Women's Networking Groups~ or~ Do Men Do That?!

6 years ago

 I believe in networking, especially with other women. Great to meet other entrepreneurial and creative women, get new ideas, etc, plus it gets me out of my basement studio and out into public.

 This morning it was a brand new group, first get-together, in the studio of a fun photographer I know. It was a small group, about 10, mostly doing different things as a business from everyone else there.  After about an hour we all sat down together and went around the circle introducing ourselves and explaining what we did, told about ourselves, and then said what we would like to get out of such a group if we were to meet regularly.  

 Now, I would like to think that I am an open/generally non-judgemental person. Women need to support women, etc. But, sometimes I just can't be- so sorry.  Sometimes I just want to take someone and shake her. Everyone was very nice and was doing something interesting, but one thing just made me grind me teeth really hard.  

 "Hi! I'm _______, and I do _______, but I don't have to do this/don't do it for the money, I just like it. My children come first/I quit working when I had kids and I want to keep busy while they are at school, etc."  Aaarrrggghhhh!!!! No!!!! How in the world do you expect anyone to take you seriously as a business person if you don't take YOURSELF seriously?!  Who cares if you are as rich as Bill Gates or don't actually need the money that you are earning, you can't discount the effort/time/expertise that you put into your business. 

 Do men do this? I sincerely doubt it. They wouldn't say that, they'd exaggerate about how well they are doing. I'm not saying that we need to exaggerate, but if you are not confident about yourself in what you are doing, forget it. No one else will be either.   We all want to put our kids first, give them our best, and all the rest. Honestly, that should just be a given. Why do we have to say that all the time?  If your best is quitting your job and being with them all day when they are little and being there when they get home every day, good for you. If your best is working outside the house and not being there sometimes when they get home from school, good for you. If you work from home so you can work and still be there, good for you.

 I just hate that there is so much guilt involved no matter what we choose. I certainly feel my share of guilt for working almost constantly, even if it is while I am at home most of the time.  Personally, I think that most of that guilt is self-inflicted and we just need to get rid of it. I know, easier said than done, but why do so many women feel that they need to make sure that they say that while they are pursuing what is important to them outside of their families, that they really put their kids first. 

 It should be a given that what you do, or what I do, is because we do put our families first, we just don't do it all the same way, and we should feel good about figuring out what it is, not badly because we aren't doing the way that _____ is doing it. She probably isn't feeling as confident herself as she seems to be anyway.  

 Yes, this is a huge pet-peeve of mine. Please feel proud of what you do and however you do it, as long as it works for you and your family. That is what counts. 

Credit Image: Dell Official Flickr Page via Flickr

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