Successful Women Are Unlikable? Really?!

WARNING: Cuss words inside

It’s high time we put the “bitch in the boardroom” stereotype to bed.

According to many high-profile voices (Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Sheryl Sandberg & Hillary Clinton to name a few), if you’re a successful woman, people don’t like you.

But if you’re a man, well, it’s game on.

Look, I’m not stupid. Not only do I know women have been oppressed, mistreated, held down and treated less than, I’ve experienced it.

We’ve got a long journey before us to heal the wounds and horror stories of generations past.

Here’s the thing.

I am really flipping tired of powerful people – who are supposedly on the side of women – beating us down with this tripe.

It’s reckless, irresponsible and not useful at all to advancing women.

While this may not have been true 40 years ago, I believe that today it IS possible to be a woman with a commanding presence, confidence and humanity that both sexes respect.

Hang with me here as I break down this message . . .

The more successful and ambitious a woman is, the less likable you become.

Has the fear of people not liking you held you back from succeeding? Sure has for me – more than I care to admit.

Read that sentence again. Out loud.

The more successful and ambitious a woman is, the less likable you become.

Now . . .

Are you ready to do whatever it takes to be successful?

Or do you feel like you want to “chuck it in the fuck it bucket” (to borrow a favorite phrase from my client Sherry).

Well hell, if a high-powered woman is telling you success means no friends, no fun, no respect  . . . then why bother right?

Say it again.

The more successful and ambitious a woman is, the less likable you become.

Is it 100% true? Or can you identify times when success, ambition and likability came together for you like peanut butter and jelly?

Hmmm. What’s going on here?

What’s going on is that the belief is WRONG, not your ambition. Not your success. And if there’s no one in your life who respects you for being an achiever, may I suggest that it’s time to find new people?

I’m not buying into the idea that success and likeability are mutually exclusive — especially when it comes to powerful women. You can achieve both when you get shit done, get results, add value and treat others with respect. You deserve it because you earn it, not because of your body parts, name or status.

Leaders – women and men – need to up their message game.

Speak the truth, yes. Shine a light on injustice, yes.

Massively overhaul our discourse and mindset? Yes! Yes! For goodness sake YES!

In a recent interview with Lewis Howes, Tony Robbins said (about 55 minutes in) . . .

We’ve all experienced injustice. If you hang onto injustice, you’re there. What we need to do is breakthrough and you will always breakthrough when you add value.

How about we start demanding that our leaders add value with their messages too?

And until that happens, consider this . . .

Limits live in your beliefs & behaviors. Hear the words of powerful people, then listen to your own voice to decide what’s true for you. [Tweet This]

Also, if you’re a powerful, successful woman (or you aspire to be) just remember this: the media loves telling you what to think and do. If you have vision and drive, if you can listen and communicate well . . . if people can TRUST you, you’ll have little trouble finding people who like you no matter how meteoric your rise to the top.

I’m grateful to meet and know many successful and likable women and men like you. Do you have a powerful, uplifting message that adds value to others . . . if only you could share it with more people? Schedule a complimentary consultation with me & learn how you can package & position your message for greater impact, influence & income.


Enough With “Playing Small”

If you’re a coach you’ve most likely encouraged clients to play a bigger game, & you’ve likely received the same piece of advice.

I’m all for pushing your boundaries & comfort zones, but I’m fed up with “playing small” being treated like a red-headed step-child.

So does “playing small” has a place & a purpose in your life & business?

(I say yes! Watch the video to see why.)

WARNING: If you don’t want anyone else hearing my f-bombs, use headphones!

When you don’t want to tell your story (& what to do about it)

I didn’t want to tell it.

There I was in front of 50 woman, standing on a dark stage because the lights had eerily gone out moments before. As I began to tell my story . . . alone, in the dark, completely exposed, I felt just like the child and young woman I was speaking about. Small. Scared. Wanting to be anywhere but there.

Then, poof, the lights flashed back on . . . and I froze.

Alone, lights blaring, completely exposed.

I forgot what I wanted to say next so I didn’t say a word for what seemed like two cycles at a stop light (think very dramatic pause).

Life is going to throw curve balls at you. You will feel resistance around telling your story. First, know that this is NORMAL! Then check out the video for some powerful insights to help you tell it anyway.

What pieces of your story sometimes feel like a burden to you or (worse) your audience? Let us know in the comments so we can breakthrough that resistance once and for all. 

Are you running your business in Hush Puppies?

It’s easy to get discouraged when we fail to perform the way we want. It’s tempting to say “I’ll never do that again.”

Here’s the thing though. There’s a lot of trial and error when it comes to running a successful business. Before you scrap your plans, make sure you’re not suffering from The Hush Puppy Problem.

Here’s a story to explain what I mean . . .

Are you wearing Hush Puppies when you should be wearing sneakers? Tell us your hush puppy moment and how you worked through it in the comments below.

It’s not Bragging, it’s Authentic Self-Promotion

beseenSometimes we think of self-promotion as a dirty word, but let me ask you this . . . who is the person who cares most about your success?


And yet so many people tell me, “I hate marketing myself/my business.” Now, it’s fine if you dislike doing marketing activities as long as you get help with it or pass it on to someone else. But when most people say this to me, what they really mean is “I hate talking about myself/my business.”

I get it. I’ve spent years thinking “I don’t want to intrude” or “no one wants to hear what I have to say” or “I’m the only one who cares about this”. Thankfully I’m recovered from that nasty little habit.

So let’s do something fun for a moment. Let’s pretend you are Steve Jobs.

You’re tooling around in your garage, designing and creating something called a personal computer that, although you don’t know it yet, will change history and lives forever. You’ve shared your creation with friends and family and they’re amazed. But now it’s time to take it to the masses. Except you’ve got a problem. The idea of taking a stand for this invention gives you the willies. It means standing in the spotlight. It means explaining why you made this thing and what your vision is for it. It means getting behind your work day in and day it. And, you didn’t sign up for that right?


“But Jobs was a marketing machine,” you’re saying. Yes, yes he was. Because he believed so deeply in his vision. If you’ve read his biography, you also know that Jobs was pretty quirky and not equipped with the best social graces. What if he’d let that stand in his way? What if the Apple computer never came to be? What if Steve Jobs opted to just keep tinkering in his garage?

Someone else would’ve come up with the personal computer instead. And by stepping up, they would’ve gotten the rewards. Or, perhaps the words Mac,  iPod, iPad or iPhone wouldn’t even be part of our vocabulary.

To paraphrase the Father of Advertising David Ogilvy: Unless you TALK ABOUT your big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.

In other words, if you don’t promote yourself, no one else will. That’s because it’s you who cares the most and who has the most stake in your business. So if you think talking up your business is akin to playing dirty, now’s a good time to clean up the story you’ve been telling yourself about marketing and promotion.

The beauty of business in today’s world is that consumers are hot for authenticity. That means you don’t have to be Steve Jobs. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Just be yourself. Yes, you still have to market and promote but you can do it in a way that’s natural for you, especially when you’ve built the foundation of your business around an attractive and authentic brand.

What will you do today to make sure you’re seen & heard? Let me know in the comments below.

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