229 Melinda Wittstock: Lift As You Climb
So often when we reach a milestone or realize a dream… we can so easily forget to take a moment to truly honor and celebrate that achievement. Missing the opportunity to enjoy your success is like saying to the Universe, “no, it's OK, I don't really value success.”
So today for me is a day to truly enjoy all that has manifested from what began a year ago as this little “side hustle.”
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today is 1st anniversary of Wings of Inspired Business. This time last year … as I dropped the first 20 episodes of Wings on iTunes …I had no idea what this podcast would come to mean to me …and so many other female founders.
A year ago I really found my voice, and truly, fully, authentically, dared to step into the light. And every day since I’ve been asking other woman in business to do the same.
To step into the light.
To dare to dream.
To play bigger.
What got me here was a calling bigger than myself.
One day it all just became clear to me:
Too many women entrepreneurs are “succeeding in silence”. We don’t fit the entrepreneurial stereotype – we’re not wearing hoodies, we didn’t drop out of Stanford, Harvard or MIT, and Ramen noodles have too many carbs.
Fact is growing numbers of women are doing incredible things in entrepreneurship – creating billion dollar businesses, disrupting whole industries with innovative flair, and now stepping up as angel and venture investors to fund female-led startups. Yet few of these women are yet “household names”.
When I began this podcast I saw women succeeding as entrepreneurs often “despite” rather than “because” of support from others, including other women. I wanted to change the despite to a because and I also knew I wanted to BE a “because”… that is walk my talk to lift women to success.
I decided to use my SuperShero connecting, communicating, curating and catalyzing powers to grow an ecosystem where women meaningfully and tangibly step in to help other women step up – a way to lift as we climb:
An ecosystem where we all lift as we climb to…
- Mentor each other
- Buy from each other
- Invest in each other
I’ve come to learn over the years as I have started and grown businesses that entrepreneurs at our best are ‘change agents’ – we spot problems, apply our unique talents to fix them, and as we do we create value by living into the change we want to see.
The problem I spotted goes beyond simply women succeeding in silence …
The problem I spotted was in the mindset that holds us back, the fears and unconscious beliefs that keep us playing small, dimming our light, limiting our horizons.
In the past year as I have found my voice – conversing with inspiring women who have learned to transcend those limits – I’ve learned a lot too about what keeps women down – in particular, what is within us that stands in our own way.
The hard truth is this:
When we don't value ourselves, we don't value other women.
When we don’t value each other we don’t help each other …
And when we undervalue ourselves, we undervalue our products and services too. We underprice and over-deliver. And then, when it comes time to buy from other women business owners, we haggle the price down in a way we are less likely to with men.
Think about this. Have you done this? Have you had this happen to you? Chances are both.
And it’s likely something you weren’t even conscious of. I know for years I was not.
How about this…
How often does another woman offer to help you?
How often do you ask another woman for help?
How often do you help another woman?
More often than not we toil in isolation – trying to “do it all”, thinking we have to be perfect before we can release a product, ask for a sale, or even ask for help! We tend to do the business equivalent of cleaning the house before the housekeeper arrives – perfecting, and perfecting and perfecting some more till the opportunity was lost.
You know it!
When we don’t ask for help for ourselves, we don’t step up for others either. If we don’t expect a woman to help us in business, we’re less likely to lend a helping hand to other women.
I put this all down to what I’ll call “scarcity” mindset.
When you're in “scarcity” it's hard to have time for anyone or anything but your own thing. You're not helping anyone else – and the Universe reciprocates so that no one helps you either. You stay stuck in scarcity, stuck in the chicken and the egg, stuck on the startup sticky floor.
Because to succeed as an entrepreneur requires creating value for others … before profiting ourselves – it is about “giving forward” to create trusted beneficial and reciprocal relationships. Men know this instinctively and often group together to help each other up – yet women, socialized into scarcity, tend to division, isolation and distrust.Because with a scarcity mindset also comes fear …
- Fear of missing out …
- Fear that if someone else succeeds there won't be room for you too …
- Fear that your product or service must be “perfect” before you show it to the world …
- Fear no one will like you if you succeed…
A couple of weeks ago in Taos New Mexico at a Retreat with one of my entrepreneur groups, we did an illuminating exercise.
We all wrote our fears down on individual pages and put them into a box.
I looked around and the room was full of very successful men and women. Everyone was writing a lot of “fear notes”. They went into the box.
A day or so later we returned to the box, and one by one we drew the notes out of the box and read them aloud in a funny accent. We made them absurd. What was extraordinary though was how many fears we all had, and how similar our fears were.
Women’s fears – the ones that keep us playing small – tend to be around not being liked or not being included, that to play big will alienate us from others, threaten our romantic relationships, deny our children, and cost us our friendships with other women.
There is a lot of history that fuels this belief, and all the same it is simply a belief.
