NAWBO Member Dr. Erin Albert’s New Book Explores Single Women Entrepreneurs
Women entrepreneurs are redefining how we are doing business in this country. According to a recent Kauffman Foundation report, single, widowed and divorced women have started more businesses than men in their respective categories. There are also—for the first time in U.S. history—more unmarried adult women in the U.S. than married adult women, per the Population Reference Bureau. After reading these stats, Dr. Erin Albert, a business owner, writer, assistant professor and student, was left with a lot of questions—so many, in fact, that she was inspired to write Single. Women. Entrepreneurs., a book that delves into the subject.
“I started thinking, ‘What’s going on here? Are these women starting businesses because there is a necessity quotient? Is it because the normal ideology of business isn’t working for them? Or is it a combination?” Dr. Albert says.
To tackle these complex questions, Dr. Albert interviewed 30 single women (including four NAWBO members) about their entrepreneurial experiences, inquiring why they started their businesses, what they hoped to gain from them and what their subjective definitions of success and happiness were. What she found was a wake-up call for corporate America.
“I talked to women who had great Fortune 500-level jobs and were rising up the corporate ladder quickly, but they either hit a ceiling or had some sort of tipping point in their personal lives,” she says. “There were some women in the book who said being a single mom entrepreneur is an asset, but being a single woman in corporate America with children is a liability.”
Dr. Albert was surprised that most of the women she interviewed started their businesses out of necessity rather than simply wanting to do it. She also found that in this economy, people in general have to have multiple careers going simultaneously. “You can’t put all your career eggs in one basket,” she says. “There are women in my book who have three and four different careers that they’re juggling. Some of them are running their own business full-time, they’re a part-time lawyer, a part-time notary, a part-time mediator.”
A NAWBO member since 2006, Dr. Albert says the networking opportunities the organization provided were instrumental in helping her locate women business owners to participate in her book project, such as Jennifer Ruby, an attorney, NAWBO member and owner of Ruby Law. “The very nature of NAWBO made sense to me as I wanted to help other women business owners and women succeed,” Ruby says. “My friendships and business have flourished since I’ve been a member. I attend the NAWBO Women’s Business Conference almost every year to connect with women across the nation, not to get clients, but for the friendship, idea sharing and business opportunities or connections with my clients and colleagues here in Indiana.”
Dr. Albert agrees and says NAWBO was a great aid in connecting her with other women who dared to dream the entrepreneurial dream. “The Indy NAWBO chapter is booming,” she says. “It’s really important that women entrepreneurs have support because there are extra hurdles we have to get over.”
Dr. Albert has a lot on her plate. She runs two businesses (pharmllc.com and yuspie.com), has written six books, teaches at Butler University’s Pharmacy School, holds three degrees and is currently attending law school. But she relishes the variety. “Some people have to do a lot of different things, and they get energy from that,” she says. “I’m one of those people. If somebody told me tomorrow that I had to pick one thing and that was it for the rest of my life, I don’t think I’d approach that in a positive way.”
For more information on Dr. Erin Albert’s new book, released on January 21st, check out:
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