Are We Training Our Daughters to be Circus Elephants?

Gender Discrimination in  Today's Workplace

Elephant.jpg

As a little girl growing up in Kansas I found that most of my girlfriends were busy playing dress up or school teacher. As for me, I loved pretending that I was a powerful business owner.  Honestly, I don’t think I had a clue what being a business owner meant other than I knew I needed a large desk, which I constructed out of a few corrugated boxes and a piece of plywood my father let me use.  On top of my new desk, I placed a stack of paper from my Big Chief notebook, a variety of pens, and a calendar for keeping track of my important meetings of course. So why 45 years later am I sharing this childhood memory?  Because I believe it is relevant to today’s workplace and the false boundaries that have been drilled into the minds of women.

Recently, I was completing some research for a new eCourse I am teaching, “Girl Entrepreneurs Rock - How to Start Your Own Business” When I ran across an article written by PEW Research  (pewreaserch.org) “Gender Discrimination”. In the article, they claim that over 42% women “feel” they are discriminated against in the workplace.  Now don’t get me wrong, discrimination is still lurking in many industries - yes even in 2018. But sadly, you will find discrimination is not “For Women Only” but rather an equal opportunity dysfunction of some ill-informed business owners/managers that choose to discriminate against gender, race, religion, politics, and even the physical appearance of potential staff members. So, although I believe that 42% of women might “feel” they are being discriminated against, I strongly disagree that this is the reality. I believe that after decades of society telling us the lie, you know the one,  “all women will be discriminated against in the workplace” we as women have started believing the fictitious boundaries of limited opportunities. I compare this phenomenon to the old practice of training of baby circus elephants.
 

"The thoughts we think equals the results we get"     -  Unknown

Training Baby Elephants

A trainer places a baby elephant in an empty pen and drives a massive, 10-foot iron stake into the ground, drags out a thick, heavy, metal chain, and tethers it to the small elephant's leg. The shackled animal fights and fights to get free but regardless of how much the baby tries he can’t break free and eventually gives up.
Now fast forward 10 years. That elephant, now massive, mature, and strong, is tied by a thin rope and a small piece of wood shoved in the ground. The grown elephant could, with a small step break free yet it doesn’t. Why? Because long ago, when it was a baby, it learned it was not capable of escaping. Now as a full-grown adult, it holds onto that false belief that he doesn’t even attempt to break free.

No Lies - No Limits

So after reflecting on my childhood playtime and the latest article on gender discrimination, I asked myself why, as a career woman, (starting in the 80’s) I was able to achieve top executive positions in a predominately male industry? Why was I able to start up and operate several successful companies? Then it hit me, I was never told that women didn’t have equal rights in the workplace. I pushed past boundaries not because what I heard in the media or read in the latest article but rather what I believed to be true - I was capable. I am certain there were times discrimination presented itself but I refused to give it the power to hinder me.
In the business world, there is a plethora of individuals, both men, and women, that still want you to believe in the lie of your limitations due to their own fear of your success. But you, and only you are responsible for speaking your own truth - the truth that you are capable of succeeding in any career you choose. The 10-foot iron stake has been removed and the metal shackle has been cut.

What proof do I have to make such a bold statement? Simply by reading the latest stats on the power of women in business.

Today's Women


More than 224 million women impact today’s global economy, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, including the 126 million female entrepreneurs who have started businesses and 98 million women who operate established enterprises. Women also make up the fastest-growing segment of business owners in the U.S. – and the Harvard Business Review says they represent 37 percent of global enterprises. According to NAWBO (the National Association of Women Business Owners), combined they generate $1.5 trillion in sales.

Technology allows a work from anywhere lifestyle, making today’s economy especially well-suited for women to start and sustain a business.

Below learn how you can join this growing segment of women business owners.

Note: This opportunity is not gender bias. Our course is designed for anyone who has an entrepreneurial spirit.

Read More on how you can learn the fundamentals of being your own boss by clicking on the button below.

We love to hear from our readers so please feel free to comment at Connect@totalwellnesscenter.net

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What is a Business Plan and Why Do You Need One?

When many of my clients first think of writing a business plan, they envision a long, extensively detailed document with masses of data and financial forecasts. While that may be the requirement for people seeking outside funding, a startup business plan doesn’t have to be that complicated to be effective. Think of it as a blueprint for how you intend to build your dream business, so the plan can be as detailed or simple as you need,  depending on the complexity of your business. By mapping out your goals, action plans, and financials, you will significantly increase your chances for success. 

 Why create a business plan?

The most common use for a business plan is for new and existing businesses to get funding from a bank or loan organization. But regardless of if you intend to raise capitol or only operate your new business from your pocket a business plan is a critical first step. [G3]   I tell my clients to think of it as if they are planning a vacation.  First, you need to have an idea of where you want to go; then you need to determine how much money you will need.  Once you've completed these two critical steps, you should then start deciding what you will need to pack,  along with other pertinent details. Could imagine thinking you wanted to spend a few weeks in Maui on the beach but instead the flight took you to Wyoming, and when you unpacked your suitcase you have Bermuda shorts and a swimsuit to wear in the 30 below temps?

Sounds crazy but no more crazy than launching a business with no plan of how what, or where. 

I personally revise our business plan annually to get organized for the next year. It's a way of taking stock of progress, examining what's working, and laying out goals and plans for the year to come. Almost all very successful business owners will tell you that they create business goals and action plans on a regular basis, sometimes as often as once a month since markets can change quickly.

So  if you are considering starting a new business or finding that your current business is off track, a business plan will help you become more strategic, stronger, and more profitable.

What are the key components of a business plan?

Most business plans comprise of the following parts. If you are creating a proposal for a business loan, you'll need more precise requirements. But for small business planning purposes, these components should be sufficient.

1.  Description of your business model and target market. 

What kind of business are you implementing and who are your target customers?

2.  Unique Value Proposition. 

What do you have to offer that makes you different from everyone else? Why should people buy from you?

3.  Business goals. 

What are your specific, measurable goals that you want to achieve and when?

4.  Marketing Plan. 

What marketing strategies will you put in place and what is their timeline?

5.  Action Plan. 

What are the tasks you need to complete and when?

6.  Financial forecast and budget. 

How much is all of this going to cost on a monthly basis, and what kind of revenue do you expect? How long will it take to break even and make a profit?

 When should you create a business plan?

A business plan is a living, breathing document that will grow and change along with your business. When first starting a new business, your business plan helps determine if you have a sound, financially viable idea. At the beginning of each year, it helps you to plan out your goals and strategies.

However, remember that you need to revisit your business plan regularly. As market conditions shift, laws or regulations change, or you don't see the results you expected, it's time to adjust your plan. Use it as your road map and refer to it often as you plan each week, but don't let it restrict you.

 

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