I spent the first decade of my career in a male-focused field where women were the exception, not the rule. I equated stereotypical masculinity with power and pushed down my feminine qualities in the hopes of getting ahead.
Fast forward three years and I recognize feminine toughness and the power it wields. So many women are getting business right because they have their priorities straight and are secure with who they are.
See if you relate to these four ways of conducting business:
1. There is no such thing as work-life balance.
For successful female entrepreneurs, work-life balance is a myth. There is no special formula that will allow one to reach harmonious rhythm.
Work is life and life is work.
Female entrepreneurs make a living doing what they love while remaining flexible for self and family. There is no juggling necessary because owning a business allows for making it to gymnastics by 4:15 or soccer practice by 4:45. And if it doesn’t? Arrangements can be made.
The idea that there has to be clear separation of work and family has gone by the wayside. When work needs attention, work gets attention. When family needs attention, family comes first.
2. Priorities are in line.
Just as the definition of work-life balance has changed for female entrepreneurs, so has the idea that life happens. These ladies won’t bat an eyelash when you can’t speak over the phone until after your kids go to bed because they’ve been there or they are there.
When one of my clients hurriedly got off the phone because her kids came home from school, I was pleasantly surprised. This was a far cry from the “don’t ask don’t tell” culture of: “we won’t ask what you’re doing when you have ‘an appointment’ and we don’t want you to tell us because you’ll be judged.”
In that moment, she put work second because it was time for the kids. Later, she may squeeze in some work or get up early the next morning. It ebbs and flows.
3. Emotions are completely okay.
I don’t know who came up with the idea that emotions aren’t allowed in business, but it’s ridiculous. Expressing healthy feelings within the working world is 100-percent okay and can be a huge asset to the success of a business.
When employees know they are appreciated and cared for, they do better work. Have you ever had a job where your boss treated you like expendable garbage? Your morale was undoubtedly low and you were probably at your professional worst.
Emotions also contribute to empathy and compassion toward clients or customers, which will only improve business. Operating within the parameters of healthy emotions will breed happiness and loyalty among both customers and employees.
4. Business is centered around trust and respect.
Trust and respect are not exclusive to female entrepreneurs since I know men who build their businesses this way and plenty of women who don’t.
In my handful of years as an entrepreneur, though, I’ve found more women than men willing to accept what they don’t know before trusting areas of their businesses to experts.
When it comes to content and social media, for example, I give a lot of credit to those who recognize it isn’t their wheelhouse while respecting my expertise. That allows me to build upon their strengths with mine, taking their businesses up another level.
Take it from me: pure-hearted, female entrepreneurs are without a doubt the best allies to have because they are driven, grounded, and supportive. If you aren’t already in a community to female entrepreneurs find one now!