How to Succeed as a Woman Entrepreneur - BusinessTown

Learn how to start a business today...

With our best-selling course Start-a-Business 101.

How to Succeed as a Woman Entrepreneur

 Rieva Lesonsky: How to Succeed as a Woman Entrepreneur Women start businesses at a faster rate than men, but men are more likely to get their businesses funded. In this video, pioneer woman entrepreneur Rieva Lesonsky talks about overcoming the challenges of being a female entrepreneur.

How Did You Become Entrepreneur Magazine’s Editorial Director?

I got into entrepreneurship kind of accidentally about almost 40 years ago I moved to Southern California because it snowed too much in New York one winter and I said “I’m done.” I was looking for a job but I couldn’t find one. I almost had to go home because I was going to run out of money, but then I saw an ad in The L.A. Times and it said “Entrepreneur.” My dad had a small business, my grandfathers did, and my uncle did, so I really understood what small business was. I got hired on the spot. I was a research assistant and that’s that’s how I started.

Related: The Best Business Ideas to Start Under 2K

I was a journalism major so I thought, “Well I’m just going to specialize in entrepreneurship!” Eventually, I worked my way up. I was the editorial director at Entrepreneur magazine.

How Did You Decide to Start Your Own Business?

About nine years ago, I said “I’m tired of covering it. I’m going to do it!” And I quit my job, took some of my editors with me and we started our company which is GLOBUS Media. We have a website called

We write for a ton of other small business web sites. There are a lot of corporations on their websites such as Microsoft and, Fundera, and other places like that. One of the things we tell all startups is it helps if you can do something within your field of expertise.

If you start a business within your field of expertise, you are WAY more likely to succeed.

I had a good reputation over all those years in the entrepreneurial arena, but didn’t have the money to actually get started. So my colleagues and I did what people do in that case: we raised some money from friends and family. They said, ”We believe in you. There you go.” The success of that route is based on your reputation. We just started making some phone calls to people we knew. These knew who we were and what we did and said, “Oh yeah. This is really great.”

How Did You Know There Was a Market for Your Business?

It was a gut feeling for me. I kind of knew that we could do this, that I had enough contacts out there and enough of a reputation that I thought we could figure this out. The money from friends and family was there to help us get through that time. I didn’t take a salary for two years and that was hard. I depleted a lot of my savings.

Related: From Dumpster Diver to Millionaire Business Coach

If I had to do it all over again, I’m not sure I would have because nine years later I’m still paying for it, but it was worth it because it got my company through those beginning years when money was tight.

Content marketing didn’t really exist at the time. There were more waves in my industry. There were more and more companies looking to the magazines for advertorials, and I could tell that they wanted to tell their story. I was lucky that this whole thing about content marketing erupted when it did.

What is it Like Being a Female Entrepreneur?

So we had our first white collar recession in the late 80s carrying into the early 90s. Many women had been told in the 1970s “You want to be equal? Go get your MBA.” Well a lot of these women went and got their MBA’s and went on to work at corporations. The recession came, and the last hired were the first fired.

succeed as woman entrepreneur
The late 80’s  recession impacted women and minorities the most. So they started businesses.

All these women found themselves out of jobs, much like most of white collar America. So they started businesses. And when that entrepreneurial revolution started in the early 90s, nobody thought it was going to be permanent. Most people thought they would only do it until the recession got better, until they could get hired again, until they could find a job, etc.

But what happened is women and minorities found going into business for themselves was a better platform. They were on an equal playing field here. All they had to do was come up with some idea, some service, or some business competitively priced that people wanted.

Related: Minority Entrepreneurs: Challenges and How to Succeed

Starting a Business Means More Freedom For Women and Minorities

Women actually started starting businesses around 1992 and faster than the general startup rate. It has never ever gone down since then.

I think that a lot of women found there’s a lot more freedom in all of this. There’s definitely a lot more personal freedom in it, but it’s still harder for women to get money. When you look at the surveys, women own about 35 percent of all small businesses in the U.S., but men are making more money. We have to think about why that is the case. Is that a choice?

Related: The 300 Best Small Business Ideas

If it’s a choice, great because that’s what feminism and equality is about. Or is it partly still the system where it’s still harder to infiltrate the “Old Boys’ Network” to break through and find customers and find suppliers?

Networking Is Crucial

The first thing you have to do is figure out what this is that you’re definitely going to do. Then think of every single contact you have in that industry, with ties to that industry, or people you know with important connections. It’s about working that network. Take advantage of the fact that there are people out there!

