I work with women to untangle how to manage their marketing and their business in a way that feels right to them as business owners, mothers, and humans.
I’ve worked with women just starting businesses and ones who have run businesses for years. With women who make no income to those making a lot of money (yes, six-figures, but I deeply dislike the way that number has become short-hand for successful). But there are some issues I see over and over again.
Being Afraid to Take Up Space
Fear of taking up space means different things to dfferent people. For some, it is talking about their business on Facebook – I’m not talking about being spammy and making every post about the business. I’m talking about never mentioning it. If you own a business, it takes up a signifigant amount of your life – why wouldn’t you mention it?
For others, fear of taking up space means not even saying “Yes, I do this thing” even when they see someone is looking for their exact service.
Or it might look like winning an award or recognition and being reluctant to tell others about it.
Not Setting Goals Because You're Afraid You Won't Reach Them
Yeah, goals are scary. But goals are direction and your business needs a direction or it will spin around in circles.
The fun part is that YOU get to set your goals. Whether that means income, new connections, items shipped, appointments booked, or maybe something entirely different – you’re the boss of your business so set goals you’re excited to reach not just the ones everyone else is setting.
Not charging the prices you need to charge
Look, I can’t tell you what your price should be. But I can tell you that if you are charging too little you are setting yourself up for frustration and burn out. Been there, done that (more than once because sometimes lessons take time to sink in).
What does it look like to charge the price you need?
It means having time to do your work well rather than constantly rushing. It means having space to build good relationships with your clients. It means covering BOTH your expenses and your time, not just one or the other. It means not negotiating (unless that’s your thing) or finding imaginary discounts to give to potential clients because you’re worried someone will say no.
Not asking for what you want
Yes, having those hard conversations is difficult. Do you know what else is difficult? Putting up with things because it feels easier than speaking out.
As women, we have so much cultural baggage telling us to quietly carry the load and keep things running smoothly – even if it is detrimental to us. Not to mention the part where asking for help is seen as a failure or inability to handle everything we’re trying to do.
When we overlay that lifelong training with running a business, we can find ourselves doing all the work of our business and then some instead of reaching out for help. Be brave – ask for what you want.
Being afraid of being “salesy” to the point of never promoting yourself
This is likely the one I hear most often. There is something so fundamentally frustrating to me about the fear women have around being considered “salesy” – especially when I fall into it myself (I’m not even going to pretend to be perfect here).
Picture yourself as an average white dude named Chad – would he have any hesitation to tell someone about his new project or offer? No. He wouldn’t.
Channel your inner Chad and go for it.
Worrying you aren’t hustling enough
This is another Chad issue. There is a “hustle til it hurts” mentality that works for some (and if that’s you – awesome, own it).
Do you know what makes it hard to hustle in your business? A baby who doesn’t sleep through the night, working alternate shifts with your partner to make your dreams happen, caring for a loved one on top of everything else you do, health issues others may not see, and so many other things that Chad “I live on Red Bull and 3 hours of sleep so I can hustle harder” may never have to deal with.
If you’re feeling bad because you’re not hustling as hard as your Instagram feed tells you everyone else is hustling, just remember how many filters there are on Instagram and how much planning goes into those perfect grids. That’s their “best of” reel – you’re not even seeing the outtakes, let alone the whole picture.
Want to be inspired by someone? Great. But don’t let their life keep you from focusing on yours.
Not wanting to admit that you want success and money
Repeat after me “Money is awesome.” Did you feel a little weird? That’s ok. Money can bring up all kinds of issues and baggage – even stuff we didn’t know we had buried!
Expecting to be paid for doing work, even work you love and enjoy is not a bad thing. Having money doesn’t make you a bad or selfish person. It makes you someone who can cover your bills and handle your responsibilities. In no way is that a bad thing. Hint: Its actually a really good thing!
Success and the recognition of your peers, friends, and family? Being proud of what you’ve created and how you run your business? Also not bad things.
Side note: If you are looking at other women and mentally tearing them down for having success, money, or recognition? Stop it. Stay in your own lane. We need women who build each other up and celebrate each other – be that woman for the next person you encounter and see what happens.
Getting Stuck in Your Comfort Zone
I’m a Taurus, so I’m basically terrible at getting outside my comfort zone. I like to dig in and get comfy, but that doesn’t serve me, my business, or the people I want to help.
If you find yourself pulling back from trying new things or putting yourself “out there” – try the smallest step you can take.
Or don’t think about it, and do it anyway. That’s what I did recently when I needed to walk into a new space where I wouldn’t know anyone. I just didn’t think about it until I was there (which is when I thought I was going to throw up in the elevator…but I didn’t, I had a great time, and I got outside my own comfort zone!)
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.