Learning by Watching
Going to the gym 3 times a week gives me a lot of time to think. At the moment, I only use the strength training equipment as my daily walks and dancing give me plenty of opportunity for cardio. If I get really bored, I can always clean house!
Resting between sets, I look around and see the usual complement of men flexing, hoisting, and performing the rituals which make them a community in their own right. Though fewer in number, women form part of this community as well, though more often than not, in their own, smaller circles.
Certain ones seem to keep a similar schedule to mine and range from beginners to serious body builders, and everything in between. At one time, I would look around and compare myself to others, both favorably and otherwise, but have learned it’s a losing proposition either way. Now, I look to pick up new ideas for my own workouts; nothing more.
Earning the Right to Wear the Attitude
It’s hard not to notice those who are serious about their physical fitness though. Not only are most of them both lean and muscular, but they carry themselves with an attitude that says loudly and clearly: “Mess with me and I’ll turn you into a human pretzel without breaking a sweat!”
Still and all, their air is not so much aggressive as unapologetically confident. They’re not looking for a fight. They simply have nothing to prove—to anyone. When I see the word “badass” bandied around in so many women’s entrepreneurial groups, this is the image I see; not the skinny young woman leaning against an expensive car bragging about how she’s making 6 figures. In my mind, money (especially the fake kind) doesn’t make you badass. You only find that when you are genuinely self-confident and need no outside validation in order to feel and believe in yourself.
Needless to say, I cringe whenever I see the words “badass business babes” appearing on my news feed. In my mind, it’s the “Emperor’s New Clothes” version of business success. When a woman uses these words (and I have to say, I don’t see it used by women of a certain age, so perhaps it’s a generational thing), my mind says: This woman is seeing herself as she wants to be, not as she is.
Walking the Talk the Right Way
Not that this is a bad thing. Many follow the “fake it ’til you make it” doctrine. Somehow, I don’t think the intent behind that premise is to tell the world a bunch of lies in the mistaken belief they’ll buy something from you and make your declarations true. If you’re going to fake it ’til you make it, I believe the answer lies in having a genuine attitude of gratitude for what you already have, who you are, and the endless possibilities at your disposal.
I guess I class the people who use this phrase in with the ones who believe in cold calling. They’re the same ones who will send you a friend or connection request and upon acceptance, send you 12 inches of spammy sales copy in a private message. To me, that’s a clear message they are NOT uber successful, much less selling something I’d want or need.
One Woman’s Spam is Another’s Sales Style
I broached the subject of the spammy messages in my favorite Facebook group, Gorilla Army Nation (Getting Sales Without Being Salesy) after accepting a friend request I had doubts about. My doubts were confirmed with an immediate (if not premature as it came in before I accepted the friend request) message that began:
I’m reaching out to you because we work with thousands of clients and companies over the past 14 years to achieve their goal in their business.
What made it worse is, she mentioned a group which I stopped following months ago, and am not even posting in, which means she trolled the member list and pulled my name out of her…hat.
I’m a fairly transparent sort these days. I write a lot about my opinion on various sales processes regularly on my website in posts like Removing Desperation from Your Playlist and How You View Relationships Makes or Breaks You.
As both posts are fairly recent, and are linked to my Facebook business page as well as LinkedIn, a cursory investigation into who I am and what I represent would bring them up for someone truly interested in learning about me as a prospective client. In all honesty, I’m not likely to do business with someone who isn’t, either as a consultant or a client. The people I choose to work with from either position are those who want to build relationships, not just get a quick fix and move on.
Doing Right by My Clients
The nature of the business I’ve chosen to build depends on getting a real feel for the person I’m working with. They have to know, like, and trust me enough to emulate their beliefs and style in a believable fashion. I have to understand them and their message on a fairly deep level in order to do that. I’m willing to put in the time it requires, but only for someone I know is as committed as me to that type of business relationship. It definitely isn’t for everyone, which is a good thing, or there’d be too little of me to go around!
One thing I detest is thinking I’ve shortchanged a client. If I do, I’ll eventually get up the nerve to reach out and see what I can do to fix things so they at least feel they got what they paid for, if not more.
Long ago, in the early days of my working life, I often heard “It’s not personal, it’s business”. That concept was fine when I was a cog in a gigantic wheel or working behind the scenes where client contact was limited to billing and payments. Still, there were a lot of facades in those days. Showing your real self; your vulnerability was almost a kiss of death.
A Warmer, More Honest Business Model
I’m grateful the hard, cold, impersonal days of doing business are behind me, but replacing them with “badass” doesn’t sit right either because in my mind, it’s merely another facade. It keeps business relationships impersonal where clients or customers are nothing more than dollars and cents on a P & L or numbers on a pipeline.
With all that said, there is definitely a place in the business world for self-proclaimed “badass business babes”. It just isn’t in my world. I prefer self-confidence that’s real and developed over time, and business relationships that aren’t forged on sleazy practices, subterfuge, and worst of all, disrespect.
Some might consider me part of the badass tribe because I do carry myself with confidence most of the time. That confidence was hard won, but its foundation is honesty and forthrightness. It can also be misconstrued if viewed from the outside without taking a look behind the curtain. Not all are brave enough to take that step.
Many who say they’re “badass” are easily discouraged or intimidated, at least from where I sit watching, listening, and taking notes.
Leading Off With an Attitude of Gratitude
My gratitudes today are:
- I’m grateful I don’t need labels to make me feel confident.
- I’m grateful for the hard lessons I’ve had which make me who I am, without the need for false advertising.
- I’m grateful for the people I’m connecting with and building relationships. They are my long-term and my future.
- I’m grateful for a world where many different business models can survive. You have to find what feels most comfortable to you, then embrace it wholeheartedly.
- I’m grateful for abundance; love, joy, vulnerability, authenticity, opportunities, inspiration, motivation, support, friendship, dancing, community, harmony, peace, health, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a Holistic Ghostwriter, and an advocate for cats and mental health. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. Her mission is to Make Vulnerable Beautiful and help entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author or in her new group, Putting Your Whole Heart Forward