There have been so many powerful women of history… Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, Emily Pankhurst, Billie Holliday, Mother Teresa..
And more recently Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Brene Brown, JK Rowling, Hilary Clinton, Ellen DeGeneres and Michelle Obama.
Their names have become synonymous with CHANGE.
For Leadership. And importantly, for creating equality in their fields for women.
It’s massive … And to be honest, stepping up can feel a little daunting with the pressure of what these women have achieved, standing before us.
So often through my work with women and couples in business, I am confronted by this. By a woman, who is eager to stand more in a position of strength or seniority, but doensn’t need it to change the world.
They simply want to become a powerful woman (a woman full of power), who can lead the change in their business, division, or life.
So, here’s the question I see time and time again…
What happens when you don’t want to change the history books and stand so loudly, BUT, you do want to make an impact using your feminine force?
How do you move into the realm of leader, from a defined history of supporter?
This has been – and still is – the journey for so many women in the corporate and business world.
They are challenging the stereotypes of our mothers – secretaries and assistants to ‘the Man’ – and finding themselves in the position of Boss.
But, lacking in ‘on-the-ground’ women to role model, many women are playing the game like a man and finding they are falling flat. As the beautiful soul singer, James Brown sings so beautifully, “This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl”.
How do we do it? How do we stay connected to our innate woman and harness the Power of Her, while still achieving in a ‘man’s world’?
I’ve been my own boss now for eight years
I’ve experienced the tests and trials that come with establishing a business – from the juggling act as a mother, boss and wife, to the fear and anxiety that comes with testing unknown waters.
But what got me through it was the realisation of The Power Of Her and the unique attributes I, and all woman, possess that makes females stand out.
But first, let me go back to the beginning and share a little bit about myself… I’ve always LOVED achieving. I get a real buzz from setting a goal and then moving heaven and earth to make it happen. Plan B has always been Plan A. Keep working until Plan A becomes a reality.
Straight out of university, I landed my dream job as a journalist, where I got to put women’s sport in the spotlight.
I lived and worked abroad for three years, where I moved out of journalism and into the corporate world. And I’ve shouldered the plight of a non-profit organisastion grappling to be funded and heard.
Achieve. Achieve. Achieve.
Throughout all this, I also played netball. The peak of my athletic career culminating in the opportunity to represent two Australian states through my teens and twenties.
This game took me around the country. And as I pushed myself mentally and physically to make my dreams a reality – sports, career, relationship – I found myself grappling with life. I’d put such massive expectations on myself to push, to achieve, that I had lost my way.
I’d reached a point where to achieve, I was Push, Push, Pushing.
In 2009, I broke
As I was having my final season of high-level sport, my mind and body gave up.
I injured my lower back, which I managed through the season, because “I had to play”.
More importantly, I injured my mind, as I fell into a pit of anxiety not knowing what my future held, what I would do after netball, and what my place in the world was actually about.
Perhaps you can relate to this?
While confusion reigned during this time, there were a few things I knew for sure:
I loved business
I loved helping others make their dreams a reality
I loved my family
I loved my man (who is now my husband)
So, from that place of broke, I started on a two-year journey of discovery.
I dived real deep into personal development and emotional boot camps where I learnt feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed are normal when it comes to chasing a dream, but they do not define you or the situation.
As I got to know my true self better, I quickly came to the realisation I had a passion and skill for business, leadership and relationships. Not long after, together with my husband Edward we established an organisation aimed at helping couples in business to earn more, work less and keep the spark ignited in a relationship.
The business has grown to offer an array of resources and programs to help couples navigate the complexities of working together, we have written a book on the topic, we run the ’empow-HER-ment’ program specifically to support women leaders, and we have also launched a popular podcast that complements the Institute.
Ed and I also own mentoring company and are the founders of a networking group for business owners to connect, develop and grow on the Gold Coast.
We do it all, while also raising two beautiful young men
I couldn’t have started any of these businesses and seen their success, without the realisation of The Power Of Her, which is about getting in touch with that softer element that lies within all females and allowing things to come at you from a connected place.
It’s about the ability to stop pushing so much, and start flowing.
It is also about discovering that females possess both womanly and masculine features, which is the best of both worlds in business, and working out when and where to use these different strengths.
Most importantly, The Power Of Her is all about realising the uniqueness and strengths that lie within females that contribute to them being great leaders in business and great leaders in families.
It’s woo-woo that works.
Having worked with countless businesses to grow and develop their brands, and having been through the struggles as a female entrepreneur, the best piece of advice I would offer to budding female businesspeople is be to embrace the fact you are a woman in a man’s world and embrace the fact you bring a whole new skillset to the table.
Female entrepreneurs are unique and they are no longer a novelty in business. The skills, attributes and leadership we can offer to a workforce or industry are massive.
For a long time, the business landscape was predominantly a man’s world – however, an uprising of strong and eager entrepreneurial woman are proving females can not only succeed in business but lead and spearhead profitable and innovate ventures on their own.
It is an exciting time for women in business – embrace the power of HER!
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- The power of her: an exciting time for women in business - May 25, 2018