Purpose is Self-Expression

dreamstimefree_138084-2Sarah started coaching with a question she has held for a lifetime. What is my purpose? Why don’t I have a vision of what I want to do? After exploring this with her in all the logical ways possible we found her answer.

Our culture measures success by what we accomplish. We are taught to find our value by what we do in the world. Success is important, and it is decided by what others see as visible. For many, this works because we love creating things viewed as successful. We are good at creating a valence seen to have value. Some of us like and enjoy creating in this way but not all of us.

Sarah discovered that her purpose, her higher truth, was simply to know herself. Her early life experiences did not allow that opportunity so now is her time. How do we get to know ourselves? For her, it was not about creating career goals to achieve or climbing the career ladder. She discovered through meditation and letting go of the expectations of others that she was to learn about herself through self-expression.

As she observed intuitively, Sarah saw how her life is unfolding in ways that create opportunities for her to begin to allow self-expression. Up until now she simply completed work that others said she should do. This began when her father, an engineer, who told her to get an engineering degree, which she did.

Engineering was not Sarah’s life’s work; her career has been as a writer. She is a technical writer, a website text writer and all forms of writing in which she takes the ideas of others and creates wonderful content. Sarah is a successful content writer.

This year the responsibilities of her work position changed dramatically from a technical writer for engineers to becoming the marketing writer for her company. The new role changed her relationship with everyone from taking their ideas and recording them in a digestible way to leading the marketing efforts. This change was not a coincidence. Sarah was not happy with the work she had done though she did it well. Sarah had meditated on finding her purpose and her vision of her life so how does this fit?

From an intuitive perspective, knowing ourselves comes through self-expression in whatever form is natural to each of us. In this new role, Sarah found that she had to put forth her ideas, a complete dichotomy from before and something that is not comfortable for her. She would prefer the invisibility of her earlier work.

Sarah admitted that career success is not important to her. Though it is important for her to do things well. In this new role, Sarah had to find her voice, allow her perspective and drive innovation in marketing the work of these engineers. Sarah realized that up to this point she was the invisible, unknown writer behind great work. To know herself meant becoming visible to herself and others. Knowing herself is her purpose.

As an aside, Sarah realized that she had begun to express herself in other ways as well. Instead of the standard black pants and a black sweater as her daily wear; she has begun to wear more colorful clothing. Dress is a new form of self-expression, and it is evolving slowly.

Self-expression is a new way of being for Sarah. It is not comfortable though she is clear that this is her life purpose as she knows it at this time. Knowing herself is a spiritual journey. Sarah has begun this uncomfortable journey toward self-expression and being seen.

Take a moment and consider how you express who you are in the world.

Best wishes, Kay

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ISIS or the rise in the feminine

women raised handsI woke up this morning aware of the tremendous change that is occurring. Maybe this was on my mind because of the horrifying actions of ISIS but I can see, feel and hear the voices of women. There is a sense that the energy needs to change from the masculine to the feminine. It needs to happen now.  We cannot wait.

Maybe it was my reflections on the Democratic presidential debate. I like all the candidates and their perspectives but the person at the energy of leadership was Hilary. Her leadership as a woman was clear. It is the time for women to lead in this country and others.  This needs to happen now.

We are in the 15th year of the millennium of the feminine, the number 2. It will take the millennium to make the changes needed in politics, war, health, environment, education and the values that lead us.

As a start, women are growing as leaders. Maria Contreras-Sweet is the first woman to head the SBA. She is aggressively working to help women grow successful businesses. Women are starting and leading successful businesses in record numbers. On the other side, there is resistance to women in leadership. Twitter, who continues to flounder does not have women in leadership. They finally have one woman on their board. This past week Twitter decided to change their board. Williams-Sonoma, a successful business, is one of a few businesses with an equal number of men and women on their board.

Two years ago an organization that I am a board member, NAWBO CA, got a resolution passed in California encouraging publicly owned companies to meet standards for women on their boards. It passed unanimously because studies show that companies with women on their boards are more successful than companies that do not.

Rhonda Rousey, undefeated in mixed martial arts, is being considered for the cover of Sports Illustrated as athlete of the year and states that she does not want to be named the best female athlete. She wants to be named the best athlete. Her perspective inspires many young women to seek to become the best they can be in their sport or their career. Rhonda is pretty, feminine, strong and determined.

Highlighting these few women brings me to the role that each of us plays as women in our world. A woman in leadership is not for a few. We all must lead. The energy of the feminine millennium is ever-present around us. It is in the air and our soul. The energy of the feminine leader is in all of us, so it is up to us to stop, go within and find that strength of spirit. When we connect to that strength, we can bring it into our lives. It will create change for us and those around us. Depending on our personal goal, we will create change within ourselves becoming stronger in who we are and letting who we are to be expressed. It certainly will influence our family and friends, helping others to allow the power of the feminine leader to emerge. We will also influence our community, work, country, and the world.

Women are programmed by the past millennium not to express our feminine leadership, so women do not always emerge as a leader with feminine values. Many have come forth expressing leadership as men do. Seeing women lead like a man shows us that we may need to rediscover the feminine leader within us, not the expression of male leadership in a female body.

I do not pretend to know the full scope of the qualities of feminine leadership, so please add your thoughts and insights to my list. When women lead, we care. We want to collaborate and support others in their growth. We lead a circle, not a hierarchy. Feminine leadership is cooperative. We care about the whole, each other, the environment and the world we live. All life is valued. With female leadership, you can expect fairness, health, generosity, love and beauty.  You can also expect to be pushed to be and do the best possible.

That is not to say that we are all there. We are not. Many of us have lost connection to the feminine within us. To grow as leaders and influencers, we have to start within. From within we can connect to our true feminine energy and express that in the world. To do this, we have to heal ourselves of all the pictures and energy in our space that put us down or lowered our vibration. Energies that moved us away from our feminine core in one-way or another.

So let’s take another step in becoming leaders, letting our light shine and be part of the change we desire for ourselves personally, our families, community, country, and the world. Begin within. Find the truth within you as a woman.

I dreamt last night that all the women had gathered in my home to create a new world. They were women I knew and women I did not. I did not ask them to come. They just showed up and began to create a huge board that showed their collective vision of the world they desired, a world held up by feminine values. It was creative, beautiful and inspiring. They asked me, “Are you joining in?” I had not thought about it. That is why they were in my home, to invite me to take a step up, to join in the energy change on the planet. For that vision to manifest it needs each woman to take a step up in her feminine leadership. It will take the strength of all of our energy to change what is currently controlling the planet.

ISIS and all the killings are the faces of that energy and that energy needs to change. We cannot fight it but we can replace that energy with the energy of feminine. It will take every one of us growing in our feminine leadership. Our collective strength is not strong enough yet so killings continue. Please take a step up to your feminine leadership and add your energy to the change we desire.

Infallible?

thPope Francis just completed his first visit to the United States. His was the 6th papal visit. The other five were by Pope John Paul II, who visited five times. I like Pope Francis very much. He is down to earth. Ministering to people is his priority. Most of all I loved seeing him stop when he wanted to touch a child, someone who was disabled, poor or in need. He truly is a people’s pope so how can he be so wrong about women.

Being raised Catholic, I know the pope is seen as infallible, but he is also human. When he began his papacy, I had great hope for him. His caring, compassion and open way of looking at everyone and every situation made me think this is the pope who will let women be free of constraints then he made it clear that women could not be priests! Most women do not want to be priests, so it is not a big deal to them. Then there are a few of us who want the opportunity to make that choice. I was angry not at Pope Francis particularly but at the engrained male dominance in the Catholic Church.

Knowing that I was not permitted to be a priest, I left my beloved church in 1980 to enter a seminary in a Christian non-denominational church. I did not want to learn or adopt a new doctrine; I just wanted to be able to preach, teach, minister, marry, give the last rights and heal the sick. For fifteen years, I did just that, becoming a bishop in my new-found church, embracing men and women in our seminaries who shared a passion for ministry.

This past week I was watching Pope Francis speak at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He expressed his appreciation to the sisters of the church. I was on the treadmill at the time, and I broke into tears. It was so discouraging to me to hear Pope Francis validating women in as sisters but not priests. When he said sisters, I heard servants. I heard him tell women their place in the church.

While I support Pope Francis and know he is influencing great change in the world, he is missing a very important piece – women in the priesthood. That change would make an enormous difference and would bring support to his other priorities. Women as priests would bring feminine values to the church to balance the male perspective.

The Catholic Church is determined in this regard. A priest was removed from his parish last week for attending a conference on women becoming priests. The church often confuses cultural norms at the time of Christ with Christ’s teachings. In the time of Christ, women clearly were in submissive roles as a matter of culture not because of Christ teachings. The apostles were not all men with Mary Magdalene being a prominent apostle.

I know this is a topic in which people are sharply divided. In the end, allowing each of us free will seems to fit Catholic teachings. Man-made rules are not a matter of faith.

I have been a student of the scriptures since childhood, took classes in college and read the bible every day as a minister. For the life of me I cannot find the basis for why women cannot be priests. I will continue to minister, following my calling regardless of others inability to see that women as have callings too, each of us, in our own way, our own religion and with the God of our heart. Those choices should not be limited by man-made rules. I pray for the day women are free to be.

Rt. Rev. Kay Robinson

Awaken to Success

Successful Women

Successful Women

This past week I attended a board retreat for an organization that supports women business owners – NAWBO CA. I came away in awe of how capable these businesswomen are and how natural success is for them. At one point as we were discussing an upcoming conference, one of the women said, “Our businesses are all over a million in revenue, right?

Notice how you react to that statement. I saw how natural success could be.

So you are wondering, how does success come naturally? It is not a mystery. Some women are awake to success, and others are not. What does it mean to be awake? Awaken is an intuitive term that refers to an ability to see clearly and know the nature of something – to be awake, to fully understand and know.

We are awake or aware of aspects in our life when we are raised to be aware in that way. This applies to any area of life. Some of us were raised to be healthy. Health was a natural state of being, so it is easy to be awake and aware of health. Others are awake to wealth. It is something that we were exposed to, experienced and are aware of. Still others are awake to creating relationships and so on.

It is not reasonable to be awake and aware to every aspect of life. As you can see some areas come naturally due to exposure and experience. For aspects of our life that do not come naturally, we can awaken or become aware by our efforts or work to awaken.

This is where it stops being logical. To awaken or to become aware of the essence of something like success means to understand it in body, mind and spirit. This understanding begins with knowing what success would look like. Taking the time to write our vision of success is essential.

Many struggling business owners resist doing this exercise, but it is so much more than an exercise. It is a declaration and commitment of a vision we are manifesting. Clarity and commitment can be frightening. With this, we are just working hard every day without achieving our vision of success.

Being exposed to success is another step that is important to awakening to success. Spend time with people who are more successful than your vision for yourself. In this way, you will find if you have any discomfort with the energy of success. Spending time in the energy of success helps us awaken and to become comfortable with how it feels to be successful.

To awaken to success, you must be able to see yourself being successful now, not in the future. This works best in meditation spending time imagining yourself successful, doing successful work, feeling successful, and experiencing your success. When we can imagine this in our mind’s eye, awakening to our energy of success then success is manifesting. If we cannot imagine ourselves as successful now, then it is not manifesting.

Clear your thinking. Your thoughts about success helped you to get where you are now. If you want something more then change your thinking about yourself, success, how to get there, etc.

To awaken to success includes letting things change, letting ourselves change and allowing that change to be uncomfortable. Letting go of control, old ways of thinking and routines will allow our vision to manifest.

In summary,

• Write down your vision of success.
• Spend time with people more successful than your vision.
• Meditate daily until your vision of success if fully manifested.
• Change your thinking.
• Allow everything to change.
Best wishes on your success, Kay

Women Achieve Goals Retreat

Why Am I…….?

dreamstimefree_102923What we do matters little compared to knowing who we are. Knowing who we are at our core gives the why to what we do.

Not coincidentally I had the opportunity to work recently with two professional women in successful roles who are at a loss. One is confident about the work that she does and the value she brings. The other is the opposite. She does not feel confident though all indicators are her work is also valued..

Both women question every day why they are doing their work, is there something they should be doing and other questions about one’s life path and purpose. Both women were angry. Not so much outwardly, though that would happen as well. The feeling was in the cells of their body, a subtle but persistent frustration.

After taking them through all the usual career path steps, nothing changed for them. They were even more discouraged about finding where they are meant to be.  When someone says, Where am I meant to be? I know they have lost connection to who they are at their core. All their attention is on what they do in the world and not on who they are. They were looking for themselves outwardly and not finding anything.

Work harder, work more, change jobs, go to a good company, find the right boss, find work that fits their skills, etc. are all attempts to find themselves. So rather than look outside I took them on a journey within.

Through guided meditation both women took their attention off what they do in the world and placed their attention on who they are at their core. This was a journey both women had done for the first time though they were both experienced at meditation. For one woman, it was like coming home. It enlightened her, brightened her aura and her energy started moving in ways I had not seen before. The other woman needed a more modified approach to connecting to who she was at her core.

From an intuitive perspective, we do not have to analyze and search for what we are meant to be and do. Our purpose is to express who we are in the world. So it is not about learning what to do but knowing who we are. We find the answer when we go within, communicate with who we are at our core, increase awareness of who we are and know the part of who we are that is to be expressed in the world in the moment.

Once we have that connection and communication, the universe manifests around our awareness. Suddenly opportunities appear; we see our current work in a new way, everything feels more aligned with who we are. There is no logic here. It is Who You Are at Your Core expressing who you are in the world.

Take time each day to go within, say hello to yourself and ask yourself a question then quietly listen.

In Spirit, Kay

From Within

Competition Destroys

Young woman, portrait, close-up

I was heartbroken when I heard a young woman talk about the competition between women in her company. She made this comment following an inspiring presentation by Carla Harris at a Morgan Stanley luncheon. Carla is Vice Chairman of Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley, current President of the National Women Business Council to the President, author, singer and more. She had just given an inspiring talk about her professional growth, the challenges presented for being black and a woman. The audience was moved by her story and the sense that it is possible for women to become leaders in any industry.

Listening to Carla, we were sure things had changed for women, and they have, then a young woman raised her hand to ask a question. She too was inspired, but her reality was different. She asked Carla about the competition she was experiencing between women in her workplace. The room suddenly felt cold. Women in the audience had experience with competition that can arise when women feel they have to compete with other women to succeed. Carla appeared discouraged to hear this though she too had experiences of this kind. Her guidance was not to engage in competition with other women. She advised to stay focused on your goals and spend time with women who support other women.

On a spiritual level, competition against someone or something is the great destroyer. It takes us off our path and changes our energy from who we are at our core. When we are in competition our energy changes from who we are to match or resist the energy of someone or something else. We lose ourselves.

I have an intuitive view on situations where two or more people or perspectives are at play. There is no need for competition as there is no scarcity, and there is space for everything and everyone. When we engage in competition, we are in effort and resistance. Both of these energies take us off our path and away from our vision.

Over the years, I have observed many instances where the energy of competition against someone or something was in play. Outcomes created through this level of competition never turn out well. Situations do not turn out because everyone is off their path.  An energy correction will ultimately occur that undoes the outcome.

At present, I am watching a new young leader come into a non-profit that has been in existence for decades. Her energy and actions bring competition that says, “You all have been doing it all wrong, all this time, and I am going to fix it as soon as I can get rid of all of you”. Anyone ever experienced some form of this energy? It is the competition of destroy. The energy of destroy is never one way. Have you ever heard the adage, “What goes around, comes around?” On an energy level that means whatever energy we are being, will attract the same energy. This young leader will bring in others who are in competition, are happy to destroy to get what they want and so they will experience their efforts being destroyed by competition. Yikes!

On the other hand when we stay focused on who we are at our core, our vision of success and take determined actions then our vision manifests. No one is in our way. We do not have to destroy someone or something else. Competition comes from pictures or concepts some hold and believe. When we get out of competition, we get out of scarcity and the concept of either/or – “Either I can get my goals or she can get hers.” Try a different concept that is both/and – “ I can get my goals, and she can get hers.”

When competition presents itself, avoid stepping into that game or being lured into that way of thinking or talking.  Decide how you want to be.  Surround yourselves with people who support your vision. Meditate on your vision. Clear your thinking. Have enthusiasm for what you are creating. Take determined best actions that bring you closer to your vision of success.

What If? Can you imagine it?

nice summerscene with green grass and blue sky

nice summerscene with green grass and blue sky

What if we had everything that we need?

What if everything we wanted was within reach?

What if we had no fears and no regrets?

What if we were fully present in each moment?

What if our health came easily and naturally?

What if we had people who loved and supported us?

What if we did the work that we enjoy and inspires us?

What if we had the home/sanctuary that we love and enjoy?

What if all of this already was possible or even existed if we would have it?

What if the world was at peace?

What if companies operated from good intentions?

What if governments worked to help the people they represented?

What if people could allow religious differences?

