In my time, I have spoken to so many women who use the following phrase
“I just run a little business”
My heart breaks a little every time I hear it. It is said as such a throw away comment; like women are too embarrassed to state who they are and what they want. The devaluation you give to yourself in those six small words is immeasurable.
There is no denying it and we have all experienced it. It is a shock to the system when you first venture from a job to running your own business and for some women part of the decision was made to be home for children before and after school and during the holidays.
There is also no such thing as an over night success, it takes work and time to create a level of success in your business, to grow your network, to obtain clients and to bring in a profit.
What does not help is the belief you have about yourself, your ability and how you think others perceive your business.
If you believe it is just a small business, if you believe that you don’t have the ability to make it anything other than ‘just a small business, if you believe that other people will not consider you as a serious business woman and do not consider your business to be important then it will never grow and you will become disillusioned with your decision.
Those that has gone before you
Beyoncé famously has Sasha Fierce, a persona that she used to use on stage. Beyoncé used this alter ego as a way to give her the confidence she needed to experiment with the more sexual side of her performances. She had to act ‘As If’ for a long period of her career until she dropped it because as a grown ass women, who is beyond successful, she realised she didn’t need her any more.
Jack Canfield, a word renowned author and speaker; his books include Chicken Soup for the Soul and The Success Principles; at the start of his career he was at a conference and asked one of the speakers,
“How do I become an international speaker”?
The reply was
“Just tell people that you already are”
The premise was to believe and act like he already was. He added it to his business cards and to date Jack Canfield has won several international speaking awards.
A famous baseball coach once said
“All children should learn to sign baseballs”.
It is about the experience of feeling like you already have the success you desire.
There is story after story, through the ages, about how people acted ‘As If’ until it was.
How to act ‘As If’
You may feel like you want to spend the day in your pyjamas with your hair stuck on top of your head with no shower and I know very many successful female entrepreneurs who do this. However, they have broken down the pain barrier of their business and already know they can achieve it. If you are reading this, it is perhaps that you still believe the term. “I just run a small business” and by following these steps you can really fake it until you make it but action is important.
So for you, if you are doubting your ability and belief that you can achieve in your business there are a number of things that you can do to help you act ‘As If’ and feel like you already have achieved all.
I have a pair of diamond stud earrings that were brought for me as special birthday present many years ago and I make a practice of wearing them daily even if I am not leaving the house. I also have a routine of doing my hair and makeup before I get serious at my desk. It just sets my attitude up to make me feel like I am ready to Get Shit Done that day. As I write this makeup is on and earrings are in.
So here is my list, you may have your own, some of these may not make a difference to you. Use it as a pick and mix. I know you are a serious female entrepreneur with unlimited potential to achieve what ever you want but until you believe it yourself then try some of the ones from this list to set you up with the right attitude to feel unstoppable.
1) Style it out
Clothes are important to many, many women and being a free female entrepreneur enables you to put your own style into anything you do especially clothes.
So get up and get dressed in what ever outfits make you feel like you are shit hot. Like you are on top of the world and you can conquer anything. Don’t be swayed by the Debbie downers and the piss takers. If your dream style is very Rachel Zoe, hat and sunglasses, even on a cold January day get your style on and Get Shit Done.
Think Carrie Bradshaw, it didn’t matter if she was out with the girls or sat in her cute apartment writing she always styled it out down to the smallest piece of jewellery.
This small act can make you feel amazing as if you are ready to take it all on.
2) Face paint and hair on
It is a rare day for me to go make up free, putting on make up gives me my Sasha Fierce moment.
If this is the same for you don’t give it a second thought that your main plan may be to spend the day knee deep in receipts if a full face of make up and a professional looking blow out makes you feel like you have already sold your first business for billions then make the time and make it a ritual to do this.
We should make the effort to do, feel and look our best, in our own eyes, as much if we are on our own as when we are with other people.
3) A mug of tea
One special trick to acting ‘As If” is to make elements of your day glamourous. If you have a picture in your head make it real.
Working from home as a female solopreneur, it can be so easy to slip into a routine of “I will just clean the toilet into between Skype calls”. But you need to separate house and business. So daily rituals to make you feel ‘As If’ are really important and there is no easier way to do this than with your teas and coffees.
