Okay, so I’m a pretty optimistic person. I believe, especially as women, we can do anything we put our mind to. And I was taught from a very young age that girls can do anything boys can do…
To achieve our dreams and goals some realities need to be faced.
So I want to help out my fellow businesswomen by sharing the 5 most significant things that could hold you back from success.
1. Breaking down systemic cycles and belief systems about women making their own money, creating independence and wealth, building a business on their own terms (to name a few).
It was when I read Jane Caro’s book – Accidental Feminists that I realised our grandmothers and mothers were the first generations of women to earn their own money. #WTF
This actually blew my mind.
I mean, of course, I knew this on some level yet it’s always been the norm for the women in my family to work and earn money.
I guess I’d never actually considered the generations that came before.
So really, women earning their own money is a reasonably new construct (in the scheme of things). Hence there are a lot of underlying beliefs about women and money, women in sales, women in business, women creating wealth, women running businesses that are unresourceful, and unhelpful.
It’s critical to uncover the cycles you need to break to make sure they’re not unconsciously holding you back.
2. Doing it alone, not having a solid support network
Business can be lonely.
Some would say the odds are stacked against us yet, the stats are moving in the right direction (yay!).
35% of businesses in Australia are women-owned with a 46% increase in the number of women business operators over the past two decades (compared to 27% for men).*
With this growth comes more networking groups and communities of like-minded women in business popping up.
When I first started looking (after almost 5 years running a solo business) there weren’t many around. This is one of the reasons Ness and I started Business Together (B2). In fact, it was the main reason. Because we know that as women in business, together we’re smarter and stronger.
Have you ever heard the saying ‘A burden shared is a burden halved?’ Imagine sharing your problems with other women who ‘get’ it – trust me, it’s helpful!
You can find ongoing connections with other awesome business owners through things like Business Retreats, Masterminds, Business Communities.
In fact we have an incredible Mastermind – designed to help you and your business grow regardless what’s happening in the world around you. Check it out here.
Remember this is not a new concept! Women have been coming together, strength in numbers, for centuries. Let me explain a little more about what I mean here.
3. No up-skilling in other areas outside of your genius zone
This is something that has been reported (by the ABS) as being one of the main reasons SMB’s fail. You might’ve gone into business because you’re passionate, or really good at your craft. But no one told you you’d have to get good at sales and managing cash flow. And even if they did – it always seems easier in theory.
What I’m about to say is absolutely critical when it comes to biz success.
You must learn how to manage your money!
And you must learn how to sell and grow your business sustainably!
We have so many resources on these two key areas for you to devour. To get you started check out this blog on the money management red flags your ignoring and how to fix them and how to abondon push sales techniques and embrace a new way of selling.
4. Trying to fit into a male-dominated structure.
A large portion of my experience before starting my own business was in Corporate. I learned first-hand what it’s like to be on the outer of a ‘boys club’.
Then starting my business, I realised there’s a lot of hustle style approaches out there, a lot of ‘shoulds’ around how to run and grow a business.
Honestly, it left me feeling a little less than inspired when it didn’t fit my natural style not to mention I didn’t feel like I could wholly be myself in my business.
There’s a delicate mix of masculine and feminine energy that’s required to make the ultimate recipe for business success.
Though we’re not often taught that feminine energy is a highly valuable business trait. Instead, we’re taught how to do it in a very masculine way, to make sure we fit into the mould.
I encourage you to bring critical thinking to what you see and hear (or are told) about the way you ‘should’ be doing business.
5. Subscribing to the belief that sales has to be pushy and fake
Here’s the truth of it. Women are often better at selling and sales once they overcome the barriers of not wanting to be too pushy or fake.
In fact, when they do the opposite of this and tap into their curious, collaborative nature, they’re more likely to build trust easily. This removes barriers to the sale and instead the focus is on genuinely uncovering the need and solving the potential client’s problem.
According to Harvard Business Review, high-performing women in sales are more likely to emphasise connecting, shaping solutions and collaborating. The need for this style of selling is becoming more and more desired by clients, particularly as we navigate the pandemic.
Now there’s a whole bunch of other barriers specific to women in business we could talk about like the increased expectation and demands on women outside of work or the fact that women-led businesses receive less support in funding despite research showing they generate more revenue – sometimes up to twice as much per dollar invested.
But for now, why not use this checklist to make sure you don’t become another broken statistic in a system of failed businesses…
1. Work on breaking the cycles (and beliefs) that could be holding you back without you realising it
2. Find a community that you connect with who support and understand you. You might like to join our Mastermind
3. Upskill in areas outside of your genius zone ie. sales and managing your finances
4. Break the male-dominated mould and define what success looks like on your own terms
5. Embrace a new way of selling and get great at sales
If you want to uncover what else could be holding you back from creating a wildly profitable business you love, without having to sacrifice life, let’s chat!
Nicky is a Sales & Business Growth Coach helping women in business embrace the art (and heart) of selling.
Sales is at the heart of every successful business, without sales, your business is a hobby. And without scalable sales processes, your business will be stuck.