The pandemic has provided women with a special opportunity to step back and reevaluate their priorities and commitments. As a global business mentor to successful women, my clients tell me every day about their urgent need for more professional freedom, income, flexibility, and fulfillment. These are powerful women who will not surrender their dreams and are actively claiming success as business free agents!
In its 2021 “Women in the Workplace” report, Lean In and McKinsey & Company found that 1 in 3 women have considered changing or leaving their jobs in the past year. Furthermore, Deloitte’s 2021 Women @ Work study found that 59% of women feel less optimistic about their career prospects today than before the pandemic. Surveys and statistics point to a major transformation occurring with women and work. Women want more agency, sovereignty, and freedom and are relentless in this pursuit.
Instead of committing decades of their lives to climb the traditional corporate ladder, millions of women are making the bold choice to become CEOs in their own C-Suite. They want more control and more opportunities to choose and scale their own ladders of success!
2022 is the year for women to be courageous and claim success as business free agents!
Free Agency has historically been associated with athletes and sports teams instead of executives and entrepreneurs. Free agents are generally considered to be self-determined and are free to sign a contract with any team or organization that meets their criteria for success. This is also true in the business world. Business free agents are entrepreneurs who can determine who, what, where, why, and how they conduct business. They are not bound by geographical, time zone, and location constraints. Free agents know that business success is created by executing solid strategic plans, delivering value, and transforming problems into positive solutions. The bigger the problems; the bigger the paycheck!
Typically, women pursue business free agency as entrepreneurs because they are managing work and family responsibilities and want more freedom and options. Later in life, women executives are seeking to transition out of corporate life and start a successful business on their terms. These “encore entrepreneurs” create thought leadership businesses to capitalize on their years of knowledge, experience, and relationships while converting these assets into financial equity and impact. Women are natural problem solvers and transformation agents, so they have a unique ability to start, grow and scale successful multi six-figure (annually, monthly or weekly) businesses.
To be a successful free agent, women need to become “A players” in their field of expertise. Leadership skills and confident competence are the “table stakes” of successful free agency as an entrepreneur. Every business owner needs to provide value to their clients while at the same time creating a profit for herself. Women owners do not have to be on the journey alone. Free-agent entrepreneurs can and must build a team to attract, retain and fulfill on their business brand and mission.
Being a solopreneur can be the first stop on the free-agent journey, but it does not have to be the destination. Growing a successful business means achieving more through a leveraged business model supported by a community of mentors, supporters, and advocates.
Women Are Claiming Business Success as Free Agents – Now!
What impact is the women’s free-agent entrepreneurial movement having on the US economy now? According to the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS), women now own 12.3 million businesses, approximately 42% of all US companies.
Women started 1,821 net new businesses every day in 2021 and generated $1.8 trillion this year in sales. To put things in perspective, there were around 402,000 female-owned businesses in 1972. The good news is that the number of women free agent entrepreneurs will grow in the coming years, according to business ownership statistics.
Why is this important for you? Essentially, it comes down to more opportunities. More women free-agent entrepreneurs translates to increased prospects for collaboration, partnership, new clients, innovation, and increased participation in the global economy. As it is often said, “With all women in the game and off the sidelines, we’ve got the “A players” on the field.” So, let’s play ball!
To support the ambitious growth of women free agents, I created C-Suite Network’s Women’s Success Council ™ (WSC) and Women’s Success School ™ (WSS). The WSC and WSS are innovative online communities dedicated to increasing our members’ success and free agency as business owners, CEOs, coaches, consultants, authors, speakers, and visionary leaders. We guide and mentor women to start, grow and scale successful businesses. We operate by the principles of collaboration over competition and “growing the pie, not just splitting it.”
We welcome you to learn more about the Women’s Success Council and the Women’s Success School at http://tinyurl.com/KathleenCaldwellLinkedIn or by contacting the founder, Kathleen Caldwell at 773.562.1061.
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