Building your network and finding a mentor is crucial. Especially, if it is your first business.

There are networks out there. There are groups out there. Joining groups, getting involved, and meeting people is great because you just never know where it will take you.

Should I Seek Out a Mentor?

I think mentorship is crucial. It’s absolutely crucial particularly if you’re starting in the new industry. Think about who in your immediate circle might be able to mentor you. Join those groups in any industry! They have a trade association within those trade associations. Often they have activities that are all for the women in that industry. Join that! Join the women’s group. Participate! Go to your Chamber of Commerce meeting because it might just be some buddies sitting at a table with you. If you are a woman, that doesn’t mean your mentor has to be a woman. In fact, I think that for women I would suggest two mentors: one man and one woman. A woman can mentor you through things that only in other women business owners going to understand. And a man can help you really understand the other side for you.

Related: Networking: A Shortcut to Success

Some Useful Ressources to Network and Find a Mentor

Check your College alumni association or SCORE. I don’t know how many people know about, but it is a site that will match you up with a mentor who has volunteered their time and will be happy to help you. And it’s all free.

You can also find great resources and networking opportunities in small business development centers. SBDCs are funded by the government for free counseling. They don’t call themselves mentors. In some cases, depending on where you’re of the same SCORE, and the SPDC will share the same space, they’ll come in do a triage with you and decide which group can help you the most.

People Need Entrepreneurship!

People now realize that entrepreneurship is so vital. We’re revitalizing cities and taking Main Street back. You’ll find that a lot of established successful female business owners will take that extra step to help another woman get started and become a success.

There’s a lot of advice out there, and people will tell you when you’re trying to figure out what to do, “Find your passion and that’s what it is!” They say that to a lot of women, and to me, that’s a very girly thing to say. I think it’s bad advice because you can be really passionate about something that only seven other people in the world care about and you’re not going to make any money.

Solve Problems to Find Your Business Idea

Ask yourself, “If there’s something that I wish existed that would make my life easier as a consumer and then as a business person, what would that be?” And then just list the products and services you can think of!

Successful business ideas solve problems.

After you compile your ideas, ask your friends if there might be something on there that resonates with them. Listen to yourself when you complain. Listen to your friends when they complain because when people complain about something there’s a core of an idea in there and nobody on earth is the only person who has that complaint.

What do businesses do? Successful businesses solve problems.

How Do I Get Investors?

It is much harder for women to get VC money. VCs invest in ideas that can go from zero to 60 like a Porsche and in 10 seconds. They have to be instantly scalable and they do expect you to put some money in the game.

If you try family and friends and that’s not working, one of the ways that we used to recommend for the short term is credit card advances. Bartering is really a good way for entrepreneurs to start. Go to a co-working space! Maybe there’s somebody in that space who wants to start their own accounting firm. Barter services with them, have them do this service and you’ll do another service for them for a certain period of time.

If your budget is tight, meet some fellow entrepreneurs and help each other out!

Bartering is really a good way for entrepreneurs to start. Go to a co-working space! Maybe there’s somebody in that space who wants to start their own accounting firm. Barter services with them.

I also think, if you are an individual who’s had a relationship with your bank for a long period of time, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with them and see if there’s something they can help you with. So one of the things that women tend to do sometimes, even though we’re known for sharing, is that we keep these business challenges to ourselves because we think someone’s going to judge us.

Related: 4 Alternatives to Traditional Financing

Don’t do that! When you ask people for help, someone is likely to know someone. That’s what I mean by using your network. They’ll help you.

Is Marketing Different for Women?

It depends. If your target market is women, then yes. Women are going to feel good about supporting you and being there for you.

If you’re starting a general business, don’t market differently. That’s what the beauty of entrepreneurship is: it’s the great equalizer. If you started a business with products or services people want at a price they can afford to pay, then people who maybe say, “Oh I would never do business with a woman!” don’t care.

Don’t Aim For Perfection

Here’s the thing that I think is inhibiting most women even today: we’re raised to be perfect. Girls are raised to play by the rules and get straight A’s. That inhibits us as we go into business.

I don’t think you have to be perfect. You just have to be good. You have to be good at what you’re trying to do. One of the best pieces of advice I got from a female entrepreneur back in the day was “I was raised by my mother to not talk to strangers and to not ask people for money.” Then she said, “When I grew up I started a business and I found out that what I had to do was talk to strangers and ask some of those strangers for money! And it was really hard culturally to get past that.”

