The more time I spend out in the world with women business owners, the more I'm in awe and also so frustrated. Almost every time I ask a woman about her career or company, she minimizes herself or her efforts. This sounds like, "oh, it's just a little side hustle that I do from home," or "it's not a big thing, I have a lot of help from..." and "I just make these little..."
I'm not frustrated with the women who do this, I'm enraged with a social system that has conditioned us to thrive as community builders and caretakers but to downplay the type of success that men are encouraged to talk about.
Have you ever been at a party listening to successful men talk about their work? Of course you have. Everyone has. It's not even really their fault. Men are told that their value is in their ability to produce, climb and earn money. This message is not cool either but it's what has held women back from leadership roles and making the same money as men make for the same job. And how many strong women are labeled "bossy" and "aggressive" when they lead or hold people accountable? Super fucking over it.
I want to occupy a world where women are as comfortable with our abilities and achievements as men are. If people think it's "unbecoming" for a woman to celebrate and articulate her wins, then they are NOT my people. I want us to speak about ourselves in the way that we are comfortable speaking about Michele Obama or whomever we put on a pedestal because she's amazing, accomplished and smart.
It's not hard to change your own story to reflect your success but it does take practice.
Here's how you do it:
• Start with a list of your skills (creative, people, professional)
• Narrow down the top 3 - 5 strengths you have based on that list
• Then make a list of your successes (I created a line of 28 cards or I opened an etsy store)
• Take this information and turn it into 1 - 2 sentences.
No frills, not a novel, just a straightforward, brief story of who you are, what you do and why it matters. Then practice saying it out loud until it doesn't make you wildly uncomfortable anymore. This will change your life and boost your business. Your clients/customers want to know that you are confident about your ability or product.
And do me a solid – when you hear another woman minimizing herself, gently remind her that she's a boss and it's okay to acknowledge that.