I've been in self-development for 15 years. I see so clearly when a woman entrepreneur is chasing her own tail, spinning in circles, doing things that aren't useful and avoiding the things that are. The obvious traits are:
- Frazzled, frantic intense energy that shoots all over the place (been there, done that)
- She might not even be aware of it, but the impact on others is: they avoid, lean away or don't reply to her. They can't keep up.
- Increased isolation and lack of support (been there, done that)
- She thinks, "Fine, if no one wants to play with me, I'll do this by myself", and the impact on others is: they feel like she's fallen off the face of the Earth
- Slashing down on food, haircuts, clothing, all the beautiful things that gave your life beauty, to penny pinch until business money pours in (been there, done that)
- She fools herself to think if she hoards money, more will come her way, and the impact on others: they feel disconnected and misunderstood.
Business things I wish I'd done differently
1. Hire a coach who is also a mentor
I started out with a coach. When I brought up the vulnerable topic of being seen on my website, she coached me on courage and standing in my power, which was great, but she never mentioned that a website was Step 11 in the business building roadmap.
She was a coach, not a mentor. She hadn't walked the entrepreneurial path. I wasted so much time by focusing on Step 11, when there were 10 other steps I hadn't dug into first.
2. Delete all social media platforms, except one
When I started, I claimed my username on EVERY social media platform (Step 13), in case someone would steal them from me (<-- scarcity thinking!). C'mon, admit it, you've done it too :)
I was running Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn all at the same time. NONE of them worked. Duh! I hated Twitter. I was never on LinkedIn, ever. My ideal clients (Step 4) weren't on Pinterest, nor Twitter nor LinkedIn.
What a waste of time and energy! If I could do it all over again, I'd pick one and stick to it for 2 years. No less.
3. Stop hoarding free stuff
I'm sure you've signed up for a ton of free e-books, webinars, e-courses, and apps in hopes that all this free information will make you rich. And then you got completely overwhelmed and felt failure-like. Am I right?
Hoarding is a closed energy. The more you hoard (information, your savings, your contacts), the more you close off to the richness that is right there outside your mind. And as long as you want all your questions answered for free, no one will ever pay YOU to answer THEIR questions or fix their problems. Like attracts like.
4. Separate from the blind leading the blind
I had some amazing girlfriends when I started. But none of them knew anything about entrepreneurship. When things went wrong in business, though they comforted me, they couldn't help. I got frustrated. They got frustrated. It was the blind leading the blind!
Now I know: it's ok to grow apart. In fact, it's necessary. We didn't break up or anything, just drifted apart. You do your thing and I do mine, happily and joyfully. Now I have entrepreneurial girlfriends and we can support each other. Sooo much better!
5. Do things in the right order
Classic mistake of women entrepreneurs: doing all the right things, but in the wrong order. Please don't beat yourself up about it. We've all done it. Look at me:
- tried incorporating my business when I didn't even know what it was about,
- filed for intellectual property when I didn't even have a program outlined,
- paying for Facebook ads when I had nothing to give away, etc.
I could go on... The hardest part was to accept my own silliness / naivety and re-calibrate. If you pause long enough, you'll know what's in the wrong order.
6. Invest less in apps, more in me
There's a concept I love: beach before grain of sand. When I started, I wasted sooo much time dissecting each app so I could set up a sleek, efficient self-selling machine. I was so addicted to dissecting each grain of sand that I forgot the bigger picture, the beach, the questions of: am I even in the right industry? Is this the type of business model I want? Do I even want to be an entrepreneur?
I spent so much time/money on apps, furniture, business cards, website, to try to impress. But I hadn't yet claimed or named my brand, my core message. Oops. Everything changed when I stopped investing in apps and started investing in me.
7. Stop fooling myself that I could do it alone
I was so cute / stubborn / silly / naive to think that I could self-actualize my life's purpose on my own.
Given that I spent 30 years trying to become the best man I could be, I was conditioned to fix problems myself. I see a nail, I hammer it. Boom!
What happens when I became the nail? Indeed, I hammered myself. Boom! Ouch. I stubbornly clung to trial and error. It was only with the love and guidance of a coach, counsellor, psychotherapist, mentor, and/or healer (you name them, I've had them all) that I realized:
- how much I hated myself... I threw myself in a productivity dungeon and beat her until she produced results, while chanting "This isn't brain surgery, you should know this, you should have figured this out yesterday." Beat. Pound. Beat. Hammer. Beat. Pound. Beat. Hammer.
Sound familiar? I had to stop fooling myself. You, where do you have to stop fooling yourself?
8. Leave the boyfriend sooner
You won't be the first or last women entrepreneur to feel like you constantly have to choose between love and business. And sometimes (or many times) THE best thing you could ever do for your business is: leave that boyfriend sooner.
It was so painful to wake up to the fact that one of my ex-boyfriends was plugging into me every night to recharge and whistled off to work in the morning, leaving me completely drained and useless for the rest of the day.
My close friend and two family members alerted me to this. And I listened!! Hallelujah! Thank god that stubborn inner teenager died. And my wiser self listened. Six days after we broke up, I emerged to see my friends again and they all unanimously raved: You're glowing!!! Raaaaaadiant! Beeeeeaming!
Damn. Should have left him sooner.
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