According to Twitter, several democrats began their Monday morning with this weird email:
The “Drew” in question, I’m told, is actress and producer Drew Barrymore.
A lot of discussion on Twitter had to do with the use of “girlboss” to describe the 60-year-old potential first female president of the United States. There’s a lot of debate generally about women using pejorative terms to “own” them in business. NastyGal founder Sophia Amoruso’s bestselling book “#Girlboss” was the most high profile recent example of a philosophy that making the debate less serious and more approachable makes more younger women feel part of the movement.
I don’t have an issue with the phrase generally, and enjoyed Amoruso’s book even though I felt like it was definitely written for a different demographic than 40-year-old me. When I was younger I used to attend “Girls in Tech” events and liked the less huffy branding of them.
But let’s be clear: Being electing the first female President of the United States isn’t something we should all take less seriously. Electing any president isn’t. (Insert comment about most recent absurd thing Donald Trump has said and his polling numbers here.) “Girlboss” is about easing women into a movement of taking control of their own power. Once you’re ascendant and leading the movement, another phrase might be more appropriate.
But the worrying thing with this email is less the use of “Girlboss”– jarring as that is. It’s what follows the word “Girlboss”…
Entrepreneurs are their own best marketing experts. They know their businesses, products and services inside and out, and operate as brand evangelists when they are on and off the job. The passion entrepreneurs have for what they bring to the market is often energetic and endless. This can be both positive and negative when it comes to talking to your friends and family about how you earn a living. On the pro side, if they care about you they will care about your business endeavors. On the con side, they may feel like they are always being “sold to” when you hang out, even if that isn’t your intention.
It’s important to strike a balance between your entrepreneurial energy, and your personal relationships. Take a look at a few ways to find that equilibrium.
If you are genuine about your excitement, that will shine through. Using cliché phrases like how your product or service will “change lives” or how your business model is the “opportunity of a lifetime” will make you sound more like an infomercial than yourself (and will turn people off with its non-genuine tone). Tell personal stories about WHY you started your business, created your service, or invented your product. This is true when you talk to people in person, or post on social media accounts. What is it about your business that really represents you as an entrepreneur and person? People will connect with this kind of messaging.
You may experience some negativity from the people you care about the most, but try to rise above it. When possible, avoid acting in a defensive way especially on social media. Deliver the facts about your business and why you think it’s amazing, but allow others to come to their own conclusions. With a consistent positive message, eventually even the biggest nay-sayers will come around.
Support the endeavors of others.
Ever heard the phrase you “reap what you sow?” It’s especially true when it comes to entrepreneurship. If you want people to support your business, you had better be sure you are supporting them in turn. This can be done by simply “liking” a Facebook post about a new job or business endeavor of a friend, or by buying from one of them when you need the product or service they offer. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our own business pursuits that we forget other people are in the thick of it too, and could really use our show of support.
If you find that you are encountering negativity despite all of these positive approaches, don’t sweat it. Your success does not hinge on the approval of other people. Stay focused on your own entrepreneurial goals and surround yourself with people who support them.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at email@example.com.