Yes, You Can Do This! How Women Start Up, Scale Up, and Build The Life They Want

Yes, You Can Do This! How Women Start Up, Scale Up, and Build The Life They Want

by Claudia Reuter
Yes, You Can Do This! How Women Start Up, Scale Up, and Build The Life They Want

Yes, You Can Do This! How Women Start Up, Scale Up, and Build The Life They Want

by Claudia Reuter


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How women can "lean in" to entrepreneurship to create the life they want!

Claudia Reuter left a promising corporate career to raise her two young children but realized, when re-entering the workforce, that the gap in her resume looked like a gap in ambition—not a purposeful plan. Instead of leaning into a corporate career and fighting the structures and systems designed by and for men decades ago, or leaning out and giving up income, Claudia took a different path. That decision ultimately led to success in the corporate world and at home.

In Yes, You Can Do This!, Claudia shares her own reasons for starting a business and makes a call to action for women to consider entrepreneurship so that they can create businesses with the rules they want and change the playing field for others, making a significant impact in the world. More than a "how-to book" on building a business, Yes, You Can Do This! provides clear examples and practical resources to help others create the life they want through entrepreneurship.

In Yes, You Can Do This!, you'll learn:

  • How to develop and share your vision
  • How to deal with stereotypes and unconscious bias
  • How to leverage perceived weaknesses and turn them into strengths
  • How to balance life at high speeds and avoid burnout
  • How to cultivate the confidence to move from idea to creating a company with the culture and rules you want
Claudia provides women with an electrifying third career option: it’s not just "lean in" or "lean out," but startup and change the playing field for others in the process.

Praise for Yes, You Can Do This!

"It's rare to find a book on entrepreneurship that fuels your heart with inspiration and encouragement and your mind with practical, tangible things you can put into action immediately — but this is one of them. As a woman who has started three companies and been a senior team member of five startups, this is the guide I wish I'd read when I was starting out."
—Nataly Kogan, Author of Happier Now and founder of Happier, Inc.

"Combining compelling storytelling with practical, tactical advice, Reuter has created a manifesto for the next generation of female founders. Rooted in the research around gender and work, this is a must read for women looking to launch the next new thing."
—Jennifer McFadden, Associate Director of Entrepreneurial Programs, Yale School of Management

"A must-read for any woman considering taking the leap into entrepreneurship, You Can Do This brings together today's best thinking about women in the workplace with practical advice for creating your dream career and life - by starting a company. Whether you are just curious or ready to take the leap, this book is a great read and a valuable resource."
—Anna Barber, Managing Director, Techstars

"Claudia helps not just the female entrepreneur, but all entrepreneurs, find their footing in what can be an overwhelming whirlwind of starting a business. This book is not only inspiring and uplifting, but positively necessary for any woman looking to find success in the startup space!"
—Shira Atkins, Co-founder & CMO Wonder Media Network

"Stories of entrepreneurial success exist in abundance for men who receive 97.8% of venture funding and hold 95% of CEO roles. What is most inspiring about Claudia's book, making me want to shout from the rooftop, is that it is told from the perspective of an everyday woman who pushed hard through barriers, doubts, and setbacks that any entrepreneur would face. On top of all that, she overcame obstacles that are uniquely ours as women today. Claudia is now a standout among women, but with her book in hand, women who want to build a business to scale have a blueprint and path to do so. Here's to making dreams come true!"
—Coco Brown, CEO and Founder, The Athena Alliance.

"As I read through the book, there were multiple points where I thought, 'Every man in any startup or fast-growing business should read this.' As a man in technology, I took away lots of new ideas, along with examples that were explained in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to do prior to reading Claudia’s book"
—Brad Feld, Managing Director, at Foundry Group, author of Venture Deals and Do More Faster

"Reuter breaks the stigma about mothers that chose to leave the workforce. She provides practical tools to start a business, by showing the path to success for every woman that wants to write her own rules"
—Sharon Kan, CEO of Pepperlane & Co-Founder of the WIN Lab

"Reuter manages to put into words what women have been facing and feeling for decades. She leaves the readers with stories, steps and inspiration to create the career path they are worthy of no matter if it's starting from scratch or breaking glass ceilings. This book will fuel the next generation of women in leadership and entrepreneurship giving them guides and confidence as it has fueled me to start the business I have always wanted."
—Elizabeth Presta, CD(DONA), CLD

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119625605
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 02/19/2020
Series: Techstars
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Claudia Reuter is an experienced entrepreneur, executive, podcast host, and board director. Recognized by the Boston Business Journal as a 2016 "Women to Watch in Science and Technology," Claudia is currently a General Manager for Techstars and a member of the Board of Directors for Lessonly. She created and hosts The 43 Percent podcast, featuring notable guests such as Lisa Oz, Nataly Kogan, Sarah Lacy, Laura Vanderkam, and more. You can follow her at @reuter_claudia.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Create the Life You Want by Starting Up 1

How Did We Get Here? 3

Why Not Lean In by Starting Up and Move Past the Binary Setup? 4

The Privilege of Being in Charge 7

So Let’s Get in Charge and Lean-in to Entrepreneurship 8

Win or Lose, How Do I Know You Can Do This? 10

Why This Book is for You 11

How to Read This Book 12

Section I: Get Ready to Start Up 15

Chapter 1: So You Want More: Get Off the Fence, Start a Business, and Create the Life You Want 17