It’s an outdated belief that no longer serves.
It is fear underlying any remnants of this fearful scarcity thinking. Think back to high school and the Queen Bee. In scarcity there is only room for one Queen Bee – and a crowd of worker bees.
If there can only be one Queen, there is no incentive for women to help one another to truly fly.
Yet the truth is … We live in an abundant Universe so there can and must be many Queens, each of us with our own unique differentiated value, each of us supported in stepping up into our authentic feminine power – because in abundance, we all soar higher when we fly together, when we help each other lift off.
We are all now awakening to this abundance right not, in business, in politics, in all aspects of life, we crave connection with each other and it’s a beautiful thing. We crave podcasts like this, groups where we can connect and truly be seen and heard. It is how we are truly wired – in fact, our brains release the feel good chemical oxytocin when we collaborate.
Yet some remnants of “Queen Bee Syndrome” remain – some women may discriminate against other women in the workplace — particularly as they rise in seniority and achieve success. A recent University of Arizona study showed that successful women in corporate life were more likely to experience rude, derogatory and demeaning remarks from other women than men!
And for successful women who have suffered this retribution, ambitious women who've felt judged, excluded, unsupported and worse, on the way up, it can be easy to forget to lend a helping hand to younger women coming up – or to other successful women.
I think this is less true in entrepreneurship, as entrepreneurship requires a fundamentally different and more abundant attitude and mindset to succeed. Yet subtle echoes of scarcity remain …
- Thinking we have to “do it all” to have it all
- Struggling in isolation … assuming no one will help– and being so overwhelmed doing it all – we have little to no time to help others
- Trapped in avoidance dressed up pretty as perfectionism
- Burning out because we try to be all things to all people at all times.
- Dimming our light because we subconsciously fear standing out would cast us out …
- Undervaluing ourselves and our contributions – whether undercharging, overdelivering, simply not thinking big enough to seize an opportunity perfect for us.
- Not making a point of buying from, investing in or promoting other women.
All of this scarcity thinking is what keeps women playing small …
Most women business owners remain trapped as the entrepreneurial equivalents of “worker bees” – only 3% make it to $1m+ in revenue, many play too small and create businesses where they remain the “doers” and never seize the leverage afforded a Queen.
So back to today, why I am celebrating this mission of mine, why the side hustle turned into my main business, the business of helping women in business take flight.One year into Wings, having interviewed more than 300 high-performing female entrepreneurs, it is clear women entrepreneurs at this level are awakening to abundance – understanding that we are all stronger together than apart.
It is time to celebrate women who step fully into their light. To see that their triumphs open doors for women coming up …
It is time for women playing at the top of their game to lend a helping hand to give forward and lift others.
It’s time we all find ways to lift as we climb – to support, to encourage, to understand, to open doors, to provide meaningful connections, to buy from each other, promote each other, invest in each other.
So I have a question for you.
Who can you lift today?
Think about a woman you know in business.
How can you help her today?
Perhaps you can simply text or DM her to say, “you've got this!”
Or you can ask her how you can help.
Another great thing to do is to connect her to a meaningful resource – a potential mentor, a potential client, a potential investor.
Better yet you can buy from her company. You can sign up to affiliate market her product.
And if you have the means, you can invest in her company.
One other thing you can do – and its very important – it’s to value yourself.
Because the one thing I know to be true – is that there is ONE secret all the successful women entrepreneurs share.
It is simply really. It is about asking for help.
It is about surrounding yourself with the mentors and coaches and masterminds you need to for support, encouragement, accountability and to push through or around, below or above any walls you encounter on your journey. Surrounding yourself with women who’ve “been there, built that” before you … and can share their wisdom, epiphanies, practical experience and advice… so you do not have to reinvent the wheel!
So I have a special invitation for you.
I am inviting you into the Wings of Success Inner Circle.
In the Inner Circle you get direct access to me and my growing community of inspiring women entrepreneurs, investors innovators and influencers … women who have built 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 figure businesses, women with New York times bestsellers and influential podcasts like this one – all paying it forward with practical lessons you can implement right away.
You’ll get more than 60 video trainings, with MP3 audios, transcripts, swipefiles, cheatsheets and bonus resources – with the specific strategies, methods, processes and tools we used to grow and align our businesses with our true purpose and passion to create a balanced and exciting lifestyle.
Fact is, no entrepreneur ever succeeded by going it alone. And I want to help you focus your efforts where you will have the greatest impact for real, tangible and gamechanging results.
You can join the inner circle at wingspodcast.com/innercircle for a special 1st anniversary “early bird” rate. That’s wingspodcast.com/innercircle. It’s less than a dinner out once a month … and if you were to implement only one thing each month you’ll learn from this incredibly valuable lessons, you will 10X your business – probably 100X it.
