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2020 STATE OF THE COMMUNITY

Hey, hey there, Bold Leaders. Welcome to another episode of The Bold Leadership Revolution Podcast. I’m your host, Tara Newman and I am excited to be here with you today because we’re talking about a bunch of things that intersect some of my greatest passions, and that is community, women, business and how we work. Today I’m here to give you a state of the community and I’ll be applying it in a few different contexts. The first being the state of community regarding women run businesses in general, the important role of community to women as they run their businesses, and the state of our community, The BRAVE Society.

I’m excited to start this conversation with you here, but I’m really looking forward to continuing this important and timely conversation on our social channels like Instagram and Facebook. So do be sure that after you digest this podcast, you come over to Instagram, I’m @TheTaraNewman, or we’re on Facebook, The Bold Leadership Revolution, and share with us your thoughts, because this podcast episode is a bit of my own research, a bit of me really looking at the data that comes into my business. We collect a tremendous amount of data over here because I have a background as a researcher. I am very concerned with how women work in our modern day society, how we overcome the narratives of work, how we look to be more efficient in the way we work given the challenges, the very unique and specific challenges, that women have when they’re in a leadership role, meaning they are wearing so many different hats. They may be a leader in business, or running their own business, and then they are a mom.

I AM VERY CONCERNED WITH HOW WOMEN WORK IN OUR MODERN DAY SOCIETY, HOW WE OVERCOME THE NARRATIVES OF WORK, HOW WE LOOK TO BE MORE EFFICIENT IN THE WAY WE WORK GIVEN THE CHALLENGES.

And if you’re anything like me, getting on in your life and more middle aged, you become a caretaker to maybe your parents and you become really a part of that sandwich generation. You might have a spouse or a partner that is requiring your attention and we’re being pulled in so many different directions and how does this come together and affect the way we live, work, perform and lead? I’m going to share with you some of the research that we’ve collected.

Did you know the biggest concerns among women’s small business owners who earn more than $100,000 in revenue aren’t really about money? Yes, the money stuff is there. Yes, it’s important that we talk about it, but based on my recent data that we’ve collected from our program in woman applications, the number one concern among a group of women who are in the multiple six to seven figure business owners was loneliness. Like I mentioned, with juggling kids and/or aging parents and running a business and being a present partner. They don’t feel like many women get them.

And they wouldn’t be wrong. This is actually a very correct assumption for them to make because women making above $100,000 are probably around the top 20% of women business owners, meaning it’s a very small group of women who are navigating this level of challenge. Now, if your revenue hits $250,000, now you’re probably around the top 5% and if you hit $1 million, we know that that puts you in an incredibly small group of women who have these challenges. It’s about 1% of women small business owners have revenue at $1 million. Even if you aren’t at those revenue numbers but want to be, you’re traveling in a very small circle of women. Loneliness has been proven to lead to increased fatigue and even burnout.

Loneliness has been proven to lead to increased fatigue and even burnout.

The second thing that we’re noticing is if you’ve ever had that sneaking suspicion that you’re the only thing standing in the way of your success, I’ve got good news for you. You are not alone. The majority of women who have applied for our programs this year have cited this as the thing standing between them and their goals. Now, they may have a financial goal, right? So when I said, did you know the biggest concern among women small business owners who earn more than $100,000 a year is rarely about money, they may have that business goal, but at this point they’re like, oh, I get it. It’s not about the money. It’s about me standing in the way of earning more money. It’s about me and my relationship with money. So their chief complaint isn’t the money, it’s themselves. So if this has been a chief complaint of yours, that you’re standing in your own way of success, well, you’re not alone. This is very, very normal.

The third theme that we saw, maybe you’re tired of being marketed to as a woman and sold quick fixes or programs that are designed to dig into your perfectionism, making you believe that everything has to be polished and perfect before you can make more money. If this sounds like you, welcome. You are among friends. This was another theme that we saw when we looked at our data from 2019 of a challenge facing women small business owners.

Maybe you’ve been sitting on the outside looking in at groups of women who seem to get along and support each other with ease and you think that looks too good to be true.

