A friend recently shared how in her last newsletter she had inadvertently offended people, causing 6 to unsubscribe. She felt terrible about it.
I shared that my most recent email got 22 unsubscribes and 3 complaints, and she said, “Thank you for sharing that with me. It does help to know that kind of thing happens to others too.“
And that’s the crux of it for me.
Sharing Removes Shame
One of the most powerful and essential things about having an entrepreneurial community is being able to share when things suck. Because sharing our shame, our fears, and our struggles takes the power out of them.
TED Senior Fellow and Creator of the Confessions project Candy Chang hits the nail on the head when she says, “When we feel fear or anxiety or confusion, we often do our very best to hide it from others.” In her project she had people write confessions on plaques that were then displayed for everyone to see. They ranged from, “your name is tattooed on my ass” and “I like porn more than my husband does,” to “I still love her. 2 girlfriends and five years later…” From “I’m scared I’ll die alone,” to “I eat too much cheese.”
Candy believes that “through opportunities for collective introspection in public I think we can gain a lot of value in both self realization and communal kinship.”
Basically, there’s power in knowing we’re not alone. There’s no need to suffer in silence. And there’s tremendous value to be gained in sharing.
It’s easy to scroll through instagram and feel like it’s not okay to share your failures. The platform is inherently full of everyone’s wins. Seeing all wins all the time can make us not want to be vulnerable.
And while some forms of comparison might be unhealthy, it does make sense to compare certain things (like your unsubscribe rate) from a logical, analytical perspective.
Vulnerability is the key to mental health and growth. If you’re comparing in isolation you might not realize others are having failures and losses, too. In the email unsubscribe example, you might be surprised and comforted to know another person regularly gets 50 unsubscribes.
You might be comparing your business using the wrong metrics and without consideration for what’s industry standard. We should examine unsubscribes, as an example, using a percentage, not a whole number. And a certain amount of unsubscribes is not only acceptable, but healthy. One of our members noted how unsubscribes are a person’s way of self-identifying as NOT your ideal customers, which is a great thing!
I remember being a teenager, upset about not winning something. It was either a softball game or a cheerleading competition. (Yes, your resident feminist was a cheerleader, and I loved every minute of it!) A friend said to me, “don’t sweat it. There’s always someone ahead of you, and always someone behind you.”
And that has stuck with me to this day. It’s a perfect nugget for the entrepreneurial journey.
If you start to get stuck in the comparison trap, remember theres always someone ahead of you and there’s always someone behind you.
Someone with a level of success you wish you had, and someone looking up to you wishing they were where you are.
There’s a reason this gif goes out in every one of our members’ FemCircle Mastermind meeting email reminders:
Because that’s what we’re all about.
Loneliness and Isolation
Solopreneurs often work in isolation, which can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Often times, talking about our struggles takes the power out of them. It releases the hold they have on us.
It’s one of the reasons I treasure the Femworking community so much. Because going through all of this alone is no way to do it. You owe more to yourself than an entrepreneurial journey in isolation.
A Safe Space to Be Vulnerable
A safe space to be vulnerable is key. Vulnerability allows you to open up and have honest conversations about your struggles, fears, and even what’s a good industry-standard unsubscribe rate!
Chang says the Confessions project, “revealed how quickly people exposed their struggles and vulnerabilities when given then right conditions. There’s great power in knowing you’re not alone…you’re not the only one who feels like they’re barely keeping it together.
“One of the greatest missions in modern cities is modern communion…infrastructure for the soul is more vital than ever. It not only serves fundamental needs of the human spirit, but it also cultivates trust and understanding at the local level, which are so vital for communal respect and collaboration.”
Femworking is the entrepreneur’s infrastructure for the soul.
We cultivate trust and understanding so that you can benefit from communal respect and collaboration, which ultimately lead to business growth.
Creating your own positive space that you can go to as a constant source of community, reassurance, and help is necessary. Because there is already enough negativity and struggle on the entrepreneur’s journey.
If you don’t feel like you have a place where you can go and laugh and be supported then this journey can be a tough one.
You want to find that community that has someone ahead of you you can aspire to reach and someone behind you you can help bring to your level.
Women are often surprised at the community we’ve created once they decide to step inside.
They’re surprised at how safe it is. How non-judgmental it is. How vulnerable they can be there, and the power that that vulnerability has. They’re surprised at what that vulnerability can lead to. They’re surprised by the honest conversations. And the support. They’re surprised when others say, “I’ve been where you are. Don’t worry, you’ll get through this. It gets easier.” They’re surprised by the generosity. They’re surprised to experience what a true sisterhood feels like, and they’re surprised at how real and deep the friendships they form go.
It’s all a pleasant, refreshing surprise.
And I hope we can be that for you.
I hope you’ll at least check us out.
RSVP below to come to a free open house and get a taste of what our community is like. We’ll meet on zoom to help you with your business in real-time, so bring something we can help you with.
We can’t wait to meet you.