One of the biggest issues I see women dealing with in business is the reconciling of making a profit with providing a service. Profit and service? Many women are very comfortable in their role as service providers and help their clients a great deal. But when it comes to charging these clients and running the “business” side of their business, they grow uncomfortable. “Is it okay to profit from someone you are helping?” Many wonder. Lynn Grodzki, in Building Your Ideal Private Practice, writes that you need to resolve these concepts of profit and service or you will not be able to make the necessary and sometimes hard business decisions that keep your business healthy.
To be successful in business, you must profit from the service you are providing. Otherwise, you will only be able to provide your service to your close friends, because you will be out of business. I believe that one of the keys to helping you reconcile making a profit by providing a service is to embrace your “masculine side.”
We all have both masculine and feminine energy, and it was Carl Jung who first wrote about the necessary integration of both masculine and feminine energies in each person. Everyone, whether male or female, needs both kinds of energy to be truly successful in life. In general, women have a surplus of feminine energy, and must embrace the masculine side of themselves—their “animus.” For men, their job is to embrace their “anima”—or their feminine self.
Feminine energy is extremely useful to have when you are providing your service. This energy is “receptive” and makes you an incredibly good listener. The feminine side is warm and open to others. It is nurturing and intensely relational, helping you to take care of people. These are wonderful qualities that allow you to connect with your clients on a deep level and really understand their needs.
It is masculine energy that allows you to run your business more effectively. Masculine energy is “outward” focused, and likes to take action. The masculine energy can take risks and weather the results. It is assertive and self-protecting and without enough masculine energy, you can become weak and passive.
It is well known that either your feminine or masculine sides can be out of balance and become too extreme. And, of course we know that for centuries, in our society, it is the masculine that has been elevated, sometimes to obscene heights. I believe that society needs to balance itself out and embrace more of the feminine. However, in your personal life, many of you may need to tap into more of your masculine energy. This energy will help you work “on” your business, while feminine energy is wonderful for working “in” your business. When you work on your business, you can rationally strategize for the future and then take action. You are able to go out into the world and tell others what you do, even though this feels risky. You assert yourself and feel strong in your marketing and focused in your planning.
At times it feels to me that some of us have compensated for the lost feminine in society by smothering our personal masculine. If you do this, you do yourself and your business a great disservice. You must have balance. You must embrace both your feminine and masculine selves. You must have both service and profit.
By Mikelann Valterra
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