Yes I know that phrase was immortalized by the ’60’s civil rights movement. But it’s as appropriate today on behalf of women in the marketplace as it was then.
“How do we rise above it all and go forth to grow and build with confidence in what we do? Most importantly, in who we are?“
That’s the subject of this post in our series “Women and Micro-Business“. It’s the outgrowth of last week’s post on the “down” side of being a female solo business owner or a woman partnering in a business we call “micro” (4 employees or less).
So how do we do it? How do we rise up with confidence in ourselves and the business choice(s) we’ve made?
Let me refer to some of the comments I hear from women micro-business owners and give us tips on “overcoming”:
1. Choose Friends & Associates Wisely ~ There will always be those who view any business endeavor as less than “real” or “important” if it isn’t monolithic, multi-national or “traditional” – whatever that means! I strongly recommend we choose our group of friends and associates from those who support developing a business that fits our lifestyle. Deciding to put the most important things first in life and fitting a business passion into the scenario is more likely to help us succeed than anything else.
2. Build a Team ~ Don’t go it alone. Solo business ownership can be lonely. And it can be the source of unnecessary stress because we think we can do it all. Even if you are not in direct sales which most often comes with a team; finding tried, tested and true “team members” will help reduce stress and give us a sounding board and the wisdom of folks who care for us and want our success as much as we do!
3. Run Your Business as a Business ~ One of the haughty comments I hear most often about micro-business is that it’s not a “real business”. Nothing is further from the truth. The only difference between your business and that of others is employees. You don’t have the stress that comes with managing others as well as yourself, which can and often is an awesome blessing. Trust me – I know!
However, being a micro-business owner doesn’t excuse us from approaching our lifestyle business as if it is a multi-national corporation.
So develop a business plan. Write it down. Develop a budget; a long and short range forecast for growth – income, outflow and net profit.
Determine short and long range goals. Develop a Management Action Plan with clearly set objectives for every goal you wish to attain.
Set office hours, even if your office is a corner of the bedroom. Let family members know when you will be at the office and ask them to honor that time.
In other words, develop the same mindset as the fellow next door who owns a “traditional business” with a corner office downtown. Only difference? Your corner office may not have a window and is on the ground floor!
4. Hold Your Head Up and Stand Tall ~ Even when confidence wanes and you wonder if anyone at the next networking event will take you seriously, determine to enter the room with head up and a spine at full stature! Know some will sneer silently – even publicly. But also know that at least one other person will listen intently and treat you as the “queen” you are. Imagine you are wearing a tiara that identifies you as a woman who owns a business built around the important lifestyle you choose!
5. Don’t Take It Personally (at least for long) ~ this one is “do as I say, not as I do“! It’s very difficult to not take some things personally. Folks insult us personally, professionally – even spiritually. And it hurts. Because it is personal. Personal to you – personal to me – and to everyone else who experiences the slights, insults,other darts and arrows us humans throw at each other. So how do we move beyond taking it personally?
Take it personal – yes, that’s what I said. At first, let it be personal. Get angry or cry or both. Say nasty words to yourself, the wall, loved one or whoever will listen and console.
Allot yourself a set time to lick wounds delivered at the hands of others. Doing so will avoid bitterness taking root in our souls and long term erosion of confidence in what we do and in ourselves as women! Stick to the time limit for self-pity and then rise up; move on and avoid the perpetrators of insults as much as possible. And remember the wisdom provided in #1.
There’s a multitude of things we can do to overcome. Too many for one post. But the one’s mentioned above are good for starters. The most important piece of wisdom I can offer is to find and hang-out with supportive folks. Folks who will tell you the truth in love, hold you accountable to yourself and others and continually let you know they are proud of the business decision you have made to own and operate a micro-business in support of a lifestyle about which you are passionate!
Next week? How your business becomes international – even multi-national.
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]