This article may seem controversial for some. Let me say this at the outset – I understand that not all households have partners who don’t do their share, not all households have women who want a career outside the home. I totally respect your right to choose how things work in your household, how your relationship is balanced and how you raise your children. You may not feel the same as me about this and that’s ok.
The truth for me is that I never wanted to be a traditional housewife. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect those who do. Finding meaning in life is what I want for every person on the planet. But there are strong cultural forces that try to put women in boxes, and when we think the rules don’t apply the world seems to remind us. If you are a working woman, or a stay-at-home homemaker, or another singular thing, or a combination – we can change, evolve, expand, and be more – if we want to.
Now more than ever, we are seeing women of all ages throwing in the apron and rubber gloves for a laptop and a website. The numbers are on the rise for women starting their own businesses with a 46% increase in the number of female-owned businesses in the past 20 years. This is not to say that all women are averse to staying home, but the availability of choice is inspiring an overhaul and reevaluation of our perceived roles in the world.
As a Business Coach and mother of 5 (I have 4 daughters), my view is that traditional notions of having a great job are also being left behind in the pursuit of bigger dreams. Women want more and are losing the fear around what that means for them.
After years of telling children they can be anything, they are starting to listen. The recognition of our own ability is driving us away from the 9-5 and into the 24-7 of business ownership. With women leading the charge in so many areas where once we did not venture, and the shift in men to work alongside women rather than above them, or separate to them, the doors are being opened. We aren’t waiting around any longer.
With the ongoing inequality in both opportunities and remuneration, women are taking it upon themselves to create their own benchmarks. We don’t want to wait around for the gender gap to reduce, so the logical step is to work for ourselves so there is no limit to what we can achieve.
Whilst we do struggle with confidence when stepping into entrepreneurship, it isn’t stopping all of us. The increase in the use of coaches is enabling women to recognise what they want and pursue it in new ways. Outcomes of investing in a Business Coach include smarter goal setting, balancing work/life, lowering stress, increasing self confidence, improving quality of life and increasing income,
As a Fempire Coach it is my job to ensure that your individual success is defined and achieved – and you get to decide what that looks like for you. Although Fempire has a success formula that does not fail, it is not a one size fits all solution.
Have you heard of the miracle dress? It is a design that is so clever it can be used by women of all shapes and sizes, for all types of occasions. It fast became a wardrobe staple. My style of coaching is like a miracle dress for business. The successful framework fits all types of businesses and can be moulded to suit your needs so that it actually works – just the way you need it to.
You have to find a way to allow yourself to step into doing things that make you uncomfortable.
Tall poppy syndrome, shiny object syndrome, imposter syndrome – we have labels for our fears that some are using as an excuse to not act. Change your focus. Remove yourself from being reflective and start being thoughtful of the people that need your offerings. Being in business isn’t just about you. Majoritively speaking, women in business want to create an impact. We are looking to create change and legacy, yet we may stand in our own way. The shift in thinking from I am not good enough, what will people think, not seeing things through, all stem from a lack of clarity about what you are really doing. You aren’t seeing the big picture? Start thinking of the potential you have to create jobs, to influence positive change. Stop thinking about what a few people might say, or what your neighbours might think. Stop being busy, start being productive.
Don’t answer for others.
If you take two people who are given the same experience, you will hear two different versions of what happened. It doesn’t mean that one of them is wrong. We all bring our own perceptions, ideas, and experiences into everything we do. This forms a filter over everything. You cannot get a true sense of the customer experience from your perspective. You have to ask your customers what different touch points mean to them, what challenges they have. Most of the time you will get unexpected feedback regarding what you personally perceive to be good or bad. The important thing to do here is to listen and learn.
If you want something bad enough, you will get it.
Unfortunately, while you might be thinking that you still haven’t won Tattslotto, most of the time we aren’t focused on the win. We are too distracted by the effects on life of not winning. Training your subconscious to manifest can be challenging. When you truly believe in something it can influence your decision making process and your reactionary disposition. Having an unwavering belief that you will achieve something means dedicating your life to it. Not just giving it a try and 2 years later deciding it is too hard and giving up.
