Why the best and the brightest Women will never make it

Is it really that hard to respect someone?

So… I’ve been at my startup for quite a while.  I’ve spent years studying, researching, and when I felt confident in my success, I took the plunge – full time, head first.

IT was the BIGGEST mistake of my life.

Since starting my own company, I have found that:

– If you’re a minority woman, you will always be questioned.  Yet, if you have a man pitch the same thing, people care and listen.

– If you’re a minority woman, you won’t be funded because you will always be a third class citizen

– If you’re a minority woman, you can pitch with the best sales people, but you’re constantly told to show your heart because no one else gives a shit when you’re talking about making money.

– If you’re a minority woman, you can pitch with the best sales people, but you’re constantly told to just talk about the money, but no one seems to care or believe it’s there even when you show them the same bullshit that your counterparts have to show.

– If you’re a minority woman, instead of people asking you how they can help, they copy you and expect you to come running to them to join their team.

– If you’re a minority woman, instead of offering you a contract to bring money into your company, they will offer you a job.

– If you’re a minority woman, you can’t even find a a technical co-founder smart enough to pilage the government for funding with you.  

– If you’re a minority woman, you will never be taken seriously.

– If you’re a minority woman, you get other women who stand in the way of your success because they think it means they can’t succeed.

– If you’re a minority woman… you will be spit on by your own people who will tell you to only hire minorities in the same group as you, even when you know you’re not racist enough to hire someone based on the color of their skin… and then, they wonder why there is no progress.

– If you’re a minority woman, you can be exceptionally bright, but you will never be bright enough to be entrusted with funding.

Which brings me to why they won’t make it…. And sadly, why most women (regardless of skin color) won’t make it…

I have worked my ass off, I’ve lost weight, sleep, money, time… and I finally get a “meeting” with a VC rep from a major corporation.  At the end of this meeting, I was propositioned.  I turned this person down. Now, this person has decided to turn his back on me, rather than giving me the respect I deserve.  Between people who aren’t in my industry, suddenly shifting their business plans to compete with me and knowing I’m going broke because everyone is excited about the red oceans, I’m happily taking on the blue ocean… I’ve had enough.

Do they even know what it’s like to start a business?  Do they know all the hurdles you have to jump?  All the sleepless nights?  The abuse you encounter?

And then… the icing on the cake.  I had a call with a MAJOR client.  But when I saw that this person was obviously no longer going to help because I wouldn’t date them, I broke down in tears.  I missed my call.  I missed an opportunity that could have changed things for the better…  I’m done.  I have to finish all my obligations, but I’m done… I’m out.

I hope it was worth it.

  • That sucks. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

    Raising money is unfortunately still mostly about having the right connections. Venture Capitalists aren’t the risk-takers they portray themselves as. They won’t invest unless other investors are also willing to invest. Catch 22.

    VCs don’t think of themselves as sexist/racist, but their actions don’t lie.

  • Sorry to hear. I understand what you mean. I put myself in a bad position and was wrongly convicted of a felony 10 years ago. So, regardless of my ethics, drive, etc people didn’t completely trust me until they get to know me.

    In response I bootstrap all my projects and push til project is profitable. Once you build something from nothing without help people are more willing to accept you and want to be part of what you are doing.

    I hope you can pull out of it. Focus on you, listen to some Tony Robbins and get stuff done.

    • You’re an idiot. The point of this post is that it’s hard enough to get funded and build a company. Don’t add to it by offering what isn’t asked for or needed.

      • No. This was a lot of bitching by a founder who eventually quit. It’s pointless. Said person quit cried and had sleepless nights. That person is not alone. It’s what entrepreneurship is about. Its a lonely and hard road. Get over it

          • No but her whole post was OMG I tried so hard. Life is hard. Entrepreneurship is hard. She should get over it.

            • You’re a dick. She has to put up with everything men do plus the dumb things people do to discount her. Why should she not be given a fair shake? I hope you never have to walk a mile in her shoes.

