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The STEM Entrepreneur: Unique Challenges and Hefty Rewards

Generally speaking, women in STEM fields are ambitious and hardworking, and they are up for any challenge that lies before them. That is why, in entering a career in a STEM field, they can handle a path not easily traveled. The same characteristics that make you successful in your STEM career can serve you as an entrepreneur. Perhaps you should consider opening your own business in your chosen field, as I did when I opened PK Electrical in Reno, Nevada. It’s certainly not the easiest path, but when you succeed, you will reap great rewards.


Even with all of my prior study and planning, I was not mentally prepared for the amount of work required to start a business. Today I’d like to share a few tips on getting off to a good start in overcoming some of the unique challenges you will encounter as a business owner.


Consult Experts: There are many legal and financial matters to sort out when forming your own company. At a minimum, you will certainly want to seek the advice of an attorney and an accountant to ensure that you are filing all of the needed documentation and asking yourself questions you don’t yet know to ask yourself. Hiring experts who have helped others like you is invaluable in making sure you get things right from the word go.


Prepare for Pressure: Once you become a business owner you have the pressure of knowing that your actions could make or break the company. If you have employees counting on the success of the company in order to make a living, the pressure is multiplied. You have to be able to handle that level of responsibility without cracking. Make sure you have some kind of release, such as vigorous exercise, to lower your stress levels.


Learn from Mistakes: Each day as a business owner offers you an opportunity to grow and improve and ultimately become a better business owner. You are going to make mistakes, even costly ones. Don’t dwell on them. Learn from them. You can be better tomorrow than you were today.


Clients Are Key: It is likely that the single most important challenge you will face is finding new clients and getting return business from existing clients. This is, after all, the way to bring money into the business and will certainly decide if your business booms or flounders. Network like crazy, get involved in your community, and above all, provide your clients with service so outstanding that they will recommend you to their friends and family. Your clients are your key to success.


If you are able to overcome the challenges to starting and running your own business you will be handsomely rewarded. You will earn personal and financial rewards that are not available to those who work for others. It is risky, of course, but higher risk brings higher rewards.


Do you think you will start your own business some day? What challenges are in your way to getting started today? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Karen Purcell

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