But she isn’t responsible.
But she doesn’t carry herself well.
But she has a lifestyle not conducive to a respectable business owner.
But she doesn’t have the capital to do this kind of work.
But she isn’t ready.
But she can’t compete in this market.
Intentional is defined as “done on purpose; deliberate” by the Oxford Dictionaries. And with 9.9 million firms owned by women in the United States[i], 55% of all entrepreneurs in China being women; and in 2015, approximately 36% (1.1 million) of Canada’s self-employed entrepreneurs were women[ii] it is simply impossible to not be able to see the magic in building with the woman next to you. In the United States alone, there are 9.9 million opportunities to build. Understandingly, it takes guts to be intentional. Sometimes will. Sometimes restraint. Sometimes discipline, but all the time it is a purposeful decision. One that grows you and the other party for the better.
To seek an Intentional Sisterhood in Business you must be willing to open yourself to a task that will make you uncomfortable; regardless of how well you blend with other women. The idea of going out of your way to speak, fellowship, befriend, serve and work for or with other women can easily be met with a wide range of reasons to abort mission. As business owners, the odds are varied and the opportunities are select for the willing, so it’s imperative that we gravitate towards lights that are brighter, dimmer and more inconsistent than our own. On a basic level, it is the right thing to do; on a human level, it is the neighborly thing to do; on a spiritual level, it prepares an atmosphere for the energy your life desires; and on a business level, it opens up possibilities unimagined.
Intentional Sisterhoods should cross all sectors of life including race, educational attainment, socioeconomics, religions and ages. Furthermore, if you’ve never worked with women of color in business, it’s time to get over your mental models and consider it because there are 2.9 million firms, with a majority-owned women of color as its leader, in the United States[iii]. This alone shows that there is roughly a 25% chance that your next best idea may come from a woman of color owned business.
But this is tough work. Especially if you’re one of those “no new friends” or has an “I work better alone” mentality. The purpose of an Intentional Sisterhood in Business is to create the world you wish to see through actively participating in its creation. The fact that women-owned businesses generate $1.4 trillion in sales, proves we should stop under-believing, undermining and undervaluing one another and start deliberately seeking out like-minded, unlike-minded, determined and motivated along with unpolished and unstable business owners, to support and honorably impart our energy and knowledge upon. You do remember what it felt like being “outside of the club”, don’t you? Good. Now let’s start opening and holding the door open, to ensure the next woman’s climb has a few more stable steps. We women have the power to lead the world. We’ve already birthed it one way or another. We eternally deserve a sit at the table.
Task: Today I choose to be Intentional in creating the bonds that will curate a lifetime of business security; knowing someone else wants me to win. And I want the same for her.
Author Erika N. Wilson
Wilson is a serial entrepreneur, writer, Violinist/Instructor and non-profit superhero. She enjoys building a life with her hubs and pup-daughter, building her brands, loving on her loved ones, and connecting people to people, places, thoughts and things.
[i] Dishman, L. (2017, October 23). The State of Women-Owned Businesses In The U.S. Retrieved from Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/3050109/the-state-of-women-owned-businesses-in-the-us [ii] Stevens, G. (2017, October 23). The Global State of Women-Owned Small Business Enterprises. Retrieved from Business.com: https://www.business.com/aarticles/the-global-state-of-women-owned-small-business-enterprises/ [iii] National Association of Women Business Owners. (2017, October 23). NAWBO Institute For Entrepreneurial Development. Retrieved from https://www.nawbo.org/resources/women-business-owner-statistices