Purchase for yourself a special mug and a gorgeous tea pot or coffee press. I am a big fan of Antropologie and I have a special mug for different drinks (sad I know but it gives me the lift I need when I make the drink). When the time comes for you to have your morning and afternoon cuppa. Make it feel special, put it all out on a tray and take it your desk. Serve it from the tea pot or coffee press and make it feel glamours and special.
Just this simple step can make you feel that you are showing respect to yourself and business.
4) A special place to work
Not everyone has the luxury of a spare room that they can turn into an office but it is important that you have a special place to work even if you have to pack it up each evening before the kids come home. During your own business hours make it feel like your dream work space.
Make it so it is private, so that you can layout your things exactly as you would want them.
If you are lucky enough to have a room as your office, make it feel like such. Don’t let it be the junk room and your office. I am going to write a post at a later date with advice for setting up a home office. This space for now is about Acting ‘As If’ it feels like you have already made it.
It is important to create positive energy around where you work and if you are surrounded by cereal bowls and a bin that has not been emptied then your mind will not be in the right place.
Create a bubble of gorgeousness for you to work in.
5) Restaurant style food
In the same vein as your daily tea/coffee ritual, make a practise of creating special meals for yourself. Don’t just dump some hot water in a pot noodle and rush through it whilst you can carry on blogging.
Make time (plan it out if you are really busy) to prepare a meal that makes it feel like you have a chef in the house. Colin Cowie Interior Designer and Event Planner to Oprah, will lay a dining place for himself, even if he is alone. He will have a matching dinner service, the best cutlery, linen serviettes and food served beautifully and always sit at the table or counter to eat.
There is nothing wrong with a working lunch but there is a benefit of giving yourself the common courtesy and self care to make an effort with what and how you feed yourself.
6) Have inspiration surround you
I used to love Vanity Fair and one page in particular, ‘My Desk’. The article goes through the desk of the famous and successful and lists items that they are surrounded by.
I love these glamorous desks and I love to read why they have what they have close to them. Why not do the same? Whether it is a picture of your family, a quote, an ornament, a book or what ever works for you.
Even if you have to put it out and pack it up everyday. these objects can give you inspiration, an extra boost on a lonely day and help to create that bubble of positive energy that your business and you need on a daily basis.
8) Power Planner
Our whole lives are on our phones but for the stationery obsessed amongst us, it will never replace our love of the pen and paper.
Over the last couple of years planners have become things of glamour and there are so many on the market that can help you plan your days, goals and activities. I have a Passion Planner which I love. It makes me feel very special when I sit and spend time using it.
Make the special purchase of a desired planner and make it a daily ritual to keep you plans, goals and activities in check.
9) Small daily rituals
It can make you feel ‘As I’f, if you do things that you are not allowed to do in a job, that you dreamed of doing when you dreamed of starting your own business.
I refer to Colin Cowie again who makes it a ritual to light a special candle just before he sits at his desk. I too love a candle and a small vase of fressh flowers For others it maybe a diffuser, there maybe podcasts you like to listen to, you may take time out of your day to meditate or go for a run or for some even it may be an afternoon nap.
What ever makes you feel ‘As If’ you already have the success you desire and live your lifestyle in a way you dreamed of doing.
10) Do business outside the home in glamour
It is amazing as a female entrepreneur to have the freedom to do your business where you like. So you can take yourself to a cafe and sit and work away and you can arrange your one to ones in the most stylish of places.
In my blog post My favourite places to do business over breakfast I talk about my favourite glamorous places to have business breakfast meetings. As a female entrepreneur you don’t have to play by the rules, arrange an afternoon tea and plan your empire over scones and clotted cream. Find a stylish place to hot desk. Just find places that make you feel ‘As If’ when you walk through the door.
Make time for these small daily practices of ‘As If’. You have made the brave decision to start a business and it would be heart breaking to allow it fail because you then didn’t believe you could make your dreams come true. You have unlimited potential so if you have to fake it till you make then there is no better way that to up the style and glamour in your life.