Guest Column: Ladies, it’s time to play a bigger game

Guest Column: Ladies, it’s time to play a bigger game

As entrepreneurs, we are cut from a different cloth. We don’t like to clock in, we don’t like working for someone else, and we certainly don’t like working in places that have no meaning or fulfillment for ourselves.

So we’ve created our own businesses and our own companies to share our ideas, gifts and talents and make some money. But have we really? As a business mentor and coach for the past eight years, I continually see in working with women entrepreneurs that they play too small – way too small.

“I’d like to get a few more customers, but I’m not sure I could go really big with this business,” or, “I know I’m probably not charging enough, but I just don’t feel right about raising my rates.” And the one that really bothers me: “Double my business next year? Oh, I could never make that kind of money. It is just not possible!”

These are the kind of comments I hear frequently from women entrepreneurs and it all has to do with mindset. Research shows that mindset is 90 percent of the reason for our failures or our successes.

Here are some of the top reasons that keep women entrepreneurs from playing a bigger game:

Fear of change: If you played a bigger game, really put yourself out there and started getting more clients and making a lot more money, things would inevitably change. How would your friends view you? What would they say about you putting yourself out there like that? How would your spouse and family members view you if you started playing really big?

Avoiding discomfort by using excuses: “I couldn’t possibly travel to attend that conference and leave my children.” Oh, I’m way to busy to take that on right now.” “I don’t have the money to invest in (fill in the blank … attending that seminar, hiring that coach, taking that training, starting that new product line).”.

Negative self-talk: Listening to those ongoing tapes in your head: “Who are you to do this?” “You don’t have what it takes to do this.” “Double my income – that would never be possible for me!” “Who are you to be so successful?” “I’m getting too big for my own britches.”

These are all subtle forms of self-sabotage and most of these self-sabotaging beliefs come from an internal struggle. NS if there’s a struggle on the inside, there’s always a struggle on the outside.

Here are some ways to overcome these self-sabotaging beliefs:

Look at your fears: Where do they come from? Are they real? Play out the fear scenarios to the nth degree, by asking what’s the worst thing that could happen, and then what, and then what? Until you get to the very end.

Stop using excuses: Start figuring out how you can do things. Begin doing things your competitors aren’t willing to do. Upgrade your internal self-image. Invest in yourself, big time.

Eliminate the negative self-talk: Look at where some of these beliefs came from and ask yourself: Do they make sense? Is there a possibility they may be false? Can you challenge them? Ask yourself, “How would my life change if I didn’t believe these anymore?”

Isn’t it time to remove your own self-imposed obstacles and start dreaming bigger, helping more people, taking massive action and playing a bigger game in your business?


Mandy Schumaker is president of Higher Performing People, a company devoted to helping small businesses that struggle to market themselves effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. She resides in South Portland, with her husband and two sons. Her website is www.mandyschumaker.com. Contact her at mandy@mandyschumaker.com

Mandy Schumaker is president of Higher Performing People, a company devoted to helping small businesses that struggle to market themselves effectively, stretch their capacity and play a bigger game. She resides in South Portland, with her husband and two sons. Her website is www.mandyschumaker.com. Contact her at mandy@mandyschumaker.com

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