with its own set of strengths and challenges, and “benefits” and “drawbacks,” which may actually be different from how the business owner perceives them. For example, Jane Dough business owners often run large businesses, run teams of people, and bring home a high income. They also work long hours and spend more time strategizing than they do creating. Go Jane Go business owners often bring in a high income and love running their businesses and giving back to their communities, sometimes feeling overwhelmed in the process.

2. During this difficult time, has the business owner developed any habits or behaviors she must change or stop so she can become her ideal type? In the process of adapting to what has probably become a difficult situation, it is possible that a business owner may have developed previously uncharacteristic habits or behaviors. Maybe she has begun procrastinating because she is unhappy at work and finds it draining to deal with the problems. Perhaps she feels so overwhelmed with the day-to-day operations of the business that she has stopped communicating with her team members and/or clients. Or maybe she has completely stopped making time for herself and/or her loved ones as she struggles to keep her company afloat.

Advice: In evaluating her own behaviors (especially recently developed behaviors), a female entrepreneur can determine specific adjustments she needs to make in order to power herself into her type change. For example, if cash flow has lessened and she is feeling stressed about it, she may have started avoiding paying the bills. Not only is this behavior unproductive, but it also can put the company in danger and weaken relationships with vendors. When it’s time to shift from one entrepreneurial type to another, it is essential that a business owner be cognizant of her own behaviors and how they affect her business, so that every time a decision arises, she can act like her ideal type – that is a powerful way to create change.

3. Is the business owner’s current environment conducive to productivity, in work and in personal life? Every business owner lives in two different environments – Her physical space and the people around her. Environment dramatically impacts performance, and it is a great place for an entrepreneur to start when she is making a change.

Advice: Women business owners should consider the people around them and the physical spaces where they work and live, and then ask themselves what needs to be “cleaned up” for optimal performance. Living in clutter – physical or emotional – drains her energy. Female entrepreneurs should consider these actions when wishing to modify their environments:
• Organize and clean up messy desks or office space.
• Hang inspiring artwork in the office.
• Ensure that all office furniture is comfortable and that tools are in easy reach.
• Use color to create the right mood.
• De-clutter everywhere, even the house and the car.
• Eat healthy foods that boost energy.
• Limit or eliminate time spent with negative people and naysayers.
• If eliminating time with negative people is impossible, set clear boundaries, such as making “worrisome” topics off-limits for discussion.
• Meet and become surrounded by positive, inspirational people.
• Create or join a mastermind group (people interested in supporting each others’ success).

When life hands a female entrepreneur lemons, she doesn’t have to make lemonade – she can make anything she wants. By asking herself the right questions, and answering with her heart, she will be able to follow the recipe for her ideal type – and new success.

Author's Bio: 

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at www.janeoutofthebox.com.