So what happens when Good Girls grow up?
They realize eventually that being a Good Girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And sooner or later, they learn to let all that go.
In my experience, most women have to hit at least their mid-to-late 30’s before that shift begins. Slowly but surely a kind of restlessness sets in, as they realize that doing things the way they were always told to do them just flat doesn’t work.
No matter how hard they’ve tried, the day often comes when they wake up burned out. Worn out. Fed up.
They’re not happy. They want something more. They know they deserve it. And they’re (finally!) ready to go after it.
And there’s nothing like starting your own business to speed that process up.
My own coach always says that the powerful thing about learning to run a business isn’t about running the business itself, it’s about who we become along the way as we learn.
And she’s right.
So even though you may start out trying to be a Very Good Girl, as a business owner, you will have to shift into being a Very Strong (and Happy) Woman instead.
If you don’t, you won’t last, and neither will your business.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d re-write my list from last week. See what you think.
Here’s 29 ways to be a (healthy, happy, successful) business owner.
That is, a Very Strong (and happy) Woman. :))
1. Do the work that feeds your soul. Then learn how to use that to feed your family.
2. Get really clear. Create a vision of what you (really) want your life and business to look like and feel like. Give yourself loving, unconditional permission to manifest that vision into reality.
3. Be the best at what you do. Invest in the ongoing education and training you need to keep your skills at the highest level.
4. Learn from those who are where you want to be. Study successful people that you admire. What do they do that works? What do you like? What might you do differently?
5. Set up systems that support you, and keep the operations of your business running smoothly. If you’re a creative, freedom loving person, realize that systems and structure won’t stifle that – they’ll support it.
6. Gather your resources. Do the research, then invest in the tools and supplies you need to run your business well. Upgrade those tools as your business grows, including team members when it’s time.
7. Get comfortable with money. And with profit. If this is hard for you (and for many of us, we’d rather do anything but!), get the help you need to make peace with money.
8. Stand for something as a company. Pay exceptional attention to quality in everything you do, and know what it is that you bring to the world.
9. But remember that perfection is an ideal, and that lovely imperfection is powerfully human. Your customers will love you even more for that.
10. Learn from misfires. Instead of beating yourself up when something doesn’t work, study it. What went wrong? What could you do differently next time?
11. Take really good care of your customers. Deliver what you say you will, when you say you will. If you can’t, be ready to explain why, and to make it right for them.
12. Set up clear, strong boundaries. You serve your clients better when you have clear expectations around what you will and won’t do, when you are and aren’t available. Learn how to say ‘no’, for their sake AND yours.
13. Help them figure out what they really need, and what their choices are for meeting those needs.
14. Understand that selling is service. If you have a product or service that would genuinely make a positive difference in their lives, share that with them. It would be unethical not to do so.
15. Be willing to refer. If you think they would be better served by going elsewhere (and that they’re not the best fit for you), share that with them as well. Then help guide them in the right direction.
16. Charge what you’re worth. Your clients will actually thank you (and value you even more) for doing so. And I guarantee that you’re worth more than you think you are.
17. Listen to your intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You don’t have to explain it. You’re the boss. Do things the way you want them done.
18. Take good care of yourself, body and soul. Owning a business is 24/7 work, but we are not 24/7 machines. Get the rest you need. Play. Hug your kids. Take a day off.
19. Honor your feelings. Find healthy, appropriate, effortless ways to allow them, express them, appreciate them, release them.
20. Get good help. Invest in the support you need to get through the tough days. Having the right coaches, therapists, or mastermind groups can make all the difference on the days when you feel like giving up. (And yes, you will have those days. We all do.)
21. Practice resilience. Journal. Meditate. Cry. Pray. Rest. Then get back up and get back at it. Breakdowns come before the greatest breakthroughs. Remember this.
22. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Recognize this as a sure sign that you are growing, and embrace it. Learn to allow others to do the same.
23. Take credit for what you do well. As a friend of mine always says, “it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true.” And if you don’t believe in who you are and what you do, why should your clients?
24. Be decisive. You’re the CEO, and it’s up to you to call the shots. Call them.
25. Learn to love the tweak. If it doesn’t work, you can make a different decision next time.
26. Pay yourself first. And celebrate it! (This isn’t volunteer work. See #27.)
27. Then find ways to give back. There are countless ways to do this as a business owner that are good for your community AND good for you.
28. Own your authority. It’s your name on the letterhead, your company on the door. If it doesn’t fit with who you are, or how you want to show up in the world, change it.
29. And always, always follow #21. Being a business owner is one of the most exciting adventures you’ll ever have – but it’s not for the faint of heart. :))
Which one of these speaks to you the most?
Photo by Clemens v. Vogelsang on Flickr