Most female entrepreneurs struggle in the beginning to call themselves a founder or CEO, let alone an entrepreneur. They are often happy, as I was, to just be recognised as a woman with a bright idea that wants to pursue it passionately. They often struggle with self-confidence and imposter syndrome. They know too well that they do not have all of the skills or attributes that are required of a successful entrepreneur. They know they are going to have to “fake it until they make it”.
That would all be OK, if early in their entrepreneurial journey they were not confronted by feedback from every direction. Every potential investor, every accelerator or incubator, every potential customer and even just the guy next door. Much of this feedback is aimed at being constructive and well-intentioned, but is often negative in nature.
Despite knowing that feedback is good, the overwhelming amount of “constructive criticism” can feel like the last straw. It can cripple your confidence and you may find it hard to keep moving forwards. Should you even bother trying if it is going to be this hard?
I was a victim of this scenario, when what I perceived as overwhelming negative feedback, left me feeling deflated and questioning my capability and the ultimate success of my business. Below are some strategies that I developed to keep going, not lose my sense of self-worth and turn that negative, but well-intentioned feedback, into a positive outcome for me and my business.
Embracing feedback when you are vulnerable is hard, but if you can control the emotion associated with negative comments or criticism you will grow into a better founder. Take it all onboard, take time to process what you are told and consider yourself lucky that you have people around you that care about your success. Becoming resilient is one of the hardest parts of your entrepreneurial journey, but it will be the key to your success.
Jenny Aiken was chosen for the SBE Australia by Springboard Enterprises Tech Accelerator Program as Co-Founder & CEO of Life Cell Marine Safety. Jenny completed our female evolve program as a part of our 2017 cohort.
Jenny has previously contributed to the SBE Australia blog, where she spoke about how “Sometimes You Won’t Be Able To Sleep”.