Forget everything your mother ever told you and just go out there and just go do it. And I’m telling you it’s OK to fake it because everybody is faking it.

Believe in Yourself and Make It Happen

You just go out there and believe in yourself. That’s really what it takes. Believe in yourself and believe that you can make this happen. You can get it done. Call on your resources! You’re going to feel bad sometimes, and you’re going to get told “no” more times than you’ve ever been told in your life. And you can feel bad for three days and that’s it. You say, “Let me go cry for three days.” Go cry for three days, but on day four you get up and you say “I’m going to make this happen” and then go out and make it happen.

About Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is president and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog She’s a nationally-known speaker, best-selling author, and authority on entrepreneurship and has covered the industry for more than 30 years. Prior to starting GrowBiz Media, she was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur magazine.

Lesonsky regularly writes about small business and entrepreneurship for numerous websites. She also consults with and produces content for corporations targeting entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Lesonsky has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart show and Oprah, and can regularly be seen on MSNBC’s Your Business.


Start-a-Business 101

Learn how to start your own business.

Start-a-Business 101 is a complete program for starting your own business.

  Find a great business idea. You’ll get my 6-step method for finding a great business idea. Plus you’ll get my insight on hundreds of proven, money-making businesses that you can start.

 Turn your idea into a profitable business. I’ll take you through every step of starting a business from finding your idea, to turning it into a solid business model, to making your first sales.

 Attract customers without spending a lot of money. You’ll get a ton of my free and low cost ways to land customers. From simple “guerilla” marketing tactics to the latest in digital marketing, I will show you every way imaginable to pull in customers on a shoestring budget. 

 Start small and grow as fast as you want. I’ll show you how you can start small, even part-time if you prefer, and build a highly successful business. You don’t need a lot of time or resources – but you do need to make the right decisions on key issues – and I’ll show you how to do it.

 Get proven strategies and insider advice. You’ll get the exact same methods I used to build one business after the next. I’ll tell you how to avoid problems. And I’ll show what to do at each step of the way, to start your business right.

 Try it risk-free for 60 days. You can try the whole course and then decide if it’s right for you. If you don’t love it, I’ll give you a 100% refund.

 You so inspired me that I started a business and have started receiving orders. Your videos about how to pick a business to start really got me going after I followed your steps to a tee. Thanks so much!

Bill Bennett – Business Owner

Start a business you love, earn more money and live the life you want. With Start-a-Business 101 you can…

Be your own boss. Enjoy true independence and be the star of your own show. Work when and where you want.

Start a business you love. You’ve got one life to live – so why not start the business of your dreams? I’ll show you exactly how to do it.

Make more money. Use my proven strategies to earn the highest profits possible and make a lot more money than you could at a 9-to-5 job.

Start-a-Business 101 is perfect for you…

If you don’t have an idea yet.

Start-a-Business 101 includes the proven 6-step method for finding a great idea. Plus you’ll get hundreds of proven, money-making ideas.

If you have an idea but are not sure where to start or what to do.

In Start-a-Business 101, you will learn exactly how to start your own business from start to finish. You will have access to dozens of videos, worksheets and templates that will walk you along the way.

If you want to make sure that you are doing things right.

Start-a-business 101 covers all the common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when getting started. No room for errors, you will learn how to start your business right.

If you want to get guidance and know exactly what to do at any given time.

Follow my step-by-step process that will get you on your way to business success. It will be like having a business coach by your side at all times.

If you want to start any size business or any type of business.

Start-a-Business 101 will help you start any size of business from a one person home-based business to a larger business. And it will work for any type of business including all service businesses, product businesses and Internet businesses.

If you want to become a knowledgeable entrepreneur.

By watching just one video lesson a day, you will quickly become a knowledgeable entrepreneur. You will be ready to start your own business now or at any time in the future.

Hi there, I’m Bob Adams.

I’m a serial entrepreneur and self-made multimillionaire.

I’ve started dozens of successful businesses of all types and sizes including … bike rentals, house painting, employment service, retail business, multimedia company, book publishing, tourist maps, job fairs, Internet businesses, software business, employment advertiser, and used boat sales. 

Most of these businesses I started in my home on a very small budget. 

My biggest success is my book publishing company that I started in my basement apartment with just $1500 and later sold for $40 million. 

