We hit the 3 year mark in May this year so phew for us hey!
& yes, don't worry, I know you don't really give two hoots about our success you are only here to make sure you don't end up as part of the 'other' 50%...
So, without further ado -
What do women have to deal with which men don't?
Paula Fernandes highlights 7 unique challenges faced by women:
From the years I've been in business and from conversations with all the other lovely lady business owners I would say that all 7 seem to resonate as true number 7 is definitely the biggest sticking point & this is a huge set-back -
After all, the definition of an entrepreneur is: ‘a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.’ (Brown, J., 2016).
OK, so what can I do to stop my business being a hobby?
Cherie Blair (founder of the 'Cherie Blair Foundation for Women') said you need to sort out your 3 C's:
C1: Confidence - ask yourself honestly, do you really believe you have got what it takes?
C2: Capability - maybe you came up with a no to the previous question because you feel like there's some piece you just don't know yet? If so - go out there & get educated!
C3: Capital - this is a BIGGIE if you're running close to the end of your savings this will be playing on your mind so what can you do, sell or borrow to help tide you over while you do that training & get your confidence up?
Julia Brown (who said goodbye to Upper Street after 7 years of love, labour and laughter) says:
I know all that - there had got to be something else?
I'm not sure I wan't to share this with you...
You see, I may be the other side of the PC, Mac or phone & having written this well before you've read it I'm definitely out of the firing line of rotten eggs but...
100% hands down the ONLY reason your business will fail is because of you.
OMG I did it again #controversy
But, it's probably not in the way you think.
It's not because you failed to do something, couldn't raise capital, didn't ask for help or were scared to play in the shark tank.
It has nothing to do with whether you're a woman.
I guarantee you there is no genetic mutation which occurs when there are two X chromosomes rather than an XY combo, which results in you having a higher likliehood of failing in business.
It also, has nothing to do with your parents, your brothers & sisters or anything else that's going on to make you different from anyone who has succeed.
It's quite simply because deep down you really don't want to.
It's the unconscious that's really in charge... nearly all of your brain's work is conducted in different lobes and regions at the unconscious level, completely without your knowledge. When the processing is done and there is a decision to make or a physical act to perform, that very small job is served up to the conscious mind, which executes the work and then flatters itself that it was in charge all the time (Kluger, J., 2015).
It really is because your subconscious is in control of you (and everyone else too (that is because of your genes)) and it doesn't like you being in danger.
It purposely keeps you inside a safe little bubble where you're bumbling along making a little bit of cash, showing up and having a business.
But the idea of going 100% all in well that quite simply scares the bejeezus out of you and so your subconscious will keep looking for the reasons you're different, it will keep you filling up your to-do-list but never doing the one thing which will actually truly launch your business and it will help you to feel completely overwhelmed and as though you genuinely are not worthy of succeeding just before your business is about to explode to the next level.
But I really, really, really do want to have a successful business
Then why don't you?
Why, do you still have a hobby?
Why are you still not taking the action you know you need to?
I promise - you being a woman is not the reason.
There are a lot of men out there who have businesses which bumble along.
Your subconscious is responsible for driving your thoughts, actions and behaviours.
It genuinely doesn't matter what you're consciously telling yourself you want to do - your subconscious is going to do whatever it believes is going to save you.
In all honesty its a pretty good job it's doing this because lets be honest we're all so busy who actually has time to remember to breathe, blink, digest food...
That's it then, I'm throwing in the towel right now...
Remember right back at the beginning I said there are some super simple world domination tips coming your way?
Well here they are (& they're all based on evidence based psychology not some passing entrepreneurial guru who's trying to sell you their services):
STEP 1: Take control of your subconscious by telling it what you want it to pay attention to.
If you aren't consciously feeding information about what you really want into your subconscious behaves like a 7 year old child, hearing what it want's too and making up it's own mind. It has a habit of picking one word out of a sentence and deciding that's the one which is most important & off it goes. For example, you tell yourself that 'today you'll not get distracted' your subconscious goes ooohhh... how can I distract you today?!? Then it comes up with a list of all the people you've not spoken to in a while (hello Facebook), your favourite TV programs or a new found love of bird watching...
