Creating Your Own Business. Is It All Equal, With Opportunity?

by CHERYL GNAD on May 22, 2017

men and woman working at desk

Creating Your Own Business. Is It All Equal, With Opportunity?

My Story – Your Story?

I have worked in the corporate world and often found it hard to be “heard” for my ideas. Opportunity wasn’t even realized – not yet. Having come from the world of education to the corporate world, I quickly learned that you don’t have a say, UNLESS you’ve earned it. I had no clue what to do to earn it, initially. So opportunity taking was ON HOLD.

That LADDER of success – when Opportunity showed up

I often didn’t go “UP” any ladder of responsibility either, EXCEPT for the job I had 7 years later. While at the Coleman Company I saw that I was intrigued with the marketing of their products. I wanted to KNOW their processes. I finally had 2 “bosses” – one lady and later a wonderful gentleman – who LISTENED to my ideas and implemented them! When this happened, I grew leaps and bounds. So much so, I wanted to do more but needed my OWN business to do it in.

Part 2 of this story – I felt both “sides of the coin”. I “nurtured” my bosses as their administrative assistant. I was very good at it. I made them look greater than they were because of their shortcomings in that particular area. I batted for them.  Yet I felt like I was at their whim of whatever they were doing – I just backed them up and that “pat on the back” wasn’t there.

As I was looking for new work after layoffs, I landed some great interviews. I remember asking “is there any room here for me to problem-solve and offer suggestions for improvement, especially in processes? I am a process fixer/problem-solver”, I got that quizzical funny tilt of their head – “no”.  All I was expected to do was to answer phones, manage the calendar, hand out mail, greet people, type out memos, emails, take notes at meetings or write a letter or two, run errands, etc. – you get the picture. Accuracy was the skill I needed to bring and I did.

When I worked at the Coleman Company, I was given the opportunity (note this word!) to solve a problem, improve on a process that I was working in and make suggestions and it BEGAN giving me a reputation! I was soon given a new boss who didn’t know the ropes yet, and I took it upon myself to get him up and going fast. I learned quickly what he needed since administrative assistants get to know many “inside” bits of information. I soon needed to ask him if I could attend his staff meetings (which admins weren’t usually invited to. “Huh? Why not?”) He, surprised, said, “Yes!”. From that point I was learning, and learning INSIDE processes and human interaction and reactions to decisions being made. My boss soon learned that I was an asset to him because I could communicate what he couldn’t see!

All of this led to greater “opportunity” for me!

Opportunity – IMPORTANT word to growth

Remember, I said to TAKE NOTE of this word? Women often ARE in the field working the details or activities and relating to others in the process, and making sure others are happy. That is their nature! Men, on the other hand, are not. They seek other ways of “nurturing” their…JOB, not the PEOPLE they have working with or for them. Who do you believe sees the important “OPPORTUNITY” when it confronts them? Men. Why is that?

A book that I am reading “In Our Right Mind” by Paula S. Butterfield, Ph. D., shares with her female readers why it is so imbalanced in the working/corporate world. Men, she says, are very “hierarchical” – they are always looking on how to work their way UP that LADDER of growth with the company or for themselves. They want to see the numbers move them up or they are looking for the influencers to create that sought after opportunity to move up.  Ladies, will do it differently, not that it is the wrong  way to do it, just different, and often doesn’t fit in with the hierarchical nature of corporate America (or often in other countries too).

 …our interpersonal world is lateral while men’s is hierarchical. And how are most organizations structured? Hierarchically. So while we’re busy forming small, intimate circles of connection, men are busy establishing position and status. Our desire for closeness often isolates us from the larger organization while their desire for position leads them to learn about the whole operation [processes].

So if, like many women, you dislike using relationships for personal purposes, then it’s time to reframe your thinking. (from In Our Right Mind, p. 56)

 

One of her suggestions is to “reframe” your thinking. It now becomes time to think “yes, AND…” instead of “ok, we can do either ____or ____”.  See the difference? When you do as men do, you will see “opportunities” that will help you to establish yourself as an expert, a problem-solver, one on the move, the one who can get management’s attention to a problem or to suggest the solution when others are afraid to say anything. You will see a direction of where you want to go TO instead of being content to just make YOUR current situation good enough to…keep that paycheck coming or keeping your “group” performing well. The author of the book had a story of learning to live by that “gut feeling” when opportunities show up. She listened and latched on to whatever came next! Hear how rewarding it was – read more here The Universe Is Always Listening.

one way or another street signs

Seizing the opportunity in a Business Owner Mindset not in a Employee Mindset

How does this apply to the solo-preneur or entrepreneur?  It works in the same way! You have a different set of people that you are relating to. It is easy to get caught up with the pluses and minus of your business, and all of the details, manage the number beautifully. However, you will find yourself not growing but instead getting “burnt out”. What has happened is you missed the “opportunities” that got you excited in the first place – the “WHY?” you began your business and being on your own making your own decisions.

Avoid stagnation!

What can you do if this “stagnation” seems to be happening?  Check out your reasons of how you decide your next move. Are you thinking with, “Yes, AND…” or “Yes, OR…” .  (i.e. – “Yes, and I could just get with Mr. A and have them fix the system.” OR you could say, “Yes,  I could call Mr. A OR just wait it out.”) Are you eliminating opportunities UNKNOWN or are you just going for it and see what comes!? That is the “Yes, AND…” way of thinking! If you are inserting “BUT” into your reasons of NOT doing something – reword it in such a way that it becomes, “YES, and how do I…?” to get beyond the next obstacle that invariably shows up.

PROGRESS! It worked for me, it will work for you, too.

I’ve had to do this numerous times. I’ve had to gauge my choice of clients carefully. In not wanting to get into work that would end up free, or work that seemed to be beyond my knowledge, I came to realize that, overall, this way of thinking kept me at arm’s length of getting NEW customers, and not growing my knowledge. It was easier to stay with the “comfortable” and I kept folks happy.

It was time to stretch myself to grow. So,I took on NEW “OPPORTUNITIES” and solved the problems that brought me. Now I have NEW answers – and NEW clients wanting the new skills I’ve gained. I am, today, very much in the solving of NEW problems because I have new opportunities lining up! I have learned that I am establishing myself as a marketing/social media expert in my community too! It was a result to grabbing the unknown, and giving it a whirl – anyways!


Are you looking to make “progress” with your social media. Your mindset makes a difference to how you present yourself on your social media. Social Focus by CG specializes in matching the proper mindset to the way you market yourself online. We offer coaching that incorporates both the “how-to” of social media as well as good marketing with proper mindsets. Make the decision now. With purpose! KNOW where you want to go – give me a call to receive a free 30 minute inquiry session. Connect with me at:  http://www.socialfocusbycg.com/contact

 

 

 

 

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Written by CHERYL GNAD

CHERYL GNAD

Cheryl Gnad, of owner/social media consultant with Social Focus by CG, offers coaching and consulting for small businesses looking to incorporate social media into their advertising strategies. She is a self-developed business owner, and a trained social media manager with names like Kate Buck Jr., Amy Porterfield, Kim Garst and Sandi Krakowski. Follow her on Facebook at Social Focus by CG, Twitter@SocialFocusbyCG, and on Linkedin.

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