The number one reason keeping women small in business is the fear of being a bitch.
We’re afraid to disagree to take a stance, for fear of offending. I see this most vividly in my work with rural women business owners. In a small town, where tongues love to wag, everyone relishes a good fight, and the thought of upsetting the loudmouths in our community is enough to scare us into meekness!
This fear is justified; research shows that women who publicly disagree with others, no matter how correct or justified, are perceived more negatively by both men and women.
The social stereotype that women must be collaborative, agreeable and gracious gets in our way of getting things done in business! This is what it looks like:
- We don’t put up our prices when the numbers absolutely warrant it
- We give in too easily to requests for discounts and refunds
- We don’t charge when people cancel at the last minute
- We agree to yet another donation to a cause we don’t care about
- We agree to sit on a committee out of obligation
- We don’t fire someone when they deserve it.
The first step in avoiding this pitfall is to reprogram our mindset. Here’s how:
#1 – Remember WHY you’re doing this: Most women I work with tell me they do what they do because they want to help others. So how are you going to continue doing that if you’re not earning a proper living in your business? You’re not being a bitch when it’s a business decision.
#2 – Remember WHO you’re doing this for: If #1 doesn’t work for you, then think of the ones you were doing this for, namely your family. Your kids need new stuff for back-to-school, right? There is nothing wrong with earning a decent wage so you can support your family. Remember your Mama Bear energy!
#3 – Surround yourself with other bitches: We all waffle on advocating for ourselves at some point. Doing this effectively means surrounding yourself with others who will encourage you to stand firm.
Bitchphobia prevents too many of us women entrepreneurs from doing great things in business. It’s time to unlearn and step into our bitch power.
What Do You Think?
Please share your experiences and thoughts below. Let’s learn from one another and celebrate each other’s successes.
Thanks for reading!