And lastly, maybe you’ve been sitting on the outside looking in at groups of women who seem to get along and support each other with ease and you think that looks too good to be true. If that’s the way you feel, this episode is going to be for you. I want you to really listen to this episode with an open mind.

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This is the Bold Leadership Revolution Podcast: It’s your source for straight talking, no fluff business and high performance conversations that add real depth and value to the way bold leaders live, work and thrive. We know you’re craving context and nuance in a world that swings wildly from one polarized topic to the next. In between these extremes, there is little room for truth, dichotomy and contradiction, but that’s what we’re here to bring to you today. Like I said, I’m your host Tara Newman and I’ve spent my entire working life dedicated to helping everyday people just like you perform in extraordinary ways, all while busting the myths and BS fed to us by corporate America, internet marketers, our society as a whole, our families and ourselves.

THIS IS THE BOLD LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION PODCAST: IT’S YOUR SOURCE FOR STRAIGHT TALKING, NO FLUFF BUSINESS AND HIGH PERFORMANCE CONVERSATIONS THAT ADD REAL DEPTH AND VALUE TO THE WAY BOLD LEADERS LIVE, WORK AND THRIVE.

Today we are sharing with you how you can beat those feelings of loneliness, start to get out of your own way and realize you aren’t the only one fed up with being sold the perfect strategy only to find out the results didn’t quite measure up to the claims. We will be sharing with you the evidence based research that backs up the power of community learning to combat burnout and loneliness in your business. We will be sharing with you the evidence on how developmental learning, network intelligence, infinite learning and women’s specific networks are crucial to your success and why. Plus we’re talking about our unique solution to these problems challenging modern day women small business owners by sharing what The BRAVE Society is, how it was founded and what we are changing right now and some pretty audacious goals that we have for 2020.

You’ve probably taken all the programs and followed all the blueprints that you were told to. And sure maybe you got a result, but maybe that result can’t scale and it’s just not sustainable for you as both a business owner and more importantly a human being. Maybe you had an offline business and came into the online space to hone your marketing skills and reach new audiences, but the conflicting messages of how to grow online made your head spin.

I want to share what happened to me when I decided to start looking at the internet to leverage my business.

I know this because it happened to me. And in an effort to be even more transparent this year than I was last year on the podcast and even more vulnerable, I want to share what happened to me when I decided to start looking at the internet to leverage my business. With almost 20 years of experience and a highly sought after degree in industrial organizational psychology, I was suddenly confronted with a crisis of confidence that almost destroyed my business before it started. I went from being the person who a company would look on paper and see that I had this degree and hire. I wouldn’t even have to come in for an interview. They didn’t really care. They wanted to utilize me as a resource within their organization.

Now, of course, I went in on interviews and things like that, but my credentials spoke so loudly for me that my career up until this point had been a relative snap. It was easy. And then I started my business and I came online and no one really cared what my degree was. They didn’t understand that. They wanted to see a sexy message. They wanted to see something that really grabbed their attention. They wanted to be polarized. They wanted to know if I was for them or not.

And it became really confidence destructive. For years, I was happily blogging about leadership, family and performance psychology. I lived in a world where I got to write pretty words about how I was organizing my days, weeks, years, and give fun lists, tips, tricks on goal setting and getting the most out of ourselves. I dwelled in the land of happy blog commenters and Facebook communities with like ladders.

Then I decided to get serious about my potential and the life I wanted to create for myself. After years of depression and recovering from a colossal size business mistake, I decided to start my own business. Instead of running in blogging circles, I started running an online business circles and quickly became engulfed in the absolute deluge of business advice, most of it not accurate.

I started running an online business circles and quickly became engulfed in the absolute deluge of business advice, most of it not accurate.

On top of that, I was watching people make multiple six figures and even seven figures a year with ease and flow. It was like they were plucking clients out of the air like sugar plums and suddenly everything I knew about business didn’t make sense. It felt like the only way you could get ahead was to make money by selling people on I will make you money and by having a magical funnel or thousands of dollars you are willing to gamble away on Facebook ads. Relationships were narrowed down to the people who might respond to your three to five Facebook posts that you wrote each day, but only if your message was sexy AF.

