Why Women Don't Need to be Mean to Succeed in Business


Posted: Wed 11th Feb 2015 17:34

Here I am pretending to be a real meany pegs! But I am a nice girl at heart... Promise!

I am not a business woman - but I do sell products. Oh... So maybe I AM a business woman!

Are you like me and are finding you are having a hard time accepting that you are indeed 'in business'? Why do I find it a challenge? And what am I doing to address this?

First up... I grew up with the idea (and reality) that most people in business are men. Yes, we could reel off a few succesful business women and Anita Roddick always comes to mind. But actually when I think about it, from when I was younger, she is the only one that comes to mind.

A few years back, I went to a woman's business event where my early years idol Toyah Wilcox was guest speaking. As the women milled around afterwards, I got this sense that there was a lot of.... Well, how can I describe it? It felt like a masculine energy. Which is fine... But there were no men! And I am not talking about women who are naturally more masculine. This was more 'I am in business. And this is how I think I should come across. I want you to think of me in a certain way and I definitely don't want you to think I am weak.'

Some of the women I spoke to that day were very standoffish. Some were incredibly nervous. So many, when I introduced myself would launch into a tirade of business speak. Busy busi business!

One woman some to be quite brash and said we as women had to be mean to get ahead.

So this is where I switch off. And this is where I am making changes. And this is where, if you are woman in business, I would value your input to this discussion because these hidden inequalities that women suffer are still present and still being manifested and it is time to speak our truth and to be 'business women' yet we do not have to conform to any kind of model.

I look around at many of my new friends who definitley run their own business. I don't know if they consider themselves business peeps because some of them use different language. Many women are writing to me and are stuck and afraid and are still not enjoying the success they deserve.

I have been told by a handful of strong-willed men that I am too soft, that my approach will not work unless I get more aggressive. I have been encouraged to lie, to lose weight, to not be so nice and that I will get lost in a sea of other women who are trying to do the same.

Well, recently, I have been thinking differently.
I have been constantly reminding myself on a daily basis what I am able to offer the world.

I counsel myself to do what it is that I need to because my work is not about treading on people or trying to make the most amount of money, putting myself or other people down, slating other people or their products to highlight my own or being famous for the mere sake of it.

I have realised these truths about myself and I am totally happy to shine now. Ok... Every now and then, I still get scared. But every single day now, I am doing something towards my business. That word is still loaded for me but I want to be a part of a group of heart-centred women AND men who are in the process of redefining what it means to be in business.

I write positive, to the point but flowery emails. I get results. Speaking from the heart sets me in the direction I need to go. I have even had a personal email conversation with Sir Richard Branson - because I emailed him and quite simply... He emailed me back. Everyone is a person. To me, everyone is a soul of God.

I am a mother to two gorgeous girls and one is a baby. I often work whilst she is breastfeeding and sleeping, typing with one hand (even my left hand!) I am working so hard because I want to and I need to. I could watch day time tv but there is no time. I am currently the major wage earner and we won't have a place to live or food on the table if I do not work hard. Oh and I also want to raise my babies so 'going back to work' is not a option for me... I AM at work and it is incredibly important for me to be at home for various reasons. This is why I have set up my own business. This is why I write. This is why I need an agent! And it is working but I totally need to recognise that now and continue, continue, continue!

I know some people in the industry I am working in do not take me seriously. I am learning that this is OK because I am being drawn more and more to the right people and I am really starting to appreciate and truly love this journey and connecting with like- minded people. Wow! So many amazing people out there!

Let me just make one thing clear. If you mean business, it does not equate to being mean in business. Are you with me? Now... Get out there and shine like a star. As Marianne Williamson said (and Nelson Mandela quoted in his famous inaugural speech)

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I am done with shrinking. How about you? X

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