According to recent studies, men and women have different priorities when starting a business. While most men are motivated by the prospect of making money (A 2001 survey of business owners with MBAs conducted by the Rochester Institute of Technology found that money was the primary motivator for only 29% of women, versus 76% of men), women seem to be interested in more flexibility, a better work-life balance, fulfillment and the freedom to stay home with their kids.
In short, men and women go into business for different reasons.
This does not mean that women cannot improve their money making powers — and stay true to our priorities. I have found that in business women can learn greatly from men by adapting some of ‘the men’s rules’ in ways that fit our skills and emphasize our talents. Some of those ways include speaking clearly, “learning how to toot your own horn” and expecting great results.
Below are 10 more things we can pick up from men in business. Take a look:
- Apply strategy. Did you ever notice that men think very linear? A lot of a man’s thinking is focused on finding solutions to problems, setting and reaching goals, developing plans and executing tasks. In business this is essential. If you learn to apply strategy, set clear goals and make sure you follow through on your plan, you will get where you want to go!
- Just do it! One of the big advantages men have in business is that they love risk taking. It’s all right to be cautious when it comes to your business but nothing will happen until you take action.
- Stay focused. Not only do women multi-task, we also multi-think and one of our big weaknesses is that because of our nimble mind we get distracted EVERY step of the way. Don’t get me wrong, distractions are normal. They happen to all of us all the time. The important thing is to stay focused on your goal in spite of the distractions all around you. This is where having a strategy comes in handy. Stick with your plan!
- Keep your word. Keeping your word is essential in business. If you don’t do what you say you are going to do people can’t trust you and will not do business with you. This is important! If you change your plan every few days and go back on your word, you’ll lose clients, partners and money.
- Making money is OK! Asking for money is an integral part of business and if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. Most importantly, not asking for money gives the impression that you are not serious about doing business. By the way, trading services is NOT asking for money.
- Expect big outcomes. Men expect big results! Challenge yourself to think beyond your comfort zone. Most people don’t reach their goals because they are setting them too small. Set big goals and expect big outcomes!
- NEVER act nice! Acting nice kills business. Period. This is not to say that you don’t treat people in a friendly way. On the contrary. What it does mean, however, is that you do not do business with people that treat you badly, that you don’t over deliver your services, that you never ever worry about upsetting someone (you may and probably will), and, that you don’t let people walk all over you for fear of not being liked. Business is straightforward and you might as well tell it like it is.
- Ignore your moods! Leave your mood(s) at home! If you tend to be very moody, look into your life and find out what is missing. Maybe you are not in the right business, or maybe you are not taking enough breaks and your body is telling you to take it easy. Whatever it is, make sure to take care of yourself so you can carry on with the business at hand!
- When the going gets tough, keep going! There will be times when you want to throw in the towel, and there will be days when you think you can’t do it any more. That’s all right. Take breaks when you need to, take a day off, but don’t quit. Endurance is key in business. You want to quit? Maybe you are just moments away from succeeding!
- It’s just a game. Men love games. Throw them a ball and they’ll play. Business is no different. It is a game and it has rules. I encourage you to learn the rules and to always keep in mind, it’s just a game and on some days you will win, on others you may lose. One thing is certain, life will keep moving on, no matter what the outcome is.
Learning from men does not mean you have to become like men. It is essential to your success that you adapt the rules in business to our own needs and abilities. Take your time, take the breaks you need and most of all, take care of yourself.