What if there was no poverty?

Imagine and see it happening to make it so.

What would you add to the list of What If?

Sweet, Kind and Gentle. Really?

iStock_000039816438SmallMy intuitive and feminist sides are not inconsistent and, in fact, work together to create a change I desire to see more women to be leaders. The performance evaluation evidence being presented in gender bias trial of Ellen Pao fires up my feminist side.

There is a range of gender bias issues in Ellen’s case though none is as disturbing as the performance evaluation evidence.  This evidence reflects a perspective that impacts most employed women. Perhaps this is why growing numbers of women are leaving jobs and starting their own business.

In short, performance evaluations are gender biased. This is not new information and researchers have known this for a very long time but not much has changed. There has not been a change because there is a large group agreement on how women should be – sweet, kind and gentle!

Group agreements of any kind represent a strong energy. The strongest group agreement in any situation controls the space. Therein lies the problem. Too many people, and I did not say men, have a biased perspective on women and especially in the workplace. Women should be sweet, kind and gentle! They can be other things, but they must be this at their core. Clearly a handful of women have worked their way through this bias but they are the exception.

Ellen’s case is such a good example because I have seen this same perspective over and again with other women. Ellen’s performance reviews say she was territorial, has “sharp elbows”, poor interpersonal skills and her own agenda. Clearly she was not being sweet, kind and gentle. Three promoted male colleagues had performance evaluations with similar terms to Ellen’s, but were perceived differently. One promoted male colleague was described as “highly aggressive and opinionated which isn’t a bad thing per se”. Another was described as territorial, quite rough on the team, and had a tendency to get frustrated with the team.  Women are clearly held to different standards. I call it the “sweet, kind and gentle” standard.

Studies show that women are held to higher standards than men in the workplace. One study found that 8.9 percent of male reviews included critical feedback while 87.9 percent for women and most were personal criticisms. The term abrasive appeared 17 times in reviews of 13 women and not once for men in the sample. I guess we are not sweet, kind and gentle enough!

A young woman, Kara, who was a rising star in her new company. She came with a lot of experience for being so young and had a lot to offer. The manager of her office, she found, was incompetent. This got in the way of her being able to offer the critical skills she was hired for by the corporate office.   Her first performance evaluation said her skills were great but that she was pushy, too self-assured and not a team player. Translation, not sweet, kind and gentle enough, stop rocking the boat, and your manager has been here a long time so don’t make him look bad. As a result, Kara, has backed down. She keeps to herself and is looking for a new job but is that the answer. Kara will find another job, but she is such a strong, capable, smart young woman who chances are she will run into gender bias again.  Gender bias does not exist in any one company.  It is in ALL companies.

So how do we change the game. Talking and writing about gender bias brings it out of the old boy closet and into the light. Creating our group agreement that is stronger than the old boys club perspective of women is essential. Preparing our daughters and us for gender bias so that we are not blind-sided and know how to hold their value and their space in these circumstances.

In our jobs and businesses, be honest with ourselves. Do we unconsciously hold gender bias? How do we react to strong women who are not being sweet, kind and gentle? It is not possible to be in this culture and not be influenced by the bias that exists so exploring our internal bias is essential.

Finally, let’s create a strong group agreement of our own. A group agreement is a powerful energy that creates change. Can we get into agreement that it is ok for women to be more than the past time feminine picture of a trophy woman?

By the way, I do not have a problem with being sweet, kind and gentle if we choose but don’t tell me how I have to be. There is so much more that we are and that we can be so give us space to be.  We will all be richer for it.

From Your Core

dreamstimefree_214026Just being is not easy for women. We have been programmed to please, meet others expectations and to fit perfect pictures of what a woman is. It is exhausting and keeps us from knowing who we are out our core.

In my generation, who I was was not nearly as important as what I showed others I could be. I spent so much time giving, healing, pleasing, performing and more that I had only a small sense of who I was. It got worse as others validated me for everything that I did so I did more, continuing the cycle of pleasing others. To do this, I had to have all of my attention on what they wanted from me then become that.

Because I am intuitive, I could tell what others wanted or expected so I would give it to them before they asked. They were amazed. It was a fun game until I realized it was never-ending. Am I the only one?

In this millennium of the feminine, things are changing dramatically. We raised our daughters to be more self-aware, to know their heart’s desire and to do what they envisioned for themselves. We are not there yet.

We are becoming more aware.  There is a changing role of women and how we see ourselves, but old programming is hard to change. Are we still performing, pleasing and meeting others expectations for us?  Is our self-worth based on what others say it true?

The change we desire does not begin with changing the view of others or the world. It begins within and reconnecting with who we are at our core. Knowing ourselves deeply within and holding that awareness, as our greatest value is the first step. Bringing who we are at our core into what we do and who we are in the world begins the change we desire. I am before I do. When we focus on doing we are missing the answer to Who am I.

Now is the time. The energy is set for the feminine. Go within to find who you are at your core (cor = heart) – the I AM. Bring that into what you do.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Stop Doing. Lead.

iStock_000010407856SmallTo build a successful business we have to stop doing it all and lead.  Women can multitask, do it all and then some but does that serve us. Working with business owners and professionals has taught me a lot about what gets in the way of our success. Learning not do it all is the first and most important step.

Women have a very high level of creative energy. This energy is natural to our bodies because of our ability to create life. As an analogy, if men have 40 points of energy, women have 140 points. One is not better than the other; they are just different though it does explain a lot.

Because we have so much life force energy we are eager and ready to create something, makes things happen and get it all done now. A high creative energy is our state of being when we are well, and our energy is at its natural vibration.

The challenge is to decide how to use this energy in ways that help us achieve our vision of success. Too often, we use our creative energy to do what is at hand whether it is the most productive use of our time.

Sarah owns a successful company though she did not reach her financial goals of $1.5 mil. for last year. She is close but not there. Sarah gets in the way of reaching that goal by doing what is at hand, what needs to get done and so she does it. Helping Sarah not to do the work of the business is a constant challenge in our coaching sessions.

Sarah purchased a very expensive management system to track the work of the business, for staff to record billable time and for invoicing. To her credit, she delegated the implementation to her COO but when her COO did not get it done on the timeline set, Sarah stepped in and did it herself. Setting up the management system distracted her from her role as the business owner.

When we discussed this, Sarah described an intense feeling in her body that compelled her to get it done. That intense feeling is our enormous female creative energy. Our challenge is to change our reaction to this from doing which relieves the energy but distracts us from our vision. Learning to focus that creative energy in strategic ways and not doing ways is essential for a business to grow.

Sarah’s story is familiar. For women to grow large successful businesses we must learn to use our creative energy in new ways. Our next step is to move from doing the work of the business to being the strategic thinker and leader of the business. It is a hard transition because for so long we have responded to our creative urges by doing something with it.

Using our creative energy in our business as a leader is important. We can also use our creative energy outside of our business that satisfies the need to do something creative. These are new ways of being for women focused on success.

Best wishes, Kay

Own Your Worth As a Business Owner

dreamstimefree_198174Why don’t we see our value and not seize opportunities that are right in front of us? Working with a new set of women business owners reminded me that we are still growing in our understand of our value and worth.

Four of my new clients own great businesses. Two own established businesses and two own emerging businesses though they all have the same syndrome. I am not worthy! I discovered this when talking with them about working capital to grow their business and accessing new markets.

All of them started their businesses on personal money. Using personal assets to start a business is common. Then we started talking about how they would grow or scale. None of them could imagine raising capital. All four of them felt no one would invest in their business; a bank would not give them a loan, so they had to depend on family, friends and their personal savings. Frustrating.  Not accessing capital is consistent with studies done annually on women-owned businesses. Far too many women do not see their value as a leader or the value of their business.

When we come out of that perspective and take the risk of asking there are so many options available to us including SBA loans, CDFIs, micro-loans, Crowdsourced funding, equity investors and more. The landscape on funding sources is growing by leaps and bounds. More importantly investing in women-owned businesses is the trend. Everyone is doing it because research has shown women are good at running businesses. We are more frugal, fair to our employees, support our communities and produce a strong bottom line.

So the change begins within. Change begins with stepping back, letting go of old concepts that do not serve us and seeing ourselves in a new way. We are not just running a company. We are successful. Our employees, our customers, community and the economic community at large value our success.

Our next step is to recognize our value within, get out of our comfort zone, and own being successful, feeling successful, acting in successful ways and seeing our businesses growing bigger. Being bigger means asking for the capital you need and being confident as a successful business owner.  Ask.

Best wishes for your success, Kay

Women Talk About Success & Failure

Cherry flowers and dollarI attended a conference on Friday in which successful women told their stories of success and failure then shared what they learned. These women were comfortable talking about their visions, naiveté, failures and determination to move on and create again.

Bonnie created a high-end eco-friendly home furnishings catalog.  It was a novel idea when she created the business more than twenty years ago.  Not knowing how to select investors became her downfall.  Her first set of investors pulled out unexpectedly.  Another investor appeared out of the blue; the company grew quickly.  It was when that investor expected her to become his sexual partner, though she was married, that the partnership failed.  She declined his advances, and he withdrew his money.  Her company survived through her determination and business acumen.  This past March she sold the business to a larger home furnishings company and is now deciding what to create next.  Whatever it is she wants to be dazzled!

Leslie started her business to solve a problem for women.  With no knowledge or ability in the medical field, Sara and a friend, set out to find a solution to the “horse pill” women had to take during pregnancy. Clearly men who did not understand women created these.  They created a solution; the business grew, and competitors came along.  In the end, their success was driven by WHY they created the business, their passion for helping pregnant women get the nutrition they needed in a way that felt right for them.  Leslie advises knowing the WHY of the business you are creating.  Draw customers to that sense of purpose.

Tracy created her business out of her natural tendencies.  She is an organizer, and her company has grown beyond her expectations.   Her biggest challenge in the beginning was to know her value.  In hindsight, she started out working for less than minimum wage because she did not know what to consider when setting her fees, and it hurt her.  More than that, she was not sure of her personal value. Over the years, Tracy has learned about pricing and the nuances of running a business.  For a long time, she questioned what she was doing and if it had value.  When she looks back over her life, her family and her work she can see the thread that led to where she is now.  It is when her customers tell her how she helped them turn their lives around that she knows she is on her path.  She advises seeing the thread in your life.

Sharon worked to be the best in the accounting firm she joined out of college.  She succeeded, and there was talk of partnership then she got pregnant and advancement was no longer on the table for her in this company.  The partnership discussions ended.  Sharon moved to a smaller firm, enjoyed the work, brought in most of the revenue and asked for a bigger share of the profits.  The managing partner did not see the need to compensate her at the level she deserved so she moved on.  Tired of issues around gender equity, Sharon started her own firm, is wildly successful and shares the success with her staff.  She quoted Zig Ziglar “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.

Lara and her husband were bold and in their twenties when they started their first restaurant.  Now at four in the Bay Area they have a great deal of confidence in their partnership. Working with a partner, in her case that is her husband, means learning about yourself and the kind of partner you are and need to be.

These women inspired and offered sage advice.  Here are some of the insights from other women in the conference.

  • Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.
  • Follow Suzy Welch’s Rule of Making Decisions.  Consider the impact the decision will have in 10 Minutes, 10 Months and 10 Years.
  • Change I to We.  Doing this changes illness to wellness.
  • From Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
  • Focus on why you are doing it more than what you are doing.

I heard a theme throughout the conference.  Each woman was inspired by the work that she did.  She was passionate and wanted to learn how to bring her passion and her ideas into the world.  Her business was a form of her self-expression.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Get Out of Your Mind

Upset womanWould it surprise you to know your thinking is mostly wrong? OK, maybe that is an exaggeration but it is not far off. Simply put, our thoughts are just our thoughts. That does not make them right. They are the result of our experiences, clouded by our emotions, programmed by others (their thoughts and emotions), our fears and I could go on and on.

A study showed that the more we think about something, the less accurate our thinking becomes and yet we dwell on things endlessly. What would happen if we stopped thinking about things and decided just to be present with ourselves? How might things be different if we did not bring all our thoughts about someone or something to a situation and just experienced it in present time? I am sure our experience would be different.

If we got out of our minds and increased our awareness in present time, life would be vastly different. When I am working with someone who states what they believe to be true but is way off the mark, I ask, “What if that is not true?” This question always shakes up their thinking.

Notice something you are stuck on, notice your thinking about it and ask yourself, “What if that were not true?” This exercise can free up so much energy, allow you to let go of old ways of thinking, come out of your mind and be in present time.

Start this New Year in a new way. Try to stop thinking so much. Instead, just be present and aware in the moment. See what is and not what you believe is. You will experience miracles I am sure.

Best wishes in the New Year, Kay

Women Who Lead

dreamstimefree_102923Women are powerful leaders. Women lead in ways differently from men, not better just different. Let me share with you what I learned about the women I know who lead. Granted this does not represent all women, from all walks of life or all cultures.  This list just represents the women I have met over the years though I believe it represents women.   We are each different depending on where we hold pain inside.  Perhaps reading this will help you find that pain and release it as well as bring out the qualities you have as a woman who leads.   Please add your insights to my list. I would love to hear more.

There are some skills we could learn from men that you will not see on this list of strengths, i.e. the art of negotiating, asking for help, knowing our value.  That is a different blog.

When a woman leads:

  • You can expect things to be more beautiful and appealing to the senses.
  • She will want to bring everyone together. She values team-work.
  • She will set high standards and help you to meet them.
  • She wants you to be the best you can be personally and professionally.
  • She wants to know about you, what inspires you and what you are good at.
  • She will support you but cannot bear whining.
  • She will set high standards and create consequences.
  • She will celebrate and brag about your successes.
  • She will expect you to learn from your failures then do better.
  • She will notice details.
  • She may not always be generous, but she wants to be fair.
  • She will want you to take responsibility for your actions.
  • She values integrity, honesty, and self-reflection.
  • She is intuitive and can tell the truth from a lie.
  • She values communication – between everyone.
  • She will see the best in everything and everyone.
  • She does not hold onto anyone or anything that no longer fits.
  • She is innovative with an intense desire to create.
  • She has a high level of creative energy, wants things to move quickly, loves change and enthusiasm.
  • She is optimistic and can see the possibilities.
  • She is compassionate but does not go into sympathy.
  • If you will her loyalty, she will stand with you.

I could go on and on. After I post this, I am sure I will recall many more attributes women bring as leaders. In general, women naturally lead from their second chakra (sensuality, sentience and emotions) and fourth chakra (compassion and affinity) but also the fifth (communication and creativity), sixth (clear seeing) and seventh (knowing) and not so much from their first and third chakras (command and control).

Meditate on the qualities you bring to your role as a leader.  What qualities do you have that are not being expressed? Decide the aspects of who you are that you want to experience this year.

Have a wonderful New Year and enjoy all that you are,

Kay

Change Thinking & Have More Success

dreamstimefree_138084-2Women are growing in our success as business owners and professionals as we learn to use our unique abilities and change our thinking about what is possible. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and volunteer have long been part of our world. Most of us have worked. In the last five years, there has been an explosion of women in leadership and business ownership. We are starting to see ourselves in a new way. While professional success is not the goal for all women, it is a world of possibilities for those who have this vision.

Women are growing businesses as the same rate as men but are surprised by the growth because most of us are new at this. We underestimate ourselves based on programming about women and our role. Women are capable leaders who could dream bigger.

Women are growing their businesses with less equity. We don’t believe that someone would invest in us, so we build our business with our own money and make do with less. We tend to do things ourselves, being uncomfortable asking for help. We are still successful though we could make it easier on ourselves by accessing capital to grow our business. We avoid asking for loans, investors, etc. being sensitive to criticism, something we can get over.

We do not care how old we are. Women of all ages are taking a chance at starting a business. Young women have a great idea and are inspired by the new age of entrepreneurs with technology to support them. Older women, who felt smothered in the corporate world, are bringing the wealth of their experience to their own businesses. Overall women with experience behind them are most likely to succeed sooner.

We are learning that ability is not an issue for women growing in our success. It is our thoughts and concepts about ourselves that get in our way. When we can come out of limiting beliefs, we can use our abilities to create the success we desire.

Meditate a vision of success in your mind’s eye. Release concepts that limit your vision. Write your vision for 3-5 years. Do not get lost in having to know how to make it happen that comes one step at a time.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Change How We Use Our Creative Energy

couple jumping in fieldMany articles are being written about women and their chances for success. While women are growing in their success as professionals and business owners, researchers ponder why more women aren’t more successful.

There is much speculation on this question though the one that is clear to me has to do with lifestyle choices. Many women I work with are more than capable of creating a successful business or career but don’t know how to do that and have a life.

Three of my newest clients are women starting businesses, are young and trying to get pregnant. Their concerns are obvious. How do I create a successful business and a family at the same time? Professional women wanting to advance within their company have the same question.

