Sunday, September 15, 2013

Feminine Success?

Business books often use the word success to mean making money or reaching a goal. Both meanings are decidedly masculine. Males of all ages admire contests of skill and strength in which everyone knows the score. Our society applauds the guy who puts the ball through the goal posts or achieves status in business.

Here is my quandary as a writer. How can I write about success as it applies to women, when the very word implies slamming headlong into obstacles and pushing through pain to reach goals that have no inherent value?

Do women have a different criterion for success? Is there another word we can use to express feminine values? Or would a female definition only drive a wedge between men and women?

In my native language, "pilot" is the male captain of a ship. "Pilotin" is a woman who performs the same job. She just doesn't get paid nearly as much. So I suppose that a double-language doesn’t create the balance.

The dilemma increases when the topic is leadership. More than 90% of upper level managers are men. They often earn 10—20, even 100 times more than the women sitting across the table from them, despite the fact that women contribute just as much. Business is rife with stories of men who receive the accolades and collect the great fortunes, whether their companies make profits or lose vast sums of money.

Quick—name the top 3 female conductors of major orchestras…
Could you even think of one? Is it that women lack the gene for wielding the baton? Is our sensitivity to people less? Is music beyond our comprehension? I don't think so.

Please don’t take my inquiry as criticism. Men have done a lot for us. I can’t go along with feminist fighting tactics that push men deeper into their bunkers. War is a male domain, and as for me, I don’t intend to fight for equal rights.

Instead I created success in my career on my own terms.
I am a woman. I didn’t take the college route, as my family and community expected. I am not qualified for any job you can think of. My body is thin and frail, so I can’t withstand strenuous labor or political infighting. And I am too young to be offered responsibility in a big company.

But I am a free agent entrepreneur. That means I do what I enjoy with people who appreciate me. I get to honor my feminine rhythm. My body requires plenty of sleep, so I get up late. When I am hungry, I take breaks to replenish my body. My man is my mentor, but I am the only breadwinner in my family. I restrict my clientele to people who show loving-kindness for one another. All other options hurt by body and rob me of the aura of love that I so much enjoy.

I started my business on the sleepy island of Ibiza in 2008, just as the economy was sliding into a global recession. I chose this island because I love the sea and the warm weather here. My nature is gentle. My surroundings have to allow that.

It has been my privilege to assist a lot of other women in Europe and America initiate small pilot projects and open their own small businesses. Now I want to connect with women from Asia, Africa, and the Arabic countries. I believe we all have a lot to learn from one another. I can’t understand the way the media portrays women, so I want to be part of a worldwide conversation so we can listen to each other’s stories while we share what we have all learned.

On November 1st, 2013 Xochi Wild is sponsoring GWEN—Global Women Entrepreneur Network—on Ibiza. I am delighted to be one of the speakers, although I hope to spend more time listening to the hundreds of women who will gather to open new doors of opportunity for one another. So far our primary speakers hail from Europe, America, and Mexico. Xochi is a Hispanic American woman married to a German man. She wants to include women from all parts of the world .

As I understand it we will spend 4 or 5 days together in honest conversation. We will offer a Kids Camp on site. But our guys will have to entertain themselves or meet up in another location for some recreation so we can have the auditorium to ourselves. Our purpose is not to be experts or provide advice and answers. We want to feel free to share our feminine, receptive nature to explore what success means to us.

I am counting on this event to open my eyes and my heart so I can see how to move forward in this new century. If you are one of those women who want to conduct business from the heart, I hope to meet you there.

Currently I am writing How to Talk to Men in Business. I would appreciate if you would send me stories of comedies and tragedies and victories in your business dealing with men so I can pass your experiences along to other women who have chosen a productive lifestyle.

You can send your stories to info@sageuniversity.com.