The TRUTH about Why So Many Women Fail When They Start a Business

It doesn’t matter if it’s a side-hustle or a full time business, I know why so many women fail at it. First, some demographics: I’m 40. I’m a mom. I’m a woman (and no, I’m not using terms like cis…if you feel like a woman or like this applies to you, then it applies to you. Period dot). I own a business. I work from home full time. It started as a side-hustle (in addition to two other jobs). 

Discouragement and Self-Loathing

I am just going to get straight to the heart of the matter. Women fail because they begin to feel discouraged and, especially behind closed doors, we tend to be self-loathing creatures. And no, I don’t mean all the time. For some women, it is all the time. I don’t feel that way all the time. I used to, though. Let me explain how this happens. 

We start the business with great excitement. It will bring in more money. It will give us more time to do X. It means we can stay home with our babies. Keep inserting positive talk here. You know what I mean. It is very, very rare that we are told to look at the other side of the coin. If we look at it, we want to think that we’re going to be the very small statistic that doesn’t have THAT problem. You know, no clients. No sales (and no matter what you do, you’re involved in sales – product, services, or even yourself because people buy from people they like or to whom they relate). Extra stress. You’re tired. The kid is sick. The KIDS are sick. Like, shit takes a major turn for the worse.

That stress is real. It doesn’t matter if it’s a combination of small things or one or two big things. That stress is legitimate. And it causes discouragement and self-loathing. We set these big goals (there’s nothing inherently wrong with setting big goals. I encourage goal setting.) and then we get upset when we find out (the hard way) that we are NOT part of that tiny statistic that can hit every fucking goal and feel great and stay positive and work what feels like 24/7 (because if you do work from home at all, you know it can be hard as fuck to separate your work life from your home life – especially since any new business takes a LOT of work). 

So, women quit. Sometimes, quitting is the right decision. Maybe you learned you really didn’t want to do that, but you know there’s something else you want to try…except now you’re discouraged because THIS didn’t work so OBVIOUSLY you’re not meant to run a business. Sometimes, women quit too soon. Starting a new business is just hard work. People say no. And that typically affects people (especially women) because they take it personally. They don’t know what else to do and life sucks so screw this shit. I know. I’ve been there. I get there about every four months for about six hours and then I move on with my business and my life after I take a hot bath. 

So What’s the Solution?

So, how can I help women who are in that boat? It’s both easier and harder to do than you think. The concept itself is crazy simple. Doing it, well…I can’t force you to do anything. It takes work. Your work. I can’t do it for you. I can only tell you how to do it. Knowledge is nothing without action. Action is the game changer. In my experience, most don’t want to take action because they’re more afraid of the future (and even the fact that they might succeed) than afraid of staying in the same rut that they know so well. They know how to survive where they are. 

Think about this. If your best friend, mom, aunt, daughter, sister, niece, (insert favorite relationship here) came to you and they felt discouraged and like they were a failure, what would you tell them? How would you help them? What would you do to help them feel better? Would you tell them to quit? Would you agree with them that they’re lousy and not meant to be in a better place? 

Treat yourself in the same way that you would treat your beloved friend. Take a few minutes (or a couple of hours) and feel like shit if you want. I do it every now and then. Then, treat yourself well. Would you take your person from the last paragraph out to lunch? Would you tell them why you think they’re awesome? Would you offer to help them brainstorm ideas? Would you tell them bad days aren’t forever? 

In short, be your best self. Be the person that you need in that moment. Run that hot bath and get in there. Enjoy it. Go out to lunch. Go outside. Do something you like. Get into a grateful place. Make a list of all the great things you have and the things that are great about you. You’re obviously an optimist – you want to start a business. If that’s hard for you, then you need to do it every day. You have to learn how to like yourself. This isn’t about arrogance. It’s not about making people feel less so you can feel more. It’s about learning to appreciate what you can do and the learning process involved in bad moments. 

Stop being a dick to yourself. You’ve got this and you know it. 

Productivity and Busyness: Don’t Get Them Twisted

I’ll write about how to improve productivity on Digital Workflow today. But, I’d like to summarize it here. Don’t get productivity and busyness confused. They are not the same. A 17 step workflow where a three step workflow will produce the same results doesn’t make you productive. It makes you busy. 

