Whether you’re in the corporate world or an entrepreneur, in your journey, you’ve likely researched your side of the business. There’s a ton of information available out there and it’s up to us as individuals to sift through what is valid to us and what’s frivolous.
As a woman, I look for other women.
Hear me out.
I’ve owned my business for over 15 years. I’ve never needed to promote it beyond posting items for sale. What I sell has changed over the years, but the platform is essentially the same. Get an item, research item, photograph item, post the item for sale, rinse, and repeat. I’ve used eBay almost exclusively, unless I sold used laboratory equipment and posted it on LabX.
When I began my writing journey two years back, marketing and self-promotion was daunting. As much as I love to talk, I despise talking about myself. It has always been difficult for me to promote myself; It’s one reason I never ran for student government, even having teachers ask multiple times. So I did what most people who don’t have a background in marketing would do, I researched.
What I found were a lot of young, male entrepreneurs giving me advice about how they succeeded.
I won’t say that all the advice was bad. Some of it was helpful. I took it with a grain of salt and put to use what I could use and tossed the rest. But there was some that grated on me. It felt as if I was being talked down to, as a woman I couldn’t prosper and grow the way these young men had.
I had the wrong equipment.
I Don’t Need to be “Taken Under Your Wing”, Mr. Big Shot
Just because I’m a woman and you’re a man, does not mean I need assistance or saving to succeed in the business world.
What I didn’t find much of, were the voices of women.
Sadly, it is a different world depending on your gender, race, and economic standing. What works for young, unencumbered men most likely won’t for middle-aged women who are married with kids.
It is up to us, as individuals, to take what we can from any piece of information we gain and dispose of the rest. However, wouldn’t it be better to have the information from a source we can relate to?
As a recent commenter on the above post reminded me, Neil Portnow’s quote of, “It has to begin with … women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level … [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome.” comes to mind.
There are women in marketing, in business, who are entrepreneurs, just as there are in other industries. A lot of you just think we’re the secretary.
It’s said the cream rises to the top but isn’t that just as antiquated as the thought, women can’t do certain things because they are women? When I search for the richest people in America, the top five are all men. Are you telling me there are no women in America who have done the work these men have?
I don’t think so.
Here on Medium, I seek the strong, independent business savvy women more and more. These are the women I want to emulate. The women I want to be more like whenever I finally have grown up. They are here, in larger numbers than I imagined. Once I follow one, a handful more begin appearing in my feed.
It’s a powerful feeling that gives me hope.
I still haven’t got this whole marketing thing down and I don’t know that I ever will. I do not understand how to build a landing page so I can begin email marketing, but it’s on my list to research. I know how to promote my writing on social media and that’s about it.
Because of phenomenal women like Felicia C. Sullivan and Gillian Sisley, I have articles to educate me on marketing and solopreneurship. Because of amazing writers like Shaunta Grimes and Shannon Ashley, sharing their love of the craft, I can find essays detailing how to do most anything with my writing business. Kay Bolden has taught me what it means to speak intentionally, in my writing and in life. I’ve learned more about how to take care of myself, as a woman, from Yael Wolfe than I ever learned from my mother or myself.
There are more, so many more. I would have to list fifty to come close to covering the women who’ve changed my life on this platform.