I was scrolling my Facebook feed a few days ago when this image (below) popped up from Ash Ambirge. Ash is the CEO of House of Moxie and the woman behind ‘The Middle Finger Project‘. She is also a powerhouse business-woman who believes in and knows how to value herself and her work. (Because sometimes livin’ on a prayer gets OLD)
The image Ash posted is of a table and chairs overlooking a beautiful beach.
In the caption of the picture, she says ‘Lunch like a lady. Do business like a man.’
As soon as the image was posted women began to get themselves into a knot.
There were some who simply wrote ‘Lunch like a lady, do business like a lady‘.
And then there were the likes of ‘maybe lunch like a lady and do business like a lady too. I didn’t know men were inherently better at doing business’.
But here’s the thing. She’s right.
Because – generally speaking – women and men do conduct business differently and I firmly believe that when more female online entrepreneurs approach their business like successful male entrepreneurs do, they will see a much higher return on their investment of time and will make more money.
Below are four ways men and women do business differently. One or all of these points may not apply to you and that’s fine, they don’t apply to all women, but generally speaking they do.
1. Form vs. Function.
Throughout history women have been valued by their form. We are taught that we are most valuable to the world when we are in our most beautiful state.We are led to believe that pretty is everything and that the prettier things are the more successful they are. From the cosmetics and cosmetic surgery industry to what we wear, how we do our hair and how we display ourselves in photographs, we are continuously striving for beauty.
What does this have to do with taking your online business to profit?
Women get lost in design, in colour palette’s and logo’s. Women get lost comparing the look of their blogs to others. Women feel helpless if they don’t have their blog looking the way that they want it to look. Women hold back valuable content because they have not perfected the look, the content or the platform (blog) it is going on.
Women hold back their own remarkable knowledge, inspiring and helpful work and they own chance at making a difference in the world when they don’t have the right professional profile picture, header image, subscribe bar or theme installed on their blog.
We get so lost in ‘form’ and tell ourselves that we’re actually ‘working’ that we get stressed and anxious before we’ve even begun to get into the ‘business’ side of things.
Men will create a website that functions properly and then they will start building their business.
2. Knowing your value
Women tend to apologise for selling themselves, their products and their services. We launch a product or service online and we quietly post about it just a couple of times so we don’t annoy one or two people in our audience. We sell work that we have worked on for months or years at a price that wouldn’t even cover the cost of a single day’s pay for a casual employee ($160).
We forget that it isn’t just the 15 hours that it took to write an eBook that we are selling (which btw would cost you $3750 in consultancy fees), but it is our lifetime of experience and years of knowledge that we have put into it.
We put a price on something based on the lowest number we ‘think’ we will accept and then we lower that price again apologetically.
We rarely, if ever, put a cost on our time, leaving ourselves overworked and underpaid byourselves.
We compete with other people on price, even though it’s a war we can never win because someone else will ALWAYS sell it cheaper than you.
// Denise Duffield-Thomas recorded an hilarious video of the way men sell vs. the way women sell.
Women tend to function in the zone of scarcity, believing that the amount of money, liker’s, fans or clients will run out and there won’t be enough for us.
We wait until something is PERFECT before launching which means it either never get’s launched or it’s delayed and so is our profit.
Successful business men work out how much money their work is worth to their buyer and price it accordingly. Then they unapologetically sell it again and again and again.
Successful business men know perfection before launch is impossible to attain and instead they launch, test, then ‘perfect’ and launch again. They know that the best way to perfect something is to allow the consumer to ‘break it’ first.
Successful business men walk into the world selling and knowing their value unapologetically.
3. Emotional you vs. Business you.
Women worry about everything in business and most of what we worry about doesn’t have anything to do with what will actually help us generate profit. Then, when we finish work for the day, we take that worry home with us.
We also tend to take things personally.
If one person doesn’t like the way we do business, or what we produce to sell, we feel personally crucified, as if they are criticising who we are at our very core. We fret over this criticism and allow it to poison us, sometimes carrying pain with us for days on end about it.
If someone unsubscribes from our newsletter we feel like we’ve been stabbed in the heart. This means that when we could be focused on business and profit growing activities, we’re spending our time commiserating at our perceived stupidity, worthlessness or failures.
We aren’t comfortable with being uncomfortable and in online business this can mean doom.
Successful business men leave it at the door. In fact, studies show their brains are designed to enter a “rest state” more easily than women, which is actually why they tend to fall asleep more easily in business meetings.
They don’t care as much if someone doesn’t like them because – just like with their own bunch of mates – they’re content knowing that the ones who stick around are where the gold is going to come from.
To them, it’s not personal.
As women, we can get lost ourselves to our online business neighbours. We can then become chameleons in our online business journey while we try to mimic others, losing our own unique and distinguishable voice in the process and costing us customers we can’t connect with who we really are.
We look to the online business women directly next to us and compare ourselves and everything we do to them. But instead of being inspired by them we are triggered by their success. When they do good, we get anxious. stressed and frightened.
When they achieve something we want to achieve that same thing, which means we go off track, we lose our own personal direction and we begin to want some of what they have.
The worst thing though? When women compare ourselves to those swimming around in our own pond, we limit ourselves and our potential to that small zone.
Successful business men seek to improve their skills and knowledge and respect the greatest leaders in their field but do not waste time they could be focused on their own businesses worrying about what every other man is doing with their business.
You will also find that a successful business man has an individual personality which shows easily. And it will probably annoy a lot of people. Because they are more authentic online, they will attract and disinterest people at the same time. This builds a more loyal fan base who are very connected with what they do and who will buy what they sell more readily.
(Ash Ambirge actually does this really well… people either LOVE her work, or don’t connect with it at all. Because of this she has built a hoard of raving fans who buy everything she produces).
Barbara Annis, co-author of Leadership and the Sexes: Using Gender Science to Create Success in Business, when asked: Who would you rather work for, a man or a woman? said…
I’ve had both. I like both. I just have to go into any experience, obviously treating everyone as an individual, but saying the conversations with woman will probably be longer. I have to be more patient because their magic is going to come through them verbalizing more and connecting more dots. With men, I have to generally say, the conversations will be a little shorter, the meetings with be a little shorter. We’re going to cut to the chase a little quicker. So some things won’t get discussed, but we’re going to go for the end product more quickly. I think there are benefits to both.
What a ‘Man’ says:
I called a successful business man I know and told him about this article because I wanted to get a modern man’s take on it. The man in question is also a dedicated and present dad and I respect him a great deal.
This is what he said.
The fact that you have even thought of all of these things is a sign in itself of the way that women can do business differently to men. You’re analytical, but not where it matters the most.
If a lot of women invested even half of the time they currently do worrying about what everyone else was doing or thinking about them as a person, or questioning every move they made online and simply got on with it, there would be a lot more female millionaires by now.
Women are as capable as men at being successful in business.
And there are sure to be many ways that men can learn from women in business too, but there is no doubt that we can learn a lot of lessons from the no-fuss way that successful men do business.
Know this: What you do for work does not equal your personal value.