Was being female either an advantage or disadvantage in working on your startup?
I don’t think it’s an advantage or disadvantage per se, just different. Sometimes you have to work harder to be taken seriously (among engineers and investors in particular), but there are also positives that balance these out. Given how hard it is to be a founder (male or female), gender disadvantages are probably just a rounding error.
Fewer role models! People have a very strong, innate tendency to choose role models of their same gender. It’s much harder for people to picture themselves doing something if they haven’t seen others “like them” accomplish this before.
I think this is especially the case for women seeing other successful women founders. People generally have a lot of questions about how I manage when they find out that I am a founder of two companies. In particular, I get this line of questioning from younger women who seem like they are in disbelief that this is possible. In contrast, my family/ is rarely asked questions like, “How you handle stress during the day while you’re at work?” If young women somehow feel that being a serial entrepreneur is incompatible with having many things to do during the day, this will give
Decision fatigue. All day, every day, there are a thousand decisions to be made based on imperfect information– many little decisions, some big decisions. It can get in the way of doing bigger, more important things, and can also be an emotional and mental drain. Finding team members who you can trust so you can delegate some of these decisions is critical.
There are so many paths to success, most of which you haven’t even been exposed to yet. There are so many jobs and ideas and lifestyles and places that might suit you, and you’ll continue to learn about them for the rest of your life. Keep an open mind about what success looks like, and constantly adjust your course as you learn more about yourself and your options.