Line from a famous song by Helen Reddy – “I Am Woman“. Most of us know that song from memory and may have it etched in our hearts as well! It comes to my mind often as we seek to be a valuable resource for women who own or partner in a micro-business.
It’s true. Women in business – especially those of us who have 4 or less employees or call ourselves “solo-preneurs” are invincible. Challenge is. . . we rarely think of ourselves as such. We simply don’t give ourselves enough credit and might laugh heartedly when being told “you are invincible“!
In last week’s series, “Women in Micro-Business“, I stated we would discuss how we become international and/or multi-national. But my heart is still with the most frequently stated remarks I heard when talking the subject with women who fit the category “micro-business”. Or for our purposes a “lifestyle business“.
“I don’t feel appreciated or valued as the owner of a business that doesn’t have employees – even paid interns!“
“I’m a solo-entrepreneur and no one takes me seriously because I’m not a big business!”
“Every time I mention that I’m an independent consultant with a direct sales company, I can almost see the sneers and many times others just walk away!“
“I feel like a failure, even though I’m happy with what I do – and happy with what my business brings in in support of the lifestyle I want for myself and my family!“
WOW! What an indictment of the society and culture in which we live! Especially the world of the marketplace where business transpires daily. The place where money is exchanged for products and services deemed valuable by those selling – and those purchasing! Makes me sad. But more than that, it makes my blood boil!
It’s been said “it’s a man’s world”. Although much has changed in the past 25-30 years, it’s still very much a “man’s world”, even though women are rapidly becoming the primary driving force of the world’s economy. Women start businesses at a faster clip than males and tend to survive the 3 to 5 year period in which many businesses fail.
That my dear friends, is hard on the male ego! Yet it’s a fact and one that we as women need to stuff in our business tool bag and hold onto when anyone wants to put us down for choosing a business that fits the lifestyle we desire!
Well now that we’ve nailed the challenge – what do we do about it? How do we put on big girl pants and move into the world of commerce without feeling a wee tug at the heartstrings of self-confidence-lagging?
1. Accept Who We Are! This is a personal growth issue and one we dare not avoid if we want to achieve the level of life and business success we desire. We must first get in touch with who we are at the core (values, principles, mores, cultural differences and similarities, etc.), and then seek a level of comfort which will carry us from home office to the floor of the ballroom with courage in our bones! Without it – we’re sunk before we ever leave harbor!
2. Accept Others Where They Are! This is equally a personal growth issue, but less difficult to achieve – or so I’m told! Learning to own that not everyone is going to dance to our tune and that’s OKAY is a tough life lesson. But simply permitting the arrogant corporate man or woman to be haughty and otherwise obnoxious (and doing it with a smile) will leave us less stressed and feeling much better about ourselves than permitting their ignorance to drown out the music of our lives.
3. Repeat After Me! “What others say that is negative about us is more about them than us!” If I had this one down pat; I’d be a multi-millionaire on my way to Tahiti. Truth is, the negatives of others will always get to us – even those who say they don’t. As I said in last week’s post, take it personally, because your heart will anyway. But don’t let it become a way of life. Grieve it; rage about it and then determine that it’s not who you are – what you are about – and where you will end up!
4. Success Will Find You! It will. It will when you desire a level of success that is NOT determined by others – especially by the marketplace. One person’s success is another’s failure. If your personal definition of success is $50,000 a year and it fits the lifestyle you desire – when you arrive, then YOU are SUCCESSFUL. If your definition of success is a micro-business with less than 4 employees to manage and do all the stuff that having employees demands; and you achieve it – YOU have achieved SUCCESS!
There’s more to the scenario because there’s always more; but the above 4 items I deem most important. It’s not rocket science. And it’s not complicated. That is, when we decide for ourselves, that who we are – what we do and what we want, is enough. When we decide that the final decision is truly ours and not one anyone else can make for us – or force upon us.
There, I’ve said it. As women in business, having chosen a micro-business model; we are truly INVINCIBLE. It’s up to us to decide the statement is true for each of us. For I can honestly say that when we put on that label and wear it from the inside out. . . Nothing but nothing can stop us!
Take that to heart – then walk it to the bank!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://neighborhoodboutiques.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]