Using my three newest clients as an example, they work in very typical female ways in their companies. For the most part it has worked, they each grew their business to $1.5 mil. the first year. They worked hard, put in long hours and did a lot of the work themselves. The first year of success was satisfying and overwhelming. They cannot imagine continuing in this way and creating a family.

They are now at the point of making decisions. My experience has been; the most difficult aspect of being a business owner is to become a leader in the business and less a doer. Learning spend less time doing the work of the business is harder for women than for men because of our creative energy.

Women often say that others cannot do the work of the business the way they do. They have so much creative energy that they jump in to do the work themselves. It seems easier than getting someone else to do it and do it the way they do.

For women to be successful and create a family, we have to learn how to use our enormous reservoir of creative energy as a leader, not so much as a doer. Female creative energy is real. It is powerful. We can feel it in our body. It pushes us, excites us, makes us impatient and causes us act before thinking. So there are both good and bad aspects to our creative energy.

The key is to become aware of this enormous creative energy within us, to harness it and direct it in ways that support our success. For a growing company, this means controlling the impulse to do and focus the creative energy on developing a team of competent, loyal, dedicated staff that can run our business in the way we imagine and consistent with the brand we are developing.

Being a leader means to take control of our energy, focus on our vision and plan carefully for our vision to manifest..

I was working with a long time client, Sarah, this past week. In her impatience with staff not completing important tasks, she started doing the work herself. Her creative energy was flowing at a high level, and she was running into blocks where things were not happening, energy was not moving. To a female this is painful in the body. How many of us have had this experience? We will do anything to relieve our creative energy and get energy moving that we feel is in the way. Sarah felt she was solving a problem but in reality was creating a larger one around staff development.

To grow a larger business or grow professionally takes focus on how we can use our creative energy differently. Without focus or intention, our creative energy makes us doers when we need to be strategic and use our energy in a new way so that we can be successful and create a life.

Best wishes on your success,

Kay

Holding Your Head High – Your Crown Chakra

women raised handsA few short years ago I reported whenever a woman moved into a major leadership role. A woman in leadership was not unheard of though it was not common. Leadership is changing. More women are moving into significant leadership roles, so much so that it is not the surprise it once was.

Last week I attended the first public presentation of the annual UC Davis Study of California Women Business Leaders, a census of women directors and highest paid executives. The report shows there is an upward trend of American women in leadership but overall we represent only 11.5% of these positions in the 400 largest public companies in California!

It is worth recognizing Annie’s Inc. and William Sonoma, Inc. as both have 50% women leaders in their companies! Thirty-five percent of largest companies have no women directors including TiVo, Tesla and Open Table. Sixty-three percent of the largest public companies in California have NO women executives. All this despite the fact that companies with women in leadership out perform those who do not.

So what does this tell us? Women are changing. We are changing our vision for our lives and ourselves. The idea of having a vision for ourselves, beyond our family, was unheard of a decade ago, so things are changing rapidly. It is the millennium of the feminine, which means the energy on the planet has changed to bring forth the feminine. That does not mean just women. Men too can promote these values of collaboration, the greater good, supporting the whole, wellness, cooperation, creating together, sharing leadership and more. These are replacing old values of success at all cost (any cost), being first, personal success, money success, self-promotion, hierarchy, command and control among others.

The world and the planet are in desperate need of this shift to bring balance. The destruction of the environment, the economic collapse, dysfunctional governments and wars are all signs of the loss of balance between the masculine and feminine. The environment, the economy, social values, governments, businesses, families and communities are all in need of feminine values to bring forth wellness on all levels.

For the feminine principles to be incorporated women have to change by growing in our personal power, to come out of our lower energy centers and move into our upper chakras. What does this mean? Women have traditionally used our second and fourth chakras to be caring, healing, empathic, loving, nurturing but tended to set the upper chakra a step below the male in their family or at their work. We did not speak our truth, say what we see or show our seniority.

In this millennium, women will bring those same qualities that are so naturally feminine.  Women will also bring more energy into their upper chakras (5th, 6th, 7th). Using the upper chakras will create space for clear communication, a strong vision of success and to experience leadership. We are doing this by holding our head high, taking back our seniority, not lowering our crown chakra, and standing in our personal power. Holding your head high means to use the crown chakra at the top of the head. For women, it might to fun to say to wear your crown!

Moving to the upper chakras is an easy transition of energy for some women and difficult for others depending on our genetics, life experiences, emotions and strength of spirit. Nevertheless it is our time to lead. It is meant to be. It is the millennium of the feminine. There is resistance to change, always and everywhere. That does not mean change is not possible or not meant to be.

Notice for yourself, what chakras do you use most of the time? Are you in your heart? Not a bad place to be but it is limiting you to just healing everyone all the time. Are you in your second chakra so that you feel and are empathic? Being sensitive to emotions is fine at times but it will limit you from being more in your life. Maybe you sit in your third chakra below the sternum, so you are responsible, work hard and try to please. These are good qualities but sitting here all the time can make you angry, resentful or in competition. We are not meant to use some of our abilities. We are meant to be whole that means to use all of our abilities including the upper chakras.

Make a change and see the impact for yourself and your world. Become a leader in your life and see how that manifests in the world. You are here at this time for a reason. You are part of this change, to the bring forth the feminine to live in partnership with the masculine.  Stand tall.  Hold your head high.

As always, I would love to hear your perspective as well.

Best wishes, Kay

 

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Love My Mother, Not Be My Mother

0036GettyMy mom was great. I loved her, but I do not want to become her. My daughter loves me, but she does not want to be like me.   Wanting to be different is important as each generation is more capable than the last. It is evolution. So why do we become our parents?   You know the feeling. Some days you just feel and look like your mother.

Genetics Rule

I have watched this in women for decades. It makes sense. Our genetics are from her. Science knows that our genetics program our physical characteristics and our emotions, attitudes, perspectives, capabilities and more. It is all there. We do not have to do anything, and our life would play out as our genetics dictate. Yikes! Or we can decide how we want to be and consciously grow in that way.

Role Model

In addition to our genetics, we spend nine months feeling and reacting to everything our mother is feeling and reacting to, for better or worse. We start being just like her.  That is all we know. For the next six years or more we follow in her footsteps, learning how to be. We watch, observe and imitate.

Self

Then the magic happens we start to learn from others as we go to school, socialize and experience the world. We see ourselves through other’s eyes and feel how they act and react to us.   We are starting to know ourselves.

The more we grow in our understanding of ourselves, the more we get to know our mother and who she is.   We recognize the similarities and the differences. We become a woman in our own way.

 Fairy Tale

This sounds like a wonderful story of how a woman blossoms into her own except it does not always work that way. For this story to play out we have to be passionate and curious to know ourselves, to grow in our understanding of how we want to be in the world. Self-awareness is wonderful, scary, inspiring and depressing but finding our way through the ups and downs helps us grow in our power and sense of self.

Being Our Mother

At times, we go unconscious. When this happens our genetics, and all that we matched with our mother in those tender years start to run our life. We become our mother.

Helen

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about Helen and her anger. There is more to the story. Helen dislikes her mother, always has.   When I was walking with Helen, she complained about everything, was negative and angry.   Helen always described her mother to me in this way. Helen was being her mother. I am sure she did not realize it because it is such a familiar way of being. Helen is not this way all the time. An energy was re-stimulated in her space that caused her to lose awareness of herself.  When we lose that self-awareness, our genetics kick in to run our life. We become our mother. Ugh!

On those days when I feel like my mom, act like her and look like her I know that I have lost myself somewhere is an energy, a picture or an emotion.  It is time to meditate and get myself back to who I am, not better or worse than my mom, just who I am.

Being Myself

When my daughter was six, she came into the kitchen and asked, “Who do I look like?” I laughed and said, “You look like your dad.” She took a deep breath and left.   She came back about 10 minutes later and asked, “Now how do I look like?” Amused, I saw that she now looked more like me. She sighed again and left. A few minutes later back she came again with the same question. Amazingly when I looked at her I said, “You look like yourself!” With a big smile, she danced across the room.   That sense of self is powerful. It is a process we begin at a young age and continue throughout life – unless we stop.

A Gift

Knowing when we are being our mother is an important part of knowing ourselves.  Being uniquely who we are, not being our mothers, and letting our daughters do the same is a gift we give to each other. It is up to each of us to take that gift and grow in our understanding of ourselves, letting our mothers and daughters to do the same.

 

Women Creating Miracles

WAG photo 2013-03The 2014 Women Achieving Goals (WAG) retreat this past weekend inspired me more than ever before. Maybe it was the stories of success from the women who returned from the last retreat, the enthusiasm of women who had come for the first time filled with expectation and hope, the fresh passion of women in their twenties matched with women in the height of their careers and older women rich with experience and wisdom.

Whatever the secret sauce, everyone was lifted up by a shared passion for achieving the goals and vision they dream every day. The retreat last fall seemed focused on career and success in business, but Sarah stated firmly that she was focused on creating a relationship that her career was fine. As Sarah returned this year, she told how her life changed unexpectedly since the work she did at the last retreat. She moved back to her hometown on the East Coast leaving a career in San Francisco. With no effort, she landed a good job in her industry. Most importantly a relationship appeared in her life just like she planned. This year Sarah’s focus takes the next step, creating a family. As she described, “It is a miracle!”

When Keri attended the last retreat, she was a working artist and had been for many years. She came to the retreat to add to her career. Keri wanted a steady income, something more predictable. Much to her surprise opportunities presented themselves shortly after the retreat. A new career started, but the company was not a good fit for her, so she used the techniques she learned at the retreat to evolve her vision a step further. When she returned this time she was proud of her new career, that provided her with more than triple the income she had before and double what she expected. Keri is working with a highly visible Silicon Valley company and gets to travel for her work, travel was part of her vision. With her career fully developed for now, her focus has changed to creating a relationship. Keri left the retreat of her vision for the relationship she wanted to add to her life.

There are so many more stories I could tell. Each year the group of women who come to the retreat is not a coincidence. I watch them, young and old, career women and business owners, work to clear their thinking and go within to connect with who they are at their core. Then I watch the power of the group agreement. The agreement of this group is for each one to achieve their vision of success. They share their stories, their hopes; give and receive good counsel.

Women who have come to the retreat before help women who do not have experience creating a vision, who want to learn how to find the certainty and courage to create what they want in their lives. There are women who are afraid to dream or change and women who are certain and courageous. Women come from many places spiritually and in their life experiences, but there is magic when women come together to share, empower themselves and each other.

After each retreat, I am personally filled with inspiration for my next step. I feel that I create the retreats for myself to work on my vision of success and invite women to join me to do the same. So I want to thank all the women who have joined the WAG retreats over the years. I invite you into this community of women empowering themselves to create the life they desire and support other women in doing the same.

The WAG retreat is one of many ways women can come together in support of each other.  What I learn each time is that nothing is impossible.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Another Glass Ceiling Broken

Mo'ne Davis“Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, Mo’ne Davis, a thirteen year old, was the first girl to throw a shutout in the Little League World Series, the sixth to get a hit in World Series history and the first Little Leaguer to get front-page attention on one of the nation’s top sports magazines. “A girl on the cover of Sports Illustrated for her prowess in a man’s sport,” cheered “Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville in an e-mail. “Mo’ne is wowing not just the sports world but all of us!”

As an avid baseball fan, I am thrilled that Mo’ne broke one of many glass ceilings in sports. Perhaps more girls who love baseball will take the risk to stand up and say I want to play. For those of you who are not sports fans most girls are taught to play softball. Softball is a wonderful athletic, skilled sport and women excel at it but what about hardball! Women have long been thought to be too fragile for such a demanding and dangerous sport. As we have seen, serious injuries are part of the sport. One thirteen-year-old girl may have changed that perception forever.

The Pirates drafted my dad to play major league baseball right out of high school, but an injury during spring training caused his mom to pull her underage son out of the sport. Soon after he was drafted and never went back to professional baseball but he continued to play the sport he loved locally and taught all his kids (four daughters and one son) to play the game. The first two homes we lived in were next to baseball fields.  Most weekends were spent at Forbes Field in Oakland watching the Pirates and my favorite, Roberto Clemente.

I too loved baseball but when I was young, however, girls were not allowed to play in baseball leagues, so we were fans. We played pick-up games in someone’s back yard so seeing Mo’ne struck a chord in me. I thought to myself, finally! Now Mo’ne is not the first girl to play baseball but the success she has achieved is unmatched in kid’s baseball. Let me repeat she was the first girl to throw a shutout in the Little League World Series and the sixth to get a hit in World Series history.

Then she made history again! On Sunday night, Oct. 26, 2014, fifth fame of the major league world series, Mo’ne was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. If you are a baseball fan, you have watched ceremonial first pitches for years, and there is no guessing where that ball will go. Most don’t even throw from the pitcher’s mound because it is a long way (60.5 ‘). It is such a tough task that major league pitchers throw strikes 65% of the time.

On Sunday, Mo’ne was walked onto the field to throw out the first ball. Drum roll, please. The staff walking her advised her stand at a comfortable distance from home plate. No one expected this small, slight, young girl to pitch from the mound and most people who throw the first pitch don’t. Mo’ne stopped looked at home plate, looked at the pitcher’s mound, weighing her chances, turned and walked straight to the pitcher’s mound. The crowd roared for her courage even before she threw her pitch and then she did. Mo’ne threw that pitch 60.5’ from the pitcher’s mound straight, fast across home plate. Strike! The crowd stood and roared again, this time in praise of her skill, talent and determination.

Thank you Mo’ne. You have inspired us all.

“Do what you think you cannot do.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Power of Women Together

women raised handsThree times a year I conduct retreats for women focused on success. These women are smart, capable business owners and professionals. They are women who are self-aware and create based on who they are and what they value. Sounds perfect but it is not that easy.

The next retreat is in about ten days. About this time before a retreat I start to receive calls from a couple of women who registered months ago that suddenly need to cancel. It happens each and every time so what is going on.

To create our vision of success takes great courage. Simply wanting something is easy because wanting does not require action, change or commitment. It is a dream or a fantasy. Being determined to create your vision of success is very different. It requires courage and the willingness to allow change.

When I tell women this retreat is a time away, a chance to clear your thinking, reconnect with who you are at your core, to renew and be inspired they are all in. Women sign up! Over the next few weeks, I ask them to take the time to write what they value as a foundation for the work they will do that the retreat. Stating their values is not so hard so they are still in.

About two weeks before the retreat I ask them to write their goals for coming to the retreat. This question starts a growth period.  A growth periods means they start to experience the shift in them that will move them from where they are to where you want to be.  It is uncomfortable.

It is easier to stay where we are than to create change so while the retreat sounded wonderful from a female perspective, beautiful house with views of the beach and the ocean… The reality of creating change can feel overwhelming.

This simple question, what is your goal for this retreat, is not as big as what is your goal for your life. The question still creates a visceral reaction, fear and uncertainty. For most of our life we live a routine day-to-day and it is not until we stop, retreat and reflect that we make any significant changes.

These retreats are designed to shake us out of our routine, to open our awareness and get us back on track to create what we truly desire. The retreat sounds wonderful, but it takes great courage to break routines and create change. Do we have the courage to change?

When I hear women say they cannot come to the retreat because their dog will miss them, they have to get their nails done, cannot get away from work and other not important reasons I know they are in a growth period.  Most often they get through it so they can retreat and create that vision that made them sign up in the first place.

The power of a group of women coming together in support of each of us achieving our vision of success is powerful, and women can feel that in them weeks before the experience of it. It is the energy of all the women in support of each other before the retreat that makes it possible.  It is the power of women in agreement that helps us move from where we are to where we want to be.  Some changes need a stronger energy support than others so a group of women adds that power of energy.

I held a meeting of one of the boards I sit on. It was the first meeting of the board and as president it is my job to bring the board together. It is an all women board of capable, strong, experienced women. I let the power of women coming together in support and agreement to set the tone of the meeting. Not only did we do the work of the board but we supported each other personally and professionally offering our best counsel to each other. Everyone walked away renewed and inspired by the power of women supporting women.

Notice for yourself your willingness to create change, not just want it but determined to create it. Finally, create a way to come together with other women focused on supporting each other in achieving their vision of success.

Best wishes, Kay

Women’s Power to Create

dreamstimefree_214026Women achieving their goals is important to me. It always has been. Maybe it is because I come from a long line of strong women primarily on my mom’s side. She is Bohemian as my grandmother insisted even though by that time it was called the Czech Republic. My grandmother, her mother and the mothers before her were strong women, leaders in their families with no personal goals except their family. That was common at that time.

My mother wanted more so she trained as a lab technician in a local hospital, enjoyed the work very much then married, and her focus became her five children, her community and her church. She was a leader in every regard. Her goals related to taking care of her family, and she excelled.

Women achieving their goals may be important to me because I always felt my mom had more she wanted professionally or that I have three sisters who share my desire to succeed. My Catholic girls school that focused on their students excelling, being the best, winning awards and making everyone proud influenced me. Success was expected, and we cheered each other on.