I was spinning. I felt like a fish out of water. Everywhere I turned someone was there to tell me I was doing it wrong. I would never succeed in running a business. And by the way, why the fuck do you think this is so confusing? Just let it be easy, right? Like that was the message I was getting. I don’t know why you’re so damn confused. Just let it be easy.

But at that time it felt like anything but easy. I had many moments where I absolutely forgot everything I knew prior to bringing my business online. I forgot I had learned about things about business over the course of time from my own experiences and I knew what worked for me.

The distraction and comparison were exhausting. The internet would easily take me out of my intuition and fostered an environment where the solutions were external, which was incongruent with what I knew, believed, and had learned. Through great coaching and a solid community around me, that’s how I was able to stay focused on me.

I WANT TO REMIND YOU, ‘THE STRATEGY IS YOU’.

If you could relate to any part of my story, especially the part of you that wants to seek solutions outside yourself, I want to remind you, ‘the strategy is you’. The internet is a great tool to leverage your business. If you remember, you have all you need right now to take the next step. Mentors, coaches and consultants are important support systems. If you remember, you can take bold actions when you know what works for you and more crucially, what doesn’t.

As a matter of fact, ‘the strategy is you’ is the core foundation upon which The BRAVE Society has built. In BRAVE, we use the framework of the strategy is you. BRAVE is not group coaching or a mastermind. BRAVE is not one on one coaching. BRAVE is a fiercely bold community of women who believe what you believe, who are just as tired of the hyped up solutions, the static noise and the tactics and formulas as you are. BRAVE is a community of credible business owners and women who are leading their businesses and their lives with tenacity, BRAVEry, and vulnerability. As a matter of fact, BRAVE stands for the characteristics that every bold leader should have. Bold, resilient, abundant, values driven and endurable.

There are three reasons behind The BRAVE Society, three things that The BRAVE Society can really offer. One, BRAVE becomes a marketplace. It was so important to me that we create a marketplace where women can do business with other credible, reputable business owners. It’s where collaborations happen, where business friends are made, where we find accountability and conversations.

It was so important to me that we create a marketplace where women can do business with other credible, reputable business owners.

The second reason behind The BRAVE Society is leadership development. I was tired of seeing women invest money in outside strategies for growth. Some of them are warranted, but I found that they were often short changing their own leadership and leadership development. This happens all the time and it’s why we hone in on the CEO Debrief and the ‘strategy as you’ framework in The BRAVE Society.

We are a developmental network. Which, as the Harvard Business Review called out from analyzing the General Society Survey Study recently, is critical for avoiding loneliness and burnout. Remember that cycle? We’re taking a stand to stop it here. We celebrate our collective successes and we debrief together these collective community rituals. Not only bring accountability, but also build solidarity and a sense of belonging, both shown to be critical in making long term impact and leading in the long game.

Thirdly, it’s our goal within BRAVE to help women become what John Maxwell calls the pinnacle of leadership. We want more women standing at the pinnacle of their leadership. John Maxwell has this to say about level five leadership. “The highest level of leadership is also the most challenging to attain. It requires longevity, as well as intentionality. You simply can’t reach level five unless you’re willing to invest your life into the lives of others for the long haul. But if you stick with it, if you continually focus on both growing yourself at every level and developing leaders who are willing and able to develop other leaders, you may find yourself at the pinnacle. The commitment to becoming a pinnacle leader is sizable, but so are the payoffs. Level five leaders develop level five organizations. They create opportunities. Other leaders don’t. They create a legacy in what they do. People follow them because of who they are and what they represent. In other words, their leadership gains a positive reputation. As a result, level five leaders often transcend their position, their organization, and sometimes even their industry.”

This is how I believe women change the world when they step into their highest level of leadership.

This is how I believe women change the world when they step into their highest level of leadership. They’re level five leadership, and this is what we’re committed to helping women do. We are the level five leadership pipeline that builds legacy. Whether it’s your children, people you work with, the impact you have when you speak, whatever that may look like, we are helping to create more women leaders from diverse backgrounds and industries.

