We are in a very different landscape right now. Many businesses are struggling, some can’t DO business right now, others are watching their revenues decline. Let’ talk about the art of the pivot and how you can make changes to get your revenue and business back on track.
Let’s just say it: Most women entrepreneurs struggle with pricing. We adore helping others, but when it comes to asking for compensation for that help? We fumble.
Sometimes we charge too little out of fear, sometimes we position ourselves in a way that doesn’t show our true value, and sometimes we accidentally trap ourselves in a not-so-profitable business model.
Does this sound familiar? Most of the women I’ve worked with over the years are undercharging when we first start working together. I’ve found that we as women tend to default to being the helper and the nurturer. We undervalue ourselves and this leads to under charging. Let’s work on that!
Here are 3 mindset solutions that will give you the tools to start charging what you are worth:
#1: Watch your language.
Women entrepreneurs are just as susceptible as their clients when it comes to those persistent yet subtle mindset issues and traps. Time to do some house-cleaning and find the thoughts that are holding you back.
First of all, make sure you own a growth mindset rather than one that is fixed and set. Be aware of the possibility for growth in every area – especially those you consider yourself already an expert in, as well as the areas where you’re sure you will never be able to grow.
Dr. Carol Dweck talks about the importance of having a growth mindset in her powerful, ten-minute TED talk, “The Power of Believing That You Can Improve”.
She is applying it to the area of teaching children, but her observations and examples of the effect of changing negative messages with the two little words, “not yet,” is a potent reminder of the power of words.
You can apply a similar strategy to banish stubborn thoughts that keep you stuck by reframing negative self-talk that begins with statements like “I can never,” “I can’t,” “I’m no good at, etcetera, to: “How can I do this?”
In fact, you may have even given your own clients similar exercises! Now it’s time to sit down and do those exercises for yourself.
A growth mindset sees problems as challenges, where a fixed mindset sees them as the end of the road. Failure.
- Where in your own thinking, have you sabotaged yourself with fixed-mindset thinking?
- What fixed thoughts do you need to change back to a growth model?
- What do you find yourself still saying, “I can’t” to?
- Your answers will act as indicators to tell you where you need to do mindset work next.
#2: Own your expertise.
Imposter Syndrome (feeling like a fraud) is common for everyone once they step outside of their comfort zone. If you feel like a fraud, how can you even begin to charge higher prices?
If you find yourself regularly comparing yourself to others in your field, and coming up short, then the odds are good that you are letting Imposter Syndrome run your self-image. No wonder you are under charging!
Tackle this problem by becoming aware of self-talk that sneaks in to tell you that you are “less than” those around you. When you notice those thoughts, replace them with positive and true statements about your unique strengths. You know why you got into this business, so take time every day to remind yourself of those qualities.
#3: Shed your embarrassment about earning good money.
Somewhere along the line, we may have gotten the message that nice people don’t earn money. Or, are not rich. Or, should not ask to be paid. It’s usually one of those issues that you may have picked up in childhood which can be difficult to drop.
Some of us go so far as to impose our own money anxiety on our clients.
For example, you may be assuming that your prospect can’t possibly afford to pay the fees you would like to be charging. So you don’t charge that much in hopes of getting a “yes.” But really, you’re not a mind reader. You can’t possibly know what your prospect can afford, or is willing to pay, for your services. Don’t assume.
In fact, what your client can or can’t afford, is really none of your business. If you are providing value for your services, then price them accordingly. The right clients will say yes. The ones who don’t see and respect your value, won’t. It’s really that simple.
Is money, or the lack of it, keeping you from growing your business? There may be reasons other than cold hard cash that are holding you back. Join me for a class in Money Mastery to learn how to conquer the money issue.
But I can’t afford it!
It’s too expensive!
Maybe next year…
Sound familiar? I hear it all the time. In fact, it is one of the most common issues that female entrepreneurs face after finally getting their business off the ground. The transition from start-up to success means understanding this vital principle in business:
You can’t afford NOT to invest in your business.
If you are not investing money into your business, the fact is that money is holding you hostage. If you want to break free, you need to be ready to face the obstacles in your path between where you are now, and where you want to be.
