Top 3 Tips For How To Say NO As A Female Entrepreneur

Top 3 Tips For How To Say NO As A Female Entrepreneur

When I first started my consulting service to help other female entrepreneurs, one of the hardest things to do was say, “NO” to business opportunities.

In the beginning of your business, you’re desperate for clients and publicity. When the clients start trickling in, you’re so eager to please and to make a respectable name for your company, that you may find yourself taking on projects that you don’t have time for.

You’ll also find that there are a lot of sinister people out there – would-be clients, promoters, and other business owners – who will try to manipulate you into doing work for free. They might justify their requests saying, “I’m doing you a favor by bringing you business, so you should be willing to perform this work for free.”

Female business owners know these types well. Unfortunately our talent and worth often get condescended to and overlooked, simply because of our sex.

This is the situation I found myself in years ago: burnt out, taken advantage of, and discouraged. I didn’t have enough time for my personal life, and I certainly didn’t have enough time to manage all these projects I took on my plate.

That’s when I learned that not only is it okay to say, “NO,” but it is absolutely essential.

3 Tips For How To Say NO

Below are the top 3 tips that have helped me to learn to say “NO” as a female entrepreneur and business owner.

1. Be Polite But Firm

Just because you’re saying “no” doesn’t mean you should be rude about it. You may want to work with this client later when you have the time and space, and you don’t want to ruin that by being brusque. Even if you don’t want to work with them, you have your integrity and dignity you need to uphold.

At the same time, though, you must be firm. Don’t say, “Maybe if I have a break in my schedule, I can take on this project.” If your answer is “no,” it’s “NO.” Period.

2. Keep It Short And Sweet

You don’t need to write a long paragraph about how you don’t have time to take on this project. “No” is a two-letter word for a reason. It’s quick and easy to type, read, and speak. A simple statement such as, “No thank you, I am not able to fit this project into my schedule at this time,” is all it takes to get your point across.

3. Stick To Your Decision

Sometimes after you tell a client, “NO,” they will come back and offer you more money. Or they will send you a passive-aggressive threat, such as, “I’ll have to seek out someone else to work with if you don’t take on this project.”

If a client doesn’t accept your answer, chances are they would not be easy or fun to work with. They don’t respect you now; what are the chances that they will continue to disrespect you throughout the project? In my experience, the chance is pretty high.

Always stick to your decision. Don’t let yourself be bullied or cajoled into changing your “NO” to a meek, “Well, okay.”

Saying “NO” as a female entrepreneur is not easy. But if you want to establish yourself as a force to be reckoned with in your chosen industry, as well as carve out your own personal time and space, learning this lesson is inevitable.

5 Unique Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face

5 Unique Challenges Female Entrepreneurs Face

When Susan reaches out to me for the first time and requests a consultation, I’m ecstatic to work with a female entrepreneur whom I can help break out onto the business scene.

But when I talk to her, instead of finding her full of confidence, I find she’s hesitant and full of doubt. None of these negative feelings are about me; that’s why she’s here. She believes I can help her business thrive. But she’s also hoping, perhaps, that I can help her. That I can validate her dreams, clear away the doubts she has about herself, and encourage her to push on toward the success that she’s denied herself so far.

This is the path of a female entrepreneur in 2022. Everyone faces hardships and struggles, but women have always had to struggle harder. Not just to succeed, but for the right to succeed.

If you’re a woman starting your own business, or you know one who is, you may see yourself in these 5 unique challenges female entrepreneurs face.

1. We Defy Societal Expectations

It never ceases to astound me that there exists a stereotype that women are supposed to take a backseat to men in the business world prevails. Even if no one expects us to stay home and keep house all day long anymore, they still don’t expect us to start businesses, lead a team of employees, and build our own wealth. These are the provinces of men. By becoming entrepreneurs, we are defying societal expectations.

2. No One Takes Us Seriously

When a man oversees a business, everyone accords him the respect that is due to someone in his lofty position. But put a woman in the exact same position, and no one wants to take her seriously. Even hugely successful women running enormous, million-dollar companies feel overlooked and undervalued, according to a recent study.

Regardless of how wealthy women are or which part of the professional hierarchy we occupy, we still have to fight for our voices to be heard and respected.

3. We Feel Guilty Owning Our Accomplishments

For women, guilt has no bounds. We even feel guilty for owning our own accomplishments, the things we’ve worked hard to make successful.

Why is that?

Part of it may be pressure from those societal stereotypes we talked about earlier in this article. Part of it may also be that women are typically taught not to be loud and proud of ourselves, to not brag or boast about the awesome things we’ve done.

Finally, we may be holding ourselves back for fear of making someone else close to us, such as a father or husband, feel less needed or less adequate if we are more successful in business than they are.

Guilt is a difficult hurdle to jump, but if we don’t jump, we’ll never reach our full potential.