The Monthly Mentor Gathering 17

Real-World Experiences and Opportunities 20

Entrepreneurship as the Path Forward 20

What’s Holding You Back? 22

My Journey to Becoming a Startup Entrepreneur 24

What Starting Up as a Stay-at-Home Parent Looked Like 25

A Manifesto for Women to Become Entrepreneurs, and a Playbook to Help 28

Chapter 2: Reasons to Lead: All the Cool Things You Can Do When You’re in Charge 31

A Little More About Sophie… 31

Why a Business Can Give You the Life You Want 33

You Can Change the Rules 33

The History of Gender Equity is Still Recent 36

Legislation Can’t Be the Only Path Forward 36

Chapter 3: Stop Believing Your Own Unconscious Bias: Develop the Mindset and Self-Confidence to Be the One in Charge with Gratitude 43

Hannah at Work 43

Making the Ask 46

A Few Things About This Conversation 46

How We Think and Act is Conditioned 47

How to Consider Unconscious Bias and Self-Advocacy as You Start Up 48

I Didn’t Always Have This Figured Out 51

Why Affirmations Matter (Yes, You Can is a Good Example!) 53

Chapter 4: Your Perceived Weaknesses are Your Hidden Strengths: How to Leverage Your Weaknesses to Start Up 59

When It All Goes Wrong 59

Let’s Role-Play! 62

You Really are Perceived and Treated Differently 63

Goal Setting as a Framework for Success versus Perfectionism 64

Section II: Building for Scale and Avoiding the Traps: Debunking the Myth That Women Don’t Think Big Enough 69

Chapter 5: You Might Have the Next Big Thing: Your Experiences Might Lead to Something Revolutionary 71

We’re All Potential Innovators 71

Seeing What’s Possible 74

Identifying Types of Innovations 74

Why Diversity of Viewpoints in Innovation Leads to More Innovation 77

The Creator of Liquid Paper (White-Out) 78

An Incremental Innovative Sales Strategy That Created a Different Way to Sell: Tupperware 79

An Incremental Product Innovation That Created a Billionaire: SPANX 80

A Disruptive Business Model Innovation: Rent the Runway 81

Turning Reviews into a Viable Business Model 82

A Makeup Artist Takes on an Entire Industry 82

My Own Experience 83

Chapter 6: Write Down Your Future: How to Develop and Use a Business Plan as Your Personal Playbook (and to Combat Imposter Syndrome) 87

Getting Back to Sophie… 87

Standing Up for Your Business and Fighting Imposter Syndrome 90

Making Your Vision Concrete 91

Developing a Business Plan 93

How My Business Plan Helped Me 97

Chapter 7: Tell a Bigger Story: Don’t Apologize for Thinking Bold 101

Is Your Story Big Enough for Investors? 101

Putting the Press Release Strategy to Work 104

A Brief Example 105

Own Your Ideas with Confidence 106

Chapter 8: It Really is Okay to Make Mistakes: How to Plan for Them So You Can Quickly Recover 109

The Others Arrive 109

How to Get Started on the Financial Plan 115

Chapter 9: You Don’t Have to Wait for Revenue to Ask for Funding: Create a Compelling Pitch Deck That Gets Others on Board 119

Six Months Later… 119

When Bootstrapping… 122

Seeking Investors 125

Section III: Lead and Operationalize 133

Chapter 10: Empathy is One of Your Biggest Assets: Use It to Understand Your Customers and Make Your Teams Stronger 135

As Starboard Grew 135

Creating an Environment Where People Want to Work Starts with Knowing People 139

Understanding Your Employees’ Working Styles 140

Little Things Lead to Bigger Success 140

Working Together to Improve Outcomes and Customer Satisfaction 141

Chapter 11: Instill a Growth Mindset in Your Teams: Constant Change and Transitions are Never Easy 145

When You Move Beyond the Startup and People Start to Silo into Positions 145

Building for Organizational Success through Your Company’s Mission 147

Chapter 12: The Same Skills That Make You a Great Mom Make You a Great Manager: Bust Out Your Multitasking Skills as Your Team Grows 151

Sophie’s Day 151

Managing the Small Corporation of Your Family 153

Being a Mom is Being a Manager 155

Dismissing the Guilt of Being a Stay-at-Home Parent 156

How Your Two-Year-Old Honed Your Management Skills Like No Other 157

Chapter 13: You are More Than Your Product or Company: Protecting Egos When Things Change 161

Letting Go to Move Forward 161

Diffusing Fear and Creating Psychological Safety 162

Chapter 14: Balance Life at High Speeds: Make Time for Yourself 165

Running on Fumes 165

My Story (and Cautionary Tale) 167

What Balance Really Means 168

Conclusion: You Really Can Start Up and Scale a Business: You Might Just Change the Rules in the Process 171

Sophie and Jake 171

Hannah and Stan 172

Maria and Jill 172

How Will You Start Up? 173

Overcoming the Scarcity Mindset: There’s Enough for All of Us 174

Valuing Women as Entrepreneurs 175

Find, and Later Become, a Mentor 176

Bibliography 179

Acknowledgments 189

About the Author 191

Index 193

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