Fourth, community learning and network intelligence. Community learning is a powerful success criteria for women leaders, and it’s a cornerstone of the conversations we have within BRAVE. We learn from each other by sharing our own experiences and holding space for the other women to share theirs. We all win. We create a powerful container for reflection, but also for a community feedback loop that has tremendous impact.

Women executives have greater access to other women and organizations that are truly concerned with creating a great place to work offer programs like this for their women leaders. However, when you are running your own business, you don’t have a mentor helping you identify your next growth opportunity or development assignment. As an article in the Harvard Business Review discusses, the most successful leaders learn in a new way that’s outside of the classroom and even traditional online learning modalities. Network intelligence allows us to learn from people and to activate the knowledge in our networks and the community learning component in The BRAVE Society is a testament to this shift.

NETWORK INTELLIGENCE ALLOWS US TO LEARN FROM PEOPLE AND TO ACTIVATE THE KNOWLEDGE IN OUR NETWORKS AND THE COMMUNITY LEARNING COMPONENT IN THE BRAVE SOCIETY IS A TESTAMENT TO THIS SHIFT.

Since establishing BRAVE in August of 2018, we have seen these trends play out over and over again. There is a tremendous amount of consistency and commitment inside the group, which helps to build the sense of community, to establish our culture and to hook into the habits for success. It fascinates me how there are no unsavory pitchfests. Yet these women find the women they need to work with and take advantage of what each woman sells, mainly because they have taken the time to build rapport and trust with each other. They see each other weekly on CEO Debrief calls or have even attended a BRAVE event in person.

Every other week, they focus on their CEO Debrief, allowing them to embody our slow framework. This framework is critical for high achievers who are always on to what’s next, never slowing down enough to own what’s happening in the moment. We contextualize what it means to slow down so they can speed up with our SLOW method. SLOW stands for: Step back and reflect, lower expectations and pressure, own the now, what’s next. We iterate and make incremental changes for the betterment of all the women who are part of this group.

This framework is critical for high achievers who are always on to what’s next, never slowing down enough to own what’s happening in the moment.

Now I want to speak to some of the changes that we will be rolling out over 2020 that are in alignment with everything that we’ve just shared, the data that we see coming in from the women that we work with, the data that’s out there on community learning and the importance and the power of it, as well as what makes a level five leader. So in terms of what will change in The BRAVE Society in 2020, we are really making one shift. In my mind, we’re making one shift.

For the last few months, we’ve talked about how we see women treat each other in terms of valuing another woman’s most important work in the world. We can lob all the bombs that society for creating a gender pay gap, but my observation has been we women aren’t helping. Everything from free guest experts because you’ll get exposure to my audience to thinking your friend should let you pick her brain too, expecting friends and family discounts, these are just some of the ways I see women shortchanging each other. Women are the first ones to raise their hands to do the small tasks, the grunt work, to please and to jump at free opportunity because that’s how we’ve been conditioned to get ahead. And women are taking just as much advantage of this when it comes to other women as men are.

So we’re looking to change this culture and create a new one, a culture where women pay women. We have put an open call out to our community members for them to be delivering paid trainings to the members in the community, paid for by us. That means we are investing not only in the women delivering the training, but we’re investing some of the profit back into the women of the community.

There are so many talented, brilliant women out there who can offer value to this community.

At the Bold Leadership Revolution, we are looking to be a quality source of business and leadership education and we know that we’re not the only ones with the answers. There are so many talented, brilliant women out there who can offer value to this community. This space is not about me, and we encourage everyone to stand shoulder to shoulder to bring their lived experiences to the forefront of our conversations. Those lived experiences form the community learning, the peer support, the data and feedback loops that lift the whole network up in a powerful way.

Now, while this space isn’t about me, I do have some personal goals as the lead facilitator. We have streamlined our offers in a way that frees me up to put more of my energy into this community because I’m so curious as to what’s possible when we continue to come together in this manner.

One of my goals this year is to listen more. I’m deeply concerned with the impact of how we work as women small business owners, and I’m open to hearing the different challenges we have as we navigate the different phases of our lives. We know that women only networks have a particular power of their own. Again, this is where evidence has come in, as well as my own experience and the experience of BRAVE members.

WE WANT MORE WOMEN AROUND US. WE REALLY WANT TO GROW THIS COMMUNITY.

