What I Learned After Being the Only Female Founder in the Room

vixen in business energy

This is the first blog in a four-part series that I’m writing about women in business. Each blog in the series focuses on VIBE, or Vixen in Business Energy. Make sure not to miss the rest by signing up for our blog here


 

Not long ago, I attended an event for founders in the financial services industry and was the only female founder in the group. This is not unusual (although I promise you, female founders do exist in this industry). During a break, another woman approached me and said, “Who do you work for?” assuming that because I was among the founders, I must have been supporting them instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them.

It’s not uncommon for me to be the only female founder in a room—and it may be the same for you—and gender parity stats support this assumption. Only 15 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women BUT, there are a hell of a lot of female founders out there. In fact, nearly 50 percent of all business owners are female. But how many of them lead with their feminine energy? 

During the VIBE series, we’ll take a deeper dive into feminine energy but for now, I want you to think about your feminine energy as an intuitive feeling. You know those days or moments where you feel like you’re flowing? Everything you touch turns to gold. You feel like you look good, feel good in your body and truly “feel it?” That happens when you’re in your feminine energy and the “it” feeling differs from woman to woman.

During the rest of that founders conference, instead of focusing on the parity issue, I couldn’t help but think about the difference between the male versus female approach to business leadership and its link to our innate, very different energies. 

Men Are From Outer, Women Are From Inner

Along with Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” and Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth,” “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” is considered a modern day classic. I had a mind-is-blown moment when I found this out, too BUT, “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus,” is about how men and women can communicate better by “acknowledging the differences between their needs, desires and behaviors.”

The fact is, the genders are different. And even though we are sometimes told we can be the same, popular vote shows that…we’re different. We have different energies, we approach life differently, we are socialized differently—we’re different. 

Of course, these differences can work phenomenally well together (Mars and Venus are BOTH in the same galaxy, right?). Maybe you have a business partner, life partner, or male sibling that compliments you perfectly. Good for you! The point of looking at how masculine versus feminine energy in business differs isn’t to ostracize men or to put one gender on a pedestal. It’s to demonstrate how by leaning into your feminine energy, you will further move into your power and therefore accelerate beyond your wildest dreams. 

Outer vs. Inner Focus (Masculine vs. Feminine Energies) 

If I had $.50 for every business event that I’ve been to that is totally and completely devoted to masculine energy and the masculine way of doing business AND also had $1 for every one of those event hosts that had no idea that they were living in the masculine, well… At these events, work is focused on end goals and numbers, not inner work—how do you work with the work? How do you show up? How does it impact those around you?

The differences between men and women is evident in the way that they approach both business and leadership. Men focus the majority of their energy on the outer game—the numbers, the plan, the appearance, the goals and the outcomes. While women certainly focus on this as well, feminine energy asks us to spend more time focusing on inner development—who we are, our consciousness, how we interact with the world, how we become better people and how to align our lives and our values. Men lead with their heads, women lead with their hearts…but women are phenomenal at multitasking and therefore are the perfect candidates to bridge the gap between the inner and the outer worlds. They can do head AND heart. When they do, when they hold space for vulnerability and humanity, those they lead are happier and more fulfilled.

Seven Types of Love

The Greek have seven words for love. We have one. 

This is how the Greek categorize love in seven ways: 

  • Romantic, passionate love (eros)
  • Affectionate, friendly love (philia)
  • Unconditional, familial love (storge)
  • Selfless, universal love (agape)
  • Playful, flirtatious love (ludus)
  • Committed, long-lasting Love (pragma)
  • Self love (philautia) 

This interpretation of love gives space for both feminine and masculine expressions of love. Under the Greek umbrella of love, one can be passionate and friendly, universal and focused on the self. Imagine living by this law of love? It encompasses every person from the self to the greater good. That is truly love!

The lack of love in this world—or maybe it’s how narrowly we define love—is one of the biggest challenges that humanity faces today. 

When I go to business events and seminars, there’s so much focus on the outer work and so little focus on the inner. Why when it comes to business in particular, do the two need to be separate? Why does it have to be shocking for a CEO to talk to a room full of strangers about something personal? Why are we so afraid of being…human? What would happen if we were more human?

What Does Leading with the Heart Look Like?

In 2018, I had an all female team, which allowed all of us to show up and be the leaders that we wanted to be. We:

  • Set goals based on outer and inner desires
  • Talked about our personal and professional lives without overstepping boundaries
  • Had more energy
  • Were more graceful, compassionate and playful than we would have been had we not opened to each other’s vulnerability 

Now, you certainly don’t have to have an all-female team to accomplish inner work. Men benefit from this, too. I’m simply suggesting that women are uniquely positioned to lead with their and heart and when they do, their leadership and the results they get from their team are phenomenal

Tips for Leading with the Heart

  1. Tap into your heart before meeting with your team 
  2. Set boundaries that are comfortable for you and your team so inner leadership has some guidelines
  3. Be willing to be vulnerable!

Looking for more details on how to lead with your heart?

Schedule a free 30-minute chat with me here

 

 

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