THE WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR

As women we are born with a great responsibility to nurture our femininity. In today’s world we are polarized towards an extremely aggressive masculine energy. When this energy is in balance it is manifested as assertiveness. A woman has to create this balance, honoring her femininity. The roles of both the sexes are not well defined nowadays as it is an age of freedom. With freedom comes choice. We have to equip ourselves with the awareness to make right choices. We must not be fooled and imitate the models that are passed on to us by default, or because they are more prevalent.

Organic growth

As a woman entrepreneur you can choose to either push your company up at all costs, or allow it to grow organically. Nowadays nobody has the patience to wait for growth. Genes are altered, growth rates speed up and the external appearance of vegetables and fruits made more attractive. Yet when I ate one of those ‘leaps in science’ they did not have half the life or taste of an externally imperfect looking vegetable from the ashram garden. The quest for perfection gets translated as a preoccupation with external trappings.

An organic garden is in tune with Mother Nature. It is nurtured by nature and the love and devotion, which the farmer puts into it. There is a season and a cycle for preparing the soil, planting, sprouting, a time of pestilence, more effort and endeavor, more growth and harvest.

Change Management in the Organic growth context

The farmer has to aid the plant in its growth by providing it with the optimum conditions. Similarly the women entrepreneur should nurture her plant and allow growth to happen. She should be willing to learn and be observant of the changes that are taking place. She should be willing to wait. She should realize that if she gets stressed and unnecessarily perturbed it will affect her baby. Like a plant or a child the company will reflect the qualities of the nurturer.

Managing Corporate Identity

The company will reflect and imbibe the ideology of the CEO. “What do I want my child to reflect?”, is an important question that all women entrepreneurs have to ask themselves. In terms of work culture, would you like your company to be laid back or aggressive? Would you like it to be a customer-oriented/market driven entity or one which follows the fancies of its managers? Would you want your corporate image to earned by constantly staying ahead of the competition, or would you have it sullied by complacence in the work force? Whatever your ideal is, that is clearly reflected in your company’s image. The company ideology is reflected in the work culture, the attitude of the co-creators (employees) of the company and the revenue the company generates. You will go through the pains of birthing and a lot of emotional energy will be invested in creating.

Detachment, Delegation and Decisions

It is but natural to get attached to this child. But you must learn the art of being involved yet detached so that you can take objective decisions. This will help you delegate rather than doing everything on your own. When attached, the nurturer will stop at every moment to check growth, stifling the other and stressing oneself out. The company must be treated as an individual and given its space to grow. Despite putting into the company all you have, there will be a disparity between thought and how it materializes. That is a risk you must be willing to take.

Sometimes you will have to take the tough decision of letting go what you have brought up. At those times see if you are closing off a healthy company out of fear of change. Yet there are times when it is better to let a plant die or give it away to one with better resources rather than dig twenty bore wells to find no water. It is important to acknowledge and accept the loss and have a closure. Then prepare for the next season and see that the same mistakes are not repeated. Life is a series of ups and downs and we need to make peace with it. In us we have to find the anchor of balance.

In harmony with your Corporate Vision

Like a stream that smooths out a stone into a pebble we must flow consistently to sculpt our dreams. The smoothness of the pebble is not of the hammer but of the flow of love, sincerity and joy. With a childlike playfulness the rambling stream transforms all in its path. Similarly flow with grace and gentleness in tune with the natural rhythms and growth is inevitable. Yet it might seem too away from the regular model of hammering and stress. There will be many to convince you that you need to barter your life for an entity. Your work is an extension of your life, so create a life of ease and not of constant struggle. It may start off as a struggle as we have our patterns that believe in hardship or those that thrive on last minute jump-starts. With time if the intention is clear you will see things moving ahead with a beautiful momentum. So envision where you want to be and start with a strong foundation. Put your thoughts out into the universe and it will definitely respond in its time.

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