One of the most difficult perceptions women who own or partner in a micro-business must overcome is that of taking our businesses seriously! Too many folks in the corporate world, in fact the marketplace in general, do not perceive us being serious about what it is we do. They look at us and determine that we are “playing at a hobby” or “puttering around at something we claim to be passionate about”.
Unfortunately there’s some truth to the perception. We can definitely appear to “play around” or “putter” instead of getting down to the nitty-gritty and building a solid business designed to last a lifetime with definitive goals and objectives designed to reach those goals. Instead we appear to flounder much of the time because we’re unsure of how to build a business to last a lifetime – or we secretly harbor self-doubt and publicly give off an air of lack of self-confidence.
Wow, that’s a lot to overcome. So doing so must become a major goal for us as we strive to thrive in the world of commerce – albeit micro-business commerce. And remember this; micro-business drives the world’s economy. So when you’re down in the mouth about what it is you do, take heart in the fact that you are one of the world’s most important economic resources.
But you have to be serious about it. And you have to change the perceptions of those with whom you want to connect, engage and do business in order to be taken seriously!
Recently I had a conversation with a woman who is an IBO for several network marketing companies. However, none of them are what she eventually wants to do. She views the different companies as a means to an end. In other words, her ‘hope’ is that one or all will provide the income necessary to launch her heart’s desire. Truth is – none of that is probably going to happen. At least not anytime soon and time fleets!
And of course, ‘hope’ is not a strategy! We need it to keep us in the game; but it’s not what will take us from point “A” to point “B”! TWEET THIS
Here’s a few ideas I have that can help women in micro-businesses take themselves and their business seriously. When we do; then others will begin to do so as well!
1. FOCUS – there is no way anyone can focus on, maintain and be successful trying to grow more than one business at a time. Many women who feel led to be an IBO in a direct sales or MLM also work a full or three-quarter time regular job. Plus having a home and family to manage and maintain. So our focus gets pulled in so many directions that we are giving only limited, “lip-service” time to our business(es). When others know that, they assume we aren’t truly serious about business in general and ours specifically. And it’s a reasonable assumption to make.
RECOMMENDATION – drop something and I’ll say more about how to decide what to drop in a later post.
2. STOP NON-STOP NETWORKING – Several years ago I met a women in Cincinnati who went to at least one networking group each day. In fact, sometimes more than one a day. I asked when she worked in her business. She informed me that she only works “on” her business. She was the most fragmented person I’d met in years. She drug a large suitcase full of quirky marketing products from meeting to meeting and folks ran for cover when they saw her coming. Her main product line was from a highly reputable and respected company, yet no one took her seriously!
RECOMMENDATION – choose no more than 2 or 3 networking groups which meet once a month. If you choose a weekly one; make certain it will do for you what you need – not what you want! Again I’ll say more about professional networking in a later post. But when you go out networking, dress the part! And I don’t mean just the clothes you put on. Put on the persona of a woman serious about what you do!
3. DECIDE YOU ARE IN BUSINESS – We have to decide that what we do is “business”. And we need to use standard, common business principles or we won’t be taken seriously.
RECOMMENDATION – Make a business plan. Imagine you must borrow money to start your business and prepare a plan for your banker as well as a financial proforma with numbers based on what you realistically believe is probable. If in direct sales-MLM; don’t be mislead or “hyped” by your upline. They aren’t doing your business – you are. Learn from business folks who are in more traditional business enterprises. What they do is not any different than what we should be doing -even if we work much of the day from a home office and don’t jump out of the jammies until after lunch.
There’s so much more to this subject than one post will contain. The important thing to take away from this one is that overcoming the perception that we’re not serious about our businesses starts first with “me”. I have to decide that I’ve found my ‘calling’. Then I have to put that ‘calling’ into a realistic structure that fits for me. Next I have to devise a plan and work the plan.
And I have to go out into the world of commerce with an air of determination, confidence and serious-mindedness that is so real, transparent and convincing that not one single person will leave our presence with any doubt about who we are and what we are about.
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]