I am 100 percent convinced that female entrepreneurs may be some of the hardest working and most focused people on the face of the planet. Not only are we building our futures by living, eating, sleeping, breathing, and professing our dreams, but many of us also work in full-time careers, have a family to raise, and volunteer our time to help others in need. We refuse to give up on our dream of working for ourselves, even when it means the occasional 17-hour workday, or turning down a night out on the town with our friends (because we have blogs to write, sales calls to make, and clients to counsel).
The most amazing aspect of female entrepreneurship is that we break scores of beliefs society has held about women for many, many years. As women, we are often taught it is better to blend in, than to stick out. Our society also "instructs" us at a very early age that it's not polite to speak about ourselves -- or you most definitely will be labeled as conceited and a braggart. And if you have ever worked for Corporate America, you know that you quickly assimilate to the established culture, by learning to "speak the corporate speak" and "walk the corporate walk".
Then, one day, you decide to break barriers and norms. After years of being trained, directly and indirectly, by various societal influences dictating how you should act and should behave as a woman, you make the decision to step out of all female constructs and start your own business! It requires guts, hustle, and thick skin. It demands that you stand out from the crowd, that you are able to handle criticism and critique, and that you most definitely acquire new skills needed to be successful at owning, growing, and managing your own business.
It also means that you succeed at being you.
And that you sound like you.
And that you are true to you.
Because you are your business.
Everything you might have been taught in the years leading to you stepping out on your own may have to be relearned. You now have to talk about yourself in order to promote your products and services. You also have to become very vocal about your mission and your goals, and bring people on board who share your unique vision. You must be able to relate to your current and future clients through words and language alone when you write for your business, whether that be website copy, marketing kits, emails, or newsletters. You must engage with others, both virtually and in person, and build your tribe of followers, supporters, and endorsers.
And every single one of these aspects requires you to have a voice, a unique stance in the marketplace, a presence that ultimately must ensure you are attracting the right people to you, so you can succeed in business. Some ladies find this very difficult. Look around at a few websites. The "About" pages sound the same and are written in third-person point of view. The Web copy is ultra-conservative, lacking personality. And if the site has an active blog, the language is passive, safe.
Your voice is your business when you are an entrepreneur. It must create an instant appeal with your niche, and the words you chose impact the overall vibe and message of your business. Your language is a huge part of your branding, and it is one of the areas where you can be most transparent and authentic with your audience.
So, why are you playing safe and holding back? You stepped out to start your own empire, but now you are blending in with the herd. I urge you to make a decision today to be bold and brave and genuine with the words you use in your business. Do not go back to the "Corporate America speak" or the societal norms and teachings. Use your voice to build the business that you have been dreaming of for so long.