From a young age we are segmented into those who can and those who cannot. At our school we did the 12+ exam to see if we were clever enough to go to Grammar school. I wasn’t. Fortunately for me many of my circle of friends weren’t either. But it was one of those early life lessons where you begin to realise sometimes you are not enough. You don’t have the right skills or knowledge therefore you end up in the “Can’t Camp”.
Is it safe to re-emerge online after the seasonal festivities? Have all the New Year, New You platitudes gone away yet?
As another new year begins you may feel the pressure to get cracking, with your foot to the floor. Just because that is what is expected isn’t it?
But many of us are not huge fans of New Year. Including me. The expectations. The pressure to know precisely what you want to do with the year ahead. The resolutions. The endless quotes and meme’s in circulation. It’s definitely a time to tune out for a while.
Being able to seek the right help can be a challenge for women in business. We often try and manage alone and doing everything means we can get ourselves into a right old pickle, even to breaking point before we’d even consider finding anyone else to help us. We can be our own worst critics and believe we have to have it all sussed on our own.
Show and up and be yourself. Be authentic and speak your truth. As this is the only way to find and connect with your people. Except this is tricky when you’re not sure what your truth is. Who your people are. And where to find them.
No two people are the same. We experience life and business differently. We may agree on some things and not on others. We have different beliefs and values. And people will think nothing of telling you that they think you’re wrong if they don’t agree with you, especially on social media.
I often find myself out and about having seemingly random conversations with strangers. People will stop me in the street and ask for directions. They’ll ask me where to find something in a shop. They’ll stop and chat as they go for a walk with their dogs whilst I tidy the front garden.
Someone will make conversation on the Tube in London. Where the typical etiquette is not to make eye contact, let alone utter a word to another human being.
Within the shelves in my office are notebooks. Pretty notebooks. Scrappy notebooks. Small notebooks. Packs of notebooks. Too good to use notebooks. At a glance you can tell I am very happy with a nice new notebook. Or even several because they all serve a purpose eventually.
Buried within the well worn pages of my notebooks are reminders, important things inside that must not be forgotten. But often are.
Have you ever found yourself working with someone who you knew was far from your dream client? But you agreed to work them even though your inner voice was strongly advising you to say no.
Or what about finding yourself in a coffee shop having yet another “pick your brain” session giving away your free guidance and advice. But you know this person is not willing to pay the price of a 1-1 session to work with you instead?
Or maybe you’ve given away plentiful discounts and freebies to try to convince your new client that you are worth every penny? But as a result end up struggling to pay your bills.
I’ve found myself in these situation too.
Because there are many lessons to learn when you are a soulful petite business owner. One of them is knowing the value of your worth.
On my entrepreneurial journey I have met many people who, like me once worked within a more corporate environment with “proper” jobs before they decided to run their own petite business. Along with this “proper” job came corporate conditioning, which included set office working hours week in week out with little flexibility.
On the flipside when you work for yourself there is flexibility and many perks. You are your own boss. You get to decide how, when and where you work. You could have a duvet day and stay in your pajamas if you wish. You could start early and finish early to get outside and make the most of the sunshine. You could go to a nice cafe to work. Or join in with a yoga class during the day. Or even spend some time with your loved ones and family on a jolly outing. There are so many things you could do. But do you?
Several years ago I wrote about it being time for women to rise. That the world is beginning to wake up to a new way of being and I could clearly see women finding their voices to speak out about things that truly matter in life and business. Earlier this year I had a conversation with a TV producer to see whether or not I would be willing to participate in a new documentary about highlighting the impact of miscarriage. When faced with an important decision to make I usually follow my yes, no or maybe gut instinct and in this case it was an immediate yes.
We all have different wants and needs for our lives and businesses and what we class as success varies from person to person.
Success may look like keeping up appearances online and becoming a “social influencer” with thousands of followers on social media. It may look like a diary chock-a-block with clients. It may look like hitting your sales targets and being a six-figure business. Or it may mean being interviewed on TV or for a well known magazine. These are all fabulous achievements.
But we don’t all desire the same things.
SUCCESS IS AN INSIDE JOB