This is part two of a three-part series that covers what it really takes for women business owners to succeed.
Last week, I wrote about the moment when I finally realized that simply “wanting it” wasn’t the only key to achieving success in business. And I also shared that the other two elements that were required in order to succeed were: 1) to really believe you could succeed, and 2) to believe you were worthy of that success.
It took me a long time to wrap my head around how much those two pieces of the puzzle really mattered. As I have said in the past, I generally thought that if you strong-arm something hard enough, you’ll get what it is you need to go where you’re trying to go.
Boy was I wrong.
Let me share a few stories today about how that belief piece kept showing up and stalling women in their quest to grow their businesses.
And what you can do about it.
Here is one of the most important lessons I have realized about women business owners:
- As a group, we are very smart – more and more women are graduating from universities and many are earning graduate degrees. We are very ambitious, motivated and extremely curious. We want to learn how to achieve whatever goal it is we want to tackle.
- At the same time, we are surrounded by media messages that continue to tell us (for better or worse,) that Women Still Can’t Have it All, and in fact, on September 20, Anne-Marie Slaughter once again tackled this topic from another angle saying that “We can, all of us, stand up for care. Until we do, men and women will never be equal; not while both are responsible for providing cash but only women are responsible for providing care.” [Emphasis my own.]For any woman who is also responsible for the care of someone else – a child, a parent, a friend, a sibling, or a spouse – she is constantly told via the media that she won’t be able to have it all – whether that be in corporate America, or quite frankly, in entrepreneurship.
As a group, we continue to tell ourselves that we cannot be the best fill-in-the-blank (parent, spouse, child, etc.) and also build the business we have dreamed of, no matter how smart, ambitious and curious we may be. Our culture has told us that we cannot.
Is this true? NO. Let me say it again – it is NOT true. Yes, you can be the best and build your business. But you have to believe that you can.
I can show you lots and lots of examples of women (email me if you want some) who have proven that they can build amazing businesses in the multi million dollar-range while also raising a family, maintaining a marriage, enjoying great friendships.
Is it easy? HELL NO.
And some years are better than others. But yes, it can be done.
I have worked with women who are so clear about the business they want to grow, so clear about the vision and their strategy for growth, but, again and again, they stall or slow themselves down when they feel overwhelmed by the other requirements in their lives.
How do we get around that?
- We work on something called the discipline of focus – we focus on the process, not just the goal. That way, a setback doesn’t feel like failure, and we can learn to trust the process.
And let me tell you something: As much as I can see this in others and teach others how to work around it, I struggle with it, too. I often joke with our members that if you don’t think about quitting at least once a week, you’re doing something wrong.
Why do I say that? Because all of us, myself included, have something go wrong every single week that derails us from achieving our Monday morning goals.
But believe you can achieve it all, at your own pace and with the support of the discipline of focus, and you’ll be back on track.
Stay tuned, as next week we talk about the last element of success – worthiness.
Frederique is passionate about helping women take their businesses to the next level of growth and success. As founder and CEO of Her Corner, she applies her entrepreneurial spirit & management consulting background and business operations expertise to give women the springboard they need to move forward.