I would be absolutely thrilled if I could tell you that I didn’t care what anyone thought of the words I am putting on these pages, but to tell you the truth, it really does matter! And because it matters, I was overwhelmed, relieved and freaking floored to say the least when I read all of your comments….so thank you!
Before this blog starts to sound as though I am accepting an academy award, I will shoot from the hip to share my thoughts on fitting in…making the grade and just being myself.
To get an idea of where I am going with this I would like to paint you a picture.
I grew up in the suburbs and considered myself as the in between type of person. You know….not super cool, not overly nerdy….just in between.
As an adult, I would consider this was probably a good place to be. There’s very little expectation in regards to being “hot” or incredibly intellectual and to be completely honest, I wasn’t either of these things!
Now I am an adult, I have two adult children (geeze….could I really be old enough for adult children) and I am absolutely busting to continue with my new exciting business and I am also bloody proud of the herbal medicine business I sold last year……Yay, go me!
As anyone who has been in business before knows, with business comes networking and with networking comes meeting a number of people who could potentially contribute to fulfilling your business goals. When you’re networking you really only have one chance to make an impression, so how are you going to do it?
Well when starting a business, you need to plan, you need to know who your target market is and you need to market, network, network better and be seen, be heard and be interesting enough so that those around you want to know more about you and your business. You have to learn how to sell your business within one meeting! If you’re starting a business because someone else wants you to, forget it. Either have the passion and overwhelming desire, or work with very little satisfaction or reward. If you don’t believe in it, you will only be able to hide this for so long.
“Build it an they will come“…are you kidding??? Build it, show the world that it is absolutely the answer to their needs, be honest (dishonesty will bite you in the bum so don’t risk it) and let them know exactly what “they” will get out of it. After all, if you’re asking someone to trust you, it has to be 100% worthwhile for those who choose to invest. If it’s not, don’t expect any return business.
First impressions are the key, at least this is what I have always been told. “Time to fit the mold”, you have to wear the power suit or you won’t be taken seriously, What label are you wearing…is it designer?”
Really? I mean…really??? Is this really where it’s at?
I completely understand that various careers call for various dress codes. When we run workshops, we are quite specific in regards to what our attendees wear. They are working with horses and therefore safety is always our priority.
In regards to what they wear, the brand, the look, whether or not they look cool, wealthy, goth, hipster on anything else that I’m not cool enough to know about….this doesn’t matter at all. Our horses couldn’t care less and neither do I.
So here I am, Sue Martin, the in betweener. Two years ago when started planning how to network for my new business I attended a business breakfast. We were house sitting at the time (this is another looooong story) and I had only a bag of clothes as everything else was in storage. Well, because we’re being honest….I also didn’t and still don’t own stilleto’s or a power suit, so does it really matter that I only had a bag of clothes, probably not!
I polished my horsey work boots and I slipped on my blue jeans, teamed it up with my black cowl neck jumper and my horse vest. I attended to my hair and did my best to attend to any anxiety that might creep up due to the fact that I was at a business breakfast without a power suit.
This was my time to share my vision for my new business and for goodness sake, of course not everyone would be in designer clothes and business suits…
As I parked my car and made my way to the function, I entered the room and yep you guessed it. I entered the room to a large group of gorgeous business women ALL in power suits and stiletto’s. I mean, can you picture what I am describing to you? Tell me, can you imagine walking into a room of sassy women where you’re the odd one out?
After feeling unusually hot (in the temperature sense) and a little like I was an alien visiting from Venus (because apparently men are from Mars) I took a few deep breaths, marched forward and realized that, “I am me” and my business is all about being authentic to yourself, being a leader, being resilient and communicating with others… I very quickly got over it can report that I had a fabulous time mixing it up with other business women. Best of all, numerous women took the time to meet me and tell me that they wished they had worn the clothes they were comfortable in.
I am proud to tell you that I have since attended business network functions after slipping on my blue jeans, snazzy shoes and a crisp shirt. I am not just an in betweener, I am very comfortable in my own skin, my own shoes and while I do care what people think (don’t lie, we all do to a point) I am proud to be sharing my business with my horses (who are the teachers) and to be sharing the truth about who we really are to all who attend our property. After all, our horses are incapable of being dishonest, so there’s no other way we could possibly do it.
As for me, I wear very little to no make up, I don’t do dresses (probably because they don’t match my boots) and apart from my family and my work, I absolutely flip out at the thought of hanging out with my horses and chooks!
So am I the average business women (or shall I bring up that trendy word again…entrepreneur) absolutely not.
Am I proud of the individual and possibly unusual (especially to town folk) lady that I am….bloody oath!
All that really matters to me is that I am who I am….Cowboy boots and all! I have a deep drive in my soul to share with others what my horses have taught me. Whether you are in business or not, I don’t believe that there is any feeling better than knowing that you can be a leader…a leader that can truly lead based on acceptance, communication and trust rather than dominance.
For me, I believe that we can all do it, every single one of us. All we need is to know is that “we can“.
For me, fitting in was to understand that boots, jeans, horses, chooks and following my deepest, heart felt desires to allow others to find their purpose, is absolutely okay. It’s about being honest about who you are and not being ashamed of it……..Why would we be ashamed……our individuality rocks.
This is me fitting in and I think it’s bloody awesome!