Female entrepreneurs tackle common business challenges in SMRT Pop Ups’ series of workshops, by Sofia Fortin

It’s the year of the woman, ladies. In the height of the #MeToo movement, Times Up, and many other global shifts, women are taking a stand and making change by acknowledging that we face unique challenges and tackling them head on. We are standing up and speaking out like never before – and when it comes to business, things are no different.

Those challenges that contribute to the pay gap, and low representation in political and leadership positions are the same ones that hold us back in business. These challenges come directly from what our younger selves learn about how to be in the world. As women we learn to be humble, not to take risks and to be givers. When we take charge we are told we are controlling, bossy, and that other B-word folks are so fond of using. If you are a woman in business it is very likely that you struggle to believe in yourself, in your abilities as CEO and your vision. You might also struggle to self-promote, share your wins and successes and proudly tell the world about your special talents.

You probably also feel your knees shake when you think of truly putting yourself and your business out there. Who even knows how to do marketing, anyways – and heaven forbid folks might judge you for your personality or your “silly” dreams. These are very real hurdles and they are hurting your business. It’s time to take charge – so what can you do?

On hacking limiting beliefs: Be your own devil’s advocate. What story are you telling yourself? Describe it in detail. Be really honest. What is the truth about this belief or situation? What do you assume to be true? What part of the story makes you feel stuck every time? What do you really believe? Remember evidence is proof and is backed up by facts. Can you disprove the story you are telling yourself and give it less power?

On self-promoting: Look back at your business in 2017 and think of three times you were really proud to help someone. Write out a statement describing each time and write out in detail the difference you made for that client or customer and how it made you feel. Share it with five people you know.

On getting visible with your marketing content: Figure out who your raving fans are and ask them what they most want to learn about from you. Use that intel to create emails, social media posts, or website content that provides your current and future clients with the info they need. When you focus on what your clients need, you can create content with more confidence. Also, get a great designer or learn how to use free Internet programs like Canva.

If you are ready to tackle the mindset demons that are holding you and your business back, check out the SMRT Women Workshop series offered by SMRT POP UPS and Pursuit Coaching Services. These workshops are designed to help business owners tackle their limiting beliefs, learn how to self-promote like a boss and create marketing content that sells. We are stronger together: the more women are succeeding in business, the more we can change how women in business succeed.

Visit the events and workshops page at SMRTpopups.com for all the details.
Workshops will be held Wednesday, Jan. 24; Wednesday, Feb. 21; and Wednesday, March 7 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Baked Café.

Sofia Fortin is the co-director of SMRT Pop Ups and a long-time local solopreneur.

An interview with Naomi Mark