My Writings. My Thoughts.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written in my blog. Since I write a monologue every week for my radio show, it feels like I’ve been writing on a consistent basis but I soon realized that listening is different than reading. I promise to get back to writing and sharing my thoughts with you on a regular basis. Today something interesting happened to me and it brought out some underlying feelings that I didn’t think were still in my mind. Let’s start at the beginning of the day.
This morning I had my quarterly visit to the dentist. I am not a lover of the dentist and have special challenges each time I go. Even when it’s simply a cleaning, I am the recipient of nitrous oxide aka laughing gas plus many “doses” of Novocain. While I may be a strong woman in so many instances, when it comes to the dentist, I am the biggest woos of all times. Now if you’ve never had gas, let me explain how it works…you just don’t care. It’s like everything is delayed. You hear something and by the time you really hear it, it has already happened. There is music in the background and you try to zero in on the song, but it’s a bit hard to focus. When you think of something, you’ve already said it. When you feel some pressure, it’s already happened so I go back to…you just don’t care.
I’m sitting in the dentist’s chair… I’m under the effects of the gas and am shot full of Novocain when the dentist tells me I need a crown. What??? In the 60 years of my life, the only thing the dentist has ever told me, is that I have great teeth, a great smile and see you in a few months…Not today though. Now I have to gear myself up for this new situation. Will it hurt more? Will I no longer have a great smile or great teeth? Am I falling victim to my advanced age? I’m trying to listen to the song playing and it’s not doing anything to calm my nerves. Ordinarily when I’m in the dentist chair, I have two pictures in my head. The first is the one that I have on my desk of the Colonel. He is standing there smiling as we proudly shared our first Thanksgiving together. It generally makes me smile and calm.
The other picture is of me with my kids who are all making the same silly face.
You can see he resemblance and it generally makes me smile and calm…not today though.
So, I started to talk to myself, not out loud, but in my mind, at least I think it was. I start with “It’s not that bad. You’ll be ok. It doesn’t hurt. You’ll be ok.” When suddenly, the words switched to “You’re not strong enough to get through this”, “You’re not smart enough to understand what’s happening” “You’re not brave enough to get through this without crying” and so many other “enough” words. Really? While I’m breathing the “I don’t care” gas and I’m heading back to being enough? I started shaking my head and thinking about what I say to my clients and mentees when they question if they’re enough. And then the conversation switched to “You’re strong enough to do this” “You’ve got this” “It’s nothing that will get the better of you” and “So what if you cry!”
That’s when it hit me. No matter how old you are, what situation you are in or how amazing you are, we still go back to old tapes in our heads. Now I know you’re rolling your eyes thinking, she is comparing dental work to negotiating a salary or a position or being strong and competent? And I say yes because no matter what, we have to realize that we are enough and we need to repeat that to ourselves in order to get through any situation. Sometimes you might need someone else to bounce this off of such as a coach or a mentor. I unfortunately did not have access to my phone to grab my lifeline of a coach but I did breathe and maybe took an extra few whiffs of the gas and knew I had this…I went back to seeing those pictures in my head and knew I was going to be just fine and you know what???? I AM ENOUGH!
When you finish this post, go back to LinkedIn or FB or wherever you found the link and not only like this, but type in CROWN so I know you also know you are enough….
According To A Recent Article In Forbes, Today 26 Fortune 500 Companies Have Women CEOs.
According to Denise Evans, a VP of Market development at IBM, women should have a plan to integrate work and life. Because so many women are involved in both careers and families, they must take this into account as they begin planning their career goals. Sandra Fenwick of Boston Children’s Hospital recommends that women have passion and a vision for what is possible. Lori Fouche of Prudential touts confidence and the ability to sometimes say “no,” even if you want to please.
Although these women have slightly different approaches to business management, they all agree that innovation is a key factor in business and that without it businesses will fail to grow. Innovation may mean different things to these women, of course. In fact, each woman interviewed had a slightly different outlook on what innovation was and how her company categorized and dealt with the question of innovative strategies and goals. Sandra Fenwick sees it as “curing the incurable,” while Lori Fouche focuses on “bring us your challenges.” Karen Abramson of Wolters Kluwer promotes “contextual design” to watch clients use their products for inspiration.
