Last week I participated in a woman led, all women attended capital raising workshop. It was terrifying! So much so that in the days leading up I sent multiple emails to my business coach and inundated my friend with a should I or shouldn’t I conversation at least 5 -10 times in a 7 day period. I don’t normally have this much trouble making decisions but this was brutal. I would soon find out why.
In the days to follow, 3 to be exact, a cornucopia of emotions ranging from straight up pissed off, to fight or flight, hulk strength resistance, and finally resolution and joy flooded my mind and body. I had no idea the emotions and thoughts that would be triggered by this one workshop.
Lucky I was in a room of women who got it including Jenny Kassen, my client and the female empowering, financially savvy entrepreneur who created and led her workshop #FundandFuelYourDreams. As I slowly met the impressive women entrepreneurs who filled the room I began sharing my top question I had, “Why me?” Why would someone invest in MY business? I didn’t think it or I was ready. I could see the brilliance of the other women in the room and their value but I couldn’t see mine. After 20 years creating my business and hundreds of happy clients I still struggled with my own value.
This wasn’t my only issue. Every time Jenny began speaking about finances and using phrases like, 50c3, debt, VC, and equity I did a hard check out. Yup, Jennifer had left the building. By the end of day two it all came to a head. Following the afternoon session I decided I couldn’t take it any more. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of insecurity and being in over my head. This is when my fight or flight response kicked in. I told women I met I wouldn’t be coming back the next day, that it wasn’t for me. “I wont use this information”, I claimed. “No one is going to invest in my business and what I am creating”, I declared. Oh yeah, I was pissed…but why?
I was pretty quickly aware I was triggered and new that saying my goodbyes was a cry for help. I wanted someone to stop me. My more expansive self knew I could do this. I knew this was the next big step in my business as I just had my two most profitable months to date. The paradigm was changing and I could change with it and float with ease down stream or fight like hell and stay stuck where I was.
As the other women began talking me off the ledge they reminded me of some very important facts. We are the first generation of women entrepreneurs and we are learning as we go. Even now this thought fills me with so much pride and relief! They also reminded me that as women of my generation and others we are raised in an economic and entreprenural boys club where we have had to fight to take our place at the table. Along with many other women we grew up taking-in the story that finances were to confusing and over our heads. Some of us grew up with our value in being a nice girl, being accommodating which was unlike a lot of our male counterparts whose value was in what they offered and were encouraged that what they wanted was theirs for the taking.
This awareness was exactly what I needed to acknowledge my fears. I thought I had to know it all, I thought I wasn’t intelligent if I didn’t and I thought if I couldn’t do it all on my own I had failed. Knowing I was not alone, that many of these women struggled with the same stories, I relaxed into being comfortable with what I didn’t know, that I can rely on others and that I don’t have to do it all on my own.
Tara Mohr, author of “Playing Big” has created her book and a leadership program around women learning how to show up and put their dreams and goals into action. I highly recommend you checking out her book. It is eyeopening and a revelation!
I’d love to hear your stories of what has come up for you as a female entrepreneur or woman in business. Happy #EqualPayDay ladies! #WeAreStrongerTogether
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