It doesn’t matter if you work at home like I do or if you work a more traditional job. Or if you have a side hustle. If you’re wondering why you don’t have enough time in a day to do everything you need to do, look at your processes. Chances are, they’re just too complicated. Simplify. 

WTF Wednesday

Yeah, I know…when I do these it’s usually a Friday thing…but it’s fall break here so it is sort of kind of Friday, at least for Baby Bull. Today, I read a horrifying story about a woman who murdered her nonverbal autistic son by leaving him a hot car. The news story pissed me off because of its content and because the headline talked about how the woman’s Google search results were “disturbing.” Her Googling was far less disturbing (“teen dies in minivan” and “autistic children and reincarnation”) than the messages she sent her friend, the living conditions of her child, AND her blatant lies. 

She said that she took a nap and that when she woke up, her kid (who had a history of wandering away) was just GONE. Okay, so as a mom who has a nonverbal autistic child who spends 95% of his time with me (outside of school), let me tell you something…you do not turn your back on a child who has a history of wandering away. You do NOT leave them unsupervised. Ever. Baby Bull isn’t much of a wanderer although he will definitely try to run away if something scares him. And there’s no telling what will scare him. So, when we go out walking, I always hold his hand. He is not allowed to go outside into the front yard alone. The screen door stays locked. Our backyard is fully fenced. He can go out with moderate supervision (ie I am not constantly over his shoulder) into the backyard when we offer OR he lets us know in some way (usually pointing or saying “outside”) that’s what he wants. We also have two large dogs who I can assure you will not let anyone (or any other animal) within three feet of him. 

There is absolutely no excuse for this. Special needs exist. It doesn’t matter how you label it. There are solutions. Solutions include better parenting (that can include taking classes if you really don’t know what to do), getting professional help to come INTO the home to help you OR help with your kid, and there are also facilities for placement. 

I really hope that woman gets the death penalty and I am not a big fan of capital punishment for several reasons (none of it really has to do with moral inclination). 

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I wanted to take a few minutes and address one of the most disheartening things that most people don’t know. It’s an issue I dealt with personally many years ago. And that issue is that in most states, it is perfectly legal for an employer to fire a victim. 

I worked for a technical college. I taught paralegal studies, directed the program, acted as an academic adviser, and managed the internship program for paralegals. I had recently moved to Oklahoma City. The Tribe paid for my move. They came and installed window and door alarms. My advocate went with me to court hearings for the protective order. I am forever in debt to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe for their help and their support. 

One day, the Campus Director (who also happened to be a lawyer) called me into his office because of a “problem.” The college had received an anonymous phone call that essentially said I was a sexual deviant and had nude photos of myself online. I had to talk to him, the Director of Education, AND legal. Separately. And all at once. My job was on the line because, as they eventually determined, the ex that I have a permanent VPO against (that is now worked into the divorce decree via amended language) for stalking, abuse, and harassment made these allegations. 

I had to produce old emails from websites that held pictures that he had that he used to try and blackmail me. I had to produce my entire court file that led to the VPO. I had to hand over documents (including police reports) filed with the local police and Tribal police. My domestic violence advocate also had to get involved. 

So, essentially, I had to be retraumautized and revictimized to keep my job. Legal eventually told the Campus Director to drop the matter and ensure that day time and night time security was notified of a name, description, date of birth, car tag, car description…all the stuff I could give them, basically, to ensure that they could keep me as safe as possible since I taught both days and nights.

Not Everyone Is So Lucky

I hated what I went through. It was like reliving everything. And I could tell you some real horror stories that I’m still not ready to discuss. A lot of victims are fired because their employer doesn’t want the potential liability, the potential danger, or the absences that take place because the victim has to go to court, move, or (God forbid) is in the hospital. They lose their jobs. Their income. It’s the one lifeline they feel like they have. 

As a nation, we simply must do better. 

Kavanaugh’s Alleged Attempted Sexual Assault

Well, I’ve tried to avoid the Kavanaugh alleged attempted sexual assault for a few reasons. It’s time for me to address it because it takes a very important subject and thrusts it into the limelight…for political gain. Read the whole post and think carefully for yourself. Be objective. 

Who Am I to Issue an Opinion?

No one, really….except that:

  1. I am a survivor of child abuse, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. 
  2. I am a mother to three sons. 
  3. I have C-PTSD…so, according to professionals, where I am now is as good as I’m ever going to get as far as symptoms are concerned. 