Working as a coach for business owners and professionals for most of my professional life, I learned how different women are from men on an energy level. Women are raised with soft skills, to be kind, caring, giving, nurturing, collaborative, supportive, smart, educated and so on. These are good skills using the second and fourth chakras. We care and want to be seen in a positive light.

Success I have observed requires something different, a stronger level of energy using other chakras in our energy system. To be successful means to be determined, a strong energy from the third chakra. Men use this energy center easily and are taught to use their third for competition. Women are just as capable at being focused and determined, to use our third chakra though many are discouraged from a young age not to be so bold, aggressive or pushy.

I was speaking with my son yesterday who has two daughters, ages 5 and 7, about how young girls are programmed to be. He was always a strong, aggressive and successful person in school, sports and business. Could he imagine his daughters using their female power (2nd and 3rd chakras) to be just as focused and determined to be successful?  He was already aware of encouraging them in that way though he admits it is sometimes overwhelming to have such power in little girls.  We agreed it will look different when they are grown and using that power to be successful.

One of the most powerful energy centers for success is the first chakra, and women shy away from it because of programming. The first chakra is most often associated with fear though that is only one of the energies it manages. More importantly the first chakra stimulates our passion. Success is rarely achieved without passion.

As women getting comfortable using our first chakra, being afraid and still moving forward is essential for our success. Using our power in the third to stand strongly centered in our goals creates the energies needed for our vision of success to manifest.

Take a moment to focus on these chakras. Increase your awareness of them. The first chakra is at the base of the spine managing the survival instincts of the body, responding to threats (fear) and energizing our passion for creating. The third chakra is in the solar plexus just below the sternum. It is the center for your personal power, energy distribution in the body and the energy you use to manifest your vision.  It is the pushy energy.

Notice how each one feels to you and the thoughts that come to mind when you focus on the 1st or 3rd chakras. Clear your thinking. Release energy. Don’t be afraid to take risks, get out of your comfort zone, to be powerful and determined.  Achieve your vision of success and do it using all your female information.

Best wishes, Kay

Feminine Way to Success

Women & MoneyFor women to achieve their goals means we have to change our thinking and align with who we are at our core.

Men and women are different. I know that is terribly obvious, but that difference has not been fully appreciated. I watched a news broadcast yesterday in which a seemingly shocking revelation had been made. Women were being poisoned by a medication long prescribed as best practice in the treatment of a particular disorder. The problem being all the medical research had been done on men. The assumption was what was good for men was good for women. Not true! Medical researchers are bringing forth a new understanding that women are different from men including our physiology. The aspirin a day plan to prevent heart attacks is based on research on men and now being studied to see if that is true for women. I have never agreed that standard dosages prescribed for medications or vitamins could possibly be the same for men and women!

What is true for men is not always true for women.  We know this for medical science and it is also true in business. Women are different from men. Do we have to behave like men to succeed or like the medical research community, do those in the business world have to learn to understand and work with women in a new way?

Forty years ago women who wanted to succeed had to match male energy, be a leader as a man would. Women did, and they succeeded but at a price. Working like a man is uncomfortable for women. It prevents us from creating success that serves our lives and enjoying our success.

There is research on women professionals and women business owners. It stresses that women are paid less, generate less revenue and have a smaller share of the market. There are those who call for reform. They want society to do something so that women get more. I wonder if that is the correct approach. I agree that women can and should create their vision of success though women do not hold the same values as men. Maybe all women do not want the biggest salary, the biggest business or scale the corporate ladder in the same way that men have. We value family so want to create a successful business or profession that supports our lives. We want to have a business and profession that supports our values and not always about being on top.

The greater tragedy is when women get in competition with other women. That form of competition is a male concept that does not work in support of feminine values.  Every women can succeed.  The notion that either I succeed or she does is not true.  The concept of winner and loser is a male concept. It is most discouraging to me to see women who run multi-million dollar businesses look down on women who run smaller businesses or are solopreneurs. Women are different in what we value and what we choose to create big or small. That competition between large and small women owned businesses are a reflection of operating on male concepts of success. The male paradigm is bigger is better. The female paradigm is to create, have everyone feel valued and create something of value.

As we move forward each woman has to assess for herself what she wants to create, for what purposes and for what value. It is my hope that women can achieve goals that support who they are at their core and what they value. It is my hope that the business community opens their eyes to understand that women create differently than men. Finally, and most importantly women work to support other women.

I would love to hear your views.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Celebrate the Anniversary of the 19th with more to come

0003-0612-1119-2651Today is anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women’s right to vote. It is offensive that an amendment was even needed. Most astonishing is it was a hard fight. The Senate originally voted against the amendment and only voted for it when women worked to convince men to vote against the re-election of Senators who did not support the 19th Amendment. Realizing the influence women could have on their political careers they changed their minds and passed the 19th Amendment. There were many more challenges before it finally was ratified on August 26, 1920. Thank you Susan B. Anthony, Emmeline Pankhurst, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and all the suffragettes and the men that supported them.

This was a big step in the history of women. Next came the sexual revolution then the work of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, who fought to change the role of women in our society, to have us seen as leaders and free to pursue our own dreams. That fight continues.

And now we are pushing the limits even further with women defining a new vision for themselves as professionals, business owners, wives and mothers. We are redefining success and changing the culture of business. We want businesses and careers that serve our lives.  We are not done. More needs to change in our culture and other cultures around the world for women to create freely from within, expressing who they are in the world.

Thank you to all the women who came before us and have changed the energy, cleared old concepts and programming so that we can have the freedom to be who we are at our core.  We are not done.

Courage to Manifest Your Vision

Adobe ID 164ASP19151023Women are starting businesses in record numbers. Others are working their way up the corporate ladder. Still others are comfortable with a less ambitious vision of success. We are all different. The question is, are you where you want to be?

There are a series of blog posts speculating about women, their goals and ambitions. They are also speculating about the ability of women to be successful. I find this annoying, and it perpetuates old concepts about women and it affects us all.

From an intuitive perspective, anything is possible. We are capable of creating whatever we choose: a small business or a multi-million dollar business. A career that allows us to experience ourselves or one with sights set on corporate leadership. We are all different.

If you are precisely where you want to be, congratulations. Many of us are still creating our vision of success, moving it forward, evolving our thinking and deciding what we can have.

Many of the women I work with want what they do in the world to align with who they are at their core. There is a spiritual side to their vision of success.   They want their business or career to serve their life and not to be their life.

What is in our way?  Having the courage (an energy within us) to push through old patterns, routines, ways of thinking and energy in our space is essential for our vision to manifest. Embracing self-awareness and a way to create change within is key to being able to achieve our vision.

Too often we stay in the energy of wanting. We know what we want but cannot imagine it happening or cannot push ourselves hard enough to manifest it. We have within us the ability to make a change if we have the courage.  If nothing changes within then nothing changes in our lives.

Women often fear taking a risk. Risk taking requires strong first and sixth chakras. It requires a level of certainty and willingness to be uncomfortable as we move from where we are now to where we want to be.  Anything new is uncomfortable on one level, or another.

We do not need to have all the answers or even know all the steps to achieve our vision of success, but we do need to take strong, focused steps especially if we have been in the energy of wanting for a long time.  With a clear vision, we can take one step at a time assuring that every decision we make and action we take moves us toward our vision, otherwise we find ourselves not moving forward or moving in another direction.

Our vision can manifest. Taking actions in present time is more effective than getting lost in the future. When we take determined steps in present time, there is less fear but fear nonetheless. Accepting fear as the body’s normal reaction to change allows us to take bigger steps.

For those who have a vision of success and want to manifest  more fully that vision, take significant steps in present time. Know that fear is the body’s normal reaction to change so just take a deep breath, take another step, stay aligned to who you are at your core.  Let your vision manifest.

Best wishes, Kay

Own Your Value

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Our greatest failing as women is not knowing our value in the marketplace.  We know who we are.  We know what we contribute.  We know how valuable we can be to a company – ours or someone else’s.  Pricing ourselves is where women fall down.  We don’t know or own our value.

Several recent reports on the status of women business owners point out that women business owners are as capable as anyone or more of running a business.  These reports also state that women make less revenue overall.  There are many factors that contribute to this including the industries we choose, access to capital, gender bias and our thinking about our value.

In her book “Knowing Your Value”, Mika Brzezinski points to ways women undervalue themselves in the marketplace as business owners and professionals.  It is in our nature and our programming to give more than we receive, to enjoy fixing, creating, nurturing, supporting and not being so concerned at the time about what we are getting out of it.  Mika points out that we expect others to see our value and want to compensate us for it.  They don’t.  There is programming that tells us not be too self-centered, to think of others first, and other concepts that are familiar to you.  We don’t tend to ask.

Owning My Value

This came home to me this past week when working with one of my clients.   I began working with Claire several years ago when she called me out of desperation.  She was a high fashion model hiding in her parent’s home suffering from a disorder that kept her from engaging in her life.  She had no income at the time and out of compassion I took her on at a rate she said she could afford.  My female programming said to help someone in need.  She is now back on the runway. She still has fear so created a side business in which she teaches young boys and girls to model.  Claire called me this past week for an appointment asking if I could lower my rate.   My first inclination was to sympathize then reflecting back on my value I summoned the courage to suggest that we schedule when she was in a better financial position.

I saw intuitively all the concepts that both she and I held about women and their value.  She thought I should give to her.  I thought I should give to her.  In doing so, we both would be perpetuating the diminished value we hold as women.  This may be the end of our coaching.  It may be the right time for her to move on feeling certain that she can model and teach modeling.  For me, it was about taking ownership of my value.  Intuitively I see Claire working to own her value so that she can set a fair value for her modeling work.  I suggested that she read Mika’s book.  She was eager to do so.   I continue to be a caring, giving and compassionate person, and it will not get in the way of how I hold my value.

Pay Women Less and Get More

My website needs backend upgrading, so I contacted three professionals asking them for bids, two men and one woman.  Since I am focusing on women and their value right now, I noticed my own pictures.  I believed that Susan, the only female to bid, would charge less, work harder and give me more than I expected. Intuitively I see the programming that undervalues women and where we undervalue ourselves.  Susan gives more than she receives and is working to balance giving with receiving in order to raise her value.

 Guilt Gets In The Way

Wendi called because she had submitted an invoice to a client incorrectly stating the cost at a lower rate than they had discussed.  Wendi was guilty – a common female reaction.  She wanted to own her value, explain her error and expect her client to accept a corrected invoice.  I saw intuitively that Wendi could do so but had to get out of guilt and be clear in her own space about her value before she contacted her client.

 That’s Too Much!

An old friend became a dental

Our greatest failing as women is not knowing our value in the marketplace.  We know who we are.  We know what we contribute.  We know how valuable we can be to a company – ours or someone else’s.  Pricing ourselves is where women fall down.  We don’t know or own our value.

Several recent reports on the status of women business owners point out that women business owners are as capable as anyone or more of running a business.  These reports also state that women make less revenue overall.  There are many factors that contribute to this including the industries we choose, access to capital, gender bias and our thinking about our value.

In her book “Knowing Your Value” Mika Brzezinski points to ways women undervalue themselves in the marketplace as business owners and professionals.  It is in our nature and in our programming to give more than we receive, to enjoy fixing, creating, nurturing, supporting and not being so concerned at the time about what we are getting out of it.  Mika points out that we expect others to see our value and want to compensate us for it.  They don’t.  There is programming that tells us not be to self-centered, to think of others first, and other concepts that are familiar to you.  We don’t tend to ask.

Owning My Value

This came home to me this past week when working with one of my clients.   I began working with Claire several years ago when she called me out of desperation.  She was a high fashion model hiding in her parent’s home suffering from a disorder that kept her from engaging in her life.  She had no income at the time and out of compassion I took her on at a rate she said she could afford.  My female programming said to help someone in need.  She is now back on the runway. She still has fear so created a side business in which she teaches young boys and girls to model.  Claire called me this past week for an appointment asking if I could lower my rate.   My first inclination was to sympathize then reflecting back on my value I summoned the courage to suggest that we schedule when she was in a better financial position.

I saw intuitively all the concepts that both she and I held about women and their value.  She thought I should give to her.  I thought I should give to her.  In doing so we both would be perpetuating the diminished value we hold as women.  This may be the end of our coaching.  It may be the right time for her to move on feeling certain that she can model and teach modeling.  For me it was about taking ownership of my value.  Intuitively I see Claire working her own value so that she can set a fair value for her modeling work.  I suggested that she read Mika’s book.  She was eager to do so.   I continue to be a caring, giving and compassionate person and it will not get in the way of how I hold my value.

Pay Women Less and Get More

My website needs backend upgrading so I contacted three professionals asking them for bids, two men and one woman.  Since I am focusing on women and their value right now I noticed my own pictures.  I believed that Susan, the only female to bid, would charge less, work harder and give me more than I pay for.  Intuitively I see the programming that undervalues women and where we undervalue ourselves.  Susan gives more than she receives and is working to balance giving with receiving to raise her value.

 Guilt Gets In The Way

Wendi called because she had submitted an invoice to a client incorrectly stating the cost at a lower rate than they had discussed.  Wendi was guilty – a common female reaction.  She wanted to own her value, explain her error and expect her client to accept a corrected invoice.  I saw intuitively that Wendi could do so but had to get out of guilt and be clear in her own space about her value before she contacted her client.

 That’s Too Much!

An old friend became a dental hygenist. Her perspective on dental health  intrigued me.  I indicated my interest in her approach and agreed she would send me information.  We were both very excited by the possibility of working together.   Karen immediately sent me her intake form.   I emailed her for her rates and asked if she took insurance.  I got no response.   As an intuitive, I saw that Karen became uncomfortable with owning her value.  I expect that her rates are high and that she does not take insurance.  I am waiting for her to take a step up and own her value, telling me precisely what it is and doing so without guilt.

Not Valuing Yourself

Valerie has been in business for 20 years and recently became a coaching client because for the first time her business is struggling financially.   She owns a design company and is well-respected in the industry.  It was important to start with an understanding of the finances of her company.  I soon discovered that Valerie did not value herself as the owner as she had not paid herself for some time.  As an intuitive, I saw that this comes more from a concept in her space than with financial reality.  Being self-sacrificing was a value that she held without realizing it.  Paying herself more than the rest of her staff made her uncomfortable.  She is more comfortable giving them big salaries and not receiving any for herself.  This is hurting her and her business.

Energy Level of Value

Our concepts about our value get in the way of our success.  To change these concepts means getting out of our comfort zone, having a fair sense of our value and finding a way to own that in our business or our profession.  Everyone is intuitive and pick up on us whether they do so consciously or not.  How often do we give off the energy that lowers our value?  People react and respond to what they feel from us.  So what energy do you give off about your value?  Take the time to meditate on your value.  Know it.  See it. Feel it.  Value is not about demanding a lot of pay.  It is an energy level that results in owning being valued and compensated.  We know our value but have trouble being paid for that at a high level.

Gender Bias

When Meg Whitman took over HP the board for the first time in its history decided to lower the pay package for their CEOs.  She took it and I was furious!  The previous male CEO received a more generous offer and just received an enormous severance package when they let him go.

Do we hold gender bias and under value women ourselves?  Do we pay our male staff more than our female staff?   Do we expect to pay women we contract with less and do so because we can?   What actions are we taking to increase our own value and supporting the value of other women?

Take the time to reflect (meditate) on the steps you want to take to raise your value not just in your mind but also in your ability to receive financially.   Take the time to reflect on what you can do to raise the value of women you hire.  Do our actions and decisions support women being paid less?  It is time for a change. Be part of it.

. Her perspective on dental health  intrigued me.  I indicated my interest in her approach and agreed she would send me information.  We were both very excited by the possibility of working together.   Karen immediately sent me her intake form.   I emailed her for her rates and asked if she took insurance.  I got no response.   As an intuitive I saw that Karen became uncomfortable with owning her value.  I expect that her rates are high and that she does not take insurance.  I am waiting for her to take a step up and own her value, telling me precisely what it is and doing so without guilt.

Not Valuing Yourself

Valerie has been in business for 20 years and recently became a coaching client because for the first time her business is struggling financially.   She owns a design company and is well-respected in the industry.  It was important to start with an understanding of the finances of her company.  I soon discovered that Valerie did not value herself as the owner as she had not paid herself for sometime.  As an intuitive I saw that this comes more from a concept in her space than with a financial reality.  Being self-sacrificing was a value that she held without realizing it.  Paying herself more than the rest of her staff made her uncomfortable.  She is more comfortable giving then big salaries and not receiving any for herself.  This is hurting her and her business.

Energy Level of Value

Our concepts about our value get in the way of our success.  To change these concepts means getting out of our comfort zone, having a fair sense of our value and finding a way to own that in our business or our profession.  Everyone is intuitive and pick up on us whether they do so consciously or not.  How often do we give off the energy that lowers our value?  People react and respond to what they feel from us.  So what energy do you give off about your value?  Take the time to meditate on your value.  Know it.  See it. Feel it.  Value is not about demanding a lot of pay.  It is an energy level that results in owning being valued and compensated.  We know our value but have trouble being paid for that at a high level.

