Silvia Christmann is a growth expert, helping companies scale and accelerate rapid growth. Today she puts her Wings to advise women entrepreneurs about confidence, the roots of self-doubt and how to overcome challenges by surrounding ourselves with the right people.
Melinda Wittstock: Silvia, welcome to WINGS.
Silvia Christmann: Thank you, thank you for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: It's lovely to talk to you, and I always love to start with what is inspiring you right now?
Silvia Christmann: I'm really inspired by female entrepreneurs, helping women create their own businesses, get rich, and use their capital wisely.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so, so important. Because a lot of women, even the savviest entrepreneurs I've noticed, sometimes put themselves last when it comes to their finances.
Silvia Christmann: Yeah, and financial planning for women in particular is so important. I think it's a real issue that for many generations women were taught to make men part of their financial planning. And in this day and age it's very important that women start at a very young age to focus on their own financial planning, understand what it takes to build up towards a future, secure their own futures, secure their own retirement, and make sure that they can afford all the things that they want in life.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so true. And so, maybe a good segue into challenges. Is there anything challenging you right now, or any of your clients, particularly when it comes to women?
Silvia Christmann: I mean when is that not challenging? I think.
Melinda Wittstock: Right, like life is always challenging. I mean if you really … if you want a challenge, become an entrepreneur, I mean for sure, right? We joke sometimes on this podcast that it's like therapy, being an entrepreneur. Okay so what's the … narrow it down, so what's the top challenge, the main challenge?
Silvia Christmann: I think the top challenges that I see is … I mentor men, I mentor women, and what I see especially in my female clients is that they have a much greater challenge to find confidence because they're being questioned in what they do much more so. And it's always very challenging to make sure to give them the confidence, the tool, to be successful, and then encourage them to also take the stand for what they believe in.
Melinda Wittstock: It's interesting, isn't it? Because when men get challenged they don't really take it so personally often, or they take it less personally perhaps. And women it's like, “Oh my God, what does it mean about me? Like I'm not good enough.” And it sort of, I don't know-
Silvia Christmann: I actually have a … I want to give you a very interesting perspective on this. I think that men take it very personally if you challenge them; the only difference is nobody really challenges them. So what I see if you challenge a man in his position, his beliefs in the system and his assumptions, they get very aggressive, they're very put off by the idea or audacity that somebody would challenge them on their assumptions to that degree, because it's just usually not done. Women are much more used to the fact that they're being challenged, questioned and doubted, which is why there is a much greater degree of self-doubt in their development as entrepreneurs.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, that's really interesting. I think, when you said that I just got Goosebumps, because that makes total sense to me. I mean we're just more receptive. It's like we're more receptive to that kind of feedback.
Silvia Christmann: How can you not? If you're being told from the day that you were born in the world that we currently live in and everything you do is questioned, it's really unlikely that you're not going to … and you always have to question yourself about how you're going to position it, how you're going to overcome potential obstacles. You know, how are you going to position yourself? How are you going to make sure in this meeting you're not going to have your ass grabbed, you know? How are you going to make … you know, like the degree of complications women have to consider on their path to success is just something men never have to consider. You know, so the complexities of the thought process in that the error, the possibilities for errors or obstacles just isn't the same. So it's only natural that women have a bit more of an emotional challenge around standing in their own light.
Melinda Wittstock: So true. And I love the phrase standing in our own light. How beautiful. So what are your top three go-to pieces of advice that you could share today?
Silvia Christmann: Don't let anybody tell you that you're wrong and that you can't do something.
Melinda Wittstock: Uh huh, right.
Silvia Christmann: Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: You know, don't, or don't believe it when they do. Or even surround yourself with the people that are actually going to support you. Like, so you're not even in that situation. All too often our friends, even our families can drag us down.
Silvia Christmann: Oh I mean, especially our families. It's about creating a personal board of directors that can help you realize your dreams and ambitions right? I mean make sure you run the numbers, make sure you have healthy skeptics in the mix and advisors that help you look at at your blind spots so that you don't get stuck on an unprofitable dream, but certainly make sure that you do the research before you take someone's advice who says that you can't do something, you know?
Melinda Wittstock: Ah, profound. So what's number two?
Silvia Christmann: Number two would be, if you want to be highly motivated, make sure you take care of your body, make sure that you sleep well, that you eat well, that you meditate and exercise, because nobody makes good decisions when they're run down, tired and exhausted.
Melinda Wittstock: Yes, meditation has been a game-changer for me. I don't know what I would do without it.
Silvia Christmann: Yeah, I agree.
Melinda Wittstock: I don't even know if I'd have good ideas without it at this point. So what about number three?
Silvia Christmann: Number three would be, surround yourself with people that really care about you. And care about your success. That includes people that are healthy skeptics.
Melinda Wittstock: I once read that we're the sum or the average of the closest five people to us.
Silvia Christmann: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yep.
Melinda Wittstock: So if you're around negative people, or you're around people who are not really going for success, or people in fear, you're likely to have a lot of that going on in your life as well.
Silvia Christmann: Of course, and its also not just fear. It could just be like vibes that don't really resonate with you, that are not conducive to you. Like if you're trying to achieve something in life, and you're out with people a lot that party a lot and enjoy a rather unhealthy lifestyle, it's really going to be hard to thrive and stay focused as an entrepreneur.
Melinda Wittstock: Very true. So Silvia, how can people find you and work with you, and, do you have a special offer for our listeners today?
Silvia Christmann: I do. And thank you for asking. So you can find me on Instagram under Silvia Christmann, you can find me on my website if you want to learn more about what I do, or reach out to me directly, it's silviachristmann.com. And we also have a special link that I provided to you if somebody here is listening to this and would want to have a strategy session with me, that is an offering. All you have to do is supply it through that link that we've provided and I will get back to you.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. And I'll make sure that that's in the show notes. Silvia thank you for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Silvia Christmann: Thank you, thank you for having me.