Episode 232: Show Notes
For those of you who missed the last Boss Talk Series episode, we brought Steph Crowder of Courage & Clarity on and everybody loved it! We got such good feedback, that we decided to bring her on again. Yep, she’s officially moved in! So today’s question is, how do you maintain healthy female relationships? We’ve touched on this in previous episodes, but today we want to focus specifically on business female friendships. This is a tricky topic and goes hand in hand with the theme: Community VS Competition. So how do you stay in your lane and be friends with someone who is doing what you’re doing? When are you crossing the line of taking advantage of a friendship? And how do you know whether your own helpfulness is being taken advantage of too?
These are the types of tough questions we’ll be digging into in this episode. We also share how we personally manage our business female friendships and how having the support of other business women has radically enhanced our lives and careers. By the end of this episode, you’ll really see the benefits of having business female friendships in your life and will know how to determine whether these friendships are in a healthy give-and-take balance. No more hiding, it’s time to get out there and take a chance on the women in your midst.
How To Determine Whether Your Friendships Are Mutually Beneficial
So let’s start with looking at what an unhealthy female relationship might look like. It’s one thing to feel like you have “business besties” but where’s the line when you start feeling taken advantage of? Where’s the line when someone keeps asking, “Hey let’s trade?” And you’re like, “Oh god.” The line when someone’s like, “I need to pick your brain,” and they’ve been “picking your brain” for months! The thing is, relationships need to be mutually beneficial and respectful. And if you’re curious about whether your business deals and business friendships are mutually beneficial, then ask. Say “Hey, are you good? Is this benefitting you?” And you of course need to ask yourself this too. Sometimes you have to draw boundaries with your friends and say “No.” We know it’s hard but you have to decide when to put on different hats and change boundaries with those friends who are your friends in business and outside of business.
Setting Boundaries With Friends Or Family And Saying Hell To The No
Most of the time, we want to be helpful. We want to help our friends and family, right? But what happens when you know from the beginning, a business deal initiated by your friend is just not going to work for you? For Abbie, it depends on who is asking. For example, she’ll get emails from people being like, “I’m going to be in Kansas City can we meet up and chat?” Although she might not particularly want to and knows it might not be particularly helpful for her, Abbie will usually go. Because she wants to help out. In Emylee’s case, for example, she had a family member who has been heckling her for web design, even though she no longer even does web design. She knew it wasn’t going to be a beneficial deal for her but it was kind of like, “Hey, since we’re family can’t you just build me this website real quick?” Emylee didn’t want to do it and so when situations like this arise, she usually refers these people to others who might be more enthusiastic about helping them. No matter who it is who wants your help, sometimes you have to evaluate the give and take of energy. If you are give-give-giving all the time, it is not really good use of your time, because you might feel like you are drowning and getting nowhere in your own business, right? The same thing goes if you are the one take-take-taking. So be mindful of where you might be a bit out of balance because this is one of the determining factors for either an unhealthy friendship, or a healthy one.
Tapping Into The Power of Women's’ Support Spaces
A lot of women, like Steph for instance, fall into the camp of, “I don’t need more women in my life. I know what I’m doing and I’ve got so much shit to do!” But the thing is, as Steph realized after joining a women's’ Mastermind group, you will be amazed at what having the support of women around you can do. Often times we get so stuck in our heads, we don’t even realize how alone we are. Having a shared space with women on your level, is an amazing thing to tap into. So stop telling yourself that you don’t need it! Every time Abbie opens herself up to situations with other women, she is always surprised by what comes out. But how do you what space is going to be best for you? To determine this, you need to ask yourself, “What do I need in this season of life?” Is it in-person communication? Is it Facebook support groups? Is it a Mastermind? Is it Friday night drinks and business talk at the bar? Whatever it is, go towards that. You have to try to find these spaces that are right for you. You have to accept the invitation and go. If you don’t like it, then just don’t go back! It’s so worth it to give it a shot. Because you need a space where you can get advice, give advice, cry, yell. And just FYI, Abbie and Emylee met through a Mastermind group!
Honesty & Transparency: The Key To Healthy Female Friendships
You have to be around people who you feel you can be at the fullest expression of yourself. You have to be around people who you feel you can trust your ideas with. If you’re worried that they’re going to jack your shit, it’s not going to work! Building those types of friendships requires a lot of things. One of those things is vulnerability. Steph doesn’t do small talk and if she feels like she can’t be vulnerable around certain people, she doesn’t see any growth there. You have to get pushed and be pushed in your friendships and perhaps there needs to be a ground rule of honesty and transparency in order to get there. We know that making friends is hard enough as it is. But we really mean business friendships here. We’re not saying you have to take these friends home to meet your grandparents and their pets (although, we’re sure you can if you want to!) For example, we at TCC are all about helping other female entrepreneurs. Because we envision a giant girl gang who is supporting and uplifting each other. For Emylee, it was thus intentional on her part to befriend more women in order to lead by example, to show that this is possible, to show its power. For Abbie, TCC pushed her and her female friendships. It wasn’t a natural thing for her because the moment she opened up to people it felt like they had some ownership over what she did. But after meeting Emylee and forming such a strong friendship, she realized that she could do it, that she could have more authentic friendships, that she could open up.
Tapping Into Feminine Energy: Business Friendships With Women Versus Men
A lot of women out there, Steph included, have had multiple male mentors. Most of us have always worked for men and Steph knows she is really good at working for men! But working now in a new career space with women, it has brought a softness to her that was so necessary. She feels like she has been able to reconnect with her “natural inclination.” She was taught, by men, to deliver, to be tough. These are valuable pieces, yes, but without the softness what she is doing today might not have worked. You have to plug into some of that feminine energy. A lot of us have had influential men in our lives, but when you can connect to women's energy, it builds nurture, it builds a connectedness and we hope that this episode will encourage you reach out and make some of those connections! You don’t know what new people can bring to your life, so remain open to others. Know your boundaries, be yourself and let ‘em in!
- How To Determine Whether Your Friendships Are Mutually Beneficial. [0:03:00.1]
- Setting Boundaries With Friends Or Family And Saying Hell To The No. [0:05:53.1]
- Tapping Into The Power of Women's’ Support Spaces. [0:13:10.1]
- Honesty & Transparency: The Key To Healthy Female Friendships. [0:27:30.1]
- Tapping Into Feminine Energy: Business Friendships With Women Versus Men. [0:34:10.1]