Recently, I've been reading and hearing a lot of women in business say the catchy tag line "The Future is Female."
At first it annoyed me.
Maybe that's because I feel like I wouldn't have half the success I do, if it wasn't for my amazing husband.
His skills and leadership is needed in our business and at home, and our success is truly a team effort.
But then I thought deeper about it.
What if it wasn't about outshining men, stepping up where they can't, or... world domination.
What if it was about empowering women to play bigger than they ever have before.
"Why the hell not?"
"Why not me?"
Ironically, as I was having this internal dialogue with myself,
A ding came in my inbox to answer these 5 questions for a magazine article I'm being featured in.
It was all about the future and the challenges in women face.
Here's how I responded:
1) What are the biggest challenges women in business face?
We have to start taking our seat at the table. We often use words like “my side hustle”, or we question if we can “charge that much.” It’s as almost as if we feel like we can pursue our passions and own our businesses, as long as it isn’t inconveniencing anyone else, or it doesn’t interfere with being a mom or wife or an employee.
We can own it, and stop downplaying all the hard work, guts, and grit it takes to be a woman in business. I’ve stopped using the word side hustle and challenge anyone who does because I know when I’m not with my family or talking care of my own health, I’m working my business because it means everything.
2) What are the most critical changes women in business must make to face their future effectively?
I believe we have to throw out the word “balance”, give up the “mom guilt”, and start putting ourselves front and center with the means we are blessed to have available to us.
With social media, women in business networking groups, and both online and offline events, we have a variety of ways to connect with potential partners, affiliates, and clients. We just have to make ourselves visible and start making offers to work with us.
That may require getting help with our children if we have them, and it may mean we work “non-traditional hours.” I used to have awful mom guilt, until I realized that it didn’t serve me. It didn’t make me any less visible, but I wasn’t fully present with my focus and mindset.
I realized I was cheating myself by trying to be more “balanced” or feeling guilty for missing bedtime. As a focused and driven woman in business, I’m showing our son that mom has dreams and she’s not afraid to work for them. That sacrifices are a part of the plan when you’re changing your future, and no matter what, we don’t give up when it matters.
3) What made you decide to tackle this subject?
How did you get into your business, and why do you stay?
As a business strategist and content expert, I ignite your business with more impact and income through strategy, building courses, coaching programs, websites, funnels, but the deeper message for me is that I want you to find your voice, build a business doing something you love, not something someone else told you to do, and to stand out from all the noise online.
I’ve often felt powerless when I look at the leadership and culture of today. It’s not to say right from wrong, good from bad, but I believe using your voice online to help others can have a ripple effect in our mental health, our relationships, our self worth, and how we treat each other.
I am an RN by degree, and working in areas like End of Life Care and the ICU taught me so much about what’s really important in life, but it wasn’t a career I chose. As a young teen with low self-esteem, I followed the path that everyone else chose for me and it led to massive unrest and frustration. That’s why I’m so passionate about helping people build a business THEY want.
As a nursing student, I ended up falling in love with the group fitness classes at a local gym to burn off stress and was approached to become an instructor. I absolutely loved it and got 5 certifications in fitness, nutrition, and wellness and opened my first passion project business while working full time. But after we had our son, I realized that I was trading hours for dollars and working incredibly long days, missing out on time with him that I’d never get back. I started to study with mentors and complete every course I could on how to take my business online, and in a few months built a successful online fitness business. My entire life changed.
I knew I had to shift and start teaching others how to do this. It also helped that my husband was a graphic designer, creative director, and lead generation specialist, where as my specialty is content marketing and creation. It made sense for us to start coaching together. Because we cover everything from content to technology to launching and lead generation, we help people get up and running and making income pretty quickly. Much quicker than we did it!
I stay because I feel it’s the gift I’ve been given. If I was never an RN or Trainer, I wouldn’t have the passion and perspective to be able to do what I do. I’ve also experienced a lot of bullying and emotional abuse in my life as a kid all the way through adulthood, and it wasn’t until I took ownership and used my voice that my life changed. I feel that pain was a gift as well. We’ve all been given gifts through our experience and choices; I want to help you use them for good!
4) What has helped you get to where you are?
What advice would you have for others who want to set off in a similar direction?
Just go and DO, and don’t worry about the comments from the peanut gallery. I shot my first course videos using an iPad in my son’s bedroom and sold it online via Facebook Live. I started my podcast with no intro or outro or even using a proper microphone for audio. I wrote my first book and blogs when I didn’t even really know how to write. My first few live videos and webinars had no audio, emails didn’t send, and I wasn’t even sure how to make an offer. But none of that ever stopped me from figuring it out. You will always make it better, but don’t delay your progress because you don’t have it all figured out. I always tell people to invest back into their business at the rate of their growth, but the only way we can make more money to have higher quality things, is to start.
There is also a price to pay for putting yourself out there and it’s that people will have opinions of you and your work, but you don’t need validation in your business. You don’t have to hustle for your worth. You have to get rooted in whom you are, what you do, and how you help others and then get relentless in that pursuit.
5) What are common misconceptions women have about business?
How can we combat these misconceptions and communicate more effectively?
Social media can be a dangerous place of comparison. We forget that we only see the “highlight reel” on social media about business, money, status, relationships, and parenting. It seems everyone is living the “laptop lifestyle,” and if we haven’t reached the success we want, it can make us feel less than. I also think there are a lot of unhelpful labels about women in business.
I think we need to start talking more and taking space for each other. We need to share the launches that didn’t go to plan, the campaigns that bombed, how we feel about negative comments, family struggles, the times when we don’t have the answers or are unsure of what direction to go.
We should show up and describe our business however we want, in a way that resonates with people. We don’t have to portray that we are “slaying all day”, “building empires” and being “boss babes.” That may be spot on for some, but not for me. You may be a boss babe, slaying all day, and building your empire, while I resonate more with being a driven, heart centered leader and gritty, scrappy expert in the online space. Let’s start talking more, judging less, and connecting deeper to help each other create powerful movements in the world.
I'm curious, how would you respond?