  • It’s a problem that women, minorities, anyone who is historically new to the cultural scene of raising capital are not warned about. The subtle but ultimately crushing discrimination they will face. It takes a while for this thing to get to a person. You know you’re smart and talented. You went it with the right attitude of “I want to earn it”. But it takes a lot of energy to figure out what is happening and convincing yourself you’re not crazy for nothing these things. And then if a terrible things happen when you’re near the end of your rope, you aren’t prepared to deal with it.

    If you were warned about the likelihood of being propositioned at an end of a business meeting, like if you had read another minority woman’s story like this before you started, you would have been guarded and been able to get over it in time to make that call.

    I’m sure people don’t want to say “You’re going to get harrassed” “You’re going to be underestimated or dismissed” because they don’t want to discourage you from trying. Or they pretend these things don’t happen. But we should start admitting this stuff happens so people can be better prepared.

    I hope that after you replenish your energy and your bank account, you consider trying again. Please don’t think that this departure at all means you aren’t “cut out” for running a business. You’ve seen the most challenging edges and will be much better equipped to overcome the next go around. Being a trail blazer is tough.

  • Stop crying like a baby.

    Everyone gets challenged and questioned by VCs. I heard it takes for some founders about 30 VC meetings to finally get a funding.

    I don’t think it’s that you are a woman, that’s a shitty excuse. Your idea probably sucks and you seem to suck as well. Your entire post was about how poor you are because of your gender, NOT a single word of your product or service – there is the problem.

    • What a supportive comment, ‘stop crying like a baby!’

      Why do you think it is ok to undermine and invalidate the OP like this?

      What qualifies you to know the OP’s situation better than herself?

      You speak like you have authority. Typical ignorance and arrogance of people who refuse to acknowledge other people’s situations.

      What would you know about what it is like to be a ‘minority woman’ in life, nevermind business.

      And even if you have any kind of comparable experience, it still gives you no right to dismiss the OP in such a way.

      You are probably just some hard nosed billionaire wannabe with no real emotions left inside. Have some empathy.

  • Next time around, try to find a male advisor to join you for those meetings, perhaps tht will help keep the focus on the issue.

    Also look for investors who have publicly announced they prefer to have a woman in the team of founders, and also look for women investors. Also, in general, it is good to have a team of founders rather than doing it all on your own, so if you can find two more founders for your next startup, you could consider that option. Diversity works in this direction, as well, so perhaps you can find one male cofounder.

    In any case, do not let the idiots of this world to get to you personally.

  • I feel your frustration, as a woman founder with a family background of poverty, I have faced a lot of what you are saying. People here are accusing you of whining and being negative, and maybe you are, but the fact that we’re not allowed to have bouts of frustrating, whining and negativity is part of the way the decks are stacked against women, and ALL of us really. Not just women, not just minorities, but everyone who is trying to do something really hard and dealing with a lot of assholes and morons who happen to be wealthy – we all experience these feelings and should be able to express them.

    Sometimes it just feels like shit and you can’t help but enumerate the ways in which you’ve been fucked with.

    When I went into this, I didn’t really believe the hype about the difficulties of being a woman founder. I barely looked for funding (ended up bootstrapping because staying independent tends to be more attractive to women founders: https://medium.com/thelist/bullish-on-indie-vc-55d3b40eeecd) but when I did, I had everything people say happen happen. I went to meetings with angels that turned out to be weird dates. I met bros at bars who were supposed to be giving me advice but just insulted me and left me angry for days. I’ve had potential business partners tell me in one breath that what I was trying to do is pointless and that I’m not qualified to do anything but marketing (I am an engineer), but then in the next, try to scam their way into majority share of equity.

    I feel you, and I have had days of just anger and weeping and frustration. I support your anger and I believe that everything you are saying is true and happening and this isn’t whining as much as venting. I hope getting it off your chest helps you move forward and I believe in your ability to find success.

  • The only thing sad about this author’s post is the emotional coddling it has received in comments. This world owes you nothing, sweetheart. Absolutely nothing. We’ve all gone without food, sleep, money, and fun in pursuit of our dreams. At least I have, and I’d do it again, because my competitors were led by people just like this author. What you need to recognize is that nobody has ever complained their way to success. If you want it bad enough you’ll get it. The process of trials, failures, and sacrifice only serves to weed out the weak and the uncommitted.

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