When I set out to coach female entrepreneurs, I expected that most of the problems I’d be helping with would be business related. Pricing, online marketing, financial planning… But, they weren’t.
Even at the executive level, it was shocking to see women held back not by bad strategy…but by self-doubt. Fear of failure. Emotional hurdles.
All women face extra challenges than men in the business world. We’re up against a wall of stereotypes built by decades of being told we’re too emotional, not smart enough, and being passed over for meaningful work.
What’s worse…we actually believe it ourselves.
Even my most high-performing clients- we’re talking executives of large corporations and founders of transformative businesses- struggle with things like asking for help, playing it ‘safe’ so they don’t risk failure and not being taken seriously.
As women, we’ve been told our heightened emotional intelligence is bad for business. But in today’s world, the opposite is actually true. You can turn the driving force behind these common fears to your advantage and use your emotional intelligence to unlock your success.
I have many hard working, fabulous smart clients that repeatedly build their business or brand up to be profitable only to ride the rollercoaster back down again and again and again! By not dealing with their fear and baggage they are sabotaging their chances at permanent success in business Here’s how.
Fear #1: Self-Doubt.
Self-doubt is an inner demon with many faces. It’s the voice that keeps us up at night wondering if we’re good enough. It sabotages our opportunity to score an investor. It isolates us from getting the help we need to succeed.
Good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. I’m not going to tell you to ignore your doubts, that they’re fake and your feelings are wrong.
Why? Because just telling you not to feel a certain way isn’t going to make it go away. Instead, you need to dig deep and find the real source of your doubt. Only then can you use it to your advantage. How? Have you ever found yourself thinking:
“I don’t know if this will work.”
We’ve all been there. Instead of letting it paralyze you, use that doubt to drive yourself to plan better. Planning gives you clarity and confidence. It’s hands-down the most important weapon for an entrepreneur’s success. Don’t think you need a plan? Here’s why you need to think again. Plan until you’re confident, and then get moving.
“I’m overwhelmed…I don’t think I can do all of this.”
Ask. For. Help. There are so many resources for the female entrepreneur- support groups, think tanks, private coaching. Find someone who can give you the resources you need to conquer your challenge, and involve yourself in a network to pay it forward. Here are a few of my favorite resources.
“They’ll never take me seriously.”
The most successful brands not only have a great product, but a great story. Your perfect customer doesn’t just want to buy from you, they want to connect with you. Customers want to hear your story, even if your story isn’t perfect! There is power in vulnerability. Honesty. Genuineness.
Don’t waste time trying to prove to the faceless crowd that you’re qualified. Be proud of where you came from and who you are! That’s the magic that will make your company stand out among a sea of competitors and drive success year after year.
Fear #2: Time.
Women are not only under pressure to outperform men to ‘prove’ ourselves, we also have to juggle a LOT more responsibility. You’ve only got 24 hours in a day and the expectations placed on you seem to fill every minute.
I’m talking kids. Family. Household. Even if you’re a single woman without these things, you still h ave to spend precious time dressing right, looking right, and living up to all these extra standards that even executive-level men don’t face. You are afraid you don’t have enough time to succeed.
Well, in a world where we are expected to do it all, women have a natural advantage. We’re better at managing time. We automate faster and, in business, produce more with less time on our hands.
The best solution? DON’T do it all. Find ways to free up your time through automating. Resources for finding the perfect VA, content manager, website developer, etc. to give you back HOURS of your time.
Ego doesn’t always look like the bitch in the co-working break room. Ego can be the social media account that lies about how great life is, putting on blinders and ignoring warning signs in your plan or spending precious time pleasing others to make yourself feel worthy.
There’s no nice way to say this: Stop fronting. Stop wasting energy ignoring real problems. Stop wasting time building a perfect facade at the expense of building real success.
When your ego takes hold, you waste time, money, and other precious resources trying to get the people who don’t matter to prop up your own insecurities. No amount of likes, shares, or invites is going to change the reality of your business.
Here’s the truth: You’re already a lioness. Don’t let managing your pride keep you from bringing home what you deserve.
Are you held back by fear? I get it. I’ve fought against stereotypes and had my failures. I’ve started, ran, and sold my own successful companies. I save clients time and money helping them overcome these fears. Invest in a coach, you are not alone.