Join me for a class on MONEY MASTERY:
Think you don’t have enough?
Does money work for you or do you work for money?
Do you see present expenditures as a value-add for your future business?
Do you spend money with purpose?
We will explore:
The 7 money blocks that are keeping you from growing and how to eliminate them.
How to start charging what you are worth.
How to get comfortable with sales.
Sources of money – It’s out there!
In the long run, it is costing you more to put off investing in your Biz. And, it isn’t just costing you dollars, it’s costing you peace of mind and freedom from the hamster wheel.
In other words, by missing opportunities to invest in your business now, your Biz is holding you hostage. Time to break free.
I have found that there are three major types of obstacles that hold many small business owners back from their true potential: Mindset, Resources, and Sales.
In order to thrive in business, you have to identify the mindset obstacles that are between you and success. This is true when it comes to money as well.
Risk Aversion: Does it feel like too much of a risk to invest in your business? You are not alone. Becoming comfortable with taking some risk is critical to identifying and taking advantage of great opportunities to grow your Biz.
Imposter Syndrome: It is very common for female entrepreneurs to harbor the deep-seated idea that they just aren’t good enough. As a result, they undervalue their services and are less likely to invest in themselves and their Biz.
Fear of Failure: Fear-based decision making of any kind is a big mistake. The ultimate irony is that when we make decisions based on fear, we almost always create the very thing we are most afraid of in our lives and our business.
Ready to conquer your Money Mindset issues? Sign up for my Mastering Money class today.
Resource obstacles come down to two basic questions: Where and How.
Where? The money is out there, you just need to know where to look. Once you make the decision to invest in your business so that you can achieve success and personal freedom from the daily grind, finding the money isn’t actually all that hard.
How? Of course, you also want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Knowing where to best invest your resources is the second resource obstacle that many new Biz owners struggle with.
Ready to put money to work for your Biz, but aren’t sure how or where to start? My Mastering Money class is for you.
Sales is the heart of generating revenue for your business whether you sell a product or provide valuable services. Getting comfortable with sales is an obstacle that many entrepreneurs don’t really want to face, but it is critical to growing any Biz.
My Mastering Money class will address why it is that sales can seem like the hardest part of growing your Biz, and what to do to get past this major block to growth.
You have refined your product or services. You have built up your customer or client base. You’re past the “start-up” phase, and well beyond the “break-even” point. You did it all by yourself.
Congratulations, your an amazing Solopreneur!
Meanwhile, you’re working a 60 hour work week. There is always MORE work to do. You can’t scale your biz because you can’t take on any more work. You haven’t had a vacation in over a year. And yet, your afraid to do anything differently, after all, everything you’re doing got you this far.
If something got you this far, then continuing to do something the same way is playing it safe… right?
In practice, giving in to your fear often feels like “playing it safe” and avoiding risk, but really this isn’t true. There is risk in fear-based decision making – the very real risk that you end up staying a Worker Bee forever.
Here’s the thing – Playing it safe feels like it is protecting you from failure, but in reality, it can actually cause failure.
Too many entrepreneurs, women, in particular, are letting fear cost them, big time. I see it all the time. And, it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you want to go from Solopreneuring to becoming a true CEO, it’s time to take a good hard look to see if fear-based decision making is standing between you and your entrepreneurial dreams.
Here’s what to look for:
Fear of Judgement
When you look at others in your sector, you have a tendency to compare yourself to them, and always seem to come up short. You sometimes feel like a fraud, and worse, you’re convinced that is what everyone else sees too.
Here’s what it looks like:
You were invited to showcase your wares at a local art show, but felt that the work of the other artists was much better than yours, so you declined.
You got a hot lead for a consulting job with a Fortune 500 company through a close contact but decided not to follow up on it because you were intimidated by the prestige of the client.
You have been charging the same rates for your coaching services for the last 3 years. You have so many clients that your schedule is constantly overbooked. Yet, you refuse to raise your rates because you feel like you might be “ripping off” your clients.
Here’s what it’s costing you:
Fear of judgement, a.k.a. Imposter Syndrome keeps you from reaching your full potential. It creates a sense of “less than” which translates into missed opportunities, undervaluing your work, and ultimately, a business model that flatlines.