We want more women around us. We really want to grow this community. We want to put our energy here because we know it works. A study published in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that the most successful female job seekers from a top ranked graduate school relied not only on a wide network of contacts, but also on a close inner circle of other women. Why do women leaders need that close inner circle? The support network helps us navigate our lives and business. We also bridge networks from that close circle and find space to share at our most vulnerable without judgment. This allows us to practice our leadership skills, gain new knowledge, and transfer it more easily into the work we do every day.

In order to make all of this happen, we have made some really big decisions behind the scenes at the Bold Leadership Revolution, especially in terms of the services that we offer. For the first time since we’ve been in business, we have really narrowed our services down to three. The BRAVE Society, the Bold Leadership Mastermind, and one-off intensives with me personally. I’ve stepped away from larger contracts to focus on the passion I have for helping women in the communities we lead. I want to personally reflect with an acknowledge the value of each woman in The BRAVE Society.

This is a critical time when women are being marketed to more than ever and it’s really my goal to help each woman find their strategy for navigating their business. Incorporating important things that they learn from mentors and consultants and coaches, but knowing when that information is true for them and when they need to tweak it a little bit and try something else. I want every woman to see their value. I want every woman to see just how damn smart they are and how they are more than capable of changing the world right now.

I want every woman to see their value. I want every woman to see just how damn smart they are and how they are more than capable.

Something I’m bringing with me into 2020 is that I want to help more women set and hit their financial goals. That’s as simple as having more money conversations, having more conversations on setting goals. What does a financial goal entail outside of a revenue goal? What goals can the women in The BRAVE Society set to increase their profitability and their wealth? I want to see more women making more money and keeping more of the money they make.

So as we wrap up the state of community of women business owners, the state of the community of The BRAVE Society, some of my personal goals and how I see myself supporting women on their journey, I would love to hear your takeaways from this episode. You can hit us up over on Instagram @TheTaraNewman or Facebook or The Bold Leadership Revolution.

I hope that if you would have any takeaways from this, I hope that you received what the importance of community is for your growth as a leader and how it can support you in growing your business.

Now, if this conversation was interesting to you and felt unique and a little different, I want you to do me a favor. I want you to take me up on my invitation to join the BRAVE Society. So if you’re a female, small business owner, this is likely your community if you’re resonating with this podcast and the things we’re talking about over here because they are very much the essence of how we talk about things in The BRAVE Society. The BRAVE Society was founded on three basic principles.

I want you to take me up on my invitation to join the BRAVE Society.

One, community. How can we come together and become a marketplace of business owners where we can do business together, where we can open doors for each other, where we can collaborate with like minded, credible business owners.

Two, nobody should ever shortchange their leadership development. I see too many times women spread thin, making investments in their businesses as they grow and shortchanging their leadership development. And I’m here to solve that problem. You can make the investments that you need to make in say your marketing or your branding or your website and develop yourself as a leader.

And the third thing that we come together for is to really stand at the pinnacle of our leadership, which John Maxwell talks a lot about in his work. And he says that we’re the pinnacle of our leadership when we are a leader who develops leaders who develops leaders. And what I ask the women of The BRAVE Society to do is to take what they learn in The BRAVE Society and bring it into the world, into their communities, into their families, into their clients and their customers, and to really continue to develop more leaders on this planet.

If this sounds interesting to you, I want you to go over to the show notes and click on the link or you can come find me on Instagram. I’m @TheTaraNewman and ask me any questions you need to about joining The BRAVE Society.

If you found this podcast valuable, help us develop more bold leaders in the world by sharing this episode with your friends, colleagues, and other bold leaders. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please leave a review. I consider reviews like podcast currency, and it’s the one thing you can do to help us out here at the Bold Leadership Revolution HQ. We would be so grateful for it. Special thanks goes to Stacey Harris from Uncommonly More, who is the producer and editor of this podcast. Go check them out for all your digital marketing and content creation needs. Be sure to tune into the next episode to help you embrace your ambition and leave the grind behind.

Important links to share:

Listen in on CEO Debriefs and Get 10 BOLD Questions for your own debrief.

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