I read a blog post by a business friend recently around the concept of women who are too comfortable to succeed in business. It discussed how my peer attended a conference where women were asked to raise their hand if they felt too financially comfortable in their personal lives to really go for it in business and around 90 per cent of the room indicated yes.
My immediate assumption was these women were married to successful men and lived in real nice houses in the suburbs. I judged them because I would be in the 10 per cent who did not raise their hand. I am not, and have never been, a kept woman. At all. It also occurred to me that all of my current clients are single women. Independent, driven, highly motivated single women.
My associate's blog post rattled me because it forced me to challenge my long-held assumptions of, "Jeez, it's so much easier for women in relationships to be in business. They don't have the pressure of being the breadwinner. Takes the pressure off."
And yes, as I write that, my inner feminist shudders. But that was a view I held for so many years, even before I started my business. I was absolutely convinced that it was easier for the women who had a spouse to split the rent with. Now I have an entirely different view, and it's this: Single women have an advantage in business. Yep, you read that right the first time. Here's why.
We make our own financial decisions
Nothing makes me lose respect for a prospective client faster than an, "I'll have to ask my husband." Really? Why? Who's running your business -- you or your hubs? Now. I would love to say I understand what it's like to have joint finances and share your expenses, but I don't. I really, truly don't. Even when I've been in a relationship, my money is my money, and his money is his. I don't ask anyone permission to spend my hard earned moo-la-la, especially when it pertains to a business decision. I call the shots, and so do my clients, which is one of the many reasons I have massive respect for them.
We earn big because we have to
"Oh, it doesn't matter if I don't hit my financial targets this month. My husband pays the mortgage. Anything I earn is a bonus." That mentality is the reason your business will fail. Sorry not sorry. And I hate the word hustle, but you know what, as single women we bust our lady balls to earn big because we have to. Nobody is coming to save us. If we want to cover the basics of rent and car payments in addition to the bonuses like taking that trip to Europe, guess who's funding it? We are. When success is the only option you have, success is the only outcome you expect.
We don't answer to anyone
"Honey, what's for dinner?" is a phrase that has never been uttered in my house. Potentially because I can't cook, but that's another story for another time. In all seriousness though, I don't answer to anyone and I'm not responsible for another soul other than myself (and my cat. I know, a single 31-year-old woman with a cat, what a concept). This isn't a dig, either -- I genuinely feel for women who have the responsibilities of caring for their family and juggling the critically important role of being a full time mom, in addition to running their business. Those women are heroes. I tell you right now, I couldn't do it.
As I'm writing this, several of my entrepreneurial friends spring to mind. These women are kicking ass in business, making decisions based on what they want, and they also happen to be happily married. So yes, it is possible to have both. And yes, I have been in relationships while running my business. But I find it damn easier to build my empire when I don't have to think about anyone but myself.
Selfish? Maybe. Productive? You bet your last joint account dollar it is.
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