If you’re a woman running a business, you might have been to a few all-women networking events. In fact, there are also quite a few ways in which female entrepreneurs are being supported online, too. It’s great that women are supporting women. Let’s face it, most the time we support the struggling woman as it makes us feel good about ourselves, rather than sneer at the woman on top as it makes us feel bad about ourselves. However, times have moved on from housewives’ Tupperware parties thank goodness, although they have manifested into skin care products. ‘Women moving out from under their husbands’ is not why most women run a business, it’s far more than seeking independence!
I’ve always been a bit shy of these networking events, and I think I have worked out why. Running your own business is stressful. There are highs and lows, and no one to ask and no one to blame but yourself when things go wrong. These networking things should work as an antidote to loneliness, where people can give you supportive feedback. Yet, they can leave you feeling more lonely and inadequate. I have felt like I’m at a 1950s school fair where my perfect fairy cakes are a little flat in the middle. I’m not in the 1950s. I don’t need to have a perfect lawn and a white picket fence; however, I do feel that I need perfect nails, accessories, a nice hand bag and to be living a riot in my free-range hen lifestyle with champagne every Friday to honour a week full of new clients.
There is still so much pressure, from women on women, to be seen to be getting it right, and when you do make it perfect, you will be slammed for it even more. Female entrepreneurs seem to have to be successful, beautiful, eat well and take great care of themselves.
Well, I’m here to let you off.
Balance in business is a myth; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. Embrace your hairy legs and broken nails. Your job is to be the best you can be for your clients and customers. We talk about ‘raising your game’, I’d like to call it ‘raising your vibe’. Fear is a low vibe and love is a high vibe. Your job is to be the closest to love you can be. It’s not sustainable to be in that enlightened state of being all the time. Rate your success by how you can move into a loving, laughing, empathic optimism for your clients. I get that we want to be inspirational and role models. My role models are women who are authentic, not perfect. If you pay more attention to your feelings over facts, they will be a better guide to your success than anything else.