Gender Bias

When Meg Whitman took over HP the board for the first time in its history decided to lower the pay package for their CEOs.  She took it and I was furious!  The previous male CEO received a more generous offer and just received an enormous severance package when they let him go.

Do we hold gender bias and under value women ourselves?  Do we pay our male staff more than our female staff?   Do we expect to pay women we contract with less and do so because we can?   What actions are we taking to increase our own value and supporting the value of other women?

Take the time to reflect (meditate) on the steps you want to take to raise your value not just in your mind but also in your ability to receive financially.   Take the time to reflect on what you can do to raise the value of women you hire.  Do our actions and decisions support women being paid less?  It is time for a change. Be part of it.

Thinking Small?

dreamstime_xs_34081720Sara was laid off over a year ago. For the first six months, she avoided any efforts toward seeking another job. She had too much energy in her space from her last job that she could not bear re-engaging another commitment. She did not trust another employer and most of all she did not trust herself. A common reaction when we lose a job.

In coaching Sara’s goal was to define her vision of success. What did she want to create next? She had many ideas but could not commit to any one of them. Time was passing, and her funds were running low. I watched her use avoidance and denial of the reality of her situation. Sara’s attention turned to making small amounts of money just to get by, a contract here and there. She could not see herself as successful as she had been in the past. Old invalidations came to mind. Sara began to create stories about herself starting with “Every time I make a great connection something goes wrong.” She began to believe this then stated it often and so that is what she created. She made great connections that got her no further toward her goal of making money again. Our thoughts are powerful, and they are creative.

Out of money, behind in her mortgage and only small options in sight I was able to get her attention.  She saw now was the time to stop thinking small. Sara needed to change her thinking 180 degrees from “I am small” to “I can have the opportunity to fully use my abilities”. Sara began to release the energy of being small that she was holding so strongly. From there she was able to raise her vibration to a higher level and imagine something bigger. She needed something bigger. She changed from holding her head down to holding her head high.

Three days later everything changed. A well respected business owner called who met Sara at an event she created for a client (part of the small money coming in). He wanted to discuss a job opportunity. By the following day, he had offered her a job and her first assignment was to run his company for a couple of months. He wanted to take off time he desperately needed and knew Sara was the person who could take over.  This was NOT SMALL. Sara had changed her space 180 degrees and someone noticed.

Sara is still stunned by the turn of events. She knows this is a big challenge though she also knows she has the experience and courage to take it on. This story reminds me of our power to clear our thinking and reset our space and perspective to achieve our vision of success.

Best wishes on your bigger dreams, Kay

Women Business Owners from Chile

0036GettyThis past week I had the opportunity to work with a group of women business owners from Chile, who had come to the US to learn the way businesses are created here. Meeting with them was one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had in a while.

These are focused determined women creating a range of businesses including boutique hotels in resort towns, a video production company, florist, law firm, doll maker and more.

Though our countries are different the issues faced by women in their country are not a great deal different from in the US, and there are some differences. Most of these women are the primary breadwinner and caretaker for their family. Creating a business to serve their lives is important. They can not imagine how that is possible, so they wanted that answer.  More women in the US are becoming the primary income for their family.  This is a shift that is creating changes in how women view themselves and their businesses.

Managing finances was a challenge. When we presented how to create a business plan, and financial plan their eyes glazed over. A response not unique to these women. This is a common reaction of business owners. In their world personal and business finances are one. As I spoke about separating business finances from personal, I saw invalidation in their spaces. They are in the energy of living day-to-day from the income their make.  Seeing their business finances as separate would be a challenge for them and frightening.  Regardless of the fear they wanted to learn to take this step.  They knew this was a change they had to make if they were to be successful.

While I presented several ways in which they needed to change their perspective on themselves as a business owner and their business one of the most important was to dream bigger. Most of the women do the work of the business themselves. To grow their businesses they needed to see themselves as a leader in their business and have a vision for its growth.

Their first step is to change how they see themselves. Rather than seeing themselves as working hard to make a living, they are ready to see themselves as business owners, as leaders in business and having a vision that is bigger than where they are now. They are scared but willing to be uncomfortable. For this group it means taking ownership of their finances, a painful point for each of them.

Though these women from Chile are doing well enough to get by they want so much more. During our time with them they found the inspiration to dream bigger and see themselves as more than hard workers or working hard to get by.   Spending this time together we found that women around the women are very similar in how we get in our own way.  We are also willing to change and are inspired to dream bigger.

Finally, these women are in support of each other, push each other and part of an organization supporting women business owners to grow successful businesses in Chile.

Kay

Small Becomes Big!

headshot_compilation_for_websiteA woman with a purpose can create great success. NAWBO SFBA  co-sponsored an event at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club recently because they were featuring three successful women business owners. Sharing our stories of success inspire and raise us all up. The owners of Eventbrite, ModCloth and One King’s Lane told their stories on starting a business, what they envisioned at that time and where they are now.

At present, all three businesses are enormously successful and how they got there is quite similar. None of them started out to create a multi-million dollar business. That was not the reason nor the goal. They each had something they needed and didn’t see that it existed. From there, they thought if it was something they needed that was probably true of others.

For Julie of Eventbrite, she just wanted to create an easy inexpensive or even free way for everyday folks to create events and be able to invite people. For Susan of ModCloth, she wanted clothes that she liked and didn’t see it in stores around her so decided to create her own online store to see if others were interested. Alison of One King’s Lane wanted to make home decorating fun and inexpensive.

Each of these women started simple then grew their technologies and offerings as demand grew. They also found someone to partner with knowing that two heads are always better than one besides women love to collaborate. Julie and Susan partnered with their husbands and Alison with a good friend. The result was an enormous success.

Other key elements that I drew from their presentation were they loved what they were creating, had fun doing it and did not have to be the smartest person on their team. Each one of them spoke about starting simply, growing and changing their offerings as demand grew. Demand grew faster than any of them expected so bringing on great talent to support their efforts became essential. You have to love working with people, sharing ideas, trying new things and collaborating. Julie said, “You have to do what you say.”

These three women inspired everyone in the room of 500 men and women. They showed how women create differently than men and for different reasons. They showed their ability to grow big companies and at the same time create families and have personal lives. Thank you Susan, Julie and Alison.

Kay

Women of Wisdom

0166 Adobe ID 044ASP369813All women have wisdom. Some are more connected to their inner wisdom than others. I attended a conference recently for professional women with several impressive keynote speakers. I would like to share with you some of their wisdom.

Dr. Elizabeth Lindsay, National Geographic explorer and native Hawaiian, said, “Don’t pray for fair weather. Pray for courage.” She encouraged woman to take the time to know who we are at our core. Dr. Lindsay believes feminine wisdom is needed now more than ever and that our wisdom will bring the world back into balance.

Charlotte Beers, former advertising executive and undersecretary for Colin Powell, reminded us that who we are in our personal lives is different than who we are in our professional lives. It is a change from womanly to female leaderly (her word).

Arianna Huffington, editor of Huffington Post, promotes a healthier lifestyle that includes more sleep and meditation. Her favorite quote from Rumi, “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” She suggested looking for the hidden message and opportunity in every experience especially during hard times. Arianna suggested that we do not have to make everything happen. We can also let things happen.  Her favorite quote from a French Philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, “There were many terrible things in my life, and most of them never happened.”  Finally, Arianna shared a little known fact: Babies laugh 300 times a day and adults laugh 20.

Diane Keaton, actress, reminded us to stay true to who we are. She suggested that we not be concerned with others opinions of us. She learned that beauty is within then expressed in what we do.

There you have it. Some inspiring words from inspiring women.  I know you also have something to share so please add your wisdom.

Best, Kay


― 

Dreaming Too Small

dreamstimefree_238740In a random sample of  things that concern women including worrying about money, a job that is not satisfying enough, a partner that is not sensitive, etc. dreaming small was the one item all women in this sample selected.

We have to know this about ourselves if we are ever going to change it. We dream too small. Would you have selected that if it were on a list of concerns? That is not to say that it was the most important concern just that every woman in this sample selected this among other concerns. That is significant and consistent with my experience working as a coach.

There are so many reasons why women dream small.  I am not sure how many women truly want to change and how many have simply accepted that they missed the boat. There is no missing the boat. That means that you decided not to be determined enough to dream bigger. No judgment here just a recognition that we are in charge of our reality and our choices. Some things feel like too much effort or look impossible.

From an intuitive perspective when something feels like it is too much effort this means your energy level is too low in body, mind and spirit and this can change.  It takes a high vibration to change, to move a mountain in front of you or to forge that river on your own. That does not mean you cannot do it, and it is not too late. It does mean that it begins with raising your energy level and being determined.  There are many ways to do that some are practical and others more spiritual.

The idea that it is impossible to dream bigger is simply that, an idea. Nothing is impossible from an intuitive perspective though we can create pictures, thoughts, ideas and concepts that are so strong that we make it so. The other side of that coin is to change our thinking, and clear the pictures and concepts that say we cannot.  Once we clear our thinking then we can create a new set of ideas that say how we CAN make it happen.  When we can see this in our mind’s eye it will manifest.

When we say we are dreaming small what we really mean is there a part of ourselves that we are not experiencing or expressing. When we do not experience or express who we are, we feel less of who we are. This, in fact, is true, but it is our choice not to express or experience all that we are.

If you are like most women then you checked off the box that said, “I dream too small.” It does not have to stay that way. Every day is an opportunity to get out of old routines, habits and stale ways of being. Meditate on what inspires you. Take steps to raise your energy level in body, mind and spirit.  Change cannot happen at a low vibration. Imagine ways in which you are inspired every day in a new way.

Decide to do something bigger, maybe a little bigger then let one thing lead to another moving forward from dreaming small to having a bigger dream that allows you to be more of who you are.

Let you light shine.

Best wishes, Kay

Women, we must change

iStock_000019063405SmallWomen, we must change not who we are but how we are being. We are acting and reacting in ways that are programmed into us, ways that do not serve us, but surely serve others.

After working with women for several decades, I admire the ways in which we have grown in ownership of our abilities. The world desperately needs our perspective and our leadership. It is the millennium of the feminine, so the time is right but are we making all the changes that are possible?

I heard a women researcher speak recently on gender bias . She was very clear in describing ways in which women are making changes in how they interact with their world. She also described ways in which we fall into old patterns that stereotype us. By stereotype, I mean concepts that others hold about women, our role and expectations. These stereotypes persist in part because we continue to act and react in ways the reinforce them.  We don’t do this intent ally, of course.  We do it unconsciously and automatically, out of habit.

The speaker gave an example of Carol who was recently promoted to an executive position. A client unexpectedly came to the office.  Carol and her CEO were caught off guard. The CEO turned to Carol and asked her to arrange lunch for the three of them. Carol’s immediate reaction was to solve the problem, be accommodating and do the womanly thing – arrange for lunch. Fortunately Carol caught herself, suggested that Mary, the CEOs administrative assistant, would arrange for lunch.  Carol offered to speak with the client to assess his concerns in order to bring any necessary documents to the lunch discussion.

The speaker warned each of us to be conscious and aware of these subtle stereotypical expectations and help others reframe their thinking as Carol did.  The change in stereotypes has to begin with us, educating and modeling for others in a way that keeps the energy moving and creates alternative perspectives.

I emphasize the need to keep energy moving in order to create a smooth transition in thinking as the easiest way to create change. Being forceful or resistant can create a different set of reactions that closes people down rather than opening up understanding.

Making change away from stereotypes of women is not so easy because most stereotypes are based on abilities we have as women including our ability to nurture, take care of, problem solve and support others. This is in our nature as the creator of life. It is instinctual.   How do we use these abilities in our own way rather than in ways determined by society, religion, culture, programming, etc.?

These abilities are also our strengths. To create change we must take the time to understand our abilities and how we want to express them in our lives personally and professionally, not from an expectation,  but with free will.

From an intuitive perspective, this is not something that can be decided logically. Going within, being in communication with our inner self and knowing how we want to be in our world, family, work, relationships, community, etc. is the only way to know. Once we know then we can show others how we are when we are being true to ourselves – easily and smoothly, energy moving.

We will get off track and follow stereotypes because we act so unconsciously and automatically most of the time. Habits and routines tend to rule our lives. To make a change means being thoughtful, mindful, conscious and aware in the moment. At the same time, we must let go of old ways of being if they are not true for us.  It is hard because there is so much validation given us for following stereotypes.

Begin today. Each day release and step out of one stereotypical action then another. It is a journey in self-awareness and one that will bring great rewards.

Warm regards,

Kay

What’s My Purpose?

????????????????????????????????????????The most common question I am asked is “What’s My Purpose?.” When someone asks this question, they follow by saying,  “What should I be doing?”.  This is not a question that needs to be answered. There is nothing that we should do.

Our purpose, our path or what we are meant to be, do or have can never be found outside ourselves. No one can answer that for us.  Our purpose is not logical and there is no right answer. Finding our purpose comes from within knowing who we are at our core. Purpose is spiritual, awareness of ourselves as spirit.

Finding awareness of ourself comes when we quiet our body and clear our thinking then go within. Our body is so loud and demanding that it keeps us from hearing ourselves. The same thing happens with our thinking. When we are thinking, we cannot hear ourselves. Meditation is a way to quiet the body and stop thinking. In this way, we can go within and say hello to ourselves at our core.

When we are in communication with ourselves as spirit at our core we vibrate our original essence, an energy. When this energy is restimulated it flows from within us outward into our body, mind and our world. When our original essence flows in this way, we begin to feel ourselves expressed in what we do. A sense of purpose emerges. Purpose from an intuitive perspective is simply bringing who you are at your core, your essence, outward into all that you do.

When we go within and say hello to who we are at our core we can communicate with the God of Our Heart, whatever that means to you. Communication within and with the God of Our Heart brings us into awareness of who we are, our path, our purpose and how we are in the world.

None of this is logical. A way to know this for yourself is to meditate. Go within. Say hello to yourself then listen. Listen until you hear yourself. Don’t think. Let the body be quiet. Listen to the quiet of your spirit within and listen to the God of Your Heart.  This brings who you are at your core outward into your life. In this way, you are your purpose. Who you are at your core flowing into what you do creates your path.

Best wishes, Kay

Arianna Huffington, Thrive & Meditation

ThriveArianna Huffington “Thrive” and Meditation

I met Arianna recently at the launch of “The Women’s Book” in San Francisco then listened to her keynote on a new definition of success.  Most of what she spoke about can be read in her new book “Thrive”.  Her strongest message was to meditate.   That same evening I attended an event in which Sheryl Sandberg interviewed her good friend, Arianna.  Sheryl admitted that she is trying to meditate everyday but her mind is go busy with life that she finds it hard to get quiet but is determined.   This is the most common statement I hear from everyone who is new to meditation.  Stopping to meditate is hard.  Getting quiet is even harder. This is absolutely true if you are new to meditation and true for those of us who do meditate but have a lot on our mind.

Meditation takes getting used to.  It is not easy to quiet the body and the mind but with daily attempts it becomes easier.  Sheryl said her goal is to meditate for five minutes.  Not a lot of time but it is a good start.
Keep it simple.
When you start meditating keep it simple.  Just decide to get quiet and listen to yourself.  Everything that is on your mind and in your space will become very obvious. Focus on what comes to mind.  Know that this energy is in your space.  Imagine releasing it down and out of you whether it is a person on your mind, am emotion, energy or a situation. Let it go.

 We hold onto stuff!

Without knowing we hold onto energy from conversations, experiences, projects, etc.  This energy builds up in our space until we need a spa day or golf day as a way to clear our space.  Meditation is way to clear our space everyday so that these energies do not impact our life, work, health, relationships, wealth, etc. because it will.  Without a doubt.

 The story of monks.

I was reminded of a great story about holding onto energy.  Two monks were walking down a muddy road after a strong rain. They came upon a young woman standing on the side of the road who clearly wanted to cross but the mud discouraged her.   One of the monks picked her up carrying her to the other side of the road and moved on.  At the end of the day the second monk said, “I cannot believe you picked up that young woman.”  The monk replied, “I put her down hours ago.  Why are you still carrying her?”

 Start today.

Begin your meditation today.  Start by making time to stop.  Sit in a quiet place.  Close your eyes.  Take a deep breath.  Relax and release as you quiet your body and clear your thinking until you feel relaxed and clear thinking. This is the first step. Just get quiet.
Contact me if you want to learn more about meditation for business owners and professionals.
Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Women in Competition

dreamstimefree_238740 During an interview for Al Jazeera News Agency the woman interviewing me challenged my description of feminine values. The interview was in response to the American Express report on the 2014 State of Women Owned Businesses.

