A few weeks ago here at Her Corner we held a mini-accelerator session for an organization that supports women. Participants left after three hours having experienced some key “a-ha” moments about how to grow their businesses.
BUT I’LL BE HONEST, WE ALMOST DIDN’T GET THERE.
A few days before the session, we had emailed the group asking them to please bring some top line financial data to use during the session. Truthfully, we did not realize this was such a big ask. All we were planning to do was show the participants how to break down their revenue by customer type or service offering in order to think strategically about opportunities for growth.
What we thought was a simple request brought a firestorm of reactions.
We know, after running groups and Accelerators for a few years, that there are a good number of women who do not like to talk financials. Some women get overwhelmed, others embarrassed, and others simply claim, “I’m not good at math.” None of that flies with us. If you are going to be a good business owner, you have to know your numbers and you have to be willing to take a cold, hard look at them on a regular basis to see what they are telling you.
Both Fred and I were quite surprised by how many women tried to push the eject button at the first mention of financials. We received emails from almost a quarter of the women who planned to attend. Their responses? They ranged from “I’m not comfortable sharing any information, so I’m not coming” to “I don’t have anything to do with financials, my bookkeeper handles that, so I’m not coming” to “It is way too much work for me to gather that kind of information right now, so I’m not coming.” The bottom line was, these women WERE NOT COMING.
They would rather miss out on a valuable working session where they could think and plan strategically for growth than have to spend even five minutes thinking about their financials.
How often do you reach for the eject button in your business? What is scaring you so badly that you would rather abandon that project than face it? Is that a rational decision? I challenge you to keep this in mind next time you feel uncomfortable. Instead of heading for the exits, sit with that discomfort for a minute. Try to understand where it’s coming from and how you can defuse your emotional reaction. Because once you overcome that obstacle, it no longer holds power over you. You’ve opened up space for real growth.