“I’ve been putting it off for awhile. I’m still not sure if I am really ready, but I’m just gonna do it. I wanted to re-brand first.”
This is what a smart, capable lady doing the side hustle juggle recently told me at a networking event. She still works her 9-5, while running an event planning business part-time. Except she hadn’t done much with it lately. Time was limited. Things were not “quite right.” She felt she needed a re-branding (something for which I didn’t have enough information to determine whether it was warranted or not).
I congratulated her at the time on hosting an event to re-launch her business. I was glad to see her getting back out there. Still, that conversation, those I’ve had with clients, countless others, and a plethora of information I’ve come across on social media reminded me how women entrepreneurs, particularly, tend to sabotage our businesses. Let’s look at five very common ways now. Five ways that I’m on a mission to help my girl bosses overcome by the way.
1. Overthinking. Oh. my. goodness. Ladies, we can think things into another world. Or at least enough to drive ourselves and those around us crazy. I get it. You want everything to be perfect. Except…it won’t be. And that’s really ok. As I often say, it (that includes YOU and ME) doesn’t have to be perfect to be successful. As long as it’s effective. We think about all the ‘what ifs’ and have to figure out all the ‘hows.’ How about focusing more on the ‘why’ and ‘why not?’ Overthinking things can cost thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in business. Not to mention all the precious time wasted that can never be replaced. Is overthinking keeping you from going after that major deal? Is it preventing you from launching the new product? Or perhaps you’re thinking too much that you’re not ready to connect with the major investor or partner you know could help take your business to a place you’ve only dreamed about. Are you really not ready, or have you just convinced yourself you’re not, because you’re overthinking. Please. Step away from your thoughts and step up to the plate of ACTION.
2. Undercharging. We go from OVERthinking to UNDERcharging. I continue to see too many women entrepreneurs not charging what they’re worth. Let’s be clear. It’s not about what you are worth individually. That’s pretty hard to put a price on. However, your products and services warrant a price. Not one that you pull out of thin air. Or one that keeps you comfortable. No, your rates should reflect the value you bring to the table. You know. Things like experience, results already delivered as well as your potential to deliver more, what those results are worth to your customer. You’re making a mistake drastically discounting your services if you think it will attract more clients. I’ve seen just the opposite happen. Depending on the product, service, and/or market, prices perceived to be too low will repel customers. It creates the “too good to be true” mindset. If you slashed your prices and are still not getting clients, it could be because prospects don’t trust you. Those bargain basement prices, for some, either scream amateur, lack of belief in your offering, or both. None of that moves consumers to buy.
3. Taking things too personally. Repeat after me: it’s not always about me. Repeat as many times as needed. Having worked with more men than women throughout much of my career, this is something that seems to happen far less with men than with women. Ladies, please work on not internalizing so much. Sometimes the constructive criticism really is constructive. There is no hidden agenda. The prospect who hasn’t responded to your three phone calls probably isn’t on a conscious mission to ignore you. More than likely, he’s just busy and responding to you is not a priority. The mentor you’ve dreamed about working with may not have any more time to mentor you. She may even feel bad about that. You “getting all in your feelings” and writing that person off as being inconsiderate and unapproachable isn’t the way to go. Remember it’s business. Rarely, is it personal.
4. Not saying ‘no’ enough. Does anymore really need to be said about this? Unfortunately, given that it continues to be a problem, yes. Too many of us continue to take on too much, diluting our focus, putting out fires we didn’t create, and taking our attention away from what’s really important. I won’t bother to suggest you practice saying no. Just remember what your failure to say no means to your goals, your business, your life. Stop allowing what you want to get in the way of what you want most! You want to limit confrontation, but you most want to delegate to take more off your plate. To avoid a confrontation, you take on yet another task you should not be doing. Ladies, say NO!
5. Treating your business like a hobby or charity. Building and running a successful business requires a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears. It’s not for the weak. You cannot work on your business on Tuesday, then ignore it until Friday. You cannot speak, consult, and train mostly for free and still expect to be paid handsomely for what you do. You are setting the tone for your brand. You are teaching the market to not take you seriously. How long will you keep one foot on the brake while trying to move your business forward? Hey, I understand. Sometimes constant braking is comfortable. It keeps us from going too fast, which can be scary. Of course going fast can also be thrilling.
If you are challenged by any of these, ask yourself how much more time are you willing to lose as a result. We’re almost halfway through this year. Can you really afford to allow these issues to continue? How much revenue are you not generating? How many deals are you not closing? Moving the needle in your business becomes a lot harder if you’re self-sabotaging. If you’re serious about making a change, we should chat. I invite you to grab one of my complimentary Brand. Sell. Profit.™ Sessions. They are limited so you will want to schedule sooner rather than later. It’s absolutely ok if you need help. It’s better to get help and soar, than to crash and burn alone.