“If you could go back in time and give your younger-self advice in the world of business, what would you say? What advice would you give to young women today, especially those in a business owner role?”
This question popped up in my Instagram messages recently, and I thought sharing my thoughts here would be beneficial. Over the past few years, I've had the amazing opportunity to teach thousands of women and girls how to be creative. The majority of the people taking my classes are female, and the overall theme I've picked up from this experience is this:
SO many women are run by FEAR.
“I'm not creative,” “This is just a fun hobby, I could never make it into a career,” “I'm not good enough”
Do you hear the hesitation and fear in these statements? These are all words I've heard countless times over the years from women who come to my classes to paint, or in business mentoring sessions and it breaks my heart!
As I've grown my business over the past 5+ years from a kitchen table hobby to a six-figure income that gives me the opportunity to support my family, I've dealt with fear myself. I've let my lack of experience get the best of me at times. Or, letting comments about my RBF get in my head and make me feel out of place (because women should always smile, right?!). There's even the silent fear of feeling underestimated as a woman in business, but you know what my ONE piece of advice is?!
DITCH the gender. Yea I said it, but hear me out…
No man has to call himself a “man in business.” Why do you and I feel the need to? Yes, you are a woman, yes you are a business owner…let your womanhood enhance your ability to run a business, start a creative career, be an illustrator, etc. not define your title and abilities! Ditch that and focus on your SKILL.
When you focus on developing your abilities as a creative or as a business owner, you will grow.
I didn't start out a watercolorist, I grew into one with practice. I didn't start out a business owner, I grew into one by putting in the time and hard work.
So, what now?
Keep your FOCUS on the road and your skill and don't let FEAR make your decisions, let it FUEL your decisions.