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Entrepreneurial Emotions

August 12, 2008
I remember the phone call distinctly. It was one of my favorite clients. We had together for the past nine years converting a dying event into an extremely successful event for their organization. He said, “I want to be the first one to tell you, we won’t be hiring you back this year. You’ve done a great job for us and it’s nothing personal, but you basically did such a good job, you worked yourself out of a position. We have someone on staff who will take over your duties.” I remember feeling shocked. I asked him more questions with a voice trembling with emotion. He said, “You aren’t upset are you? It’s just a business decision and nothing more.”
 
Of course to me, it was more. I had worked tenaciously to save the event, save the account, and make them money. While I was doing this, I created wonderful relationships with people I respected and enjoyed. Running a service business requires a lot of personal customer service and when you provide nine years to the same client, you develop a relationship that goes past basic business.
 
There are a lot of difference between men and women; male entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs. Not that every woman takes losing a valued client with the emotions of losing a friend. But being female in the business world, means we do come into business at times with a softer side.
 
Sometimes it is okay for women entrepreneurs to run their companies with emotion. We shouldn’t be ashamed of leading with our heart, expressing honest feelings or acknowledging disappointment. Our ability to be, and act, human can benefit us in many different ways and make us stronger leaders. Emotion and entrepreneurship can go hand in hand and benefit us, our companies and our clients.
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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2008 7:42 pm

    I totally agree. Developing personal relationships and getting personally involved in your work can be a really good thing. People like to talk about the “work life balance” as if you can completely sever your life, who you are, from your work. Just thinking about that makes it sound rather absurd. Who we are makes us good at what we do.

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  2. August 12, 2008 10:23 pm

    Thanks for your comments. You are right too. Today I had a very productive meeting with a female client who appreciates the “emotion” I put into work to make her event successful. In the fourteen years I’ve been an entrepreneur, caring about my clients, events, and work has made more of a positive difference than negative. I’ll stay pink!

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  3. August 13, 2008 4:44 am

    Here, here! People make crazy decisions when their emotions aren’t engaged. We are fortunate as women to be afforded a generally more socially acceptable space to express those emotions, but some of my best male bosses teared up when their child was born, when a parent died, or when a project that all of us had been working on for so long fell through. I think it’s now an expectation to be a whole person and as women, we can lead on the forefront of this amazing change. There are still old fashioned holdovers, but they will retire or adapt. Whole people doing full contact business, emotions and all, is here to stay. I love it!

    Together, we are stronger!
    Vicki Flaugher, the original SmartWoman

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  4. August 13, 2008 11:13 am

    Thanks for your “smart” insights to this blog entry. I believe one of the reasons women succeed longer than men in business is because we bring a strong sense of commitment and compassion into our business relationships. At our Women TIES luncheons, you can feel the abundance of positive emotion in the room as women truly learn about each other’s businesses and decide to refer or collaborate to strengthen each other’s economic opportunities. Women are truly amazing. Women entrepreneurs are truly successful because of it.

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