Why Women-Owned Businesses Don’t Grow

Aug 14, 2015

My friend Angelique shared this Forbes quote at her recent Inside Edge conference.

A big problem when it comes to women business owners is that many don’t think of themselves as a CEO. Instead they think of themselves as a sort of chief multi-tasker and the person who should be doing everything in the business. While that may at times work on the home front, in a business that is not the best way to go. A CEO of a growing company has to be able to step back and make plans and engage other people in doing the work…

Women who start out as seeing themselves as the boss are likely to get to the $1 million revenue mark quicker.”

Ouch.

I’d like to think this isn’t true, but ouch… I could feel it, and judging by the audible ‘groan’ of everyone else in the room I suspect I wasn’t alone.

I am a chief multi-tasker (CMT) at heart. I did everything for the first 10 years of my business, and I had to learn how to undo this as I continued to grow.

Some of my biggest lessons along the way…

How to not feel guilty when I ask someone to do something that I know I could do myself (even when I am paying them & they are happy to do it!)

How to say no when I feel like I should say yes (the people pleaser in me never wants to feel like i’m letting someone down)

How to allow myself to WANT more than ‘good enough’ (who the heck do I think I am to want more, GASP!)

How to embrace the title of CEO/entrepreneur and stop referring to myself as ‘just self-employed’ (it’s not a little side-gig, this is our livelihood! Treat it as such.)

How to acknowledge that I have a ‘real’ company that makes ‘real’ money and makes a difference in the world (this business supports my family and what we do matters, period.)

How to receive support from others, in particular my amazing team (who are as committed as I am to our vision… yes, this is possible for you too)

How to KNOW that I have value beyond the ‘doing’… I am valuable simply for being me, showing up, forging ahead and keeping the faith. (That alone is worth millions, and yet we don’t always see it)

This can be a tough shift for women – I know because I work with them everyday via our CEO Business School programs.

I see women get stuck in the doing. The pressure to ‘hold it all together’.

To be the one that is always going to save the day, swoop in at the last minute to get it done. The one that does it best. That does it right.

This is exhausting, and may never get you to where you really want to be.

I know, I tried.

What if success was really about WHO you are and not as much about WHAT you do?

What difference would that make in your business? In your life?

What would you do differently starting tomorrow?

I’d like to know. I’d like to hold the space for this to become your reality. Share via the link below.

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9 Comments

  1. dreamalchemist

    Tyna, you nailed it in so many ways!! THANKS.

    I work with women, and one of the first things I began to notice when women decide to make their life purpose into a service or their talent into a practice is that we don’t create time and space to visualize, plan, strategize and structure. We act more like an employee than an entrepreneur. When I began to do it for myself, it totally changed my experience. However, when I suggest it to women in conversation it usually creates a pregnant silent. LOL!

    Then I noticed that women have a really hard time asking for help and support. Now we joke that men don’t stop to ask for directions. But women, who support everyone else and are so good at relationships, why on earth do we not ask for help?

    The answers I got from others were about beliefs. Belief that if I don’t do it all by myself, then it doesn’t count. Guilt that if I delegate I’m exploiting others and I am lazy.

    For my perspective this is the result of centuries of Herstoy in which women were the servers and had no financial sovereignty. This is coded not only in our psyche but in the Collective Consciousness.

    Lastly, you nailed it with the being and doing.

    This is the result of centuries of living by the values of the Sacred Masculine (aggressiveness, doing, building, logical analysis, etc) and making invisible the definition of power of the Sacred Feminine.

    i am a shaman in the path of the Sacred Feminine School of Wisdom. This consciousness teaches us that power is PRESENCE. That asks for a double take from most of us. LOL!

    Presence? Yes. Because in your Presence you embody who you are, what you know, your values, your skills and talents, your purpose and your love and care. That is what truly matters. That is what you bring into the world. It is yours. No one can take it away. You don’t need to struggle, overwork or push. This is a profound shift in our definition of power, and it leads to a liberation, because when we walk that path we begin to feel a sense of power and success that is organic to us as women, that does not stress us.

    Thanks for sharing so honestly, passionately and directly to shake off the psychic weight that keeps us from flying high. Love!

    Reply
    • tinaforsyth

      There is some deep stuff in this journey – I agree.

      Reply
  2. Jen Blau

    “I have a REAL company that makes REAL money & a REAL difference” — so powerful. I’ve ran 3 business (different versions of) in the last 20 yrs and while I never thought about it, the words “just self-employed” and “just a little side gig” didn’t come out of my mouth, but they were in my head. Because I was always supported by my husband. Shit got REAL in the last 8 months, and I will now be standing in my power as CEO. Thank you for writing this.

    Reply
    • tinaforsyth

      I was the same Jen – I remember a conversation years back where someone called me an entrepreneur. I was like “I’m self-employed – not an entrepreneur!”… its a subtle but yet distinct shift between the two.

      Reply
  3. meredithe

    This is *so* true. I know that for the longest time – I could NOT delegate – I felt like my clients really expected me to do all of it. Then, I got to the point where I *had* to delegate (still hard). But, it *is* why there are fewer women in the 7 figures club.

    Reply
    • tinaforsyth

      What is it that feels hard about delegating Meredith? And what has been good about it? Curious…

      Reply
      • meredithe

        The hard part of delegating is letting go of the timeline a bit. I’m a huge workaholic. So.. clients got very used to late night e-mails with instant action. That does not work with a team 🙂 But, what I realized in building in the time benefits everyone – and delegating things to people who absolutely LOVE to them brings more joy to everyone. Client, team member and me!

        Reply
  4. Cyndi Padilla

    Wow, this article hit home! We have just brought on a CEO business consultant, OBM and techy VA – amazing rock star team…compliments of Tina Forsyth coaching and referrals! As the COO of my company, I have (daily) thoughts that “I” should be doing more, feeling somewhat guilty that our OBM is knocking out procedures, flow charts, having conversations with our team and even hiring our VA.

    “How to KNOW that I have value beyond the ‘doing’… I am valuable simply for being me, showing up, forging ahead and keeping the faith. (That alone is worth millions, and yet we don’t always see it)” – Tina Forsyth

    This runs so contrary to my corporate training and prior life – it was always about what have you done, accomplished.
    I am working on BE-ing and staying in my “sweet-spot”
    Thank you Tina & Tiffany for your invaluable support!!

    Reply
    • tinaforsyth

      It’s a big shift Cyndi! Love that we get to support this journey with you. 🙂

      Reply

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