Let’s Talk About The “C” Word

May 11, 2021

All right everyone, let’s address the pink elephant in the room

– the “C” word.

Now this can go either way depending on where your mind is. I think it’s important to address, especially in the business world. So, are you ready? Let’s go!

Why do so many business people, especially women, find it hard to “Collaborate?” Yes, that “C” word. What did you think I was talking about? Did 2020 teach us anything? The biggest lesson I learned during COVID-19 to keep my business afloat was collaboration. I cannot tell you how much my business grew because of the relationships that were built. During the peak of COVID-19 was the perfect time to seek out those who were aligned with your business.

The reason why the Philadelphia Women’s Network Connection, LLC has been so successful is because of the relationships I have formed along the way. I have no problem letting people know if I received a great idea or learned something new from someone else. Why not? Here lies the problem, you have business people especially women, ladies I’m sorry but let’s just keep it real, that feel intimidated with another woman’s success. Why? I will never understand this, as long as I live. They are missing the point. Don’t they realize that if one of us make it then there is room to reach back and pull someone else forward?

I personally love the gift of collaboration and yes, it is a gift. Think about it for a moment, you can join hands with another powerful woman or man who is out here making it happen. The gifts that she or he can bring to the table is priceless. Ever heard the phrase, “you can get so much more done with others than by yourself?” It’s true, why do it all by yourself when there is help here for all of us.

During the little over three years that PWNC has been in business we have had countless collaborations in our business. One of my goals when I started this organization was to highlight women doing phenomenal things in their business and the community.

Collaboration is like a breath of fresh air to me, not every collaboration is a good collaboration though. I have learned to wean out those partnerships that don’t align with PWNC’s mission. One thing that entrepreneurship has taught me is don’t waste anyone’s time and most importantly your time. People can respect you more when you are upfront and honest with them. I have no problem referring someone or doing an email introduction if I feel that two parties can really benefit from one another.

If the collaboration is not for me then I just simply tell them that. Listen, as much as you want to help everyone along your journey, it’s not always possible. There are always other ways in which you can show your support and it doesn’t always have to be monetary.

When was the last time you shared someone’s post of their business that you admired? Gave a compliment to another woman who you see out here making it happen? Gave free advice to someone who is just starting their entrepreneurial journey? Sent a quick email or text letting someone know how proud you are of them and what they are doing in their business?

None of these gestures I mentioned cost you anything, just a little bit of your time. We all need that motivation, you noticed I didn’t say confirmation I said motivation for a reason.

Confirmation to me is very labeling. Most times we are our own cheerleaders. The only confirmation that is required is the man upstairs and how you feel about yourself. At the end of the day, you are the only one left standing in your world so why do you need others to validate that for you. Your superpower is that no one else is YOU!

I’m going to offer some unsolicited advice right now. If you want to grow your business, build some great relationships along the way whether they turn out to be business or personal. I would advise that you consider collaborating more with other businesses. Especially more women businesses if you are a woman, ladies we can do so much more and learn so much from one another if we join forces. Men do it all the time, so why can’t we?

Get away from the insecurities, feeling that you are not worthy enough, the intimidations, the green-eyed monster and go find that person that can help take your business to the next level. Find a great mentor to help you build even more. Remember you built your business to help others, stay focused on that. If you need collaborations to help you get there, then by all means take advantage of them. I want to remind you, that I could not have been as successful in my business if it weren’t for collaborations.

See the possibilities and the opportunities and most of all keep your heart open. You never know what a blessing someone can be to you and your business. I wish you luck!

Have a great day on purpose!

Felicia Shanken

Hello, my name is Felicia Shanken CEO & Founder of the Philadelphia Women’s Network Connection, LLC and PWNC Foundation Inc 501(c)(3). ​My mission is to create a friendly supportive community where business owners enjoy sharpening their entrepreneurial edge while nurturing valuable relationships that enrich career satisfaction.

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