As women entrepreneurs, we all strive to be great. None of us wake up and aspire to be average. We have a passion that drives us to work harder, push further, and do more every single day. Despite our burning passion for success, female founders also have incredible depths of gratefulness. This is an unusual combination in startup world.
Anyone who has tried to raise funding for their company knows the saying, “Investors invest in the jockey, not the horse.” This means that the founder of a startup is much more important than the idea. Women entrepreneurs are much more likely to emphasize their team’s combined strength than their personal accomplishments. This tendency may be the root of why only 2% of venture capital goes to women-led companies.
Instead of training female founders to brag more about themselves, perhaps we should analyze the correlation between being successful and being grateful. Have you noticed that the truly great people in the world are continuously grateful? I don’t believe that is an accident. The people who are thankful for the small successes, have the energy and mindset to persevere for the huge successes. They are the entrepreneurs who value their team members, inspire their peers, and make any goal seem possible.
Personally, I am grateful for the women who paved the way for me to become an entrepreneur. Not only female founders of the past, but for my mother who said I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough, and for my grandmother who jumped into any adventure that presented itself regardless of her age. Without these women, I am unsure if I would be as successful as I am today.
The quote, “It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.” captures my feeling on cultivating a mindset and culture of gratefulness as women, and especially as women entrepreneurs. We are allowed to be happy, supportive, and grateful. And, in embracing what comes so naturally to us, we may very well change how businesses are built.