I don’t spend a lot of time talking about what happened to me for various reasons. None of which I’m really required to disclose to validate or invalidate anything to anyone. However, I don’t spend a lot of time dwelling on what happened because:

  1. I don’t like thinking about it or talking about it. 
  2. What happened is only a small part of my life (when compared to the whole). 
  3. I’ve witnessed how people are treated. You have to be the right “amount” of “victim.” If you talk about it too much, you’re “milking it.” If you don’t talk about it except at certain times then people question whether it happened. Instead, I use my experience to help others through similar circumstances. 

I Believe Her

Wait, wait, wait. Don’t stop reading – just “hear” me out. Also, I’m not using her name for a reason. We have rape shield laws (and yes, I know she wasn’t raped and that we’re talking about something 30+ years ago that was an attempted sexual assault. We have those laws to protect the identity of the victim

This all started for her back in 2012 in therapy. You know, a private setting. Where things are supposed to be private. Where people go to talk about and (if they have a good therapist) work toward moving on. Then, there was an anonymous letter. Sometimes victims see something and it puts them in a bad place….and so they need to get it off their chest. They’re not necessarily looking to get their name out there. They just want to feel better. So, again, we’re starting with a private setting and and anonymous letter

Some dickbag leaked it and also gave out her name. So now we’ve gone from “I just need to get this out” to suddenly being thrust unwillingly into the spotlight and being threatened and being made out to be the bad guy of the situation for talking about an experience in a private setting and in an anonymous letter that was leaked by another person. No one really says shit about those facts, do they? At least…not in more than a passing sentence. 

She doesn’t really want to testify. This, to me, further solidifies the fact that she had something happen to her (yes, years ago – this shit does not necessarily just go away) that fundamentally changed her. That’s why she isn’t agreeing to a date and time. She just wanted to get it off her chest. 

Shame on the Democrats for Revictimizing Her

It’s not the conservative / Republicans revictimizing this woman. They’ve offered numerous concessions IF she chooses to testify. They’re not saying it didn’t happen. They’re giving her the opportunity to speak publicly (which she clearly does NOT want as most victims don’t). Of course, the radio hosts are making it seem like the victim has gone out of her way to ruin Kavanaugh’s life instead of keeping in mind that it was said in a private environment and through an anonymous letter that was leaked

Shame on the Democrats for having this shit leaked and released. The victim is now in the public eye and taking all the flack for something that happened 30+ years ago. And, again, I’m inclined to think something certainly happened.

We’re Also Talking about Two Minors

And no I do NOT say that to say that 17 year old horny boys get some sort of free pass. They don’t. We are talking about two inexperienced minors, aged 15 years and 17 years at the time (30+ years ago). He may have felt she consented if she didn’t actually SAY no or stop him. This just points out that teenagers are stupid and that clear and obvious consent is a must in any sexual situation.

It’s Not the FBI’s Job to Investigate

Think about it – what victim WOULDN’T want an agency who is supposed to know what they’re doing to investigate what happened to them? Not everyone understands the scope of what the FBI can and cannot do. This was something that happened 30+ years ago and was NOT a federal crime. 

I won’t address the fact that there are thousands of untested rape kits in the nation. I won’t address the fact that allegations of these kind are he said / she said without actual proof (and in the 80s, that’s hard to come by). 

Good Guy Syndrome 

As someone who was abused, I can tell you that “he’s such a nice guy / good guy / polite guy!” is good guy syndrome. Just because someone looks a certain way or acts a certain way doesn’t mean they are incapable of such behavior. In fact, there are abusers who rely on people thinking those thoughts about them so that they can continue to abuse others. 

So, no, you cannot say that he didn’t do it because he was or is a nice guy or a professional or anything else. Actual and attempted sexual assault and rape go unreported even now. It doesn’t mean it never happened. Sexual assault, rape, and abuse of any kind has no known particular demographic. It happens regardless of race, profession, and income. 

And We Will Never Know

We will never know what happened because, like most of these things, it is he said / she said. I’ve already explained why I’m inclined to believe her. If anyone should be ostracized, it should be the person who leaked out her name and her private discussion as well as the Democrats for keeping it alive instead of actually working to protect her. For them, it’s way better to use it for an attempt at a political gain. 

The system, my friends, is broken.