I’ve learned what really matters in business. I’ve discovered the concepts that make or break businesses. And I’ve used them to build one successful company after the next. 

Now, my mission is to share what I learned with you – so that you can succeed in your own business. 

That’s why I created Start-a-Business 101.

Success = recipe + ingredients

In Start-a-Business 101, you will get my exact recipe and ingredients for success. I will show you what to do at every step in starting a business. 

You’re not going to go through years of trial and error. 

You won’t have to make mistakes or learn anything the hard way. 

Because the recipe for business success is waiting for you in my course, Start-a-Business 101

In this course you will get the same proven strategies and tactics that I used to create my successful businesses.

My books and courses have been featured in…

Start-a-Business 101 will show you exactly what to do at each step of starting your business.

You will get proven strategies, real-life examples, ready-to-go templates, checklists and worksheets to help guide you along and save you time. 

You won’t have to guess what you should do next or if you are doing things right.

 You will be following the best advice available today. 

You will be getting the same techniques and strategies that I used to build one successful business after the next including the one I started with $1,500 and sold for $40 million. 

You will put your startup on the fastest and most proven path to success.

Here’s the course for your new business journey. Beginning entrepreneurs will hugely benefit from Start-a-Business 101. The videos clearly explain each element of building a new business. The advice is savvy and on point throughout. I highly recommend it for anyone involved in any kind of startup.

Rick Williams – Managing Director, Williams Advisory Partners LLC

Learn at your own pace and on any device

All devices

You can access Start-a-Business 101 on all your devices, including your computer, your tablet and your smartphone.

Instant access

Get instant access to the entire course, including all the video lessons, all the tools and the discussion board.

Learn at your own pace

Watch just one video lesson per day and you will complete the whole program in about 10 weeks. Or you could even binge watch the entire course in one weekend. It’s up to you!

Full lifetime access

You can access the entire course as long as you want and as many times as you want. For example, you could go through the entire course to quickly build your entrepreneurial knowledge. Then you could go back to specific lessons as you are working on various aspects of your business.

Watch the overview video

 I found great value in the BusinessTown courses. The program is comprehensive, covering everything…It’s like having a team of experienced advisors available 24 x 7.

Dan Sterling –  Founder, Water Hero

Start-a-Business 101 gives you everything you need to start your business.

Rock-solid advice

You will learn my proven strategies and tactics for starting your own successful business.

Easy to follow videos

You will be guided step by step through the whole process by 76 short and easy to follow videos. 

 Business tools

You’ll also get 46 downloadable templates, worksheets and samples to guide you along.

  Start-a-Business 101 Course Content

1.  How to get started with your business

2.  Discover hundreds of great business ideas

3.  How to choose the best business idea for you

4.  How to validate your business idea

5.  Find the perfect name for your business

6.  How to choose the best legal entity for your business

7.  How to create a powerful competitive advantage

8.  How to create your business plan

9.  How to do your accounting and financial statements

10.  How to get the money you need to start your business

11.  How to create your marketing and attract customers

12.  How to build your online marketing presence

13.  How to make sales and land your first customers

14.  The Small Business Toolkit

15.  The Discussion Board

Every step of the course is filled with videos and companion tools to show you exactly how to start your business.

Start-a-Business 101 includes 46 templates, worksheets, checklists and samples

These tools will save you a lot of time, keep you organized and further guide you along the way to launching a successful business as soon as possible.

Fill-in the blank templates make it easy to plan your business.

Watch sample videos

Looking for a business idea? Discover the critical questions that you must ask to find the very best idea for you.

Learn how to create a one page business plan – the most important document for starting your business.

Learn how to find the best customers for your business.

Discover how to create a unique sales message for your business.

   Having run across your videos was a godsend to me. Your method provides me the structure I need to be successful. I am willing to put in the work to go through your complete course which so far has been incredibly helpful.

Phyllis Marks – Starting an Online Business

Will Start-a-Business 101 work for me?

This course is made for you:

  • If you want to generate a new income stream.
  • If you don’t have a business idea yet but want to be your own boss.
  • If you have an idea but are not sure how to get started or what to do first.
  • If you are ready to get started but want to make sure you are doing things right.
  • If you want guidance from someone who has done it before – multiple times.

Start-a-Business 101 will work for all types of businesses. And it will work for all sizes of businesses from one-person home-based businesses to larger enterprises.

Don’t have an idea yet? No problem. I will give you my 6-step process for quickly finding a great business idea. Plus I’ll show you hundreds of my best, money making business ideas, along with my insight on each one.

