I told you a short while ago I was going to go out with a bang in the last few months of this blog. Well here goes…
This week I’d like to introduce you to the ‘Silk Scarf Brigade*’
So what is the Silk Scarf Brigade I hear you ask…
…The SSB (as they will now be known as it takes far too long to keep writing it in full), is the name I have given to those women that you sometimes meet at networking events.
They are the women who often look the prettiest, with their coiffed hair and manicured nails. They are always wearing lovely clothes, and you can hear their voices as they carry across the room.
As they are speaking you can tune into them telling some poor soul, who has been backed into a corner, about how wonderful, not only they are, but how their business is flourishing!
They seem to know everything about business and how to be successful.
They know all the ‘right’ people you should be talking to.
The ‘right’ places you should be going to for your advice.
They for example know the best branding experts, lawyers, marketers and even places you should be ‘getting’ your clients, as they seem to have no trouble making this thing called business, work like a charm!
Also, you can maybe see that they’ve come to the event in their flash car, wearing their gucci handbag on their arm, alongside their Prada shoes and have just dropped off the kids at their private school.
The more you listen, the more you start to feel a bit rubbish and insecure about yourself and your business. And when they start telling you about their upcoming holiday they have in the South of France in their cute little Chateau which they like to visit as much as possible, your stomach drops and you probably wonder what you’re doing there.
She hands to you a plush looking business card, and you look down at your own embarrassed. You’ve been working on your branding and know you need new photos, but right now, next to hers, yours looks like a kid has designed it.
You walk away feeling small, deflated and worried.
You’re trying so hard to do all the right things, to get things looking slicker, to nail your marketing, to find more clients and make more money but when you see people like her you wonder if the best thing to do isn’t just to pack it all in and go back to your old job?
That way maybe you won’t worry about the upcoming bills and paying your mortgage next month. Are you hitting your targets and is your business growing at the rate it should be?
Who are the SSB women?
Do you relate to this?
I certainly do, as I remember in the early days of building my business meeting many women like this.
They seemed to float into the room of networking events….and let’s face it, you always end up seeing the same faces on a local scene. They always made business look easy and I often wondered what I was doing ‘wrong’.
They seem do a great impression of showing that they know exactly what they are doing, that they have success and even worse (compared your own situation, especially in the early days), that they are making a lot of money in the process.
So here’s the thing…
What I’ve since learnt is that it is all smoke and mirrors. Why?
Because more often than not, the SSBs have a partner who not only supporting them fully in their pursuit from an emotional perspective…. they are usually, but very importantly, supporting them financially….and there in lies the greatest difference.
The SSBs are doing this for a hobby.
The fact that only sold 2 silk scarves last month to Angelina and Barbie at the school gates, does not a business make.
The money from these silk scarves has not gone frantically into the back account to pay for next months mortgage or petrol, or food shopping. In fact SSB lady probably doesn’t know where that money has gone. Why?
Because the running of the household from a financial point of view, is already taken care of.
Why is this important?
In the work I do, I’ve encountered many clients who have compared themselves against the SSBs on the networking circuit and `i feel that this kind of comparison is highly unfair.
Comparing yourself to SSBs can set you up to fail as you begin to compare yourself against a false measure, it’s false because if they don’t sell anything , which is the main purpose of a business, there are no consequences to that for a SSB….maybe other than pride?
The fact is, is that they will not go hungry. They will not have to think of taking on some part time work in the meantime until they’re ‘making enough’ to pay the bills. They may not have to worry as much about where can carve out time to spend on the business around family and other commitments…and that it why it is not fair to make this kind of comparison.
Help is good!
Now before I get slammed too much for making this claim, I just want to be clear that this is not the same as having support from your partner, emotionally or financially, where you do actually, really want to grow a business.
Support from your partner is good. Fantastic even and arguably vital to your overall success as you need support when you are starting something so important.
The other thing to note is that not everyone has a partner. And so it’s often for these people, that a truly successful business is vitally important, as the buck stops with them so to speak. There is no partner to pick up the tab for a short while while you get going. You may be relying on savings, or have to keep a foot in the part-time work door while you get things off of the ground.
There are women I have also met, who could for all intents are purposes could be one of the SSBs, but they don’t want to be! They too really want to have a flourishing business, one that makes money and isn’t merely a hobby.
The point of this blog then, is to encourage you to not take notice of the Silk Scarf Brigade if you encounter them. They are out there. They are not really running business. They have a hobby and it IS different to those of us that want, need and crave to have a fully functioning and profitable business.
Dont compare yourself to them…instead surround yourself with people who can genuinely help you and lift you higher. People who will support you and truly help you achieve the successes that you crave and need to grow your ‘real’ business.
Till next week!
Before you go, you may also find this programme interesting.
It’s called Risking it All and it’s an old Channel 4 program which follows people in the set up in their new business….rather relevant I’d say. I’d love to know your thoughts!….
No genuine feelings of hatred were truly held against silk scarves or silk scarf business owners in the writing of this blog…LOL!