by By Corrine Dayman,
President, TAP International, Model and Spokesperson
As I embark on my 10th year of being a female entrepreneur in the marketing and public relations biz, I ask myself one simple question….. What the hell was I thinking? A lone wolf in the woods where the predators are men and the game is to keep your wits about you, your credibly in check and your shirt on is one that I was certainly not expecting.
Looking back, I recall finding myself in various situations where I would wonder – how exactly did I get myself here? Walking a fine line between business associate and friendly colleague, the daily challenge is to stay afloat and keep the client satisfied, while not giving in to his suggestion of something more…..
Ah yes, something more….an obvious distraction that no one likes to talk about but is oh so relevant in the world of small business. A constant dance of sexual tension, mixed with blatant come ons with a hint of flirtation. Just add alcohol and you have yourself a disaster waiting to happen.
If only I were warned that being a female in business could be so demeaning. Fortunately, like many of you, I have personal standards and a code of ethics that I run my life by. Sure, I can go head to head with the “big boys” and come out relatively unscathed, but it doesn’t mean that this protects me from the natural predator vs. prey condition that hides in the corner at every business meeting.
So what do you do when you are a young, brilliant young girl who just wants to impress with your skills and your client is pushing for you to be something more? First thing first – Listen to your instincts and get yourself in check.
- Don’t lose who you are. When you embarked on your career you did it because you were excited to see who you would become in the business world.
- If it feels wrong to you, it is wrong for you! Pay attention to your inner voice and follow those cues! Only you know when it is time to leave a situation, change the dynamic or say goodbye to a client relationship that is not working for you.
- Credibility is everything. Being aware of how your actions influence how others see you. This is critical when you are an entrepreneur. You must take the high road at all times.
- Beware Of Overusing Your “Womanly Powers”. Some women believe that they should use “what god gave them” to win over a client in business. Beware of this tactic because once you open the door to flirting and mischief, it is a two way street and your client may want to continue with the game when you are ready to “shut the door”.
- “Leave them wanting more” – At a social event, get in early, say your greetings to your client and get out before the party really gets going and the alcohol is flowing! Leave on a high note so that you have left your client “wanting more”. Perceptions are everything.
Remember, It is much safer to keep yourself in check, let the others party and you can reap the rewards later when other people are struggling to regain their composure!
Follow Corinne on Twitter @cdayman