I took the opportunity to direct our conversation away from the growing and high number of women starting businesses and focus instead on how women have the opportunity to change the culture of business.

 Feminine Values in Business

As I mentioned in a recent blog women bring feminine values of collaboration, cooperation, support and a sense of family to her business and in this way we are changing how businesses view themselves. The interviewer was clearly confused by this. Her experience, in her industry , is that women are in fierce competition, self-centered, self-promoting, etc. I agreed with her. Women can be very competitive in positive and not so positive ways.

Competition

And still I stand by feminine values that foster cooperation, collaboration, compassion, fairness, etc. Women who find themselves operating from male values will show attributes such as, compete at any cost, and step on any toes, important to be at the top and to be better than anyone else. No matter what we think this does not create the lifestyle that fits women. That is not to say that women are not competitive. We certainly are. Competition can be very productive, create positive change and come from feminine values.

 Creativity and Competition

It is interesting to note that statistics tell us that the most successful women are in their 40s to 50s and have two children. At this point in their lives they have grown in their understanding of life, work and what is important to them.   The 20s to 30s women are highly energized by the creative energy of their female bodies. This female creative energy is high and a natural vibration designed to create life. Women use this creative energy to create relationships, jobs, businesses, etc. At this young, exploring and learning stage of a woman’s life most of what she does is driven by this female creative energy that strives for perfection, finding a partner and creating a family. It is instinctual. Female competition is strongest at this time. The whole of life perspective is not as evident.

Madeline Says

Madeline Albright is quoted as saying; “There is a special place in hell for women who do not support other women.” A harsh statement that is meant to grab our attention and remind us that it is in our nature to support each other.

Feminine Competition

A woman being competitive does not need to have any negative overtones. Competition to a female is naturally about achievement, accelerating, being her best, etc. These are feminine values as well. A women operating from her internal sense of self and driven to bring all of that outward into the world is a powerful, competitive  and compassionate woman.  She uses competition as a way to move forward not to run over someone or something.

We are learning to embrace our feminine values as we have looked through a male lens for a very long time. Take the time to meditate to be sure you are seeing through the lens of your feminine values.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Women Creating a New Culture of Business

iStock_000015806919MediumThis afternoon I had the opportunity to listen to a panel of women business owners talk about growing their businesses in Oakland, CA. A city with one of the highest crime rates in the country. Oakland is also a wonderful city with a wealth of cultural events. These women were not just creating businesses. They were focused on creating a positive impact on the city –  each in her own way.

Aside from the city in which their business exists these four women share core values that I see in most of the women I  meet in my role as President of NAWBO SFBA. Quite simply women are changing the culture of business. We don’t care about big though big can be good. More important to us is to support each other, our staff and our community. We are collaborators.

American Express Reports

American Express just released the 2014 State of Women Owned Business report. There are an estimated 9.08 million women owned businesses in the US generating 1.4 trillion in annual revenue and employing nearly 7.9 million people. We have influence just by sheer numbers!

Old School Ways of Doing Business

The old school ways of doing business are of no interest to new women business owners. They are not interested in creating a business for their personal wealth. They talk about creating a business that supports their families, their staff and their community. They want to collaborate with other women business owners. They want to buy products and services locally. They want to shop locally because they want to create a sustainable community for their business to exist and a sense of responsibility for their employees.

 Feminine Values

Bringing the feminine values we have in creating our family into our business, i.e. seeing our staff as family and caring about our role in the  community. We want to support and invest in the neighborhoods and cities where we have our business.

Business Ecosystem

The women on the panel spoke about a sharing economy, a new concept that is taking hold across the country. Sharing unneeded or excess resources based on a set of values that often includes trust, transparency, economic empowerment, creative expression, authenticity, community resilience and human connection. These are values women naturally embrace. More women business owners are providing living wages. They know living wages supports the economy, which strengthens their business. They see the business ecosystem.

Sustainable and Profitable

These women do not care about outlandish profits to the owners and top executives. Get rich quick is not their goal. Women are creating sustainable businesses, which includes prosperity for all.

 Be the Change You Desire

These are radical perspectives that put some business owners in fear when they are stuck in the old business model that is self-centered and profit above all. For women to change the culture of business we have to not fall into these old ways of doing business. That model does not fit who we are as women. As we awaken to our values and not be afraid to create our businesses in a new way then a new culture of business can emerge. A feminine way of doing business truly is about sustainability for all. It is also about being profitable but for the good of all in our business and to invest in our communities.

Women want a business that serves their life and their vision of themselves.  They do not want a business that is their life.   Women see their life as the whole measure of who they are professionally and personally.

A New Culture of Business

What would the world be like if women’s way of being changed the culture of business? It has begun and there is no turning back. We are 9 million strong and growing. If you are a women business owner reflect on how you are contributing to the new culture of business.

Please share your thoughts.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

A new definition of success

????????????????????????????????????????During the millennium of the one (male) success was defined by power, position and money.  This led to great advances in every industry as one successful person out did another.  At the same time our environment, our wellness and society were impacted.  Now we are in the millennium of the two (feminine).  This brings a new set of values, perspectives and goals.  The feminine perspective brings a new definition of success.

Studies show that when women are leaders and on boards companies are more successful. Governments that include women legislators (local, state and national) find they are peacemakers, collaborators, persons willing to find a compromise and show concern for the common good. The opposite of posturing, stalemates and self-serving agendas so common in government.

Discussions about equal pay for women do not explore all the possible causes.  In many instances it is gender bias.  May it also be that women hold different values?  Women are not driven by pay in the same way that men are.   Are we seeing a new set of values that represents a different perspective on success?

Women are changing the definition of success.   We don’t use hierarchies in the same way men have.  Women work best in collaboration and in circles.   Money is not the prime motivator of women though more women are becoming the primary breadwinner so adequate pay is important but outlandish pay is not.

Women are very motivated to be successful and are highly competitive while at the same time want our success to fit into our lives, allowing us to have a personal and family life as well.  For us success is defined in the whole of our life not just in the work that we do.

Success for women goes beyond themselves. It means caring about the well-being and wellness of their family and those under their supervision. Being well in body, mind and spirit is a value most women hold and we bring that value into their lives personally and professionally.

This past week I had the opportunity to speak with Arianna Huffington at The Women’s Book San Francisco launch luncheon then to hear her that evening with Sheryl Sandberg at the Commonwealth Club.  Both highly successful women who in reflection are pondering the concept of success for women in this day and age.  They each have a unique perspective on success, one for women growing their careers and “leaning in”.  Arianna suggests that women take time to “lean back” in order to create a more balanced life.  For her this means to meditate, be present, take care of yourself first and being well in body, mind and spirit.

For most men their work is their life.  For women their life includes it all, success is at work, in our home, with our family, caring for our friends and giving to our community. A feminine perspective of success is one that the world is in desperate need of.  It is a more self-aware and caring perspective that supports success in a way that creates our lives and the world we live in.   If each of us steps back to reflect and define success for ourselves it will change the world.  Join in this change.

Best wishes,  Kay

Calling on All Women to Lead

If not now, when?“Calling on All Women to Lead” was the topic I presented this week at the Women of Success Conference of the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  Women are natural leaders.  Some of us feel leadership in us and others grow into being a leader.  Personally I was born bossy, take charge and expecting my siblings to follow.  When our stove caught on fire I immediately gathered my siblings and told them to follow me out the back door while our parents dealt with the fire.  They followed without question. I realized then I was a leader because I was not the oldest.  Since that time I am forever learning how to be an effective leader with many successes as well as failures along the way.

Leading like a man does not work.  Leading in ways that are not consistent with feminine values does not work.  I tried both and failed.  The world simply and desperately needs the feminine perspective not because we are better or right but because the world’s leadership is out of balance.   How might things be different if men and women were in leadership in equal measure?  How might things be different if there were more women at the table in conversations, creating policies, developing initiatives?

Feminine qualities of compassion, collaboration, intuition, support, connecting people, communicating authentically and creating circles not hierarchies are needed in every group that operates with leadership.  When we are authentic, being who we are as women, bringing our values into the world then everything will change.  A change the world needs to survive.

Being feminine does not mean being weak.  Women are effective leaders because we are willing to reinvent the rules, sell our vision, turn challenges into opportunities, focus on achievement, show courage under fire, be in tune with those we are leading and value high touch.  The toughest part is knowing that it is not about being liked by everyone.  It is about having the qualities of a leader: a person who cares, someone with a strong vision, being a decision maker and problem solver, an inspirer of change, change to benefit many and someone others (not everyone) will follow.

It is time to take a step in leadership.  We are all leaders in some way, i.e. our families, communities, schools, governments, our work, our businesses, on boards, globally and more.   Not enough women are moving into leadership.  We think we are not ready, not qualified, are waiting to be asked, waiting for the perfect time, fear, etc.  You are never too old and it is never too late. On the other hand you are never too young and it is never too soon.  Don’t wait.  Find a way to lead or to move into the next level of leadership.  We need your voice and your leadership.  Being a leader is a journey in self-awareness so expect to be uncomfortable, to learn and to grow as you learn more about who you are.

It starts by seeing the leader in you, being leader like, being curious, not having to be right or perfect, listening to understand and most important – holding your head high.  I truly mean this – stand tall – physically.  It changes your energy in a way that shows leadership.  Holding your head high and standing tall aligns your energy centers in a way that you will feel more certain.

Being a leader starts now.  Your voice is needed. Answer the call to leadership.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Taking Ownership

dreamstime_xs_29514363A young woman contacted me to discuss how she is experiencing her work.  Kathy is a young woman determined to succeed.  Recently promoted to a management position after being at the company only a few months seemed like a golden opportunity.  She is a rising star because she is a systems expert.  Kathy came into a new hub for a national  company that was not performing.  From her perspective this was because it had no systems to manage all the moving parts of the business.  Kathy set out to put systems in place thinking her hard work and expertise would be appreciated and recognized.  She worked hard knowing how it would benefit the company and their customers.

What she found is her expertise intimidated a not very competent general manager.  He felt threatened.  The improved performance of the hub was noticed by the corporate office.  What has they done to make everything turn around?   The GM proudly stated that he had put systems in place and got a bonus!

This is when Kathy called me.  She was mad, hurt, frustrated and did not know what to do.  She does not want to do anymore work afraid the GM will take credit. Kathy was not given any credit for the work she had done.  She did not get a bonus.  Let’s cry foul because we feel this is not fair.  Fairness is rarely the standard in most businesses.  Kathy’s situation is not new.  It has happened to all of us at one time or another.

As women in business we have to learn a new way of being that protects and supports our goals in the business environment.   Whether we like it or not it is common for a boss to think that appreciation and validation is sufficient for a woman doing a good job.  It is common for bosses not to even think of giving a woman a bonus or a raise.  Why is that?   They and us are programmed to expect women to give more than they receive.  We cannot blame them instead we have to learn another way of being that helps us achieve our goals.  We have to think and act differently.

That begins with being strategic not emotional though we are emotional beings and that is a good thing.  There is a time and place for both but not at the same time. So when Kathy called we both spent the first few minutes letting the emotion of unfairness and feeling like a victim come out then we moved on to create a strategy to get Kathy to the place she wanted to be in this company.

Because she heard the GM say to corporate that he wrote the systems, Kathy did not want to hold a grudge so she decided to have clear communication with her GM.  She told him in a non-confrontation manner that she heard him take credit for her work.  She had no expectation of his response.  She just felt the need to say it in order to clear the air in their communication.

Secondly, she decided not to complain that the GM got a raise for the work she did.  Instead she began to create a strategy for her upcoming performance evaluation that is to occur in the next few weeks.  Kathy wants to clearly state her contributions, her ideas to improve the performance of the hub, ask for honest assessment of her work and ask for a raise without guild or emotion.  Kathy is ready to take ownership of her position in the company rather than expect that people will notice her good work and reward her.   Recognition and reward is rarely on the level we want.  We have to know our value and ask for what we want and expect.   Expecting to be valued at a new level is hard for women.  We tend to give more than we receive.

This is a change in the way that we think as women, the way we are programmed to be and our energy as well.  It is in our nature to nurture.  Men are likewise programmed to accept nurturing and being taken care of by women.  This makes change challenging for all.  The change begins with us.  A starting point is meditation.  From the space of quiet can we imagine being a new way in our work place. How do we want to be?  Can we imagine being that way?  Through meditation we change our thinking, programming and energy.  When we can feel the change others will experience it as well.

Taking ownership and directing the path of our success is our responsibility not our boss or anyone else.  This means having a strategic plan on how to grow our success.  Take the time to reflect on  your vision of success and your plan to get there.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

If you would like help creating your plan just let me know.

What Makes A Successful Woman

Traci Des Jardins, chef

Traci Des Jardins, award winning chef

Women are changing in ways that allow them to be successful.  Some of the traits we have as  a wife, mother, daughter and friend fit in our work and in others ways they do not.  In a business we bring forth other parts of ourselves.  We experience more ways we can be in the world that are different from our personal life.

Working with successful women for over 20 years I have observed ways we can be that make us more successful.  Here is what I have learned from the most successful women I know.

Values:  For a woman to feel good about herself in whatever role she is being (wife, mother, daughter, friend, business owner, professional) she wants to be clear about what is important to her and remember what she values.  Her success must fit into her life not become her life.

A successful woman knows her values, what is important to her and expresses them in all aspects of her life.

Vision of Success: Our first challenge is to know what success is for us.  This is a personal and individual decision.  It requires that we step out of how we have been validated in the past and are validated at this moment then open our awareness to our personal mission.  This lies deep within us. From there comes our vision of success.

Successful women do let others define their success.  They decide on their own. It comes from within her.

Company Culture:  When a woman owns a business she brings a uniquely feminine perspective.  The gifts women use in their personal life, i.e. creating a family, shows up in her business.  She wants everyone to succeed and to feel empowered.  She listens to what others have to say,  really listens but much like in her home she does have to agree.

A successful woman creates a healthy successful work environment for all.

Business Development Plan:  Setting big enough goals for ourselves is a challenge.  Research has shown that women tend not to think big enough.  We get in the way of our own success by not dreaming bigger.

Successful women set BIG goals and take on the challenge of achieving them.

Intuition in Business:  Women are naturally intuitive. Using our intuition along with strategic thinking gives us an edge on being successful.

Successful women trust and use their intuition along with strategic thinking.

Know You Don’t Know:  We don’t have all the answers.  We may even be wrong.  Our thinking could be off.   There may be areas that we simply don’t have the information.   It is important to be constantly learning and challenging ourselves.  Using a coach is an important way to be challenged.  Seizing opportunities to learn (classes, workshops, etc.) is another way.

Successful women know they do not know it all and are ever learning.

Financial Intelligence:  Research has shown that financial intelligence is an area of weakness for most business owners not just women.  Being on top of your finances, understanding your financial reports and using them to make decisions for planned growth sets you apart from other business owners.

Successful women are financially savvy.

Contacts & Connections:  Making connections with men and women of influence leads to opportunities.  We cannot be successful on our own.  The more we can network in different ways to make connections the more successful we become.

Successful women have connections with many people of influence.

Focus:  There are so many demands on our time and attention that we can become distracted from what is important.  Knowing what we value and keeping our eye on our vision of success moves us forward.  We focus on what has value and are not be distracted by others interests.

Successful women are focused.

Regaining Perspective:  Getting out of the energy of our business is essential.  Taking time to clear our thinking helps us to be better decision makers.   Daily meditation is an easy way to clear our space and our thinking so that we don’t loose our perspective.  Taking time off, retreating, getting away are ways that we renew our vision and ourselves.

Successful women know how to renew themselves and regain perspective.

There you have it.  Would love to hear what you would add to this list.  Try these yourself and see the difference it makes.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Women Achieving Goals Retreats

Gender Bias Is Alive and Hurting Us

????????????????????????????????????????We don’t believe that gender bias continues to be a major problem because we don’t see it until it hits us directly and it will.  We have had so many good examples this past year of bias against women that it is clear we have to get on top of this.  Even if you don’t experience it personally (which I believe is not possible) then let’s do it for our daughters, granddaughters and other women.

Examples We Cannot Forget

We know gender bias exists in other parts of the world and is often much more dramatic than in the US but it exists in our neighborhoods as well.    Remember this was the year the issue of “legitmate rape” and “aspirin between your knees” comments from our political leaders.  Todd Aikens reported that women’s bodies can “shutdown” a pregnancy if she is really raped. We need new leaders with more thoughtful perspectives on all citizens.  We need women to step into leadership roles.

Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner refused to recognize his long-standing pattern of sexual harassment.  What concerns me is he honestly did not know he was harassing women! He had no clue.   LuluLemon Founder, Chip Wilson, bolding said “some women’s bodies just actually don’t work” in his brand of clothes.  Good bye Chip.

Do we just shake our heads in disgust and disbelief?  That is not enough.  We are so conditioned to gender bias that we are programmed to accept it.  In this way it is a matter of routine and we do not see it.

