International Women's Day 2014: Escaping the Superwoman Trap

By Stefanie Neyland, Small Business Content Developer at

There’s no two ways about it: running a business and juggling a family life is no easy feat.

Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a team of staff working with you, it’s likely that you often feel like there simply just aren’t enough hours in the day, and you probably find yourself wishing you had the ability to teleport and be in five places (or more) at any one time.

While it may offer little consolation, it’s worth noting that you’re not alone. ‘Superwoman Syndrome’ is one of the most common side effects of being a female business owner, and any woman who has founded her own company has undoubtedly felt the need to wear many hats and be all things at once.

The truth is that you don’t need to be, and you can’t—at least not for any great length of time anyway. Here are five remedies you should try today to beat a bad bout of Superwoman Syndrome.


1. It’s all about delegation

As a business owner, you should always focus on the jobs you’re good at and employ others to do the tasks you don’t enjoy, can’t do well, or don’t want to do. As your business grows, the objective is to replace yourself with efficient people, leaving you free to focus on your business vision and the medium to long-term development of your business.


2. Share the load

If you’re feeling lonely, overworked and underappreciated in your biz, it might be an idea to consider lightening your load by sharing at least some of it with a partner. You want a partner who can energize you, stimulate your creativity and challenge you; someone with a large network of contacts that’s willing you open it up to you and connect your business with influencers. Notable business partnerships include the likes of Bill Hewlett and David Packard (Hewlett-Packard), Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (Apple), and Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google), all of whom fed off each other’s creative energy and created innovative businesses they could be proud of. If introducing a new partner into your business is something you’re considering, be sure to consult with an attorney before going into partnership to draw up a formal agreement.


3. Make time for you

Just because business is on your mind 24/7 doesn’t mean you have to be available 24/7. Schedule specific hours of the day where you allow yourself to go offline to spend time with family and do the things you love—no exceptions. It’s also a great idea to devise a schedule for both your business and personal life with allocated time slots for each. By organizing your life in this way, you’ll become more aware of how your time is being spent.


4. Find a mentor

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may find yourself suffering from an unwanted dose of sluggishness. To combat this feeling, why not arrange a chat with a mentor or successful player in your field for some guidance and inspiration? It’s a great way to reignite that sense of excitement for your business that may have gone AWOL for a while. You could also consider joining local small business mastermind groups in your area by searching sites like


5. Accept that you can’t be everything

Remember: the most important asset to your small business is you. Entrepreneur burnout and stress contribute to the downfall of many start-ups, so be sure to invest in your self with a little well deserved time off to be spent with family and friends. Believe it or not, your business will survive for a few hours without you. You can be a great friend, partner, parent and business owner by accepting that you can’t be all these things at the same time.

By Andrew Patricio

March 05, 2014