Understanding how women think, how female entrepreneurs operate, and how aesthetic business owners are a breed of their own isn’t obvious to everyone. While our industry is drenched in data about consumer consumption trends, female founders in aesthetics are underrepresented, under-researched, underserved, under-funded — and struggling with how to define success within their business.
Every organization is clawing for a piece of the industry pie, but why isn’t anyone on a mission to better understand the problems faced by women entrepreneurs and perceptions of female business owners?
Often, our clients tell me that they took the risk of starting their business for three reasons:
- To do what they love without guidelines, restrictions, and red tape.
- To challenge themselves within the agency of something they feel passionate about.
- To impact more people, make more money, and to do it on their own damn time.
These are all completely legitimate reasons to start a business. In this blog post, I’ll share truths about the expectations that follow when you’re trying to level up as a business owner and chasing balance in other areas of your life.
Your goals are within reach, but if you don’t know how to define success clearly, each milestone is meaningless and not getting you closer to your dream.
Let’s dig into the challenges you may be facing and how to overcome them, like:
- Trying to do it all as a woman while chasing perceived balance
- Catering to what others want instead of showcasing your unique positioning
- Letting the dopamine hit of “admiration” distract you from your goals
- Being unclear about your mission
- Not recruiting ambassadors of your vision
1. The work-life balance farce
The efforts to grow your business may have you in a tug-o’-war, grappling to be a “whole” woman — achieving balanced success as a wife, mom, partner, friend, daughter, or sister. On top of this, I see a whole lot of talk on social media about work life-balance, slowing down and putting wellness first.
But, what I’ve experienced through my work with hundreds of high-achieving women is that work-life balance might not even be a reality or a goal for some. Think about doctors who are working to cure cancer. Do we really want them to be working toward retirement?
Much of the work we need to do as female entrepreneurs isn’t learning time management or even the tactics of business building. It’s learning how to accept, embrace, and honor this reality — this is leadership.
Our definition of success is going to be different as a female entrepreneur than that of any other kind of human on earth. While that may put us in a tough spot with the people around us, it’s a good thing.
We need to redefine what success means for us as female entrepreneurs. In fact, it’s time to rewrite the rules.
2. Expressing your uniqueness
You can actually build your business around your life — not the other way around. When we lay out and define personal success in life, we build a business that supports the life we want to live. So many are eyeballs-deep in business operations without believing that this is true for them. How you define personal success in life as a female business owner requires you to show up authentically in a way that most people will never understand.
I heard this great analogy recently about success. It was about Ed Sheeran, the red-headed British music superstar. Ed Sheeran was discovered playing as a street busker in Framlingham, Suffolk in England. It’s said he was a brilliant musician even as early as age 11. He didn’t need to learn how to be a great musician, he already had the skills — he just needed a platform and the right opportunities.
Imagine if Ed had tried to make music in another way because he thought that’s what people wanted. We would never know the Ed Sheeran whose songs we love today.
It wasn’t until I heard this analogy that I had a profound realization — I recognized how uniquely special I was. I thought I was experiencing imposter syndrome when it was really just a mindset of lack stimulated by a case of comparisonitis.
My brand was unique from day one, but I didn’t know how to honor and express my own worldview. Everyone I hired to help me had the very best intentions of helping me become more like them, because that’s what I told them I wanted. Instead, I should have been reorienting myself to my mission. I was trapped in a broken framework and couldn’t see it because I was too close to it.
3. Admiration isn’t your destination
Most of us were raised as little girls to make peace, get along, be friends with everyone, and follow the rules. As entrepreneurs, this phenomenon of thinking differently, of having a disruptive philosophy, goes against all of our hard wiring, and it can feel isolating.
Why is it so important to be admired? Our clients can’t afford the distraction of being “admired.” They have to measure their success by their own value systems or their mission will just be a dream or a slogan on their website — not a realized destination.
Being admired feels good — it’s validating. But being a leader requires a reworking of your hardwiring. It requires an identity shift before you decide how to define success.
I have yet to meet a human being of real impact that doesn’t know this truth intimately. I’ve never met a high-growth individual who doesn’t crave learning how to uncover their next level as a human being — be it wealth, health, spirituality, or relationships.
4. Draft a living, breathing mission declaration
YOU are the only one preventing you from achieving the next level. It’s up to every business owner to change the habits and mindset that got them stuck in the first place.
Success requires us to get honest with ourselves about the beliefs of what it means for us. My success isn’t defined by a number or by my personal accomplishments, it’s centered around a mission.
I ask you, Goddess, are you clear on what success means to you? Maybe you’ve subscribed to an old definition of success and need a refresh. What goal do you have that no longer serves you, your hiring plan, patients, intention, or mission?
Perhaps you’re not sure what your mission is. One of the takeaways of the Confidence to Scale Business Growth Program is a mission declaration. I call it a declaration because I believe a mission statement should be alive, not something that’s collecting dust.
Your mission is the vehicle that helps define your success as a business owner. It’s the why that gets your team out of bed everyday. Having a clearly defined mission, vision, and set of values is the blueprint for a successful business: brand positioning, marketing strategy, team building, culture curation, systems, partnerships, and visibility.
5. Craft a mission that empowers your team
Leader, I’m here to help you design a mission that guides you on how to define success as an entrepreneur and empower visionary leaders within your team. Here are the 3 steps to do just that:
- Cultivate an ecosystem of internal and external ambassadors who rally behind your mission.
- Build an army of people who will perpetuate your vision and can run the business without you there.
- Create a culture that magnetizes your dream team, clients, and partners.
These 3 steps will help shape and guide the innovative and insightful leaders within your team to step forward and take action with confidence.
Build success, brick by brick
The growth equation begins by thinking intentionally about what success means to you, and what’s possible for you as a female entrepreneur.
Your definition of success will spur your business growth and help you scale to new heights. If you’re struggling with clarity, start with our podcast, The Fierce Factor. Every week, we share personal wisdom and lessons that will help you find and follow your inner compass as we tackle the problems faced by women entrepreneurs. Tune in today.
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