A few years ago, I had the opportunity to promote my book (Yarns of inspiration I) at a church in the US. When I was done speaking, a lady – likely 50+ came over to me and asked ‘what is your book about?’ I responded that it contained 21 short stories about some of the experiences I’d had and the lessons from them. She sized me for a moment and asked ‘you, how old are you? And what experiences have you had?’
Frankly, her questions were unexpected and threw me off guard a bit. And then she went on to tell me her own story about how her husband died and she had a dream that led her to the US eventually. Indeed, it was a beautifully inspiring story and I asked her for an interview if possible.
Later as I thought about her questions to me I began feeling that I probably hadn’t experienced enough to share with others. I mean, who was I to talk when I haven’t been through a quarter of the ‘real’ harsh experiences others have? As I sat there wallowing in low self esteem, I was suddenly reminded of the many times people had reached out to me privately to thank me for being open with one experience or the other. They would go on to say they were facing similar issues and because I shared they felt they were not alone and like me, would also be fine. Several women even mentioned how they stumbled upon my book and couldn’t put it down until they finished. In fact, recalling these messages really encouraged and lifted my spirits; even to date, I get excited about them.
A similar thing happened recently which triggered this particular memory and the more I talk with other women, the more I realise that I am not alone when it comes to feeling that my experience is not deep yet to inspire another, or that nobody needs to hear me speak because I am not there yet. I also know that this applies to new women in business. Perhaps you are new in the cake business. Your friends and family have all tasted and licked their fingers. A few have even ordered and paid for some. And the thought of owning your own cake shop excites you. BUT you look over at the famous cake shop in town and feel discouraged because they have way more varieties, way more staff and equipment, way more blah blah blah.
Or maybe you have founded a network for women. The women really appreciate the knowledge and activities you bring to them. BUT you look over at Ama Duncan and The Fabulous Woman Network thinking ‘see how many women attend and they have all those nice videos, blah blah blah…’
If this is you, then I have a message for you ‘every story teller has its audience,’ same way every product has its target market’. A preacher can use stories to share the gospel in her church 101 times and Opana will never repent. Yet another preacher will come and share same stories and suddenly Opana will discover Jesus. Why, what changed? Same content, different preacher with his/her own style. Think about it, some African Print dresses sell for 250ghs while others go 100ghs etc. Mine are typically made by Sister Abena who spends 60 – 70ghs for both fabric and sewing. When I rock them, I feel very good.
Do you think that I fret about how ‘cheap’ my dress is? The same way I choose her out of the many talented fashion designers available, so do your customers choose you for their own personal reasons.
Dear new woman in business, please do not feel intimidated by others in your industry who are way ahead of you. Locate your target customers and focus on making them happy. Do that and God will handle the rest.
You are fabulous!
Photo Credit: Vera Obeng Photography
PS: New woman in business, my next Group Coaching For Startups program will help you plan, execute and achieve your business goals. For more information click here or Call/WhatsApp +233246811537