No matter how these women see innovation, however, they all agree that it is vital to a thriving business. While it is not always easy to live with an innovation mindset because it involves constant change, innovation is the lifeblood of growth for these industries.
Women CEOs perhaps understand this need for innovation because they must be so flexible within their own lives, juggling families and careers. Whatever the case, all the successful women CEOs interviewed agreed that an innovation mindset was the key to making a business grow!
Entrepreneurial Women Are A Special Group.
We sizzle with excitement and we are always busy and full of ideas! However, sometimes we may feel that our joy is stolen and our potential drained by those who want to keep us down. Here are five tips to empower any entrepreneurial woman and get her motivated even in the face of adversity!
- Own Your Greatness. You are not perfect, but you are great! Own your greatness and do not be afraid to shine! Knowing your greatness means that you understand your strengths and have a plan to deal with your weaknesses. It does not mean being overconfident or discounting dangers, but it does mean being sure you can deal with each situation as it arises. Being confident is always great!
- Be Fearless. Did you know that fear is actually a good sign? Fear, far from being a negative, is our body and mind’s way of alerting us to change. Fear does not always indicate danger; sometimes it simply alerts us to things of which we are unaware or unsure. If you are moving forward, it is natural to feel fear, but do not give in! Channel that fear to create something awesome.
- Keep Your Eyes on the Prize. You will never reach your goals without hard work. Keep an eye on your productivity and, if you find that you are becoming distracted, change tactics to remove your distractions. Soon you will be moving toward your goals at a much faster rate!
- Define Your Fabulous. What does fabulous look like to you? This is another way of saying set concrete goals and move toward them. Keep your eye on what you really want to accomplish and visualize what that looks like. When you have a visual end goal in mind, you are much more likely to pursue it and more likely to recognize how close you are to achieving it.
- Go Get It. You will never achieve anything that you do not pursue. Go out and get what you want, and never apologize for chasing your dreams! This means hard work, but it also means great rewards.
Owning A Business Is Extremely Exciting; It Is Also Hard Work And It Is Easy To Make Mistakes!
You will not avoid every mistake of a first-time business owner, but with the right guidance you can make good decisions and avoid the problems that may cause some business owners to give up. Hang in there; it does get better!
Here are ten useful tips for first-time business owners to help you stay on track:
- Focus. It is easy to get sidetracked, so stay on task. It may help to have weekly or even daily meetings with others to bring you back to center.
- Do What You Know and Know What You Do. You got into business because you enjoy doing something, most likely. If this is the case, stick with what you know and like. Just because someone comes up with a “great idea” for a business does not mean it is right for you.
- Say It Fast or Don’t Say It At All. There is an old adage that says that if you cannot say something in under one minute it will take you ten. Be prepared to pitch your business in under a minute at any time. You never know when opportunity may arise!
- Know What You Know, What You Don’t Know and Where to Find The Answers. You do not have the answer to every problem. Be sure to surround yourself with those who have these answers and lean on them when necessary.
- You Are a Start-up, So Act Like It! It is easy to get carried away with spending, but it is important that you do not. Be sure to act as if you are a “starving artist” when you start a business.
- Learn From Your Mistakes. You are going to make mistakes, so treat them as learning opportunities.
- No One Will Give You Money. Grooming investors comes later. Right now, you need to prove that your business is viable.
- Take Care of Yourself. Eat, sleep and exercise. You cannot function if you are not healthy.
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Demonstrate by your actions that you are a person of integrity.
- Know When To Quit. Stop before you are forced to quit. If your idea does not work, try something different!
Some people claim that they never find
the balance between work and “real life.”
In my book Selling in a Skirt as well as my newest book PURE WEALTH: 26 Ways To Crazy Profitability, I acknowledge that it can be difficult to find the balance between work and life. However, I believe that the reason it is so hard for some women is that they have an unrealistic idea of what that balance should be.