4. We Have To Juggle Family And Work Life

Despite working as much as men, women are still expected to balance work life with family life and domestic chores.

A report from by Oxfam and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research from 2019 showed that women in the U.S. perform 2 more hours of housework than men every day. Even in 2022, we’re still expected to take the brunt of the burden of managing a household. This makes it even harder for us to pursue our professional dreams.

5. We Have To Cope With The Constant Fear Of Failure

With the odds seemingly stacked against us, women must cope with the constant fear of failure. If I fail, how many people will say to me, “I told you so”? Will my husband tell me that I should have stuck to being a housewife? Will my male peers laugh at me with derision behind my back?

It’s not easy to block out the doubts and negative voices in your head. Having gone through it myself – and still going through it today – I know how these challenges shatter your confidence and upset your dreams.

That’s why I started my coaching business. Because the only way to keep the negative voices and lift all female entrepreneurs up is to help women succeed where no one else will.

3 Small Business Internet Tips For Women Entrepreneurs

3 Small Business Internet Tips For Women Entrepreneurs

Making your company known in the digital space is vital for any organization—but even more so for small businesses! Since you don’t have as much funds or have as many employees as a large enterprise, you need to make more than twice the effort to promote your business and gain a following on the Internet!

The Internet Is Your Best Bet

For a company with limited finances and people, banking on the Internet is your best chance to achieve success. As long as you know how best to utilize this tool, you’re sure to connect with your customers, build a strong network, establish your brand, and increase your brand awareness to build toward your success!

Follow our guide below to help your small business gain traction online:

Establish Cohesive Branding Across Virtual Platforms

Your target audience may encounter your brand on different social media platforms—but are you sure that they will recognize that it’s your business’s brand? What will make them take a second look and click on your link?

It’s all in the branding! It’s more than just having a pretty logo or a nice font—your branding is part of your identity. Choosing fonts, graphics, illustrations, colors, and creating a suitable logo, then being consistent with all these will benefit you so much more than you think!

Having cohesive branding will:

  • Increase brand recognition;
  • Save time and effort;
  • Create a strong brand identity;
  • Build trust from potential customers; and
  • Increase conversions.

Suppose you want to improve your branding online; in that case, you can consult a logo designer to make some changes to your logo and reach out to a branding professional to evaluate your business!

Utilize Proper Keyword Research

SEO is vital for your business, especially since not many people know about your company yet. Banking on SEO marketing will help you rank high on search results, thus making your product or service known by more people. Make the contents of your website SEO-friendly by including keywords on your videos, blog articles, and photo captions.

Investing in SEO marketing will help you improve your organic search rankings on search engines, create a positive user experience, and increase your engagements, traffic, and conversions. Not only will you have more new customers, but your number of repeat customers also increase as a result of good SEO.

Include a Call to Action So That They Know What to Do

You caught your audience’s attention by appearing on search results, piqued their interest because of your excellent web design, and found their answers on your page—but what now? What happens after that?

Getting your audience to your website has one purpose—to convince them to complete an action! No one spends time and money just to achieve nothing, don’t they? You need to tell them what to do so that you can reach your goals! Whether it’s to like your page, click the link, or get a quote, you need to include a call to action in every digital content you post so that your engagement, web traffic, and conversions will increase.


Owning and managing a small business is difficult, especially as a female entrepreneur, but it isn’t impossible! No matter how many competitors you have or how much the odds are stacked against you, you still have a chance to make it, as long as you practice the right strategies. Make sure to follow our internet marketing tips and work with an agency to help you grow your small business.

Do you want to market your business online but don’t know how? Let me, Melissa McGlenn, help you achieve success! Inspired Melissa is a creative advertising and social media marketing agency for women-owned businesses that offers a wide variety of services, such as managing your brand, strategies, and marketing. Book a discovery call today!

3 Skills Every Successful Female Entrepreneur Should Master

3 Skills Every Successful Female Entrepreneur Should Master

Being a woman entrepreneur is a rewarding experience, but the entire process isn’t as simple and easy as you might think. It takes funds, diligence, and access to resources to enter and remain in your chosen field. You will also need a solid set of skills that will let you do the actual work.

Regardless of your industry, there are particular characteristics that any woman building their own business must possess or make an effort to develop. Here are some skills to improve on and enable your entrepreneurial journey:

1. Interpersonal skills

Being a business owner or entrepreneur means establishing a relationship with your customers, suppliers, and business contacts. To work with them harmoniously, you should have excellent interpersonal skills. It means you need to have the ability to truly listen to them and learn how to address their concerns. You also have to deal with them with integrity, truthfulness, respect, and fairness. Be open and trustworthy to them because it is what it takes to build a connection with them.

