How to be Taken Seriously as a Female Entrepreneur (Business Tips from a CEO)
When I was first asked for advice on how to be taken more seriously as a female entrepreneur my first response was a little bit of sadness that this is a question even being asked compared to maybe asking a man how do you taken more seriously as a male entrepreneur? Yes this may be a male dominated industry maybe we need more women up on stages but Beyonce put it best “Who won the world? Who won the world? Who won the world?”
I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t had too many situations where I felt like I had to prove myself as a female as a women in business or even back-up my strategies as compared to the the other gender. But one of the things that I would say is for anyone male or female is the way that you show up in your confidence, in your strategies in who you are and and how secure you feel as a person is going to help anyone to see you and take you seriously no matter what your gender or niche or business or industry you are in.
I remember when I was a kid, I use to want to so badly be an actress. I would tell my mom all the time “please put me in acting lessons I want to be an actress.” And there was a situation where we were at a dinner theater and if you’ve been to a dinner theater before you know how they often involve audience participation and I had been pulled up and was asked to kind of like perform something to pretend I was a fan and be like waving my hands and going crazy over the performer as they were singing this song. But I felt shy and I felt nervous of who was watching me while I was suppose to be pretending to be a fan. While I saw this performance, and so I kind of half-asssed it I just kind of was like “yeah, cool” Like looking back to see who was watching me that might feel embarrassed if they were thinking that I wasn’t doing a good job or that I wasn’t good enough. And so when I finally got back to my table my mom had said to me, “Marley, you say you want to be an actress but like, you have the opportunity to perform and you didn’t do your best like, Why, why didn’t you give it your all?” I realized that I was so nervous about people thinking something of me when I didn’t give it my all, whereas I could have had more fun and had a good experience and maybe entertained the people who were watching me when I did give it my all. And the point of all this is, that even if they still felt less of me or if they still judged med because people do, at least I gave it my all. I’d rather be criticized for giving it my all than be criticized for half-assing it. So from there I went into, to anything with this mindset of even if I feel nervous even if I feel insecure I’m going to go in and give it my all and do my best knowing that that’s all I can do and that even if people are judging because remember they always do so even if you know no matter what people are going to judge you got to do what you got to do anyway.
So whether you a male, whether you a female, whether you in a female dominated industry or a male dominated industry it doesn’t matter. What matters is you actually giving yourself to the world in a way that you are meant to.
There’s this phrase that a mentor earlier on in my career told me and it’s the phrase BE.DO.HAVE. “Who do you need to BE? What you need to DO to have what you want to HAVE? And that’s a really important phrase that I continuously come back to and use in my coaching or in my consulting when I’m working with clients so that they consider that themselves is, If you want to have this result who are you being to create that because you can’t do your way into having something unless you are being that person first.
So when it comes to the level of success you want in your business ask yourself am I being committed? Because when you are committed you can do the things you need to do to have what you want to have. Can you have success without being committed? Yes or no? Can you have success without being kind, without being respectful, without being responsible? You could, you might say yes or no to some of those things and that could depend on the level or the kind of business that you want to have. But that’s a big question that I ask myself is “If I don’t have what I want to have, who do I need to be to have that?” It’s not about “I need to do this thing, I need to to create this outcome.” It’s about who I need to be first so that I can become the person by doing those things.
A lot of people work the opposite way they want HAVE.DO.BE. Once they have the level of success or once I have the money or once I have this weight then I’ll be happy not realizing that we have to work from the inside out. After learning about Be.Do.Have that’s where I realized that for me, commitment was one of my number one values and something that I always went back to and reminding myself in any situation is “Am I committed to this?” Commitment to me means following through. It means playing when you hurt, it means doing what you have to do no matter what, and it also means not over committing. So, when I make a commitment to something whether it’s “I am going to get up at 5:00am and I’m going to get my work out done and I’m going to get all my work done so that I can be at the birthday party at the end of the day and not feel stressed or whatever that thing is that you trying to be committed to have this result.” The commitment means doing it no matter what and commitment doesn’t care how you feel. So if I say I’m going to get up at 5am and my bed feels comfortable or I feel tired or I don’t feel like doing it commitment doesn’t care how you feel.
I’m really lucky to have and incredible circle of other entrepreneurs who are game-changing impactful people around me. That I’ve been able to learn from and lean on and I highly, highly recommend finding that circle for you. It can be really tough when you have people around you that maybe don’t really understand what it is that you do, I think a lot of entrepreneurs when we first start if we have family or friends that don’t have business’s or they’re in their 9-5 might have a hard time relating to you and it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with those relationships, it just means that you do need to find those outlets and people that can support you. I actually created a community with my best friend Rachel Pedersen who’s another incredible female entrepreneur. If you’re not following her please go check her out. We created a community called Breadwinning Women for other women like us who were the breadwinners of their families, who were these female entrepreneurs super powerful and even women who are are changing the game when it comes to this the norms that society kind of puts us into or these boxes that they want to fit us in. Finding that inner circle for you is going to be so important in elevating you. Stacey Martino is another female entrepreneur that I follow so closely, a really good friend of mine but she works in relationship development which is really changing the game from what most families and relationships whether it’s your marriage or also your parenting relationship. What most people do and it’s a whole new way of reviewing relationships and she talks about your family and friends and also your seventh power. Your seventh power is the people around you are on the same wave link as you you that they are taking the same journey and challenges with you and they want to be part of that uplifting movement to support each other in their growth. So let’s say, you go to this big event and you come home and you are super inspired and you want to tell your family all about it and you even like just vomit all over them with all these ideas and suggestions and like “hey it’ll be really great if you did this too and let’s do this together” and have you ever got a reaction like “Why do they think they are better than me? Why do they want to change me?” And it’s not that we are trying to do that at all but we are excited and we want to grow, we don’t always have the people that take those steps with us but that’s why you find that as Stacey calls it your seventh power, the people that want to go on that journey with you, that want to hold you accountable, that want to put your feet to the fire and help you in the growth that you want.
So, if you are someone that is feeling this constraint or restriction in a male dominated industry my best advise is to find that circle or even join ours come check out the Breadwinning Women, join our community and hang out with women who are in a very similar situation, likely in a similar situation as you. Girl if you are watching this and you’re struggling with being taken seriously, I want to ask you. Are you taking yourself seriously? Are you worried about what other people are thinking about you? Or how other people are judging you? Or do you have the wrong circle around you? Are you being the person that you need to be to do what you need to do to have what you want to have? How committed are you to your growth? How confident are you in what you have to offer the world? Guys, I’d love for you to screenshot this video post it on your Instagram stories tag me so that we can continue to build this community of female entrepreneurs we can all follow each other support each other and make sure you comment below so that we can build our circle on Instagram and on You tube and follow each other.