Much like charity, self-respect begins at home. We can preach all we want to about how we expect to be treated by others but rarely do those expectations extend to the way we treat ourselves. Believe me, people are watching and they can see the double standard plain as day. One of the major ways we as women disrespect ourselves is by not valuing our time the same way that we value other people’s time. Remember, ladies: time is money. Take a few steps towards respecting your very valuable time as a business woman.
You are not every woman• I know that it is hard to admit to yourself that you do not have the ability, will or desire to do everything. Every businesswoman wants to be Chaka Khan ( aka “Every Woman”). Part of valuing and using your time wisely is knowing when to delegate and find people who are better at doing what needs to be done than you are.
Stop giving your time away for free• So many people will ask for a chance to “buy your coffee” or “pick your brain”. What they are really asking you for is your time, your advice and your energy for free. That’s all good when you choose to do so, but if you make a habit of that, it will turn into a huge drain on your time. Be selective about who and when you choose to help.
Learn how to say no• If you don’t do anything else on this list, learn how to say no. Women are socialized to be kind, nice and sweet. Part of always being pleasing is being “kind,” aka never turning anyone down. There is no way for you to preserve your time, energy and sanity if you are inundated with other people’s issues. They will weigh you down and suck up all of the time you need to run your own business.
Empathy will be your undoing• Being compassionate and caring is incredible, Having said that, you need to watch your tendency to want to save everyone. First of all, you can’t save everyone. Second, you do not have the time. How do I know? Because you are running a business. The majority of the time you have should be spent on running that business, and not on rescuing the world from whatever nonsense they have gotten themselves into.
Remember this: nobody is going to protect yourself better than you. It feels really good to help people, making them happy is one of the best things in life. The problem is that you cannot prioritize others at the expense of what you are trying to build up. It is time, my friend, for you to begin respecting your time. That means stop giving your time away for free, trying to be everything to everyone, taking on all of their problems, and never saying no. This is going to feel uncomfortable at first, but you will have plenty of time to deal with that.
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