My Open Letter to Women Business Owners
This is off topic from my usual posts, but I felt moved to write this as I’ve been a business owner or in independent sales since I was five years old and I keep seeing things over and over again.
Ladies, being a #GirlBoss is no easy task by any means. It makes us face obstacles that men honestly do not have to think about. We need to act certain ways and deal with perceptions that we want to break down by taking a hammer to that glass ceiling! However, some of what we want to do should never be what we actually do. I’m not saying being a male business owner doesn’t have its difficulties, I’m just saying there are situations men will never face and that’s why I wanted to point out some etiquette we as women need to hear.
1. Build relationships, not bottom lines
So often I have seen people so in love with their business adventure that they lose sight of their “Why”. I remember when I was a part of some business opportunities, they would ask what is your “why” for doing what you are doing? Yes, money is what many of us answer, but also stability, equal pay, local/at home daycare, at home healing from health problems, and so on.
Somewhere along the way, we smell green. Our hard work pays off and the bills are getting paid. Enter in the green-eyed monster of wanting to get more for less. Those friendships we began to build may seem like we are “feeling” too much and we need to stay focused. Our promises begin to vanish and the next thing we know, we are spending most of the day arguing and ultimately getting a headache!
Take a breath! Money will come, but friendships may leave. Focus on relationships and the people you are talking with. To say “thank you, you are awesome!” they will pay you. Better yet, they will find more people to pay you, just stay focused on building relationships.
2. Don’t be a man, be a fabulous woman
How ever you were born, if you self-identify as a female, be a female. We are fabulous, sexy, and successful, know our own minds, and want to make life a little easier for our customers. I have found that people come to me because I listen to them. I smile and engage them with questions that may involve……..feelings. Sometimes it’s that perceived gentle side that people are seeking for what you are doing in your business.
I’ve had conversations with people who open up about their struggles and are seeking a kind person to just talk to. Sometimes talking with a guy in the similar field is too intimidating. Perhaps, they feel that I am the one who can answer a personal question, especially if they have a disability as I often am not shy saying I’m legally blind. I’m blessed God made me this way and HE had a plan.
3. Family is not a weakness, it is an asset
Whether it is your furry puppy or a baby or your husband or mom we all have someone in our lives who we seek their love and comfort from. If you have not found someone like that, I hope you do. Building a family for me has taken priority in my life as I realized that at the end of my time here on earth, I wanted to find love and to spread love with family/friends.
Having a family gives me fuel that I never imagined was possible. Yes, I enjoy business, but it is no longer my focus. This does not mean I have stopped putting 110% into it, it just means I find family time each day and it is not to be interrupted. Emergencies happen, so I ask if it is okay to quickly deal with something before coming back and being with them.
Having that rest helps me focus, gives my mind time to catch up, and gives me more of a reason why having a business is so important to me.
4. Use that attitude!
Strut your stuff because you have worked hard. You had an idea, wrote it down, helped it grown, and even if you’re not there just yet, you are doing something so spectacular that you may one day Move Mountains. You didn’t need permission or confine to the norms of limited brain capacity in others, you created your business. That is wonderful!
I had a moment years ago talking to an older woman and I told her I was a business owner. She asked if I was in daycare or had a salon. I said neither, I was a website designer and artist. She patted me on the head and said “that’s nice dear” as she was convinced a woman couldn’t own a business. There was another time that I had to ask my brother to talk to a company about pricing as they insisted to speak to my husband or another man. On that one I argued but realized I wanted the info more than a headache. Needless to say I didn’t use their services.
I’m all for breaking down barriers in high heels and adding my feminine touch to an otherwise masculine environment, even if I did own a salon or daycare! It shouldn’t matter what it is that you’re doing, but for the fact that you are doing it when most people would never have the courage to get this far. Congratulations.
5. Keep God in all that you do
I am a Christian and am a follower of Jesus. This shows in how I approach business, giving, spending, and what services I create. For me, my life works when I am praising HIM. I respect those who have other faiths, but encourage you to open your mind to the fact that all that you are doing is not for you. Not the money, not the hard work, not the praises, none of it is for you.
When I realized this, I had to sit down and think about it. Not for me? Even as a Christian that was some hard medicine to take as I was the person I had to live with. Nope, it wasn’t mine, but my customers, my audience, and the ones who listen or read. This is for you. Keeping your faith (in God) as the center. This will not only propel you to greater heights, it will also multiply your efforts. You will begin to see people gravitate towards you like a magnet.
I believe that this faith was put in me to hold strong through the storms, the prejudice, the obstacles, poverty, isolation, hard moments and even the darkest of times. It has been that faith in God to see me through it all to reach those who need to hear a good word. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
So ladies, don’t let the limitations of other hold you back, build your relationships, embrace your femininity, give love and time to your family, and never lose that edge. Keep God in your center and in your corner He will fight for your success so that you may help others to succeed.
Keep being fabulous!