Just because you want one thing, doesn’t mean you have to give up on something else.
Family and career. They aren’t mutually exclusive for men and they don’t have to be for women either. As a society we do need to make the shift from thinking that women can’t have both. Some women need both. How you balance the two things is something that must be negotiated. By that I mean you need to be determined in what you want to achieve and have conversations with stakeholders so that you get the help you need to be successful. Despite the age in which we live, I am disappointed by the amount of women who are not supported by their partner. This lack of support can come in the form of not helping with family commitments and doing an equal share of domestic duties. It can also mean being unwilling to provide financial support. Sometimes it is as simple as just not believing in your partner. These things threaten the fortitude that is required to be a successful business owner.
Be willing to accept help.
In our efforts to avoid failure, we set ourselves a trap by trying to do way too much. Why is it that we see asking for help as a personal affront to our ability to consistently and tirelessly work full time at everything. Let me share a hard truth with you. If you don’t teach your children to help out around the house, how will they manage when it is time to leave home? If you are working full time in your business, isn’t it actually unfair that your partner expects you to still do everything around the home including having a meal on the table every night? Be fair to yourself and be fair to your family. They can do some of these things and they should. I have raised my children with the belief that if they aren’t taught to be contributing member of the family, I cannot release them into the world to be contributing members of society. I believe I actually fail them if they are not taught to look after themselves.
This might challenge traditional thinking, modern thinking, your thinking – but this is my thinking.
If you are genuinely happy, it’s contagious. Have you sat there with someone who is laughing and starting laughing yourself? You don’t know what you are laughing at, but the laughter is just catching. That is the way it goes with your emotions. If you are miserable you can bring down a room, if you are happy you can light up the world. Everything that is positive about you is enhanced when you are happy. You are more patient and giving, people want to be around you. You have the ability to save someone with your happiness.
In reality, while we work to change the world, we need to work out how to manage it all, so here are some guidelines to help you through your day.
Tip 1 – Arrange your calendar to include 2-3 hours per day to devote to home
You won’t be able to concentrate on business and home so clear time to focus on your child/ren/home. Let’s be real here – for many women our children are the reason we want to be more, to show them they can be more. I set aside this time in the afternoons when my children come home from school.
Tip 2 – Utilise technology to automate tasks
Tools and apps can manage many of the repetitive tasks that must be done but don’t need to be done by you. This will get back some of the time you need for homeschool.
Tip 3 – Include children in your workday
Rather than being a distraction, give your children some responsibilities that help you get things done. This could be as simple as stuffing envelopes, organising paperwork, counting things or drawing pictures you can use for mind maps and flowcharts.
Tip 4 – Negotiate the distribution of duties between partners
Nothing helps you lose that loving feeling than one person in a relationship not being constructively helpful. Be clear about things that need to be done and who will take charge of these things. This may mean alternating home schooling days, cooking, cleaning or just occupying kids so you can get some focus time.
Tip 5 – Identify quiet time for focus tasks to be done uninterrupted
Your partner may still be out of the house working, so your only chance for focus time might be the evening, weekend or early morning. This does compromise family time but discussing this and identifying that it is necessary and temporary so you can manage your responsibilities is important for your wellbeing and to get the support you need at home.
It is now time for traditional roles to be re-examined as there are many cases where women working from home may be the breadwinner and partners may need to step up – particularly if they are not working themselves.
The ABS report that Women now account for 34% (668,670 women) of all business operators in Australia (ABS). Many are home based businesses.
In Australia, a survey conducted by Maquarie University and SBS revealed that 86% of women said they do the majority of the housework while 73% of men in the survey stated they were the primary breadwinners (SBS and Maquarie University Survey). It is not written anywhere that these statistics must remain at a certain level.
Let’s paint a different picture of how adult life looks in a partnership where the partners are equal. Contributions are deemed equally valuable and respected regardless of what tasks are involved or remuneration earned. Imagine a world where your potential was viewed as the real value and being given the time and space to reach that potential was the ultimate goal.
Are you ready to start changing your world? Let’s do it together. Get your FREE Validate and Launch a Business Checklist today.