I was recently at a networking event with bloggers and a lot of women at the beginning of their entrepreneurial path. They had a panel with women who had achieved success in their fields. I had my pen and paper ready to write out all the knowledge they were about to lay out, but the questions that they were being asked were on the light end. “What are your social media do’s and dont’s?” “If you got to go back in time and tell yourself something, what advice would you give yourself?” “What is the best thing about being a woman and a entrepreneur?”
Needless to say, I put my pen down.
I was looking for more meat, so when it came down to open questions, surprise surprise, I was the first with my hand up.
My question was along the lines of; “With the construct of most businesses and the advice on how to build a business being very masculine, very push push push and shame based, how do you create a business that is more feminine and caring?”
The blank stares gave me my answers.
I’m very glad I asked that question because I have been running into a lot of people attempting to tell me what I need to be, do or have to be successful in business that doesn’t really jive with me. The main message being spread at that event was “work hard, put in your dues, keep pushing” and I actually think that is the problem with most businesses these days.
Don’t get me wrong. Sitting around twiddling your thumbs and visualizing is great, but action has to happen in order to create something. But what if the action could be easy, smooth and graceful vs should, have to’s and need to? What if pushing is an indicator that you’re on the wrong path?
If I want to work well and not hard, should I not honor that?
Let me break down my definition of masculine versus feminine when it comes to work environments;
Masculine business are/value/sound like;
By the book - competition - expected to sacrifice personal time for the job - push to completion - what more can you do - "You did a good job, let's keep going." - "I'll rest when it's done."
Feminine business are/value/sound like;
Intuition - team work - mandatory vacation time - flow with - value of relationships - "You did a good job, and I appreciate you." - "I'm content with what I've created so far, and will get more done tomorrow."
I feel like more and more people are getting on the gravy train with me, and I truly feel like when you are doing something you LOVE, your passion, your juice, you aren't working hard, you aren’t pushing. Yes, you are putting in time and effort but it’s feeding you and exciting versus exhaustion.
The existing model of business is changing. We’ve seen it a lot in the corporate world, but now it’s beginning to spill over into the entrepreneurial world. I think there can be a balance of the two, but ultimately a more feminine-based take is more sustainable over the long term.
What do you think?