First of all, there is no one-size-fits-all mathematical equation for balancing work and life. I know women who work 70 hours a week and are perfectly happy while others work a more conventional 40-hour week and are miserable. Much depends on your business; if you are doing something you love, the line between “work time” and “fun time” tends to blur. Many women also see their businesses as a child that they must grow and nurture, and this leads them to spend many hours working on that business without missing the personal time they are giving up.
Furthermore, the work/life balance will shift over time as your personal circumstances change. Women who never wanted to leave the office suddenly become homebodies when the children arrive, for example, and women who devoted their days to their families may suddenly find a new lease on life when the kids leave home and Mom has a chance to start her own business!
I think the key to finding the right balance of work and play should be based on achievement and enjoyment. This means setting goals for both your personal life and your business life. If you want a cleaner house, look into hiring someone to take care of these project for you, and apply those hours to your business. You will feel better about yourself, your home and your work. If making time for a weekly date night with your significant other is important to you, be sure to schedule time for that. The goals you set and pursue are the ones you are going to accomplish, so be sure to set goals in both areas of your life.
Is there a work/life balance? Yes, and it’s not the same for everyone, but right now I am in balance for me!
Women in Sales
In my book Selling in a Skirt as well as in my new book PURE WEALTH: 26 Ways To Crazy Profitability, I address a topic that is very close to my heart: women in sales. I have seen all sorts of problems created when women buy into conventional wisdom about sales as well as about their role in the business world. If you are a woman and you want to grow a business or succeed in your career, it is important to get a few things straight.
First, overcome your reluctance to talk to strangers.
That does not mean to forget your early safety training; it simply means that in business, you must never be shy and retiring. You must be confident and, if they will not start the conversation, you must start it for them! It might be helpful to you to attend an event such as a seminar and set a goal of striking up a conversation with at least five new people (or ten, or whatever your personal goal happens to be). In this controlled environment, you will find that it is much easier to lose that hesitancy and shine like the superstar you are!
In addition, stop feeling that you need a formal introduction to talk to someone. Of course there is a right and a wrong way to approach the president of a company, but if you happen to casually bump into someone, there is no harm in introducing yourself.
The fear of being seen as pushy is often a significant factor in causing women to hesitate about approaching someone, particularly in sales. However, there is a difference between being open, friendly and interesting, and being pushy. I have found that a great way to open the door to conversation is to ask what someone else thinks about a particular topic such as the speaker at an event. This allows the other person to take the conversational lead while you listen; you can then build your interactions on the person’s responses. This also gives you a “sneak peek” at the other person’s mindset.
As a woman, you may interact with others differently than the men around you. That is to be expected. However, that does not mean you have to be less assertive or less engaged with others than your male colleagues. With the right mindset and techniques, you can make yourself both interested and interesting!
There is no doubt that it is tough for women to succeed in a male-dominated field, but tough does not mean impossible!
Being in a male-dominated industry is tough when you accept less money instead of negotiate for what you’re worth, or if you come in not knowing your product or service and rely on your femininity and not your intellect.
However, if you stand strong and demand what you are worth with a graceful, firm stance you will win true respect from your colleagues!
Here are some tips I have found helpful in setting boundaries on what you are willing to accept:
1. Be endlessly curious and always hungry to learn.
Your willingness to learn is the one thing that will never change throughout your career and your life. Even when you are 90, you should be learning new things! Did you know that research has named curiosity as one of the mental factors that wards off senility? Be curious and you will always learn new things that will help you in your career.
2. Do not lose sight of who you are in your climb to the top.
Your gut can be just as important as logic in your climb to the top. Never betray yourself and choose the right people to surround you on your journey. Remember, you only have to look at one person in the mirror every morning: Yourself.
3. Timing Can Be Key.
There is a right and a wrong time to approach any topic, so learn to judge the ebb and flow of work around you. The right opportunities will present themselves if you will pay attention!
In my first book ‘Selling in a Skirt‘ as well as my new book ‘PURE WEALTH: 26 Ways To Crazy Profitability‘, I discuss sales and gender equality in the workplace. It is very important to always stand up for yourself and demand that you be given the respect—and the pay—you deserve! You are a smart business woman, so start today implementing little changes that will ultimately result in a happier and more productive and lucrative career for you!