As a woman, you may have an increased chance of being able to create relationships faster. Most female leaders excel at nurturing competencies, like establishing connections and developing others. If you are having trouble being in touch with your innate ability, continue honing your skill until you are confident in yourself as an effective communicator. Also, don’t forget to network with as many people as you can.

2. Having an entrepreneurial mindset

Many entrepreneurs have a specific mindset that makes them successful. Some common characteristics are optimism, resilience, proactiveness, and ownership. These values translate to remaining positive, picking yourself up, and carrying on when things get tough and didn’t go as planned. Through this grounded mindset, you can take charge of all your business responsibilities. Likewise, your team can also feel empowered to perform at their best.

3. Creative thinking 

Creativity allows you to think outside the box. While practicality is essential in entrepreneurship, there are times when you have to put aside the sensible norms, loosen up, and think of something anyone may have never thought of before. As you widely use your imagination, you can explore various possibilities and come up with innovative ideas.

Creative thinking involves spotting trends in the industry and seeing the big picture. Innovative entrepreneurs know how to expand their reach, maximize their opportunities, and see certain market gaps worth pursuing. They can also look at several perspectives and come up with original ideas.

If you are an entrepreneur with well-developed creative thinking, you can bring your ideas to life in a business setting. You will know how to analyze your resources, build a new enterprise, and how to manage it. In addition, you will be able to combine traditional business ideas and creative approaches successfully.


Many aspiring female entrepreneurs are dreaming of being successful. If you are one of those, note that you may not excel in the skills listed above at first, especially if you are just starting out. The good news is you can master them as long as you are willing to learn and work hard to achieve your goals.

Take your first step in your entrepreneurial journey in social media marketing, website design, SEO marketing, or other areas by reaching out to Inspired Melissa. I run a creative advertising and marketing management agency specializing in women-owned businesses. I can help you through every step towards growing your business. Book a complimentary discovery session today!

6 Benefits of Having More Women Entrepreneurs in 2021

6 Benefits of Having More Women Entrepreneurs in 2021

So many things have always been led by male figures. Now, as we welcome women leaders in political landscapes and the workplace, we get to see the perks of introducing more ladies to these spaces. The scale hasn’t been in complete balance, but we’ve been tipping it enough to see a magical difference.

Here are just some of the benefits of having female bosses (and why we should have more!) in 2021.

The Growth of Women-Owned Businesses

Statistics have been showing a steady increase in women-led businesses, which bodes well for employment and the economy. There are almost 13 million enterprises, according to American Express’s 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, which is a considerable spike, considering there were less than 500,000 women-owned brands in the 70s.

Women of color also have to be commended for taking giant steps, accounting for half of all women-owned businesses. Businesses led by women of color employ more than 2 million people and are generating billions in revenue. Who knows what progress we can make in 2021?

Younger Girls Can Look up to Successful Women

One significant advantage of being a women entrepreneur is the female empowerment you get to provide. Watching women succeed can cause so much awe; it’s merely inspiring for younger girls to see a reflection of themselves overcome gender pay gaps, gender discrimination, and more.

Ladies might also find themselves beginning their businesses. They know they can turn to other female leaders for advice and mentorship. After all, they have gone through everything you’ll be experiencing.

Prioritizing Collaboration

Collaborations can be vital to some businesses to share and grow audiences, as well as create rapport with fellow companies. Women are great at forming brands and are great to work with. They know its importance, and they focus on it.

Perceptive And Self-Aware

Good leaders should be able to be empathetic towards their employees and clients to exchange trust. Inherently, women are emotionally intelligent and are great listeners. They understand what it’s like not to be heard. Putting them in charge of a brand often means more opportunities to share business ideas and a mediator for any work conflicts at work. 

Soft Skills and Hard Skills

Personality aside, women entrepreneurs have shown that they have many of the hard skills that most men tend to have. More women are joining programs in language proficiency, computer programming, graphic design, business management, and more. In addition to that, women already excel at soft skills like critical thinking, decision making, communication, and patience.

Women-Friendly Work Culture

Ladies all know the struggles of corporate culture the moment they step into a building. There are so many situations where female employees need to go against an office that pushes back twice as hard. This can be difficult when concerns such as sexual harassment arise. 

Women entrepreneurs have also dealt with so many doubts and understand which factors can be unhealthy. Having a woman leader with that much experience will increase the likelihood of having safer working environments for girls.


Having businesswomen empowers the message that there’s enough room for everyone to work. As a woman, you may be eyeing to make a stand in the beauty industry, clothing scene, tech businesses, or other sectors. With enough passion and hard work, we’re more than optimistic that your small business can flourish.

Need a branding agency in Bend, Oregon to work on your brand? Inspired Melissa is an agency that provides creative advertising and marketing management services that empower women-owned businesses to achieve their goals. Get in touch with us now!

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