featurepics-Femme--100629-78582Like most of you, I began my business partly from my own story!

I came from a background with zero exposure to the business world. 

My grandfather immigrated from Poland and set up shop as a shoemaker in Toledo Ohio. But for me, at three or four years old, all I saw from peeking over the tall counter, was him with his apron and anvil, and smelling of leather and shoe polish. 

My other grandfather immigrated from Russia and opened a corner grocery store. So, technically you could say I come from a family of entrepreneurs, but by the time I was old enough to learn anything, they had retired, and anyway, I was a girl, and in the 1950s girls didn’t learn about business. 

 I was, however, a free spirit and became an entrepreneur by default; I couldn’t bear the thought sitting in an office all day or being stuck on someone else’s clock. I wanted variety and creativity.  I am sure some of you know exactly what I mean!

Unfortunately, my spirit didn’t make me immune to all the emotions that derail most women. I am speaking of the fears, self-doubts, lack of confidence, and low self-esteem that bubbled up as soon as I was faced with rejection, asking for money, speaking, managing, creating systems, and all that is required of a successful business woman.

Last week I had a lively discussion on this very topic with Vicky Trabaosh and Katana Abbott on Smart Women Talk Radio.  Katana asked me if women struggle more than men? I can’t speak for how men are (or I would get in big trouble) but my observation is that men have similar feelings come up but they somehow have an easier time bypassing these issues and moving ahead regardless.  Possibly they ignore their feelings a wee bit too much sometimes, but that’s for someone else’s article!

My main point here is that women need to learn how to not shut down or collapse in the face of stuff that trigger those emotions.  I lost so many hours and days , not to mention sleepless nights, worrying or fretting about stuff instead of just taking action. Here are a few things I learned over the years that might also help you.  

1.  Don’t make any major decisions when in the middle of an emotional reaction, regardless of how you feel. Important decisions need to be made from a place of calmness and strength. 

2. Be a witness to your emotions. Notice how you feel and say, “ah, I’m feeling scared, angry,  or whatever.” Just observe and acknowledge.  Your mind is also strong and caring and can help you to see it from other perspectives. You can be scared and not scared at the same time.  You can have self-doubt and also feel clear and empowered. You can chose  to acknowledge the strong emotions as well, and this will help you be more in balance.

3. Find someone to talk to. Often when you speak it out, in that very process, you will begin to feel stronger and in fact, get more on track.  By taking to someone you will often be able to take next action steps; make that phone call,  write your blog post,  or whatever needs to be actioned that day.

Yes, it is possible to feel all your feelings, observe them, talk to someone, be empowered, take action, and grow into being a stronger entrepreneur. I am rooting for you!!   The world needs your wisdom and needs you to stand in your greatness. 

Are you with me?