You need to instead be very clear, very literal and attach a positive emotion to what you want to do (emotions are king when it comes to taking control). So, back the the 'i'll not get distracted' example instead say something like 'today I am going to (insert something you really want to achieve) and spend 1-2 minutes bringing fourth the amazingly positive feeling that you will get once it's done.
Even if the thing you want to achieve is something super simple (and something you can't readily imagine feeling awesome about) pick a positive emotion, recall a time when you felt that way, then hold onto it as you focus on achieving that 1 thing.
In the beginning pick just 1 thing which is super important that you need to achieve that day and follow this process this will help you get into the habit of taking steps, moving forward & feeling great (all things which will stop your petulant child of a subconscious from holding the reins on your life) (James, M., 2013).
STEP 2: Make a plan.
Even if you decide you're going to do something and throw a whole host of love into it (aka Step 1) if you don't make a plan about how you're going to achieve it then you're leaving it up to your subconscious (Gordon, B., 2013).
When making your plan set a goal (including when you're going to achieve it by because if you don't say when it will definitely be one of those things you 'do tomorrow...') and give yourself a few step-by-step instructions about what you're going to do.
Even if your plan consists of something as simple as this: 1) write out 100 names and numbers of who I can contact, 2) call 10 numbers a day (new), 3) call each number at least 3 times before moving onto the next one (on different days), 4) call all 100 numbers by the 13th October.
By sitting down, working out what you actually want & how you're going to get there you and not your subconscious is in control.
The simpler the plan, the less chance things will go wrong and your subconscious will need to wrestle back control.
We are, like it or not, biological machines, and the simpler we keep things, the less chance there is for a mistake or a breakdown (Kluger, J., 2015).
STEP 3: Review your goals
How many times have you made a plan & just not achieved it?
Do you wan't to know why?
Because you're not being accountable for your actions.
Chances are you're not reviewing your goals (well until the very last minute when you get the pit in your stomach because you have not achieved it...).
You need to get into the habit of reviewing every night.
STEP 4: Do your to-do-list at the end of the night not first thing in the morning
Once you've reviewed your goal at the end of the night you'll have a clear idea of what you need to do tomorrow to get yourself back on track (if you've wobbled).
It will also mean that first thing the next morning rather than procrastinating (we all love tea, coffee and a morning muffin but when your morning is eaten up by your break it's not helpful), it will also enable you to stay in control because you've already decided exactly what, how and when you're doing things today so you can jump straight in.
& if you're ever feeling overwhelmed, like things are spiraling out of control or as though you are going in the wrong direction stop what you're doing, take a few deep breaths & ask your subconscious what's going on.
Just don't forget to listen because if you do come 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years down the line you'll still be in exactly the same place!
One final point - remember that life happens.
Every day is a new opportunity to try again.
If things go way off kilter, don't sweat it - just pick up where you left off & I promise you, eventually you'll get there :)
Right, that's me done for the day time to check how much I've done (& not done because I got very distracted doing all the research...) #LifeHappens
Have a fantastic rest of your day & I'll catch you soon, Katie x
(Please note, each tip, trick and piece of advice in this blog post has been lovingly 'Katiefied' and do not necessarily represent the words/views of their original owner. The links to the original articles have been included so that you can find out exactly what they said.)
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Brown, Julia. E. (2016). My business just collapsed - the truths that entrepreneurs never tell you about failure. The Telegraph. Retrieved 3, October 2017 from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/work/the-truths-about-failure-that-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-embrac/
Gordon, Barry. (2013). Can We Control Our Thoughts? Scientific American. Retrieved 3, October 2017 from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-control-our-thoughts/
James, M. (2013). Conscious the Unconscious. Psychology Today. Retrieved 3, October 2017 from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/focus-forgiveness/201307/conscious-the-unconscious
Kluger, Jeffrey. (2015). Why You're Pretty Much Unconscious All the Time. Time Science. Retrieved 3, October 2017 from: http://time.com/3937351/consciousness-unconsciousness-brain/
Fernandes, P. (2017). 7 Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face (and How to Overcome Them). Business News Daily. Retrieved 3, October 2017 from: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5268-women-entrepreneur-challenges.html
Kiyosaki, Kim. (2015) Building your confidence, capability and capital to succeed. Rich Dad Retrieved 3, October 2017 from: http://www.richdad.com/Resources/Rich-Dad-Financial-Education-Blog/July-2015/three-reasons-women-owned-businesses-fail-to-grow.aspx