Gender Bias Directed At You

If you took the time to step back and reflect on your life and your situation what would gender bias you be aware of?  If you stopped your busy life, got quiet and gained some perspective on what you see around you in your life and work?  What gender bias are you and the women in your world affected by?  Write down what you see because you are programmed to not see this, to forget it and live with it.  Write it down.  Share it with other women.

We are so programmed that we do not see the real impact and importance the energy of gender bias has on us and every woman we know.  It affects how we feel about ourselves, how we think, act and the choices we make.   To change this we must come out of unconsciousness and become aware.  For the most part there is not evil intent but rather just acceptance of an old way of being.  It has been part of our culture to look upon women as less than.

A New Millennium

The twenty-first century is the millennium of the two (feminine).   The last century was the millennium of the one (male).  When we decide to become conscious and aware of what gender bias is from very subtle familiar ways to the most dramatic then the energy women experience will change.  We have to create the change.  Who else will?  Really who will? That change begins within us.  How can we be different?

Know Our  Biases

Do we find that we act and react with gender bias ourselves?  What is our view of women?  Some of our bias is conscious though perhaps not deliberate.  Most is unconscious and automatic.  Recently I was accepting bids from web designers to upgrade my website.  I expected the bid from a woman to be lower but believed the work done by the men would be better.  All of this was unconsciously in my mind – my gender bias.   As I went through the process it turned out the woman charged more but more importantly she did not present herself as well.  That is the topic of another blog on our value.

Sara

A young woman was recently promoted in a company she has been in a short time.  She loves her work but struggles with the corporate culture.  The men have offices and the women (all of them) are in cubicles in the center.  Sara was promoted to a management position because since she started the local office has doubled its revenue.  They expect her to work hard, smile and thank her for her good work but the credit will go to the general manager (male) regardless of his incompetency.   She is struggling with the choices she has going forward.  Sara is sitting in a hotbed of gender bias.

Agent for Change

What are her choices?  Create change from within or leave.  I vote for being an agent for change.  We cannot walk away from or avoid gender bias.  We have to face it where it is and be a change agent.   We do not have to do it alone.  Raise the awareness of other women.  Get them into agreement to make a change.  The power of a group agreement is greater than an individual.  It’s physics!

Gender Inequity in Business

I am on a committee to discuss gender equity in corporations in San Francisco.  Why does this committee exist?  This group is needed because gender inequity is rampant in businesses around the world.  We are working with businesses that have set gender equity as a priority and hope to create standards for all companies.  Gender inequity is common in all businesses.  Women are paid less, expected to do more and are not promoted.   A good book on this is “Know Your Value” by Mika Brezinski.

Change Starts With You

The change starts today with you and every other woman who is willing to become aware and heal herself with this awareness.  It is not a small energy we sit in even if we are unconscious to it.  The energy of gender bias affects us in body, mind and spirit everyday even if we do not see it.  If we don’t change then we help perpetuate the energy of bias. Add your energy to awareness and change instead.  You choose.

Tell Your Stories

Tell your stories about where you see gender bias in subtle or not so subtle ways.  Let’s talk about it.  Open our eyes.  Stop accepting it.  Raise the awareness of everyone every day.

Kay

Women Leading

dreamstime_xs_29514363Women have the opportunity to become leaders in new ways.  We know we can create, support, innovate, run a business, make things better but are we embracing our role as leaders.  It is time to step it up. Women tend to do all the work and do it well, to support others in their work and to take care of things.  Now more than ever is the time for women to lead.  Feminine principles can guide our families, community, work and the world to a better place but are we stepping into this role?

Women Influencing Economic Growth

Women entrepreneurs and small-business owners are the propellers behind the fastest growing economies in the world, countries like China, Brazil, and India.  Women in the US are starting businesses at double the rate of men.  This is good news and brings women new opportunities to influence and lead. Too often though we keep our heads down, focused on what we are trying to accomplish and don’t look for possibilities to show leadership beyond what is familiar.  Women are natural leaders, each of us in different ways.  Our leadership can have enormous impact if we would step into that role.

Influence What Matters

Know what you are passionate about, feel strongly or are frustrated with.  Consider how you might make a difference as a leader in your family, community, the culture of business, the world, etc.  Women have sat back far too long and observed leadership that does not represent feminine values and we lived with it.  How might things be different if you, I and other women stepped into new opportunities to influence change?

Legislation on Behalf of Women

In 1978 HR 5050 passed and allowed women to get credit without the signature of their husband or another male! It also directed banks to consider women for business loads, established the National Women’s Business Council, etc. not that long ago! This year California passed a resolution setting standards for the number of women to be on corporate boards.  This resolution passed easily because studies have shown that boards with women on them outperform boards without women.

Owning Our Role

Why were we not there to begin with?  Why does it take laws and resolutions to make room for us and for our value to be recognized?   It begins with us.  What do we see as possible?  How do we view our role?  Moving into positions of leadership will not always be by invitation.  Many structures are set in their ways and not aware of the need to change so we need to be determined to make a difference.  Take the time to know the change you would like to influence.   If each of us took a step up to make a difference, to be a leader outside of our comfort zone yet focused on something we are passionate about we will collectively create enormous change.

Consider this for yourself and join other women who want to make a difference by bringing feminine principles forward.   Thank you for your leadership.

Best, Kay

Make Me Uncomfortable

Upset woman   Earlier this month I conducted a Women Achieving Goals (WAG) retreat.  It was a beautiful warm sunny Northern California fall weekend.  We settled in to reconnect with our vision for ourselves as women moving forward.  I have conducted retreats for women since 1995 and each time I meditate to see what is unique about this group of women.  What will support them in the change they desire?

There are no coincidences so the women that happen to come together for each retreat is also not a coincidence.  There is an answer for us from each person.  One woman became very angry with another from a question she asked about her business.  They were both business owners which is why I paired them for this particular exercise.  I knew they had answers for each other.  Soon after the anger subsided, Karen realized that Susan’s communication was absolutely correct and exactly what she needed to hear.  She went back to Susan and thanked her for getting her out of her comfort zone.  There are no coincidences.

From an intuitive perspective when someone creates a reaction in us it is not about them.  It is about something stuck within us that she restimulated, and we reacted.  Without that communication we may never become aware of where we are stuck.  It may be the very thing that needs to change to move forward.

This is one example though I can name ten from this retreat.  It is common for us to blame or react to a woman who makes us uncomfortable.  Maybe we resist her, get into competition with her, find a reason to dislike her, find fault with her, etc.  All of these are common reactions when someone restimulates something stuck in us.  We hate her because she makes us uncomfortable in some way.

From an intuitive perspective we could look at this another way.  When we resist another woman or she does or says something that creates a reaction in us it is time to focus within to find out why.  It is an opportunity we do not want to miss.

Meditation is the best way to find out why we are reacting. We want to use meditation so that our thinking does not obscure our awareness.  Begin by quieting the body and clearing your thinking then ask what she restimulated in you.  We are uncomfortable when an energy, emotion or concept stuck within us is experienced.  Being aware of what that is helps us get unstuck, move forward and create change.

The next step on the story mentioned above is success.  Susan told Karen that her need to control everything in her business was getting in the way of her business growth.  Susan restimulated the control energy in Karen’s space.  Karen reacted with anger.  Later in meditation Karen realized Susan was right.  She is controlling and gets angry with her staff because of the unconscious need to control.  Once Susan showed this to Karen she became aware.

As a result, Karen created big changes in her business within a week of the retreat.  Karen decided to pay attention to all the ways she controls in her business.  Her staff took on new responsibilities, felt more empowered, and everyone was enthusiastic.  When you raise the vibration of any business you will see growth. That communication and the change Karen made resulted in doubling of her revenue that month.

So who lights you up, makes your uncomfortable or do you resist?  It is not about her.  Take the time to meditate, go within and find the stuck energy, emotion, concept,etc. that she pointed out to you.  Thank her for showing this to you and don’t miss the opportunity to find an answer for yourself.  It may be exactly what you need at that moment.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Be Affluent

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????There is a lot of information about the pay gap between men and women.  Then there is the fact that women owned businesses have less access to capital and so on.  One perspective is that gender bias is alive and well in our culture, society, etc. and in part that is true.  An intuitive perspective would be that we (women) could change all of that by becoming more financially savvy and changing our pictures about money.  As we grow in our understanding of money then we can have control of making, spending and investing it.

Admit it – most women shied away from anything more than the basics of finances. In part that is cultural programming.  Women in my generation and before were not expected to manage money beyond the household banking accounts and maybe not even that.  So we move about the world in the energy and pictures that money is not our thing.  This perpetuates the stereotype of women having less concern about money and so others see us in that way.

There is distinction between money, finance and affluence.  Women know about money but often go unconscious about finance.  Finance is the understanding of money and how to use it to be affluent.   Many women don’t expect affluence (our picture), expect it from their partner (our picture) or work hard to make money but not affluence.

We can change this and the change begins within us.   I work with business owners – men and women.  Financial intelligence is a problem for far more business owners than you might expect.  Even in companies that seem to be doing well the owner may not have a handle on the company’s finances.   Money in the bank is their basis for assessing success.  This is not sustainable.  Talk to any business coach and they will tell you the single strongest indicator of the sustainability of a company is the owner’s certainly about her financial plan for success.

If women really want to become affluent beyond inheriting money then becoming knowledgeable about finance is the next step.  I spoke with two new clients yesterday.  One is a young career woman moving up the corporate ladder.  She mentioned that the company owner came to her office to review the financials with her team.  This is the first time she saw financial reports for an entire company.  She had this opportunity because of a recent promotion.  I asked if she was intimidated.  Of course she was but she was also empowered by the experience.  Now she wants to become knowledgeable about finance so that she can use financial reports to make strategic decisions.  We will be working on that in her coaching sessions.

I met with another woman who has a successful business that she started twenty years ago.  She contacted me because suddenly she is financially strapped for the first time.  When I asked her to share the company’s financial reports her eyes glazed over.  In all these years she has never looked at financial reports for her business.  Kathy is eager to take a step up and dive into learning about business finance so she can create a plan to diversify.

To match the energy of affluence we have to match the energy of finance which means being conscious and aware of what we don’t know about money and finance then finding a way to fill in those gaps so that we feel empowered.  It means not avoiding what we don’t know and trusting our ability to take ownership of our finances – personally and professionally.

So the first step is to know your own money pictures.  What are your thoughts and concepts about money?  Start to let go of those that get in the way of your certainty.  Use meditation to release the energy around money, usually fear and uncertainty.  Money is not a mystery.  It is just what we believe about it that gets in our way.  Jump in with both feet; clear your thinking and emotions about money. Make it work for you in your life.

As you clear your concepts, energy and emotions about money also begin to learn more, become more savvy about money and notice how quickly things will change.  Set clear financial goals and create a plan. Make affluence a goal then change to get there.  Affluence is so much more than money.  Notice – can you imagine being affluent?  If not, meditate on this concept until you can imagine having it and see it in your mind’s eye.  When you can see it then you are ready to make it happen.

Best wishes on your success,   Kay

Be in Charge

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I am returning from a national conference for National Association of Women Business Owners titled “The World Awaits”, a gathering of women business owners determined to create a level playing field for women to be successful.

The speaker who impressed me the most was Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Ogilvy Mather Ad Agency (and a few before that) and former Under Secretary of State.  The title of her book is “I’d Rather Be In Charge”.  Charlotte is focused, determined and not fazed by what others think of her.   It is not her goal to please everyone or to be liked by everyone though she did present a way to work with colleagues and clients that does involve being liked.

Your Brand is You

Charlotte pointed out that your real brand is you.  Your brand is how you are as a person, your gestures, speech, the way you dress, etc.  She pointed out that you cannot hide behind your work, career or job.  Your brand is also your relationship to your clients and your colleagues.  Charlotte’s brand from my perspective is no-nonsense; don’t waste a word and finding the best solution for her client while asking them to give to her.  What energy to you give out that defines your brand?

Integrity First

Charlotte learned quickly that to survive she had to be truly herself, no front, no ego, no facade and no “you shoulds”.  Shortly after she was hired as CEO at Ogilvy Mather, one of her VPs told her in confidence that staff were moving to have her fired.  They were not confident with a woman at the helm. Charlotte had been hired to turn around a “sinking ship” and she had a plan to do that so she relied on her integrity and not being liked.  In the end she brought the company back to financial success.  Integrity matters.

Give a Present then Ask for One

Her strategy when developing new clients was to tell a story that people could connect to emotionally, to be generous, have fun, show passion and when you ask for something (contract, sale, etc.) offer a present.  She told the story of reaching out to their largest client who had not given them new work in years.  Her “present” was an ad campaign she guaranteed would make their client’s new product the top choice among consumers.  In return (the ask) she wanted to receive contracts from them for new ad development.

Making Room at the Top

The message I received from Charlotte about success as a woman is to know who you are.  Women are just emerging into levels of leadership and there is still resistance and gender bias.  When we are certain about who we are then we can begin to make room for ourselves, to be leaders and establish success.  Women need to imagine bigger.

Know Who You Are

Knowing who you are at your core and bringing that forth in what you do is a concept I encourage.   We are not what we do. Knowing ourselves from within then letting who we are at our core to flow into what we do makes for success.  Who we are is an energy level, a vibration within us.  When that energy flows from within through our vision of our success it manifests in a way that is a unique expression of ourselves.  This is a different way of creating than trying to become something we are not or pleasing others, thinking that will bring success.

Much to my delight Charlotte recommended meditation as a way to go within and find who you are.  I suggest that we take the time to meditate everyday so that we know who we are that shows up as our brand, certainty and integrity.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Did You Know You Are Stuck?

ImageLeaving for a vacation, going on retreat or taking time off all benefit our success.  We often hear stories from owners or managers about miracles that are created when they are away.  That is not a coincidence.

We all get stuck in routines and ways of being that do not support our success and that we are unconscious to.  We live in our habits that are such automatic ways of being that we loose awareness and focus going through our days almost blindly in a routine. We can easily go through the entire day with only superficial intention.  Sometimes we have a more thoughtful intention but nothing changes because we don’t change.  We continue in our routine day after day becoming more and more unconscious.

Time off is a way to get out of our routines and to break up some of our habits and patterns but not necessarily.  Some automatic ways of being are so ingrained that we are not aware of them or that they may be the very thing in the way of our success.

To create real change we have to get out of our automatic and unconscious ways of being especially if it does not serve us.  A common example is relying on the same way of thinking even if you are not achieving your goal.  Pursuing the same strategies over and over again without achieving the desired outcomes.  Going day after day without changing our space and hoping for things to be different.  If nothing changes then nothing changes.

During the Women Achieving Goals (WAG) Retreats the first and most important part is to get our energy out of where we are on a day to day basis and bring our energy back to us in present time in the retreat.  This takes the first few days to accomplish using meditation.   Being with other women running their female creative energy helps pull our energy out of our routine and have it available in present time.

The second important aspect is to get out of our thoughts.   Thoughts are creative and our thinking is often really wrong.  There is so much research about how our thinking easily becomes distorted and yet we believe what we think!  So coming out of our thinking and just being in present time is the next and essential way to create change.  In general we are so deeply in our pictures (our way of thinking) that we don’t even know that we are stuck. We are set in our ways!

WAG retreats are designed for women to

  • get away from everything that we do
  • stop whatever we are doing and retreat
  • get out of the energy we are in
  • pull our energy out of where ever it is
  • be in the vibration of female creative energy
  • heal our space
  • let go of our thinking
  • pull our energy  out of our thinking

We have to create a space to stop or else we keep creating where we are now (personally and professionally) which is fine if this is precisely what we want.  If we want more, something different, something else then we have to stop and change our space (our energy and our thinking).

Change your energy and your thinking to focus on what you want now.

Best wishes on your success,  Kay

Women Achieving Goals Retreats (WAG)

Choose to Care

Lynne_Twist_NAWBO-SFBAThis past week NAWBO SF Bay Area hosted Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money, co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance, United Nations Woman of Distinction and more.  I met Lynne at an event at the International Museum of Women years ago where I was representing PeaceXPeace.   As women business owners and professional women working hard to be successful sometimes we lose sight of why we are doing what we do.  Lynne lives her purpose every moment and I felt that she would wake us up and inspire us to be  aware of who we are and our own purpose.

Lynne spoke about women she met this year in her travels.  Women who live in desperate situations of abuse, poverty, violence and yet have a strong sense of who they are and display a sense of purpose for making life better.  These women were not merely sharing their stories with Lynne and the other women in her delegation, they were sharing their efforts to make a difference in their own lives and in the lives of  women in their  region.  Lynne cried through most of this part of her talk as she spoke about these women.  She cares deeply and invited us to find that caring within ourselves.

Listening to her and looking around I observed how often we simply don’t care.  I am not talking about traveling the world as Lynne does and caring about people everywhere.  That is BIG caring.  I simply observed the women in this gathering and how easy it is to sit in a room or at a table with other women and not care.   How did we get to this place of not caring?  Not caring disempowers us.  It lowers our energy and the energy of those around us. It brings us to our lower self.   Caring is a higher vibration of awareness.  It raises our vibration and inspires.

