Too often women are asked to sit down and shut up. Not always in those terms, sometimes the person giving the order is polite and says, sit down and be quiet. But, it means the same thing. It's an effort to silence our voices.
In truth, we need to stand up and stand out, to achieve our goals. Especially business goals.
Yes. Get out of your chair and stand up. Stand up and speak up.
I am not one to promote thinking over doing, but if you’re just getting started in a new business, becoming your own boss, adopting the mindset of an entrepreneur, you need to first believe you can do it, before you actually do it. It’s the little engine that could philosophy - “I think I can, I think I can.”
How does one embrace this mindset? For some, it involves a daily affirmation. For others, interaction with supportive friends and family helps nurture their belief in themselves. Whatever it takes to make you believe in yourself, you should do. I’ve advised women I’ve worked with to stand in front of the mirror, every morning, without fail, and say, “I am worth a million bucks!”
The goal is to believe it- believe you are worth a million dollars, no matter what you do, how you do it, or whether it’s been successful to date or not. You, as a human being, are worth a million dollars. That means, when you launch a business, that business is worth standing up for and speaking up about, in any crowded room, without embarrassment.
It’s you. It’s your business. It’s your talent. Never doubting that you can do it is key. It’s always purpose over passion, as this Small Business Trends article tells you.
Having developed pride in yourself and your talent, only takes you so far. Now, you have to make sure your products and services are unique. Not very unique. Not so unique. Not absolutely unique. Just unique.
Unique is it’s own reward. It does not require fancy adverbs or adjectives to describe it. You are either unique or not. There is no better, more, very, or in between.
Business coaches teach the concept of unique over and over. Understanding how your products or services are unique becomes a challenge you will visit over and over.
Are your colors more vibrant? Is your design both eye-catching and inviting? Do you have a new - really new, not just new because you say so - process that will bring true success to your clients?
All of this helps you stand out.
But, nothing works as well as you being the stand out product of your business.
You need to stand up and speak up and be vocal about what you do. You need to promote and market and sell. You need to be so confident that every no rings like a “maybe” in your ears.
You need to believe you can change a no into a yes.
Be Loud and Proud!
When we do stand up and speak out, when we desire to stand out, there are always those who frown and say, “Why are you shouting?”
We’re told our voices are shrill.
It’s not shouting to ask for respect.
It’s not shouting to share your message - in a voice higher than a whisper.
It’s not shouting to demand to be heard, by speaking up - even interrupting, sometimes.
For a business professional, whether she’s a solopreneur, an entrepreneur building an empire, or a co-founder just starting out, being loud and proud is a function of promotion. It doesn’t mean shouting - not in the truest sense. Using a megaphone just makes people suspicious. The ‘shouting’ needs to come in the form of the right words, the right message, and the promise you make to your clients.
When you’re loud, it should reflect how proud you are. In this case, pride is a good thing. You cannot expect others to love your products/services, if you do not love them also.
It helps to also understand that loud is a relative term. It’s your job to be as loud as needed and not one octave louder.
I Believe in You
You didn’t start this because it was easy.
It’s hard. There are a whole lot of disappointments that come with this decision. Getting beyond them is hard. Really hard.
But in my experience, the hardest part for most women is the be loud and proud part. It’s the standing up and speaking up. It’s learning to stand out because you deserve to be noticed.
No one deserves this success more than you.
I believe in your talent and your magic. I believe the money you desire is waiting for you. I will never advise you to take the easy way, the ordinary way, the way of the “5 steps” or whatever.
There are innumerable steps to success. The first one is to love your vision, the second is to learn how to promote it, and the third is to repeat steps one and two.
It doesn’t get more simple than that.