Randi Levin has helped hundreds of fledgling entrepreneurs avoid fear and overwhelm in business lives throughout the years. She is a nationally recognized life strategist, author, keynote speaker, and reinvention expert. As an advocate for professional women, she coaches them through successful and powerful life transitions.
I recently interviewed Randi about the most common struggles women face when starting and managing a small business. Topics ranged from fear and overwhelmed to productivity and time management to self-worth. I am assured that you will be able to relate to this important discussion.
Fear and Overwhelm in Business
Life Wise Lady: When a woman wants to start a business or take an existing one to the next level, how can she get the ball rolling and skip feeling stuck?
Randi: We tend to stop ourselves right at the door with a lot of excuses and reasons why not. You should think of doing is getting your feet wet. If you’re coming out of corporate and into private, that’s a very scary place. Ask a lot of questions. Is there someone you could shadow or a course you can take? You have to be able to see yourself in that new business.
Life Wise Lady: Sometimes, an entrepreneur is intimidated by her lack of experience with technology, social media, or some other process. How can she avoid getting caught up in anxiety and insecurity?
Randi: My favorite quote is, “Say yes now and figure it out afterward.” We get in our way. Nothing is ever really perfect. If we hang around waiting to launch the perfect product, business, or website, we pass on developing ourselves and stepping into our business. Step into the thing that scares you the most. We all feel fear. Go! Trying things is so much more worth it than not.
“Step into the thing that scares you the most.”
Life Wise Lady: An overwhelmed businesswoman often experiences frustration and is tempted to multi-task. What tips do you have to help her stay focused and calm?
Randi: It goes back to that old issue of balance. It’s something I talk about all the time. The reality is we’re not balancing multiple things. We are balancing one thing – ourselves. What are we letting in our lives, and what are we letting go of? We need to shift our view of balance and ask ourselves if we are fulfilled. We do have to pick and choose. The things we love are the thing we surrounded in our workings? When you answer that truthfully, that’s when it all starts to fall into place.
Life Wise Lady: What time of day do you think a professional woman should take on her most challenging tasks and why?
Randi: I think it’s morning because we are refreshed. If you’re talking about business tasks, always go after the ones that deal with money first. If something is dealing with your service to a client, handle that task before the others.
Take a look at your to-do list. We are all guilty of adding small tasks so we can cross them off quickly. If you had three to five key things to accomplish, you would have a better chance of actually doing them. Put in front of you what is doable.
Life Wise Lady: What strategies do you recommend to a woman overwhelmed in her professional life?
Randi: Give yourself some space. If you detect the things are going south for you or you’re stressed, give yourself to pause. And not necessarily for a moment. Breakaway from the stressors and regroup. We have so much to come to us. Take lunch. Put the phone away.
The other piece is to stay connected. We are so used by social media and through texts and phones. We have moved away from the in-person connections. So, bringing those back into our day takes away stress and allows us to be human.
“Break away from the stressors and regroup.”
Life Wise Lady: What causes the fear of failure, and how can women overcome it?
Randi: People often won’t start something or won’t finish something unless it’s perfect. A lot of New Year’s resolutions stop because they seem like too big a mountain to climb. Reassess what you said. Who is the one who said they were going to lose weight or get three new clients? It was you.
I’m all about growth versus goals. Have the goals and the destination in mind, but what is the process? When you track your success, it’s a little bit easier to get to the result, and failure seems a little less imminent.
Life Wise Lady: An entrepreneur might tend to feel like a fraud or have difficulty accepting praise or accolades. How can she move past these insecurities?
Randi: In business, people say, “Fake it until you make it.” There are many times when we have to leap of faith. When we step into a relationship and get married, it’s all-new. How do we know how to be married? We step into that and learn as we go. When we allow ourselves to feel like imposters, we do not give ourselves credit for living and for all the things we know and have accomplished.
Maybe you don’t have the ten years of experience someone else has, but you have other skills that they don’t. There is something in your history that got you to do what you’re doing now. If we own our story a little bit more, all of it, we can project why we are doing what we are doing. Your experiences are to be celebrated and highlighted. The minute you take yourself seriously, people are going to take note of that.
Life Wise Lady: When should a businesswoman seriously consider hiring a coach like yourself to solve a problem or achieve a higher level of success?
Randi: The first thing is to be aware and understand when you feel stuck. Question yourself. Should I get some help? Is what I’m doing not working?
Sometimes, as women, we will go out with friends and unload our problems, and our friends want to help us. So, they tell us what to do. If you do that, you’re probably going to wake up the next day and not take any advice. Even if you do, it may not work. The reason is that these solutions are not yours. They are your friends’ solutions.
Coaching allows you to answers and solutions to the things that are going on in your life. We take action on the stuff that is our own. If you’re getting at the right things, in a few months, your perspectives will shift, and you’re going to be taking action in your life. Having a coach is very rewarding. It’s a gift that you give yourself.