Why Women Need To Behave Like A Girl To Grow Their Businesses

Women’s entrepreneurship expert notes being equal doesn’t mean being the same

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Entrepreneur and talk show extraordinaire Steve Harvey wrote when it come to dating and relationships, women need to Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. Now author and women’s entrepreneurship expert Joanna L. Krotz is telling women in business to behave “like a girl.” She believes that by accepting this is okay, women will be more empowered and successful in their businesses.

In her book, Being Equal Doesn’t Mean Being the Same, Krotz encourages  working women to launch businesses, offering smart, practical advice about how and when to make that leap. She notes that women need to recognize how gender matters in business performance and leadership.

The book’s foreword is written by noted billionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson. The Co-founder of BET, Johnson is now the founder and CEO of Salamander Hospitality luxury hotels and resorts, part-owner of three sports teams in the NHL, NBA and WNBA, and a producer of several acclaimed independent films, including Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Women are starting businesses more than ever. Women now own 30% of all U.S. businesses, with 14% controlled by black women. The total number of firms owned by women is 9.4 million, of which 1.3 million are owned by black women, generating $52.6 billion in revenues.

[Related: Black Women Business Owners Outpace All Other Startups Six Times National Average]

In her book, Krotz describes how women business owners can harness characteristic female strengths and clear the hurdles of female-specific weaknesses. She also identifies missteps women often make during negotiations. For those seeking to raise seed money or venture capital, Krotz also addresses what male funders look for when evaluating women-led startup.

“As entrepreneurs, women can rely on their distinctive experiences and values to build lives of parity, purpose, passion and prosperity,” explains Krotz. “This inspirational call to action includes female-friendly plans and tools to enable women to chart their own futures and pursue lives of satisfaction.”

The 5-part, 15-chapter book with a  23-page resource section also got a stamp of approval by Susan G. Duffy (executive director of The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College) and Joanne Wilson, ‘Gotham Gal’ angel investor and co-founder of New York’s Women Entrepreneurs Festival.

The five parts hone in on such topics as looking through a gender lens, using gender tools to grow and linking to the crowd. There’s also a 23-page resources section of female-friendly online tools, boot camps, venture capitalists and networking groups.

Krotz has been investigating the payoffs and challenges of small business owners, particularly women-led firms, for years. She’s interviewed hundreds of male and female entrepreneurs as a national magazine editor, author and journalist, online small business columnist and host of a Web radio show.