Over the years I’ve become known as “the professor of harsh reality.”
I was dubbed this because I was the only one in a chorus of yes-men who would ever point out the flaws in a proposed idea.
Not everyone always likes to hear about flaws. In fact, I learned early in life that most people prefer delusion to reality. Dislodging people from their delusions often winds up making you the brunt of their anger—the “shoot the messenger syndrome.”
However, you and I need to relentlessly seek out reality in our own businesses and our own lives, even when unpleasant or uncomfortable as real success is based on truth.
I suppose that sounds elementary, but in actuality, people often avoid hearing unpleasant truths.
Next month I’ll be speaking at GKIC’s Women Entrepreneur’s Next Level Summit where I’ll be delivering some straight facts. I’ve decided to toss caution and tact aside and deliver a very ungentle collection of reality and advice that comes from my experience and dealings with the most successful women entrepreneurs, thought leaders and celebrities I’ve worked with over 38 years—and there have been many.
Last year we began this event which is exclusively for women entrepreneurs leading or engaged as partners in business, not as an exercise in segregation, but as what Walt Disney called a “plus-ing.” A plus-ing is an additional opportunity for exploration of shared interests, exchange of knowledge, networking and inspiration. To simplify: more knowledge is better than less knowledge.
I’ve heard from some of what I –affectionately and respectfully—call the “women with balls” in GKIC that they were not happy about this event. They wanted to know why they were being singled out. They felt they were being asked to sit at the kids table. Admittedly I can see their point. A lot of what I see merchandised to women in business by women coaches and gurus doesn’t have much substance.
But I don’t see this event that way…
To me, it’s another means of expanding and providing additional opportunity to a group with special interests—similar to what we’ve done with Info-SUMMITs just for info-marketers. Or what we’ve done within our mastermind groups like Lee Milteer’s Peak Performers/Implementation Coaching Group, or our Platinum and Titanium groups.
Members helping members, encouraging, networking, entering joint ventures and creating another productive community within GKIC.
It’s also been my experience over 30 years that women do have a different mindset about business than men.
After working with both women-owned and men-owned businesses, some of the broad observations I’ve made between men and women are as follows. You will find some of these observations truer than others because everyone is unique. And you may find that you don’t want to hear some of them.
I’ve noticed that men tend to be more short-term, immediate outcome, and any-means-to-an-end thinkers, while women entrepreneurs are interested in a more complex collection of issues.
Both are double-sided coins. For instance, men tend to be less concerned than they should be with how customers or clients feel after a sale is made, and with sustaining relationships over time. Women tend to be overly concerned with how customers feel, which can foster timidity and inhibition.
Overall, I think men are less wealth-inhibited, but women are smarter about money, or at least inherently capable of being smarter about money – and there is factual evidence to support the latter conclusion, from long-term studies of male and female investors.
Women, statistically, are paid less than men inside hierarchies, but also tend to price lower than men, charge lower fees than men, and avoid negotiation and confrontation more than men – although that has not always been my experience—Joan Rivers, comes to mind.
I don’t see anything wrong with airing these matters, facts from research about them, opinions that may or may not be accurate, considering and discussing the differences.
Ultimately, I don’t believe there’s anything I would advise or say to a man in business I wouldn’t to a woman in that same or similar business, but there is advice I would give the woman that I wouldn’t give the man.
There is different conditioning, and there is bias. To deny either is, I think, delusional. To deny it in the interest of political correctness or to avoid risking offending women is, I think, counter-productive.
Exploring reality like this isn’t for everyone. But it can be useful to entrepreneurs who are will to open up to find out what may be holding YOU back…What is getting in YOUR way, what conditioning or belief is getting in YOUR way, what conditioning or belief systems or barriers do YOU have, what business, marketing or selling strategies might best fit YOU?
I invite you to be relentless in your pursuit to seek out reality in your own business and life…and be willing to develop the habits of being brutally honest with yourself and insisting that others you rely on give it to you straight.
NOTE: I’ll be presenting at the GKIC’s Women Entrepreneur’s Next Level Summit on February 8-10 along with some brilliant and savvy entrepreneurs and marketers. I’ll talk about some of the ways that women get in their own way. Some of these are universal, shared by men. But men also have certain self-sabotage attitudes and behaviors that are uniquely theirs. Women have a Dolce & Gabbana bag full that are uniquely theirs too. There are some strategies and tactics worth borrowing from men. There are some very male ideas that should be avoided as if explosive toxic waste.
I think you’ll find my thoughts about this provocative and it may just liberate you from a lot of limiting B.S., and empower you to achieve faster and with less struggle than you ever imagined. I hope I’ll see you there. [www.gkicwomen.com]