Hey there lady!
Lately there have been many opportunities to exercise our empathy toward others and ourselves. Being gracious with myself was difficult at first but has become much easier (yay! I’m going to keep doing that).
And while there have been so many fempreneurs reaching out to help others and offering value, encouragement and resources, I’ve also noticed 3 major types of shaming- something that I hope can change going forward.
Like one of many popular posts circulating on social media, “Not everyone is in the same boat, but we’re in the same storm” it has been more important than ever to have compassion toward your fellow fempreneurs.
I want to address head-on 3 types of shaming that well-meaning people are falling into and offer a simple solution to check yourself to be sure you’re not being a shamer. If you’ve ever been shamed it doesn’t feel good, so let’s take a step back to understand other’s scenarios and give them space to “be where they are.”
3 Types of Shaming and How to Avoid Them:
1. Marketing & Sales Shaming
When the pandemic broke out, I was hearing a barrage of comments that were judgy toward people who were continuing to invite their audience to work with them. For some, the idea that people were still moving forward with their offer and having sales conversations felt insensitive or worse- ruthless. Here’s the thing- this response has nothing to do with anyone but themselves: it reveals a desire to be compassionate, but has equally revealed a mindset problem and fear that has probably been there for some time, quietly impacting their results.
We are business owners. While we always want to be aware of the current environment we’re operating in, that doesn’t mean we should stop our marketing efforts and sales conversations. That serves NOBODY. If you have a relationship and community with your people it is especially critical to be in communication during difficult times, including letting them know how you can help- both free and paid opportunities.
- Genuinely compliment someone who you have seen steadfast with their purpose/mission or who has pivoted to address the current needs of their people.
- Check to see where you may have been small-minded and squashed opportunities for YOU to connect further with your audience, including a call to action of some sort. Keep it simple and decide what is the first or second step in your process and invite people to do that with you. You’d be surprised at how many people may be waiting to hear from you.
“Showing up is our power.” – Brene Brown
2. Struggle Shaming
Phew! Mama lion wanted to roar loud about this one when I saw this happening. This type of shaming manifested in various forms, and is sometimes clothed in encouraging comments to be positive (e.g. The Secret on steroids).
Positivity is great, but not at the expense of invalidating someone’s pain and experience.
Struggle shaming also came in the form of touting record-breaking sales. Don’t get me wrong, sharing success is awesome! However, some of the tones and language used was sending the message, “if I can be doing this you should too, so something is wrong with your business”, or “you’re not a great coach/consultant if you’re struggling right now”.
For many of you the last 2+ months have greatly impacted your business from something totally out of your control, and no matter how great your business model and processes, you’ve found yourself scrambling, then shifting, pivoting etc. You may even be doubting your ability to thrive through this. Most of us have never been through this exact universal problem, and we’re navigating it the best we know how. No shame in that. You got this.
- Catch yourself next time you feel yourself judging someone for their particular struggle. Breathe, and allow yourself to feel compassion for them and what they may be feeling. This may be harder for some of you than others: show compassion first, then when they know how much you care, they may be open for suggestions.
If appropriate, send a text or message asking them how they are doing or what they need. Be mindful to respect any boundaries they set, e.g. if they are not a current client, they have not given you permission to coach them. Keep it simple.
- Use this as an opportunity to better understand the unique needs and challenges your clients and prospects face. Maybe you tweak your process temporarily and instead of requiring people to sign up for a paid consultation as the first step, you have a free group conversation about their top focus areas right now when it comes to X. Then invite people from there.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…” – Theodore Roosevelt
3. Success Shaming
This is the flipside of the last type of shaming. Because you may be struggling doesn’t mean others who are not struggling should be silent about their success. Those who are genuinely sharing wins and celebrating progress should have the space to be where they are too.
Alternatively, just because many people are dealing with a huge impact on their bottom line doesn’t mean you need to be shameful if your business is soaring. Rather than succumbing to the temptation to hide or diminish your effectiveness, find ways to show up and serve from that place of fullness and gratitude. It’s contagious!
- Use any successes, progress, and wins to support, celebrate in the midst of uncertain times, and teach what you know. Be sure to do this in a way that tells people “there is a way for you too”- NOT “why are you struggling…you shouldn’t be.” Let them know you get how challenging it is right now and show them the way. Don’t kick her while she’s down. That rarely works.
- Share a client success story/case study. This is an opportunity to demonstrate how you work and the types of results you can help people achieve. It’s also a great way to teach your audience your core concepts they can apply too. Be real and open about how you modified your process or challenges that came up in implementation and how you handled it. It’s a fabulous way of sharing how effective you are and even your sales, without touting or shaming those who may be struggling. If you’re not sure, ask a trusted business friend/mentor to read before posting or sharing.
“Empathy is the anecdote to shame.” – Brene Brown
Did you recognize yourself in any of these types of shaming? Have you been on the receiving end of any?
Let’s get our messages out there, let’s serve, and keep moving forward to make a bigger impact, make more money, and have more fun. Let’s run a “positive campaign.”
My wish is for you to create more of the business and life you want, and lets’ support others to do the same.
Please comment below and share what you need most right now. I’ll see how I can help personally or point you to another resource.
P.S. Have you taken our Fab 4 Sweet Spot Assessment yet? When you take it, you’ll discover 4 key areas to be in the sweet spot of your business and your scores in each area. No matter whether you’re feeling super successful right now or struggling, it will reveal exact steps you can take to improve and start getting better results easier. Hey, we all want that right?!
This could be the perfect time to see where you can get the biggest bang for your efforts. It’s not about doing everything, but instead focusing on the things that matter most for your business. This assessment will reveal that.