Fear of Letting Go
This fear often takes the form of “No one else can do it as well as I can.” If you experience anxiety when it comes to delegating, outsourcing, or hiring decisions, then be on the lookout for this one.
Here’s what it looks like:
Your work week has become a never-ending daily grind. Most of the tasks you do are repetitive and monotonous. You’re starting to wonder if entrepreneurship is really that much different than a job.
You tried hiring a freelancer once, but she didn’t do the tasks in the same order as you did. You decided that only you can really do the data entry for your weekly sales, so now that three hours of weekly work is back on your schedule.
You haven’t had a real vacation since you started your business. You dream about a week at the beach, and the money is in the bank for the trip. But you fear that if you walk away from the day to day operations your biz will fall apart.
Here’s what it’s costing you:
Fear of letting go, a.k.a. Worker Bee Syndrome keeps you from scaling your business. You get trapped working in your business, not on your business. As long as you assign yourself the menial labor involved in running your business, you won’t be able to put the energy into growing your business.
And, fear of letting go means you don’t make the needed time for yourself to rest. You will eventually lose the passion that you brought to your biz in the first place. Burn out is coming if you don’t learn to let go.
Fear of Failure
When you are afraid of failure, you miss so many opportunities to invest in your business – critical for growth.
Here’s what it looks like:
You have done some research on small business loans, but refuse to pull the trigger even though the numbers look good. Meanwhile, your biz lacks the capital to make the jump to the next level.
You’re introduced to a business coach at a local lunch n’ learn for female entrepreneurs. You definitely hit it off and felt that she had something to offer you in terms of growing your business. Yet, you fail to follow up with her because you’re convinced your business isn’t ready to grow yet. Maybe next year…
Here’s what it’s costing you:
When fear of failure is holding you back, it usually shows up as a lack of willingness to invest in your business. It also keeps you from taking the risks you need to scale. In the end, fear of failure might seem like it is keeping you safe, but what it is really doing is keeping you stuck.
The Root Cause: Fear of Change
I have spent decades building successful businesses and helping others do the same. Many of my clients come to me as successful Solopreneurs. They have great ideas, plenty of vision, and a ton of work to do.
But, they are often afraid of change. They got this far with hard work, determination, and plenty of missed vacations. It must be working right?
Um, no. Just because it got you off the ground doesn’t mean it will take your business to the next level.
In order to go from Solo to CEO, you have to be ready to identify fear-based decision making, and decide to make a change – even if you think you’re not ready. It’s a mindset thing.
Last week I talked about a client of mine – a real estate agent going through her slow period. Our work during that time focused on thinking like a farmer – but what does that mean in practice?
Do you think all a farmer has to do is wait until fall to harvest truckloads of delicious tomatoes, corn or squash? Think again! That farmer has worked hard all year long to prepare for that week or two of big rewards.
She prepared the ground last fall, following last year’s harvest.
She planted seeds in the spring.
She watered, fertilized and protected her fragile crops from pests, drought and poor weather throughout the growing season.
And finally, after months of work, she enjoyed the results of her efforts near the end of the summer.
Your business works the same way with periodic ups and downs. Many businesses experience seasonal fluctuations tied to other rhythms — the school year, the tax year, the calendar year. In other cases, downturns are less predictable but are nonetheless a part of the ride for a successful entrepreneur.
If you take a page from the farmer’s playbook, you’ll soon be reaping the rewards, too!
Preparing the Ground
This is your brand, your voice, your very presence in your market. If you’re just starting out—like that farmer after her harvest—you’ll spend your time simply becoming known. In other words, you should put your energy into preparing the ground.
Hang out with other coaches in your niche. Join forums where your ideal clients spend their time. Build a website and start your mailing list. This is the prep work that will form the foundation of a solid business in the future.
Planting the Seeds
Your seeds are your content and products. With each blog post you write, every product you create, you’re planting a seed you can harvest later. But unlike the farmer, your seeds will produce over and over again, endlessly.
Look for ways to create visibility for you and your brand with public speaking, being interviewed on podcasts or participating on panels that are aligned with your area of expertise. Get yourself out there!
