Why Being A Boss Babe Isn't Serving Us
March is upon us and if we could measure this month in terms of activity it would blow up my calendar. So much hustle and so much going on. Can you feel the stirring? I’m finding myself dreading opening Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin or even my email these days, as I’m getting bombarded with sponsored messages about this course that teaches the latest 10 hot tips to grow your Instagram account and that program that takes me from 0 to 6 figures in 90 days. It seems like everyone has an online program offering THE fastest solution to fix my lack of being perfect.
I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the underlying message that something is wrong with me and needs fixing. I’m tired of promises like: if you do this or invest here, you’ll see insta fame, more wealth, faster weight loss, better quality ads that bring you even more wealth faster, high performance habits… promises that are impossible to deliver on because we keep focusing on fixing things that are moving us further away from the ONLY way we’ll find peace– turning inward. “But”, you say, “that’s too hard”. Or, “takes too long”, “has little to do with business” or “is woo-woo new age stuff”, and so those who scream the loudest (and have the bigger marketing budget) will get the likes and shares. #success
It’s relentless and it takes tremendous courage to stand up, stand out, and do things differently, and that’s what we’ll talk about this month. This is fitting since March is, at least in the US, UK and Australia, the declared month that celebrates the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. Canada chose October to be Women’s History Month, as it marks the anniversary of the Person’s Case, which is when Canada first recognized a woman as a person under law. Frankly, I think we should celebrate women’s contribution to society every month of the year, so to have two dedicated months is a bonus of globalization I’m going to “capitalize” on. (pun intended)
Women are rising. And some might even say, women have risen. With movements like #metoo and #timesup, women have shaken up the landscape of the ol’ boys club and loudly protested sexual violence against women and inequality and injustice in the workplace. My company, Lotus Consulting Inc., has been a supporter of V-Day Org, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. Women like Christine Blasey Ford, Aly Raisman, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Stacey Cunningham and Nadia Murad, to name just a few, inspired millions of women and men to wake up and pay attention. (If for some reason you missed any of this, take a look at Marie Claire’s 56 Most Powerful Moments for Women in 2018 .)
So what does all of this have to do with my annoyance about “more, better, faster, stronger”? It’s that I’m watching women rise. I’m also watching the number of women who are suffering from burnout, depression, alcoholism, and illness rise. Why do you suppose that is? If more and more women are taking back control over their life, running their own shows, becoming bossbabes and self made millionaires, why are we watching Kate Spade end her life? I’ll tell you why… because more, better, bigger and faster are masculine, competitive values that do not work for women in business. Yet, that’s how empires were built so we must follow the path that was laid out for us– unquestionably– I think not.
It is essential that we have a healthy balance of masculine and feminine values. As Sage Lavine once said, “Without masculine values, we’re like a river without banks.” However, there is a strong imbalance on the masculine/feminine scale. I believe what’s happening is that we’re trying to fit ourselves into a business world that was built by men for men. We followed our hearts, which were telling us: “Girl, there is a better way” and we boldly quit our jobs and become entrepreneurs.
So we took that leap… now what happens? We quickly realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day and suddenly we are overcome by panic and fear, and survival mode steps in. Survival will always keep us safe and therefore cause us retreat to what we know. And what we know really really really well is how to hustle and get shit done. We tell ourselves, if I work really hard now, I’ll reap the reward later, and when I have x amount of money, I will be able to relax. We fall into the illusion that success is measured by numbers in our bank account, hours worked, how many clients we have, or by the number of likes we get and followers we have. We’ve lost complete sight of what matters most.
According to Inc. Magazine, we’ve seen a 114% increase in women-owned businesses over the last 20 years, but sadly 50% of those businesses fail because according to our economic system there is no such thing as enough, and this attitude of constant deficiency drives us back to where we came from. In order to shift the unsustainable reality of our world, we need to take a radical look at how we do things and WHO WE HAVE TO BECOME. What we’ve been doing for the last 200 years isn’t working anymore. The system is failing. It doesn’t matter which direction you look, the world is coming apart and we women hold the key to change this. That is a mighty task, you may say, and I agree, but the ball’s already in motion and we are at a pivotal point where you either choose to be brave and stand for what you innately know to be true or take the “easier” way and continue to build your empire, neglecting your health, spirit, and global community.
What we’ve been doing for the last 200 years isn’t working anymore. The system is failing. It doesn’t matter which direction you look, the world is coming apart and we women hold the key to change this.
I know you watched Oprah’s Cecil B. de Mille acceptance speech at the 75th Golden Globes Award. And I know your heart bled and you cheered, cried, and wished you could have an impact like that woman. YOU CAN. She started 40 years ago with a very small audience. She worked relentlessly, continued to hone her skills and strengthen her voice. She’s been on a journey of healing and discovery, and what you witnessed that day was a woman who could stand up for all women because she’s was backed up by all women.
Behind every successful woman stands a tribe of other women. She had the courage to speak her heart out because another woman had shown her how. She didn’t get here by herself. Women thrive in community with other women. That is what we need to honour. That is what we need to do differently. Instead of hustling and comparing, we need to find community and uplift each other.
Over centuries, we’ve been torn apart and brainwashed that women become catty, vicious, and vapid when we come together in groups. Oh, you think this is rubbish? Go back in time and ask those women who burned at the stake for being in circles or exchanging wisdoms. Witch hunts were instigated by men who feared the power women have when they are supported. It wasn’t in their best interest to have women collaborate together. Or look at the present time, where shows like Desperate Housewives represent the worst stereotypes of what happens when women join together. Stuff like this makes even us women cringe at the thought of too many women in one place.
So if we truly want to rise we need to come together. We need to stand together and collaborate. We need to trust in our innate values that they will get us to the future we want to be part of. Power and money shouldn’t be at the forefront of our endeavours. We shouldn’t be looking to build empires or make millions. We should be asking ourselves what the world needs, and then do it.