Women entrepreneurs in the U.S. who have run their businesses less than three years would tell their younger selves, “Trust your instincts, start small and don’t worry and enjoy yourself more.” That’s very different from their counterparts in Mexico, who say their advice to themselves would be, “Do more research, create a business plan early and think big.”

These are among many differences found in how entrepreneurial women in four countries  (U.S., China, Mexico and France) think and act as reported in a study conducted for PayPal by Clarus. For example, following their passion is the reason for wanting a business most often cited by aspiring female entrepreneurs (defined as saying they would like to own/run their own small business in the future and have started to think/plan for it) in the U.S. and China. Women in Mexico say they want to make money; French women seek independence.

Aspirational women entrepreneurs tend to be older in the U.S., where 35% of those surveyed were between 55 and 65. That compares with just 1% in China, 10% in Mexico and 11% in France. American women seeking to start their own jobs are also more experienced, with 81% having spent five years or more in the workforce.

And what do these women most want from the business they hope to create? For American women the goal is a better work/life balance. “Pride in myself” is the goal for women in Mexico and France, while Chinese women say they want “control of my future.” Interestingly, among current women business owners in the U.S., financial success has edged out work-life balance as their top goal.

Nearly a quarter of aspirational entrepreneurs in both the U.S. (23%) and Mexico (24%) say they intend to keep their current job—at least part-time–after they open their business. Only 7% of survey respondents in China and 11 % in France are making a similar plans.

Much more information about work experience and attitudes toward current jobs is included in the study, which can be accessed here. Go to GlassCeiling.com to share your opinions and reactions. Join the conversation.

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