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GenevieveApparently, as women, we are biologically designed to be able to live on less food than men, so we can ensure that our little ones get what they need in times of famine. This is a very useful feature of being female and happily one that we don’t have to employ too much in New Zealand.

However, this denying oneself for the good of the tribe does not translate particularly well for women in business. The psyche of coping with less and not wanting to appear ‘greedy’ is a millstone for creative problem solving in leveraging resources towards business success.

Ladies it’s ok to want more for yourself and your family – it is equally alright to be excellent at what you do and to charge your delighted clients accordingly.

So how do we arrive at this platform of confidence and success? Well, as we can all attest, it is unlikely to happen overnight but with hard work and focus it will happen!

First, you must join your own team. What is this you say? As a woman in business or on the cusp of plunging into your business passion it is essential that everything you say and do within your internal dialogue is ‘team building’. There is no room for guilt, self-doubt, shame, and worry about what you can’t do, or what might go wrong.

Life is messy. It is inevitable that at times ‘House and Garden’ would not be particularly impressed with the sheer maturity of the weeds in the garden or appreciate the aesthetic edginess of your washing folding pile exceeding the height of your eldest child.

But seriously, will anyone’s arms fall off if this happens? Will it stay like this forever? No.

Even with the demands of a busy family, it is more than possible to reach your professional and financial goals. Of course, setting your goals within a realistic timeframe and within the context of time availability is important.

A lot of us operate our business from home. There is the practicality of working around the children before and after school and the pleasure of being able to personally monitor optimal weather scenarios for the family washing. But beware being at home might (in the beginning) make you feel obligated to keep up with all domestic chores at all times – enter guilt stage left.

The trick is to maintain a mental discipline regarding when you engage in paid work and when you don’t. My business hours begin at 8:45 sharp. The kids are at school, some form of beast has been dragged out of the freezer for dinner that night and all the washing that will make it out of doors has gone that way. What is not done around the house won’t get done until 5:15 pm.

You will be surprised how quickly the loved ones around you will adapt to this new regime. Be sure not to show fear when your ‘cubs’ question why you did not spend the day baking gourmet goods for their snacking pleasure. Raise your head, look them in the eye and instruct the little darlings that they will be just fine. Bake if you want to later on, if you don’t enjoy baking just buy it – I do.

Genevieve is Business Writer and Director at composureonline.co.nz
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