Dear Women In Business
It is easy to get so caught up in the hustle of business that you lose all sense of ‘why on earth are you doing this”. As female business owners, we face all the same challenges as our male counterparts except we also have:
- Social expectations that imposed on us
- Innate demands that we place on ourselves especially if you are a wife and/or mother
- Inherent biases and prejudices that we face because we are women
Because of these added expectations, you either get caught up trying to meet everyone’s expectations; flame out (find yourself in a constant cycle of start-stop – pivot); or give up (because it is just too hard)
What if I told you that you can have a thriving business and a thriving life? It’s not just for the chosen few! It can be accessed by anyone who taps into what I am about to share with your below. Let’s be clear right from the start: Success is a journey, and like all journeys, everyone’s destination will be different. Even if you are traveling to the same place as someone else, your expectations for your time there will differ from theirs. You need to have a clear idea of the kind of life and experiences you want to enjoy while running your business. This is the foundation of building your successful and profitable firm- VISION. Your vision represents where you want to be and what you want to be doing three to five years from now.
So, let’s get started. How can you expand your vision so that you can expand your business? By responding to the following questions:
1. “Who are you becoming?” When you peer into that future, who have you become?
This may sound like a strange question while talking about growing a business, but it is quite crucial. In my work with entrepreneurs and micro-business owners, I walk them through answering that question as a starting point to a stronger, more profitable business. It is the key to creating a company plan that supports your personal vision. You see, what is the point of building a company that results in you becoming someone you don’t want to become?
2. Who do you want to spend your time with?
A business that grows and scales is not a hustler business. Creating the right business model is the only way to avoid burning out while building your business. My experience tells me that the right business model for these times does not require a large staff or complex systems. Instead, you should choose the most efficient and effective systems and workflows that let you have a life. When you look at my business model, I have designed it so that I have all the time I need with my family and especially my kids. I made this decision only because I had a clear vision of with whom I wanted to spend my quality time. The stories of entrepreneurs who sacrificed their families to build their businesses are far too common. This resulted in the loss of those they loved, or, more importantly, failure to achieve the success they desired. You may be struggling to scale your business because you are trying to build a business to fulfill your needs without knowing what it should provide. Design your business to support the vision of who you want to spend your life with.
3. How do you want to live in the world? – in other words, what is your legacy?
That’s where you may be struggling. You want a business that taps into your cause or passion, but you are unable to monetize that passion. The reality is that, although you need to have a vision of the impact you hope to make in the world, you will not always achieve that vision through your business operations. This is what I mean – purpose and fulfillment can be achieved either directly or indirectly through business. Scaling up is hindered by the assumption that you can only do it through your business’s operations. It is not always possible to directly monetize a passion through business. But passion and purpose can be supported by the income from a properly monetized business model. Many may not like this statement, but impact requires income.
Verne Harnish said, “it is good to remind ourselves that in business and in life, the journey, not the destination, is the reward.” As an entrepreneur, you always dream of scaling up. But the truth is, it can be a real nightmare if you scale up a business that doesn’t support your vision. My hope is that through this piece you will be able to truly uncover what you are trying to build with the tool that is your business.