Women in Business - You Don't Need to Be a Superhero
Do you remember the 1950s, when women took care of the children and ran the household and life was good? No? Well, to tell you the truth, I don't either. I see TV shows that depict this simpler life but for as long as I've been an adult, I've been running around on this wheel of life and going in circles. Most women I know are doing the same thing. They juggle their careers, their families, their marriage, their friendships and their home lives. It's a constant rat-race dotted with a few jam-packed "vacations" and weekend getaways that leave them exhausted and when they get back home, they start all over again. Sound familiar? Then, there is the business woman. These ladies are on a mission to achieve superhero status. If any woman who owns a business tries to tell you they have it all under control, then I question whether they're being honest with themselves. Because, they are the ones who are juggling family, marriage, friendships, a home and on top of it — a business. It's not easy feat and if you are one of the elite, you know EXACTLY what I'm talking about. It is tough stuff!
Women, in general, put a lot of pressure on themselves to make sure their world runs smoothly. And when you add the pressures of running a business, many women feel alone and struggle with the overwhelming feelings related to their choices. I have personally had days when I wanted to give up. I got tired. I got burned out. I learned the key to this, like most things, is prevention. But the number one thing — the absolutely numero uno — is to simply ask for help. I'll explain, but first, let me give you a little history on me. When I quit my job, I started two businesses. At once. I can say with a fair amount of certainty, I won't do that again. It was a major challenge, but I was determined to help other women. I want to empower them with something that I couldn't afford when I started in business. I want to create a credible image for them so they could start their business with their best stiletto forward. But I also needed to pay my bills. So I skimped in areas that cost me later. That was my biggest mistake. Most women put her heart, sweat and often times, tears into their business. She's stayed up late into the night or even early into the morning, long after she put the kids to bed working on her business plan. She crammed phone calls on her lunch break. Spent hours upon hours conjuring up how to launch her dream. Saved and saved and made do with what she had, and couldn't afford $10,000 for a logo and website. So she had her family friend conjure up a logo for her and used a free website builder. She ordered her business cards, got the logo on her vehicle, had signs made for her business location and then, after she gets her business rolling, stands back and says "I'm so embarrassed. I hate my logo. I hate my business cards. I hate my website. I couldn't afford to hire a profession and now I don't look professional." Sadly, I meet ladies who tell me this exact story on a weekly basis. This often causes her to limit who she shares her business with and limits the growth of her business. Let's do a little math and see how to break out of this. A woman who owned a cleaning business once told me "I tried designing my own brochure. I spent 8 hours on it." Then adding,"What a pain!" I wondered silently to myself 'Eight hours? How much money she could have made in those 8 hours cleaning?' It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out if she wasted 8 hours on something she could be making $25/hr doing, it's $200 she could have put towards something that would have helped her earn more money. But even worse, she was miserable! She could have been enjoying those 8 hours doing what she does best and growing her business. By trusting a profession to create the right brand for her, she would have attracted MORE clients by looking credible, trustworthy and professional. This concept is limitless. I recommend outsourcing the duties you aren't passionate about and hinder your growth at home and in business. They likely drain you or at the very least don't excite you. Bookkeeping? Cleaning? Building a website? Designing a brochure? Unless those are your passion, they keep you from doing what you love and serving others. Could you hire a professional and still come out ahead? Accountants, temp workers, virtual assistants, graphic/web designers. I do now. And girl, let me tell you, life is so much better! As soon as I started to focus on what I loved to do and hired others for the other things, my business grew. More business meant I had more money to hire out more of what was holding me back. I now spend my days helping other women grow their business and have stopped wasting time with things that hurt my productivity. My advice, find an expert you trust. Ask for help. Have them do what they do best, so you have the time to do what you do best. You don't have to be a superhero to do it all – outsource and you just might look like one though!