Did you know, between 1997 and 2017, the number of women-owned businesses increased by 114 percent, a rate 2.5 times higher than the national average (a study commissioned by American Express). If I’m lying, I’m flying and I could potentially be completely wrong, but one thing that bonds women entrepreneurs are the stories of struggle. No, it's not that women relish in hearing the bad stuff but its completely a testament to the power that it takes to birth business. Some of us double up on duties of being a mom and wife and others have full time employment, while some are caretakers. Simultaneously we all sing in unison, “girl how do you do it?” No matter what age, color or sexual preference, we are continuously in awe of one another and the tenacity it has taken for us to rise to certain levels within our careers. But ladies WE NEED THOSE STORIES.
We need to be reminded that we are not in the trenches alone and we are all one foot in and another foot walking out of the door because let's face it, it's hard. We need those stories because we find out what we are experiencing is completely normal and it actually catapults us to keep going.
In an obscure way, this kind of transparency is what saves us from giving up hope. It provides us with a fresh set of eyes and mindset.
Here’s my story.
For the most part, I am a pretty self sufficient person. I have the grit that it takes to make things happen, while cheering myself on along the way (being an only child probably gifted me with a little of that). However, I feel quite often the burden of being a self motivator. It's hard work and exhausting.
Self motivating is all about a reciprocal system you have created within yourself, to be great and do great things. It's literally a contract that is curated for you, by you. However, in the midst of self motivating, you can become depleted. Depleted from cheering yourself on when others may not, depleted from seeing a lack of results but reminding yourself, its okay. Depleted from pouring heavily into others without being filled up, consistently.
The Fill Up. This is where you have to take charge.
Running on empty is not going to pay the bills, crush those goals or keep you motivated. You have to find ways to fill your cup by any means necessary. I had to learn this along the way in motherhood and business.
1. Do things you know for sure, fill your cup - I read or go to events...with or without someone. The goal is for me to feed my spirit, I can't sacrifice that by making decisions that are completely based on what other peoples schedules look like.
2. Chat with a mentor or person that reminds you of your purpose - Sometimes it's a mentor and sometimes it's a spiritual advisor. These people become integral to your psyche because they reaffirm to you who you know you are.
3. Just chill out and let God and the universe speak to you - This is not easy. This takes practice. However, just sitting still and allowing your mind to rest so that you can hear things clearly is a great practice.
So, how does this tie into those stories? It's all part of the bigger picture. When we hear our peers share some of those lows and those testimonies, it propels us. Those stories add substance to those days we feel alone in our journey. When those stories are shared, we remember our sisters in business and become instantly encouraged and inspired. These stories are not to expose or make you feel in contempt. They are indicative of reaching back, being an ancestor to the sisterhood of womanhood. So, if you are a woman in business, don't be afraid to be vulnerable and share those stories, they need to be heard. They show your resilience and your strength. They speak to your success and the boss chick you have made yourself to be.