In fact, you’ll likely find that blog posts you wrote years ago will continue to bring in new clients year after year, with no further help from you. Products can be sold over and over again, or reworked into new offers. Podcasts, videos, ebooks and more all continue to work for you, month after month, year after year.
When you think about it that way, it’s easy to see that planting seeds is a critical part of every business.
Nurturing Your Crop
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just “Set it and forget it!”? Unfortunately, that style of business rarely works.
Consistency is the name of the game here – and it’s what will ultimately lead to success. Be sure that you are sending out your email newsletter every week, or month (or whatever cadence you have decided on). Be sure to do a blog post, or Facebook live, or record a video consistently.
You will start to get a following and people will be looking for you, even if you don’t think they are out there! Remember, gurus tell us that only 10% of your readers or followers ever comment (and I think that number is high!), so you have an audience out there, even if it doesn’t appear so.
Instead, you must spend time nurturing:
- Stay in touch with your email list
- Update old blog posts with new ideas
- Study your stats to improve your traffic and conversions
- Refine your products as you learn more about your customers
It doesn’t take much effort to update your blog posts or tweak your products, and the rewards can be fantastic.
Of course, being a farmer is a long-term investment. The work you do today may not pay off for weeks or months to come. But with a strong history of consistent “farming,” you’ll soon see that those long-term rewards are paying off consistently as well.
At some point, every business owner will find herself in a troubling situation. Revenue is down. New clients are scarce. Profits are falling. Just one peek at the financials is enough to bring on a full-fledged anxiety attack.
Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, chances are you’ve experienced that sinking feeling of a business that’s trending downward. How you handle it can mean the difference between continued success and business-killing burnout.
Here’s where a lot of entrepreneurs get it wrong. They start to worry about money, and that worry leads to poor decisions that ultimately have a negative impact not just on finances, but—maybe more importantly—on their own morale, too. I’ve been there many times!
In my experience fear shuts my brain down and keeps me from being productive in ANY area of my life. Here are a few of the fear-based decisions you might find yourself making:
You Take On The Wrong Client
When business is down, it can be tough to keep your ideal client avatar in mind. Instead, you jump at the chance to work with anyone who comes along with a wallet. The trouble with this scenario is you can find yourself with a roster full of clients who:
- Aren’t willing or able to do the work required
- Spend all their time telling you why your ideas and advice won’t work
- Make life miserable for you, as they are not a good fit
- Drain your energy and make you dread work each day
You stop going to networking events, stop connecting with your network, stop socializing with your Biz Besties. This is exactly the opposite of what will help you turn your fear into a more positive direction. Getting outside of your own head is the best thing you can do at this point.
You Stop Creating
And who can blame you? With profits down, you have to pull back. You can’t afford to spend time and money creating new programs, or new blog posts, or webinars, so you recycle the ones you’ve already produced – and these may be a bit tired.
Now, this would be ideal if you were repurposing with a positive intent. Turning your eBook into a group-coaching course? Perfect! But that’s not what your fearful brain is telling you.
Your fearful self is saying, “Just re-release this same product again, so I don’t have to have new sales copy written or record new videos.” And, while this might help bring in a bit of cash short-term, it won’t do anything for your reputation or your self-esteem.
Ditch the Fear Mindset
Fear can be a healthy motivator, but it is a terrible mindset for sound decision making in business. Acts of desperation, withdrawal or avoidance can turn a minor dip into a major disaster.
Instead, bring your focus to the opportunity right in front of you: Have a little more time on your hands? Great! What can you do with it? Sales lower than expected? Okay…What can you learn about your customers?
If running a business was just like getting on an escalator, nothing but up from here, then everyone would do it. The fact is that the downturns are a part of learning about your customers, streamlining your processes, and honing in on your ideal client and the services you are really passionate about providing.
If you are letting fear run your show, you are missing the opportunity to refine, and ultimately grow your biz.
Here is what it looks like in practice…
One of my clients is a real estate agent who is in a bit of a lull and starting to exhibit signs of panic. Instead, we are working with the concept of farming. She is planting seeds for harvest later on.
