There are more women entrepreneurs now than at any other time in history. According Forbes magazine, female entrepreneurship will create over half the small business jobs in the U.S. by year 2018. However, according to the US Census Bureau, we only generate 4% of the revenue. Ouch. Why if we are so industrious are we not creating more profits?
After all, as Stuart Smalley always said, “We’re good enough, we’re smart enough. And doggone it, people like us!” We have what it takes to be successful, but that is not necessarily translating into actual profits. Here’s the rub. Being smart, talented and hard-working may not be enough to really grow your business. Of course, without those traits, you don’t have much of a chance at anything, but the marketplace is littered with struggling business owners who work hard. There is something missing in this equation.
Why do some women thrive in business while others flounder? My belief is successful women are willing to be seen. They may not actually be the smartest, most talented in their field, but they have a willingness to expose their ambition. This doesn’t mean successful women are power mongers. Rather, they have achieved a level of comfort making themselves known. They are willing to get their message out. They are willing to promote their talents and services.
Often women really do want big success. They want the money and recognition, but are embarrassed by their own feelings of ambition so they play small and pretend to be satisfied with less. If we are openly ambitious, we fear we will be chastised for being unfeminine. As a result, we cut ourselves off from the very thing that could bring us what we want.
The problem lies in the way we view ambition. We tend to think of it as masculine and hard with rough edges. No wonder we feel so uncomfortable. By imbuing ambition with masculine attributes, we create a concept which precludes our natural ability to embody and exude power. Therefore, we either become automatons of men or sequester our true feelings. No good!
What if there was an alternative? What if we could embrace a form of ambition that felt authentically feminine? It can be done.
Here are some tips to start projecting a powerfully female brand voice:
1. Find your physical core. If you do yoga , dance or sing, you have a good sense of what your core feels like. It is the area of your abdomen between your belly button and the top of your pubic bone. This is your physical core which, by the way, is also the place housing the bits making us uniquely female! Now breathe from here. I can tell you as a singer, this is not only the foundation of a strong voice, it is also a technique for keeping you physically in your power.
2. Find your emotional core. Believe it or not, this is the same place as your physical core! Think about a moment when you felt a surge of energy. Perhaps you nailed a presentation or had a moment when you felt really excited about a new idea. Where did you feel it? We often say, in our gut, but actually it’s lower than that. It’s in your physical core.
Here’s an exercise to test it. Imagine you just got off the phone and you’ve snagged a new dream client. You put down the phone, pump your fist and say a loud “YES!” Where did you feel that? Did you notice your belly pull in? Did you feel your core tighten? This is your emotional power place. Imagine “dropping” into this spot when you want to feel emotionally strong.
3. Infuse your marketing with sensuality. As women we are tough, smart and capable. We are also soft, curvy and sensual. It is what differentiates us from men. Our sensuality is a strength and powerful asset. So many times we shy away from our natural sensuality in an effort to be perceived as professional. Checking your female essence at the door strips away one of the most enticing business resources you have at your disposal.
Do not, however, confuse sensuality with overt sexiness. Sensuality invites, engages, softens and embraces. It does not bat you over the head with cleavage and an inappropriately high hem line.
4. Support other ambitious women. Do not criticize women who are out there being brave and bold. They are pioneers, heroines and mentors. Lift them up with your praise and you will elevate your own potential. Pay attention to any critical feelings you do have. Often criticism is just jealousy in disguise and jealousy is your friend. It is a signal there is something inside you waiting to be released. Turn your jealousy into transformation and soon you will be the heroine of your own brand story.
When you connect with the core of your femininity, you unleash your power, brand and PROFIT potential!
I love to hear your voice!
What can you do to incorporate more sensuality into your brand?
Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a brand strategist, business coach and opera singer who helps entrepreneurs and small business owners create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.