That is, if you spent $997 over the course of a year, would you make 10 times that or $9,970 extra in revenue. Would you make $99,700? 100 times your investment in the Inner Circle?
I know personally from implementing the lessons I’ve learned in programs, masterminds and with mentors and coaches that investing in yourself provides the best dividend.
What would it mean to
- Attract your ideal clients and customers: Get past the “no” to close the deal and deliver delight so you love your business as much as it loves you …
- Get the money to invest in your business: So you can grow team and get past the “busy work” and overwhelm …
- Put the systems and strategies in place to scale: So you can get to $1mm+ and beyond profitably while enjoying your life …
- Create a compelling personal brand: Align to your true purpose and passion to grow your thought leadership, influence and impact …
- Rewire your brain in abundance and gratitude: Live in inspiration and manifest intentionally, with ease and no limits …
- Attract and lead a great team: Learn who, when and how to hire, inspire (and fire) …
- Work less and achieve more: Productivity hacks, self care tips and mindset shifts so you can enjoy your business with free time for the life you want …
- Have Fun, Be Fulfilled and Enjoy the Journey: Design the life and lifestyle you truly want …
If you could do all of that –what would it be worth to you?
So please check out the Wings of Success Inner Circle – at wingspodcast.com/innercircle
Because scientific evidence reveals that the most successful entrepreneurs have a secret.
Their secret is simple.
They have a Business Family.
That is, a community of coaches, mentors and peers they rely on and usually describe as their “family”.
We all need support, encouragement, perspective, accountability, advice, understanding, and the best coaching from people who know what you need. because they have “been there, built that” before you.
The difference between your BUSINESS family and any other family is that these are the people who truly ‘get you‘ – because they have “been there, built that” before you. They understand all the ups and downs, everything you'll ever run up against, all the challenges and pitfalls, and all the secrets to success.
Your best business family is generous, kind, encouraging and they create a safe place to help you with your blind spots, those places where we sometimes cannot see our own shadow, an opportunity, a constraint, or a wall we've built for ourselves.
In the Wings of Success business family you will find inspiration, support, guidance and motivation so you can focus your efforts where you will have the greatest impact for real, tangible and game-changing results in your life and in your business.
And most importantly that support and love is a two-way street.
Because if you really want to grow and step into the light – step into your true majesty – you must help lift others as well.
This is what we women at our best can do for each other.
Move past fear and scarcity. Into love and abundance.
Right now you may be a workhorse .. you know, clock in, clock out, get the job done, get it done well, with discipline and diligence, toil long hours, pull all nighters, all with the belief that your hard work will be rewarded.
Or you may be a racehorse living for the big moment. There is meticulous self-care, a specific roadmap to mastery, and a profound intention of success. There is as much or more rest and pampering, because no racehorse can afford to “burn out”. So hopefully you have your spa time booked.
And then there is Pegasus.
A magical horse with wings, taking flight in flow and grace.
Like her Unicorn sister, she is majestic, muscular, and graceful – and she has a BIG vision and purpose matched with her passion and true talents.
A Pegasus sets powerful intentions for what she wants – and imagines them done.
Rather than a task list of “to do's”, the Pegasus has a list of profound “thank-you’s”.
She is grateful before she has even achieved the success goals she visualizes for herself. Her “list” is one of visualizations of specific, focused intentions achieved – all with profound gratitude. She sets her intentions free in the Universe with the ease of soaring like a bird.
And the coolest bestest thing about the Pegasus – is – she lifts others around her to fly alongside.
My mission with Wings is to see you achieve the extraordinary and unbridle the Pegasus within.
That’s why I do this podcast and that’s why I also want to give you all
the tools, resources, care, understanding, love, connections and support you need to move from workhorse, to racehorse… to Pegasus! I want you to step into your authentic feminine power, purpose and passion, learn to live intentionally, inspired and dare dream bigger.
So if you haven’t already please check out Wings of Success – and join our inner circle – because you’ll meet many of the women I’ve featured on this podcast in the past year … so you can get free access to their trainings at wingssummit.com – or join our inner circle for instant download access plus group coaching mentoring and access to my growing referral network. You will be working alongside your peers … helping them as they help you… truly stepping into the light, together. So check it out! Wingspodcast.com/inner circle.
So today I am celebrating .. I am celebrating the success of so many inspiring women. I am celebrating the fact that in succeeding women are lighting the path for others to step into their own light. I am celebrating every interview I do every day – the inspiration the learning, the connection I receive from every incredible soul I have the privilege of interviewing. I am celebrating being able to tell their stories, and I am celebrating the discovery of my own voice and my own supershero powers as a connector, curator, catalyst.
Today please think of women you can lift. Friends, neighbors, coworkers, team members, other entrepreneurs. Pay it forward. Without attachment. Without expectation. Just in love.
Thank you for listening !
I can’t wait for the year ahead – grab your wings!