Wondering how to turn your idea into a profitable business? I will show you how to do it – every single step of the way.

You will learn how to plan your business, how to get the money to get started, how to do marketing, how to do accounting, how to make sales, how to set up your website and much more. You will have access to all my tools – including worksheets, case studies, checklists and templates – that will save you time and money.

I can promise you that you will get the very best strategies and ideas available today. You will get the exact techniques that I used to build my businesses, including the one I sold for $40 million.

Still skeptical? I get it. Sometimes you have to see it to believe it.

I got you covered. You can take this whole course completely risk-free.

You can test drive the entire course for 60 days.

That’s right. You can have full access to the whole course for 60 days. If you decide it’s not for you, or if you don’t love it, I’ll give you a 100% refund. No questions asked.

I can’t promise you that your business will absolutely succeed. No one can.

But I can promise you that I will give you the very best strategies and ideas for every step of starting your business.

And I stand behind that with my 60-day, 100% money-back guarantee.

I want you to start a business. And I want you to start it right.

 I have researched the marketplace for over a month to identify a viable and comprehensive ‘go-to’ guide on how to best launch a small business. This course offering from Bob Adams met more than what I was looking for.

Steve Cox – Experienced Businessman

Get Start-a-Business 101 and get $750 in bonuses – free

I am pleased to tell you that I am adding two limited time bonuses to Start-a-Business 101

These bonuses will make it even easier and quicker to get your own business up and running. 

The Ultimate Checklist to Starting Your Own Business 

This 18 page checklist will show you exactly what to do to start your business.

This extremely comprehensive 18 page document includes all the steps to start a business. Plus I give you my expert advice on every single step. 

This checklist will keep you totally organized and make sure that you are not missing anything important. 

This checklist is the ultimate shortcut in getting your business up and running. It will be your constant companion in starting your business. The checklist has a $500 value but I will give it to you as one of my welcome gifts for joining Start-a-Business 101.

How to Launch a Business Fast and on a Tight Budget Using MVP

Use this video to start your business fast and on a tiny budget.

The second bonus is a game-changing video/lesson. In this video/lesson I will teach you the concept of Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. 

You will learn how to start your business faster and for less money, than any other way possible. 

This important video/lesson has a $250 value but I will give it to you as one of my welcome gifts for joining Start-a-Business 101

So consider joining Start-a-Business 101 now if you want to get these limited-time free bonuses – a $750 value.

 Bob has been a close friend and trusted business adviser of mine for years… guiding me through the challenges we all face as entrepreneurs. Hands down Bob is one of the most talented, and successful entrepreneurs I know. Thanks Bob!

Matt Marshall – Founder, MGM Capital Investments

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?

This online course is completely self-paced – you decide when you start and when you finish.

How long do I have access to the course?

After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like – across any and all devices you own.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

If you are unsatisfied with the course for any reason, please contact us within 60 days and we will give you a full refund, no questions asked.

What are the course requirements?

This course is for anyone thinking about starting a business. You don’t need to have any previous business experience whatsoever. Even if you have business experience, you will discover a vast amount of powerful new ideas that will help propel your business ahead.

Can I download any of the content?

Of course! All the worksheets, case studies, samples, and templates are downloadable.

Start a business you love, earn more money and live the life you want.

Start-a-Business 101 is the fastest and easiest way to learn how to start a business and become a knowledgeable and successful entrepreneur.

Start-a-Business 101 is a complete proven program that will take you step-by-step through your entire startup journey.

You will get…

  Easy-to-follow videos

  Ready-to-use tools

  Discussion board

  Inside advice

  Proven strategies

  Complete lifetime access

In just a few minutes a day, you will learn how to start your own business.

You can test drive the entire course for 60 days.

That’s right. You can try Start-a-Business 101 risk-free for 60 days. You will have full access to the entire course. If you decide it’s not for you, or if you don’t love it, I’ll give you a 100% refund. No hassles. No questions asked. I want to help you succeed in your own business.


Start-a-Business 101

Learn how to start your own business.

Full Lifetime Access 

60-Day 100% Money-Back Guarantee

Only $19.95

Start-a-Business 101 is only open for a limited time.

Get on board now if you want to make sure you don’t miss out.

Questions? Email

Copyright © 2019 BusinessTown LLC. All rights reserved. BusinessTown ® is a registered trademark of BusinessTown LLC.