Caring is a big topic. It can be a large endeavor or small.  I am referring to caring in the moment.  In this instance eight women were sitting together at ten tables.  Did the women at the table care about being with the other seven?  As an intuitive I know there are no coincidences so it was not happenstance that the eight of us sat at the same table.  In fact I was speaking to a guest during the reception, really liked our connection and moments later she unknowingly sat at my table.  Not a coincidence.

Caring in the Moment

How might our experiences be different if we approached them from a space of caring?  When we don’t care, we are not aware.  We are sitting in unconsciousness, operating on old habits or thoughts none of which have meaning in the moment.   Caring is to know and engage in the moment, to discover something about the connection we made by sitting together.  You have heard the term “Lean In” from Sheryl Sandburg.  Well, one of the women at our table was clearly leaning out!  That affected us all.  How might it have been different if everyone leaned in, cared and engaged to find out about the experience in the moment?

Know When You Don’t Care

I am not suggesting that we must care about everyone and everything. I see it is important to care in the moment to fully understand and become aware.  It is equally important to know when you are in a situation that you do not care about and quickly remove yourself and not sit in the energy of not caring.  The energy of not caring affects our space by lowering our vibration which has a negative impact on us and those around us.  So know when you do not care and to remove yourself from situations like this.

What Do You Know About Caring?

I am just beginning to understand the concept of caring in the moment.  Most of what I know comes from religious programming which is not where I am coming from.  Religious programming makes caring a rule of behavior.  I am looking at caring as an energy level and spiritual awareness that shows me where I am in relation to you or others.   Your insights are appreciated so please share them. It is clear caring is important in this cycle on the planet so let’s experience caring in the moment and see what we learn.

Take care,  Kay

Successful Women Business Owners Secrets

Women cheeringI attended a luncheon for a select group of successful women owned businesses in the Bay Area.  What an exciting time!  Women are moving rapidly toward success.  As a business coach I watched intuitively to see the secrets to their success.  As it turns out, there is no secret but there were approaches that reinforced concepts I have seen in successful businesses.  Here are some of the tips these women offered as “secrets” to their success.

  • Don’t be afraid to hire staff more capable than you, in fact, this is essential.
  • Build relationships.  Network.
  • Give back.
  • Listen to your gut.  There is a reason it hurts.
  • Set goals high. Keep values in place.
  • Rely on your women’s intuition.
  • Team work and learn to collaborate because you never know where the next great idea will come from.
  • PMS = positive mental strength (a quote)  My interpretation – have a strong vision of where you are going.
  • Know where you want to go and let your people help you get there.
  • Always do the right thing.
  • Persevere.
  • One woman said, “Get a good nights sleep.”  Everyone nodded in agreement and she passed out a card for her mattress company.

It was a fun time.  We inspired each other.  We were enthusiastic about each other’s success.  This is the way women are.  Add to this list.  What is your secret to success?

Women Dream Bigger

ImageDreaming Bigger means something different to each of us but for all of us – it is time.  Some women are programmed for big things. They were raised in the energy, pictures and concepts of great success and so they are.  It is not such a big stretch for them.
For others the expectation of big dreams was not part of what they were taught or what was expected so they are on their own.  Most women are in this group.  We have a vision then we either make it smaller because of what we believe is possible or we harness our energy and decide to make it happen.
The energy on the planet has changed.  We are in the millennium of the 2 – the feminine.  The cycle is in place for women to move forward and into a bigger way of being. This requires change, getting out of our comfort zone and great courage.  Courage is gathering up your energy and focusing it on something that seems too big, too hard and too scary.
From the Contra Costa Times April 21, 2013, ” There are currently 21 companies on the 2012 Fortune 500 list (ranking of largest US companies) that are run by women.  This is the highest number of female CEOs ever to lead Fortune 500 companies.  It is still only 4.2% of the total.”  That is a change from just seven in 2002.
Times are changing.  If you are ready to think bigger, now is the time.
We all have concepts, pictures, programming, energy and emotions in our space that talk us out of dreaming bigger, keeping our vision as a fantasy more than a reality.
Take the time to meditate on this to clear these energies from your space so that you can be all that you desire.
Best wishes on your success,
Kay
If you would like a consultation on what is in your way please contact me to schedule an appointment. http://insightintuitiveconsulting.com

Your role in gender pay equity. You have one.

A group of adult students with backpacks standing in a campus coAre people paid equitably?

Propel Your Business Conference – NAWBO CA included discussions about gender pay equity.  This conference was for women business owners so it made we wonder if we are part of the problem or part of the solution.  How do we, as women business owners,  make a difference?  So where are you on this issue?

  • Business Owners
    • What is your experience with gender pay equity? Reflect on your personal experiences.
    • Does race make a difference in your experience or perspective?
    • Are you paying your staff equitably?  If so, is it a value that your company holds?
    • Are you and your company committed to gender pay equity?  Is that commitment written down and shared, i.e. on your website, in your compensation policies, and in your hiring process?
    • Are you paying yourself equitably as a women business owner?  Do you value yourself?
    • Do you talk to others about gender pay equity?
    • Are there actions you will commit to taking to eliminate gender pay (race) equity in your business, in your community and globally?
  • Professionals
    • Are you paid equitably?  Do you know for sure?
    • Does your company have a pay equity policy?  If not, why are you working for them?
    • If you manage people, are they paid equitably?  Do you know for sure?
    • Is there gender or race bias in your company?
    • What can you do to be paid equitably?
    • What action can you take to support gender (race) pay equity?

The simple truth about gender pay equity.

We Have a History

women raised handsDoes women’s history matter?  Will our history matter to our daughters and granddaughters?  The results of our recent elections showed me that we have a long way to go for the value of women to be recognized beyond our loving families and friends.

I am a charter member of the National Women’s History Museum founded in 1996 to establish a museum for women in Washington, D.C. For twenty years, we have been unable to get support from the government to see the need and approve a location for a museum of women’s history. It is not a matter of money. WE will fund our museum if needed. They simply do not see the need.

The elections made me realize the importance of getting involved, of bringing women to the forefront of leadership at all levels, in our families, communities, state government and nationally.

I thought I would begin by sharing with you some of our history, our often disregarded history.  Getting women into STEM programs and careers is a major focus.  Here are some women who have gone before us in the area of computing.

Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace, collaborated with Charles Babbage while he designed a prototype computer machine.  Ada was trained in mathematics in 1843.  She published notes and translated Charles text, providing the earliest sketches of computing.  She also wrote how the engine could be set up to solve mathematical equations (programming).  She was the first person to suggest a use for the computing machines beyond mathematics using these machines could compute any data.

Before 1943, all computing was done by people, called human computers.  They manually calculated large volumes of data.  The needs of wartime inspired the use of ENIAC, the first fully electronic digital computer in the U.S. Many women worked on this project, there was no manual or anyone with experience, so they trained themselves, learning about the computer and its component through trial and error.

The machines had to be configured manually for each calculation, converting a mathematical problem into a form a computer could solve, designing the instructions configured for the machine to use. Next, they set up the computers, plugging in wires, setting switches so that the program would run.  Trial and error, problem solving took a full day for each problem.  They developed numerous programming techniques including a program to calculate ballistic trajectories.  In 1946, Adele Goldstine, a programmer on the project wrote the first manual.

Despite this important work, the women never got credit at the big publicity event held for ENIAC in 1946.  It was not until historians looking into computer history found old records showing the work of these women, the six women of ENIAC, *Jean Jennings Bartik, Betty Snyder Holberton, Frances Bilas Spence, Kay McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer and Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum.  *I included both their maiden and married names.

After the war, these women went on to offer their programming talents in both the private and public sectors.  Because there was not a workforce yet of other programmers, these women were in demand.

Grace Murray Hooper, a math professor, programmed the early computer   during the war at Harvard, the Mark 1, invented the first compiler and developed programming languages for business computing.

Women’s history in computing goes on to this day with our contributions having a significant impact on the computing world even with the ongoing lack of gender equity in the field.

Honoring the history of women in computing, sharing their stories and respecting their contributions, lift us all up and inspires the next generation of women.

 

 

The Life We Desire

wag-vision-boardsThe Women Achieving Goals (WAG) Retreat this past weekend inspired me more than I expected.  Having a quiet, beautiful home with spectacular views of the ocean and nature all around, created a space for women to ground, relax, be nurtured and reflect on the life they desire.

Getting out of our routines is hard.  Making a commitment to ourselves is often the only way to get away from the routines that bind us.  Even after a retreat, it is challenging not to fall back into old ways of being in our lives.  We want change, but change is never easy.  Change takes courage and commitment.

During the weekend, I observed women clear their thinking, discover who they are at their core and from that awareness, define the next cycle of their lives.  As each woman began to uncover and know her heart’s desire, she also became aware of all the reasons why she feels she cannot have her dreams.

Through meditation, reflection, communication with other women, each one found a way out of the thoughts that get in her way.  Discovering the concepts that we hold that talk us out of our vision, is the primary purpose for the WAG Retreats.  We are used to our own thinking and may not realize that we are sabotaging our dreams.

Women becoming aware, knowing her heart’s desire then seeing how she can have that in her life, is the reason I started these retreats sixteen years ago.  Women are by nature, hard-working, responsible, nurture others, and more.  That focus is difficult to stop and create time to go within and understand who we are at our core.  We lose awareness of ourselves with so much of our attention outside ourselves.

At the end of the weekend, the women felt connected to themselves, understood what they wanted in the next cycle of their life and had a plan to get there.  They were inspired by each other and their female creative energy.  Now the challenge becomes, going back home without going back into the familiar routine.

To support each woman in this transition, we stay in communication in a number of ways.  Being in contact with other women from the WAG community, helps them focus on creating the life they desire rather than their lot in life.

The 2017 Annual WAG Retreat will be inland near a ranch, hugging trees, so that women have the option of working with an Equis Coach (work with horses) to learn more about who we are at our core.

Kay

Women Achieving Goals Retreats

We don’t succeed when…..

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Why some are successful in achieving their goals and others are not, is not a mystery.

From an early age, I counseled my friends. There was always a stream of friends into my house to talk with me and my mother, another natural counselor. People would tease that I was born a counselor.

When it was time to choose a career, I did not know what I wanted to do. My mother suggested Occupational Therapy. I had no idea what that was or how she found out about it, so I spent a summer volunteering in an OT Department and found I liked helping people, finding creative ways to motivate them and seeking solutions to their challenges.

With that experience, I was off to Boston University for a science degree in Occupational Therapy. After graduating and beginning to work in my chosen field, first as an intern then as a therapist, I soon realized that whether my patients adjusted to life with limitations or simply got better, was not something I could control. As a therapist, I knew exactly how to help them and what would work. I found that did not matter as much as the patient himself or herself. Some created miracles. Others got worse regardless of the interventions we provided. I had a spiritual experience or should I say a spirit-to-spirit experience. It was apparent some patients were dealing with spiritual challenges more than physical. I was not prepared for this aspect of their healing, so I left the profession.

From there, I moved into healthcare administration where I did not have to treat patients. At the same time, I enrolled in seminary to find spiritual answers to heal the spiritual side of people. Six years of training and I was off to give spiritual counseling, sure that I could finally tackle the underlying cause. In the end, I found the same result. Some of my parishioners were eager to find their spiritual wellness and to live a prosperous and happy life. Others, I found, did not want to change, were resistant to change or comfortable where they were even if it was not where they wanted to be. I was in a new profession with the same challenge, so I retired from the ministry.

As I meditated on what to do next, I decided I wanted to work with people who were focused on success, who wanted to do whatever it took to achieve their goals – business owners! I believed that business owners were a group of people who start their business and fully focus on its success.

During my years as a child counselor, therapist, and minister, I realized that I have a gift. I know how to achieve goals and was eager to work with whoever wanted success. Well, I have been working as a business coach for 20+ years and while most of the business owners I work with are, in fact, willing to see themselves and make changes, many others are not. In this new profession I fount the same challenges I experienced when I started as a therapist decades ago.

That brings me to the Women Achieving Goals Retreats that I conduct annually in my pursuit of supporting those who want to achieve their goals. Success begins with knowing that whether we do or do not reach a goal, it starts with us. There is no one to blame and no circumstance to blame. It is our thoughts about things and the concepts that we hold that get in our way. It is the energy and emotions that we stay in long after the event has passed that continues to create our reality. It is our perspective on ourselves, each other and our life that creates what we are experiencing right now and what we have or don’t have.

In coaching sessions and during retreats, the focus is self-reflection. Because we cannot always see the forest we are in, having someone to help guide us on our journey of self-discovery keeps us from believing our thoughts about things and our tendency to create a logical conclusion that deflects our awareness.  These ideas are unproductive.

If you are achieving your goals, congratulations. You have a gift. If you find some area of your goals that never seems to manifest then go within and find what is in you that you can let go of whether it is a belief, an emotion, resistance to someone or something or a limited vision of success. Go within.

Best wishes on your success, Kay

Female Creative Energy in the Workplace

Women cheeringWorking with several female clients this week reminded me that we have a way to go before women feel comfortable owning who we are in the workplace. Women have been working in large numbers for decades, and a great deal has changed. A great deal has not changed.

Laurie
Laurie was hired over a year ago at a large Silicon Valley tech firm; she is sure that her hire was part of their diversity program and attempts to bring women into tech. Credit to the companies who are making these efforts but hiring women does make room for females. Laurie works with five designers and developers in a collaborative teamwork model. She loves collaboration and their projects. It engages all her skills and has the potential to be enormously fulfilling with one exception. Laurie is the only woman on the team, and she is middle aged while the rest are young men. One team member, in particular, is dominant and will usher the team into an undisclosed location to work without including Laurie. Being dismissed like this has presented an enormous challenge for her and is making an otherwise perfect position, difficult. Laurie started to have medical concerns for the first time in her life. Not surprising, she has the earliest stage cervical cancer and lumps in her breasts both female conditions.

From an intuitive perspective, I see how Laurie’s work situation caused her to turn down the female creative energy in the body so not to upset her male team, to fit in better, etc. When women turn off or lower their female creative energy, the energy we use to create life, our bodies become unwell. The energy becomes too low not to mention the emotional stress of not expressing our femininity.

Kathy
Kathy was hired two years ago at a prestigious company in her dream position. She had moved across country so felt lucky to have created a perfect professional move. The first year was exciting and filled with success; then she started to experience the competition from her male colleagues. She was too young, too smart, too enthusiastic and too feminine. Kathy began to lose her enthusiasm for her work. Her relationship with her boss was not as it was before. Not coincidentally, Kathy was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and chronic digestive problems. There are medical explanations for these conditions but as an intuitive, I saw the energy of her work shutting her down. The all-male team she worked with was not comfortable with her high-level female creative energy though they respected her enormously for her work. There was no one better with her skills. They just wanted her to fit into the culture (male energy level) established long ago. After a year or so, this resistance to her female creative energy began to affect her physically and emotionally.

I could tell more stories about professional women in work environments that respect their professional knowledge and experience but resist their femininity and the level of their female creative energy. The resistance to female energy (not women) is taking a toll on our health and our wellness. I do not have a solution except to raise awareness so that each of us, in her own way can create space for female energy in the workforce, to be able to bring all that we are to our work.

Women do have a unique creative energy that is not better or worse than male creative energy. Every family, community, government and business benefits from a balance of both male and female creative energies, we just not there yet. More importantly, for women to be well in body, mind and spirit, our female creative energy is essential, so we must create space for women to be well as they create the life they desire.

A Year for Change

women raised handsWomen are still fighting for the right to vote in the 21stCentury. Women in Saudi Arabia won the right to vote with women casting votes for the first time on Saturday, December 12, 2015. Saudi Arabia is the last major country to allow women to vote. It is 2015! Now they want the right to drive a car.

The movie Suffragette, the story of women earning the right to vote in the UK was not a box office sensation. British women fought hard amid violence to get the right to vote in 1928. Women in the US fought, were jailed and intimidated before we got the right to vote in 1920. Read more about women suffrage at National Women’s History Museum, an online museum that is struggling for support for a location on the national mall in Washington, D.C.

In 1988, HR 5050 passed and eliminated laws in states where banks required a male to sign for a loan for a woman owned business. 1988!

Too few women are represented on corporate boards. Studies show companies with women on their boards out perform those who do not. Twitter has been widely criticized for not having women on their board or in their leadership. Boards that set targets of 25% women are missing the point. We are 50% of the population.

Let this be a year of change for women worldwide. Our leadership and perspective is needed at this time more than ever.   Be part of the change.  Show your leadership. Support women in leadership roles.   How would things be different if women shared equally in leadership roles with men, with both perspectives valued and consensus built? How might things be different?

Let’s have a year of change with more women in leadership.

Best, Kay