In our coaching sessions, we have mapped out a plan for the best way to productively and strategically use this time to her best advantage. AND (more mindset work here) she’s realized she is lucky to have this time to focus on her business, instead of being caught up in it.
Coming from fear is no way to operate a business, but that’s just what a fear-based mindset can do to you. Better (much better) to hold out for that perfect client, dig into your supportive relationships, and take what you’ve learned from your drop in sales to create that killer program your audience is clamoring for!
We all fall victim to overwhelm. The trick is to find a way to reset quickly, so you can recover and get back to what you need to do.
Whether it’s often or infrequent, the paralyzing results are the same. Here is what happens to me when I’m in overwhelm (Not pretty, but I’m just keeping it real here, people!):
When I’m in overwhelm, I’m like a deer in the headlights – I am stuck and can’t move. I’m truly paralyzed. I typically spend a lot of time “Spinning “– I can spend LOTS of time in front of my computer doing who knows what. I straighten my desk and organize files. And I convince myself that I’m busy, but I know better. Busy work is busy work.
Or, I become an expert at procrastination. I work from my home office so I find myself folding laundry, doing dishes, cleaning. Anything but working. The busier I stay, the less I have to think about how overwhelmed I am, because I’m….well, busy!
Here’s what to do to nip overwhelm in the bud:
Recognize the symptoms.
I’ve learned to recognize the symptoms, or better yet, anticipate when I’m going to fall prey to overwhelm. Typically it happens in times of transition. I may have signed up too many clients at once. I may have a new hire that I need to train on top of all my other duties. I feel stress creeping into my shoulders and neck, for whatever reason.
I start to look for times when I will likely be in transition and anticipate what is likely to hit the fire, or what is going to need extra attention. But you can’t always do that. Once you notice you are in overwhelm, take action right away with any of the following strategies.
Cut down on your outside influences.
There are gurus aplenty in the online world, all with a different voice and recommendations. I have learned (the hard way) that more input does not equal more clarity. Make some choices.
Whose voices, newsletters, and recommendations do you find valuable and want to continue to follow? Choose at most 2 or 3 and unsubscribe from the rest of those newsletters. Don’t sign up for any more webinars aside from theirs. Or, just give yourself a complete break from outside influences. Do not sign up for any more courses. Keep it simple, sweetie.
Detox your to-do list.
Overwhelm can come from a to-do list that is several pages long. It shouldn’t be. There should be a max of 3 main things you should accomplish in a day. Take a critical look at that list and use the 4 D’s: Do, Delegate, Delay, or Delete, to whip it into manageable shape.
Download The 4 D’s of Productivity for more tips on how to use this powerful tool
Take some action.
If even that feels like too much effort, then just take some action – ANY action and start very small. I find that the smaller the step, the easier it is to get started. Once momentum starts, it’s easier to keep going.
Take an emotional time out.
Read an engrossing book that has nothing to do with work. I’m partial to mysteries that completely take over my brain. Go to a movie if you can swing it. Can you say binge-watch?
The point is to take an hour or two away from your problems — physically somewhere else, if possible. You’ll remember that there’s a vast world out there, and maybe put yourself back in perspective.
Same idea here, but with a personal physical component. Hit the gym. Go for a run or a swim. Take a spin class. Whatever it is that you do for exercise, work it into the middle of the day, so you can separate the difficult morning from the rest of the afternoon.
Not only does exercise count as an accomplishment, but it also fills your system with endorphins that lead to a more positive attitude and go-getter state of mind. Talk about a reset!
Reach out to Biz Besties.
Brainstorm why you are spinning, or just vent a bit. That can also clear your head! Sometimes you just need the chance to talk with someone you’re close with who is completely unrelated to whatever drama is going on in your life.
Just say no.
Sometimes you have to say no. Sometimes you even have to say, “I know I said yes before, but I have to say no now.” Of course, you don’t want to make a practice of this and develop a reputation for unreliability. Still, maybe it’s better than getting overwhelmed and getting nothing done.
Thinking about overwhelm won’t help. You have to take action.
