Judged by its cover, Single Women Entrepreneurs is about, well, single women entrepreneurs. Really, though, it is more than that. It is an all-too-rare example of what it's possible to learn when a writer approaches single people with respect for their strengths and achievements. You won't catch author Erin Albert giving her interviewees that look that means, "you poor thing - how could you ever start your own business without a husband to hold your hand?"
Albert asked each of the 30 single entrepreneurs in her book about both the advantages and the disadvantages of owning a business when you are single. As you can see from the sampling below, she asked some other good questions as well.
The answers were often thoughtful and insightful. What really grabbed me, though, was what I thought I might be reading between the lines. I wondered whether some of these successful single businesswomen were actually single at heart.
They don't use that term, of course; it is not (yet) widely known beyond this blog. It is not a way that people typically have of thinking about themselves. I think it would be a boon to people who fit that description to know that there are others who feel the same way.
Here are some excerpts from various answers that the entrepreneurs gave to Erin Albert's questions. Do you think that some of these singles are people who really like their single lives, and who perhaps have no real desire to become unsingle? Might some of them say so directly if the concept of 'single at heart' were part of our social discourse?
Erin Albert (author): Do you think business ownership has led you to remain single?
"I don't think business ownership has affected me one way or the other, because being married is not something I've focused on. Whether or not I started this business, I would approach relationships the same way. Undoubtedly, I don't have much free time right now because I am juggling my corporate job, this business, and my dancing. But even if I had more free time, I would not put more effort into meeting someone than I currently am."
"I enjoy the independence of being a business owner, and I like not having anyone to answer to on a regular basis. Because the business does well, I am able to comfortably support myself, which has led me to remain single."
"I know that I don't socialize very much because I don't have time. When I go to networking events, I'm networking from a business standpoint; I'm not looking for a date. I'm just not thinking about dating."
Erin Albert (author): What is your personal definition of success and have you achieved it?
"If I am happy, challenged, having some fun and helping out my community, that is satisfying. Having healthy and thriving relationships with friends and family add to that as well. And if the income follows, even better. That's success to me. Even now, I don't have the monetary return yet, but I feel really good about where I'm at and I'm on a good path!"
Erin Albert (author): Where did the idea come from to start your business?
"My goal with SheTaxi is that you're not coming to the site because you're a single woman who is seeking dating advice, you're coming there for all aspects of your life for support."
About Erin Albert:
Erin Albert is the brains and the creative force behind "Yuspie" - Young Urban Single Professionals of Indiana." The goal of the group is "to connect-people to people, people to causes, and people to places." Erin is a woman of many talents. She is a writer (obviously), a business owner (probably no surprise there, either) and she is also an MBA and a Doctor of Pharmacy. Oh, she's also an Assistant Professor and a law student.
Thanks, Erin, for your book and for your enlightened attitude toward singles and single life!