You are running a carpool at 2pm in the afternoon…you have a meeting at the wedding venue with your daughter, 10am on Wednesday…your son is expecting his first child so you do not want your business to get too big right now.
Why? Because you are a woman. You desperately want to take your business to the next level…but your sales are stagnant or in decline…or non-existent. For months, if not years you have logged excuse after excuse as to why your family needs you (they do not all the time)…or have said “with all that is going on I just can’t ________.” (insert what you really want to do with your business). And you want to wait even longer.
Would a man do this – put his professional career on hold – or wait to build his empire because his daughter is getting married…or because of a new kitchen install?
Hell…to the no way.
I am constantly networking and working with women as clients who have stated and sometimes even manufactured excuses for not growing their businesses. “My daughter gets married next summer, I can not put the time into the business” “we are going to Europe in 3 months so this is just a bad time” and in the next breath she is in tears because she is facing the reality of having to close up her operation. If a wedding in 10 months is holding up you making enough money to afford said wedding…or more importantly giving up on your dream and empire…then it is time to …
Act and think like a man.
Maybe because of the way they have been raised…or socialized…or the role models they have followed. Men do not make excuses from their personal lives for not going after their professional dreams. Maybe it is because of ego, or the fact that their income is in fact paying for the new kitchen…or wedding. I don’t know. But I have never met a man yet who said that his personal life was in the way of building his business.
For most women though, it is a tough idea. After all, can you imagine you are too busy to drop everything and run to school in the middle of the day to deliver a project your child forgot? I can…and so can my kids – they have gone without their instruments and gym sneakers…learned accountability and responsibility. My kids have had to bike to activities when I was in a meeting or pack pb&j on frozen hot dog rolls because single mom forgot to go get bread…again. I did not put my work on hold while we moved this past summer…my kids helped…every single day and late into some nights. They weren’t sitting around on their phones or binge watching Netflix. And no, this is not child abuse, this is reality.
When I have too much to do in my personal life my business does not suffer. I am continually building. If I look at my calendar I see I need extra time in two weeks with my daughter while she prepares for college, I put in late night (or four) to prepare or make-up the time when the schedule gets knotty. My work life and that schedule does not take a backseat to my personal schedule – they are interwoven with each getting the attention it needs.
My commitment at each step is to a reality…and a laser beam focus on building my success. I can not make excuses or blame my schedule…or plan for a time when life calms down…because, just in case you haven’t heard…my life is a fabulous whirlwind that never calms down.
And the reality is that I am building my business to add great flexibility to my life – I want to be the one dictating my schedule…and working from Florida…and able to answer the phone when my college freshman calls in the middle of the day. A friend needs a pick-up at the airport, no problem. I want to dart to the gym at 2pm – got it.
And as a result…my business is thriving, just about everything gets done in my personal life…and my kids…I don’t miss much…and they are insanely independent. They fill out their own forms, bring my check book to me when they have a payment due for something. They are responsible for their own schedules, planning with me, arranging carpools and rides, and scheduling their time to get their own stuff done.
And then you sit and wonder why your business is struggling or how you can possibly still be working at 2am when everyone is sleeping
This blog post is dedicated to my daughter…the 15 year old raging feminist who stands firmly in her idealist views of equality. Dear, you are certainly onto something, equality is a the way to go… and women have the power to get there – and as a very wise woman once told you “use your power for good.”