Putting these techniques into practice can help you move out of overwhelm quickly. My favorite is to just take a small bit of action and to let the rest unfold. The longer you stay in this state, the worse it will become. In this case, size does matter, and even tiny steps count!
This is not my usual blog post and may be too much information. But many women may find themselves in this spot. And, it’s as much for me as it is for you.
I had been feeling a tad chubby recently and started the Keto diet about a week ago. (Please don’t send me emails or comments warning me against it, I’m not going to die). I had not weighed myself in forever as the awareness of that number has always made me crazy. I didn’t need that. I just needed to move forward. Similar to the way we need to act in our businesses. (Really, I am going to connect this to biz improvement!)
So I followed KETO faithfully for a week and felt lighter. Go me! I felt ready to get back on the scale and see where I was. Woot, I was ready!
I hopped on the scale and saw that I had gained 12 pounds since I last weighed myself.
What? How could that be? After a week of Keto!
That can’t be me! I haven’t weighed this much for ages, and I didn’t feel it.
Oh right. I had gone up a size in the last year.
Oh, wait. There is a closet full of lovely clothes that did not fit…and I missed wearing them!
My usual response to this new information would have been shame. But not this time.
My response was:
- Wow – who knew?
- OK, now I know
- I have work to do, and that’s fine.
- I still feel good about myself.
That last one is all about self-love. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised.
Being an entrepreneur, no matter what stage of business you are in is a tough road. It’s full of ups and downs, failures, embarrassment, mistakes, pivots and “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” moments.
After 4 businesses, and working with many women entrepreneurs I can say that the best way through all of those down times is plenty of self-love. Being kind to yourself is the way through. Grace, not shame or embarrassment. Taking a deep breath and focusing on the next small steps will get you headed in the right direction.
One of my businesses failed and I ended up in a huge amount of debt trying to dig myself out. (That’s a story for another post.) After a terrible 3 months of shock and shame, I began to forgive myself. I took a corporate job to get the bills paid and went on to start another one.
Another of my businesses was a passion project that I adored. It was geared to the age 50+ woman and was focused on the notion that you could create a juicy life at any age. But after creating 3 courses, a few e-books, and many webinars, it just wasn’t reaching my revenue goals.
After an intense year of effort, I decided to fold it. It was going to take too much time and too much money to turn it around. It was the right business decision (no debt incurred this time!) but I was grieving, and once again, felt like a failure.
After a period of mourning, I took a big step back and reflected on the experience from a lens of self-love. I realized that I had incorporated all of those “life is a blast” thoughts and emotions into my own life and could continue to create my own definition of successful aging.
So I have had huge challenges as an entrepreneur. And I know that the sooner you can exercise that self-love muscle, the better off you and your business will be.
So my challenge to you, you fabulous women entrepreneur, you: Where are you showing yourself kindness? Where and how can you practice more self-love, forgiveness, and positive energy? It’s the strongest tool you will have in your toolbox. Trust me on this.
I’ve said it before. We’re not meant to do this entrepreneur thing alone. Personally, I’d be lost without my Biz Besties, coaches and mastermind team. I thrive on the conversations, interaction, ideas and motivational accountability.
Masterminds are especially valuable for that accountability and forward momentum, but they’re not for everyone or for every stage of business.
So who is a mastermind for? And how do you know if you need one for your business? Do any of these scenarios sound like you?
- If you’ve been in business a few years, you’re likely at a place where you’re no longer trying to figure out the nuts and bolts of business, but need an outside perspective to help you rise to the next level.
- You are ready to implement some big new ideas and would love some guidance and ideas from others who have gone before you.
- You’re making money in your business but sometimes (maybe too often) you get stuck in the weeds of working in your business, rather than on
What Are the Benefits of a Mastermind?
We will bring together women from different locations, industries, educational backgrounds, life stages, and experience levels. The whole point is to make space for diverse points of view, which will lead to incredibly creative ideas generated for your business.
Let’s face it. We can all get blinded by seeing things a certain way. Sometimes the approach we took in the early days is no longer working, but it can be hard to let go of the old way of doing things. I can tell you that being a part of a mastermind program has been an absolute game changer for my business. I have accomplished more, in less time, than I ever thought I could.
