What’s Really Holding Women Entrepreneurs Back?

Is Fear of Failure and Lack of Confidence What’s Really Holding Women Entrepreneurs Back?

Failure does not define who you are

According to an article in the WSJ, the latest research shows fear of failure and lack of confidence are what really hold women entrepreneurs back. I asked my radio show guest, Susan Bass-Levin, CEO of the Cooper Foundation, to share some of her insights regarding both of these topics. As a former mayor, lady CEO and ovarian cancer survivor, Susan is a woman who’s been in the trenches of life.

Have you ever poured all your energy into one goal, and failed? Susan has. When she was mayor of Cherry Hill, NJ she ran for Congress, and lost. Imagine failing so publicly, that even your supermarket checkout clerk knows about it. That would make most people want to stay in bed. Or at least have someone else do their food shopping.

Susan and I chatted about everything from how we connected over candles to picking yourself up after failing, building confidence, and what’s really important in life. Here’s a recap of our radio interview:

Lynn: What is your vision for the Cooper Foundation?

My vision is to provide resources for the very best health-care resources in the community. – Susan Bass-Levin

Susan:Too often we go through life without a vision. We’re so caught up in the day-to-day, we’re happy we can just keep all our balls in the air. Focusing on your “Grand Plan” gives you confidence. Even if you don’t get there in the first day, week or year, your vision will guide your plans and goals.

Lynn: How did you pick yourself up after losing the Congressional race?

Susan: When I lost the congressional race, someone tried to comfort me and said, “Losing builds character.” I remember thinking, I have plenty of character. I don’t need any more. Now what do I want to do? I was miserable at the time. Losing helped me dig deep to decide what I really wanted to do with my life.  Within two years the Governor asked me to join his cabinet and I was off and running.

Lynn: We’ll stop fearing failure when we change the conversation, and rethink it.  Failure is part of the process, like an experiment, and necessary to succeed. How did you make it out?

Focus on a project. – Susan Bass-Levin

Susan: We all make it out the other side, eventually. If you fail and play the blame game, you haven’t made any progress. Failure is critical to growth and learning. Those who succeed in the long term focus on the lesson, not the failure. After losing the Congressional race, I had two years left as Mayor. I decided to put a group together and build a new library. It became a town center in a town that has no town center. Now, every time I go in the library, I smile. The Cherry Hill Library is like no other, it has an art gallery, meeting space and a children’s room where children can actually have fun and make some noise.

One of my fondest childhood memories is when my Dad took me to get a library card. – Susan Bass-Levin

Kudos to Susan on making some noise of her own, leaving a legacy that will impact generations yet to come. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your confidence. Your thoughts can be confidence builders, or breakers. Instead of beating yourself up (which women do all too well), remind yourself of your talents and skills. Failure does not define who you are. Think of a past achievement and visualize how you felt. If you did it before, you can do it again.

Susan ended our interview with these thoughts, “In 2002, I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, all of a sudden my bad days didn’t seem so bad anymore.” That really puts life in perspective. Today, Susan is 10+ years cancer free.

Lynn Bardowski is an award-winning entrepreneur, radio host and best selling author of Success Secrets of a Million Dollar Party Girl.  She speaks to global audiences about entrepreneurship, vision and branding and is a resource for press, media andbloggers.  Like her on Facebook  and follow her on Twitter.  You may republish this article in full, as long as you list this paragraph and provide a link.

Share small business news, blogs and social media tips with Project Eve’s community of small business owners and entrepreneurs today. Our contributors come from a wide range of backgrounds; so whether you are a small business owner, social media strategist, financial adviser, serial entrepreneur, or write an amateur blog we urge you to contribute a blog to our 350,000+ community today. For more information, please refer to our Content Submissions Guidelines.

Add a Blog


  1. 892511 601086The next time Someone said a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me just as significantly as this. Come on, man, I know it was my choice to read, but When i thought youd have some thing intriguing to say. All I hear is truly a handful of whining about something you could fix in the event you werent too busy searching for attention. 896663

  2. 719171 471490Register a domain, search for available domains, renew and transfer domains, and choose from a wide variety of domain extensions. 886738

  3. 253369 749106This put up is totaly unrelated to what I used to be searching google for, nevertheless it was indexed on the very first page. I guess your performing something proper if Google likes you adequate to place you at the first page of a non related search. 630929

  4. 619271 186244I discovered your weblog web site web site on google and appearance some of your early posts. Preserve up the fantastic operate. I just extra increase Feed to my MSN News Reader. Seeking for toward reading far much more by you later on! 934077

  5. 886399 720016An attention-grabbing dialogue is worth comment. I believe that it is finest to write extra on this subject, it wont be a taboo topic however normally individuals are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers 137754

  6. 398819 514754Hi. Cool article. Theres a difficulty with the website in chrome, and you might want to check this The browser will be the marketplace chief and a big component of other folks will miss your superb writing due to this dilemma. I like your Post and I am recommend it for a Site Award. 730736

  7. Yes you are accurate, genuinely Personal home page is a open source and its assist we can get free from any community or website since it happens at this place at this website.

  8. My brother recommended I may like this blog. He used to be totally right. This put up truly made my day. You can not believe simply how so much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  9. 783056 134102An attention-grabbing discussion is worth comment. I believe which you really should write a lot more on this matter, it wont be a taboo topic nevertheless typically persons are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers 826703


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here