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Why Women Consultants Need To Define Business Success On Their Own Terms

This was originally posted on my Seven Figure Consultant LinkedIn Newsletter. Subscribe today to get insights about how women are building powerful and impactful consulting businesses.

Is your consultancy business really a business? Are you taking yourself seriously? Does your success count?

It can seem like there are certain milestones you have to hit before you’re part of a ‘big girls club’ that proves you’re really taking yourself seriously – that you have a real business.

Like there’s a checklist somewhere that tells you if you have a successful business and as long as you have enough items checked off from that list you’re allowed to say you’re successful as a business owner.

I read somewhere online a while ago ‘if someone says they have a successful business but they’re not registered for VAT you know they’re not successful’. 

How can that be a criteria for success?

It’s very possible to make less than 85K per year in your business and be bringing home more money than someone who turns over more than 85K and has been fully whacked for VAT, meaning they lose out overall.

But more importantly, I am so over women taking their cues externally about what constitutes a successful business.

A really key thing about the work I do is that as women, we need to be defining what success looks like to us as individuals. 

What do you want your business and your life to be like?

Whatever a woman I’m coaching says in answer to that question is the criteria we will be judging success by.

And I think this can be a real sticking point for women consultants, and women business owners more broadly.

Women can often be asking themselves, ‘Am I taking my business seriously? Is my business a “real” business?’.

And women are also told they need to behave a certain way in order to be taken seriously. I’ve heard women say that they’ve been told they need to be ‘more aggressive’ if they want their business to be taken seriously, whatever that means.

The answer to this is really very simple.

If you’re running a business, take it seriously. That’s all that needs to happen for you to have a ‘serious’ business.

Don’t worry about someone else’s criteria for credibility.

If your business is meeting the milestones you set yourself, because they matter to you – that’s what success looks like. Striving to achieve someone else’s standard of success is a fool’s errand.

I’d love to hear from you – do you feel like you’ve been able to achieve success on your own terms, or are you pushing yourself to hit someone else’s business goals? What would it take to give yourself permission to define your own version of success in your consulting business?

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Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like me to feature. You may also enjoy The Seven Figure Consultant Podcast, the show that takes you from booked up and burned out in your consulting business to THRIVING as the CEO of your 7 figure enterprise.