When you’re in the right mastermind for you, you can start to see your business and yourself through someone else’s eyes as you leverage ideas and support one another.
When you’re working inside your own business alone or with a small team, there aren’t a lot of people who know your business inside and out to help you leverage ideas. With a mastermind, you get the brainpower to do just that.
It’s really an amazing place to be in business and something that, when you show up the right way, can help grow your business by leaps and bounds.
Think about it. How many people in your personal life actually understand your business and what you do? If you run your business online, your family and friends probably give you a blank stare when you talk about Facebook ads, email marketing, client acquisition and the like
There is also something empowering about investing in yourself. It was a big leap when I started thinking of online courses, coaching, and masterminds as an investment in my business (and belief in myself!) rather than an expense. Major mindset shift there.
If you put skin in the game, you are far more likely to demand more of yourself and REALLY get results. That’s been my experience.
Even better, as a member of a mastermind, you also have the ability to share your expertise and perspective with others as you give feedback to your mastermind sisters. You learn about how others do business as you help, making you a better business owner at the same time. It’s a win-win for everyone.
I’m offering just such a Mastermind starting in September. I’d love to have you join me. Click here to find out more and schedule a call to discuss it.
Most women entrepreneurs are workaholics, type A personalities, or passion driven to an extreme. I think that is built into our DNA and part of why we become business owners in the first place. But every now and again life throws us curve balls and we need to be able to adjust to our new reality to be able to continue in our biz – and life.
If you are a new mom, a mom again, have an aging or ailing relative that needs your attention or the kids are out on summer vacation, your old schedule may be a thing of the past. Give yourself some grace. You don’t have to be superwoman all the time. Life will go on. Your business will go on (if you want it to) but perhaps at a different pace.
This might be too much information, but since some of you may be in a similar situation, I thought it was OK to share on such a personal level.
I’m the full-time caregiver for my very sick husband. He has had two strokes and suffers from advanced diabetes. As a result, he can no longer walk, has had some cognitive decline, and needs help in almost every aspect of his life.
I love my husband dearly and am happy and grateful to be able to care for him. But this was never what I thought this chapter of my life would look like.
If you are in the midst of one of these roadblocks, or adjustment periods, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Take care of yourself.
I did a post earlier on The importance of Self-Care. People kept telling me this and I’d say, “OK, I will.” But you know what? It’s crucial.
The first 3 months or so after his last stroke, I could not leave his side, let alone the house. But as he began to get stronger I could lift my head and look around. I was starting to feel trapped and exhausted, which did neither of us any good.
I started to plan lunches out with friends, a daily walk (Egad – did I need exercise!), and other excursions to keep my sense-of-self intact. I’m still struggling with this, but getting better at it as time goes on.
Adjust your personal expectations.
This may be specific to me, but I’m used to being a multi-tasking, hard-charging gal, with a lengthy to-do list and lofty goals. This has been the hardest adjustment for me, by far.
I’ve had to re-frame what I can and want to get done in a day since our reality is always changing. I may have several things planned, but if my husband is having a not-so-great day, all plans go out the window. I’m running my business from home and there are days when even my most important business tasks have to be put aside. Learning to “go with the flow” has been my most difficult challenge.
Adjust to your new reality.
If your new reality has some predictability (like kids on vacation from school, as an example), create a new schedule for this time that includes playtime with the kids and enjoying summer with them and scale back your business tasks. Take a fresh look at your calendar.
A good friend who was in the early stages of her 2nd pregnancy and her business admitted that the way she dealt with her reality was total denial. She hadn’t given a thought to how her business activities needed to change once the baby arrived – it was too overwhelming to think about.
We were in a Mastermind together and she was able to get support and ideas on how to move forward in a very positive way from the group. We created a plan for months 1-3 after the baby’s arrival and then 4-6 to help her ease into her new life and still maintain her business, with only a small blip in her business momentum.
Reframing: A key to work-life balance.
Work-Life balance isn’t a “thing”, it’s in a constant state of reframing. As our lives change, so will that balance. The key is to allow ourselves the flexibility to embrace the lows (not very productive, if at all) and the highs (when we are conquering worlds on all cylinders) with equanimity.