The Leader of Make Mine a Million $ Business Offers Five Tips on How We Can Have it Our Way, in Life, Love, and at Work
“I don’t have anything against men or boys,” Nell Merlino once famously said. “I just am here fighting for women.”
Indeed, whether you are a female or male entrepreneur, Nell’s tips for “Stepping Out Of Line” provide great advice for not only improving your annual revenue, but taking your business to new heights.
For women entrepreneurs, though, the road has been, and continues to be, a tad rockier than for our male counterparts.
Consider these facts from the National Foundation for Women Business Owners:
• Women-owned businesses employ approximately 27 million people
• Women own 48% of all businesses in the United States. This is 9.1 million businesses, and that number increases each year.
• Women business owners contribute more than $3.6 trillion to the marketplace each year, and women account for more than 70% of consumer spending. 55% of women provide half or more of their household’s income, yet 48 million women — that is 80% of all women in the workforce — earn less than $25,000 a year.
Take the Next Step
What are women to do?
“Believe in you,” says Nell Merlino, referring to the three words that are the mantra at her non-profit organization, Count Me In.
She also says that women have to “stop waiting for the world to change and decide that you will change it. You have to step out of line and live the life you want to live, create the work you want to do, and build the personal relationships that will make you happy.”
Step Out of Line
1. Start with the end in mind. Write down or cut out pictures of what you ultimately see for yourself and others in your life, love, and work. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will be able to communicate your vision to others so they can help you get there.
2. Set specific, time-sensitive goals; write them down and post them where you can see them. Further hone your unique definition of success by determining the actual numbers, dates, dollar amounts, or other specific markers you want to achieve. This way, you’ll be able to mark incremental successes and celebrate when you’ve reached your ultimate goal. Vague goals produce vague results.
3. Expect and listen to resistance. Whenever you try to exchange and grow, you will undoubtedly experience resistance, fear, and criticism from other people and from yourself. Anticipate this, listen to the concerns, and have a strategy to incorporate the valid ones into your plans.
4. Get more opinions than your own. Confidence is a huge asset, but it doesn’t replace the need to test your ideas and plans with other people. There is great value in seeking advice from people with more experience, less experience, different backgrounds, and various dispositions. Trust your instincts and do some market research.
5. See your life as part of a bigger picture. You are rarely the only one in the world who wants the life you want or has the dreams you have. Access the wider world of people with your interests and goals and use this network for support, encouragement, and an occasional kick in the pants.
Don’t miss all of the useful information in Nell Merlino’s book, “Stepping Out of Line.” Buy the book here.