Providing the alternative argument that women don’t have to choose between career and home, and insights on how women can create passive income through a business.
“I think too many people have made a priority of things like work or their career but at the end of the day, you work so that you give your kids a better life. You work so that you have freedom, you work so that you live a good life, but people instead have been taught to hide those more important things so that they can show up to work, but it should be the opposite. Balance is a lie.”
In North America, we have undergone three waves of feminism since the end of the 19th century. In the first wave, women fought for access and equal opportunities. In the second wave, women fought for a seat at the table — to not be oppressed in their workplaces, yet were still responsible for maintaining the household. In the third wave, the one we’re currently in, women are required to negotiate with themselves, on what to sacrifice and what exchanges to make in order to sustain their families, while pursuing their careers.
Despite the significant progress that women have made, there still remains disparity between men and women when it comes to household obligations. There’s a subliminal expectation that women need to “balance” both career and family, whereas the expectation for men is significantly lower. Working moms often experience something known as “mom guilt”, in which they experience feelings of shame for not spending enough time with their children. As a business owner, this becomes even more prominent because there’s not a set, 9-5 schedule.
There needs to be a change in the way this narrative is told. Balance is essentially impossible for women, if they’re given unlevel amounts of responsibility. The purpose behind having a career and making their own money is so that women can have more freedom and more opportunities to give their children a better life; not so they have to make a choice between having a successful career and their families.
This is something that Jessi Penner, CEO and founder of Fixe Beauty and Jessi J Coaching emphasizes on her female-led entrepreneurial platform. Her story of taking her lash business from zero to seven digits, while raising kids is one that proves that it is possible to not have to sacrifice the important things in your life, in order to be successful.
Jessi Penner created Scale Society to teach women how to scale their online businesses faster and shares her insights on why women should create passive income and can be present for the things that are important to them.
Design Your Work Around Your Life
Your work is subsistence that provides fuel to the priorities in your life. When our society is defined by ‘hustle’ culture, it is common that our true priorities, like family, have to be worked around our jobs.
Owning a business requires an enormous amount of time and mental dedication, however, unlike a job if it is built to a point where it is sustainable on its own, you can be paid ten folds the time you originally put in.
There are certain things you might have to “say no to in the beginning, in order to say yes later”, says Penner. Realistically, you cannot be at a soccer game and try to land an important sales deal at the same time. Your end goal is not to spend twelve hours a day slaving for your business, forever; it’s to grow it to a point where it’s self-running and manageable so that you can say yes more to the important things in your life. It is not having to find ‘balance’, rather it is about realizing that there are going to be seasons of your life where you have to put in more to your business, in order for it to scale to the level you need it to be.
Keep What you Love, Outsource the Rest
Once there is proof that your business model is working (more customers, more revenue) — the priority should rest on how to grow and scale that so that eventually your business is set to generate profits, even when you’re not there.
With the available capital you have, decide about what resources you need to scale your business. This means investing in the right tools and people and simultaneously letting go of things that don’t generate value for your business.
Learning to accept support is a crucial factor, in order for you to be fully present for the important aspects of your business and life. Once your business starts gaining traction, there will only be increasing amounts of responsibilities to handle. Trying to juggle everything in the business means you’re unable to put your full effort into the skills you are best valued for, which is why delegation is important. Once Penner’s online business took off, she hired more support to manage the growing communities on social media. This freed up her time to allow her to focus on what was most important to her; building a coaching business and community that empowered women to scale their own businesses.
Change your mentality to ditch the guilt from not “working enough” and not meeting unreasonable expectations, and instead, keep the things you love and outsource the rest.
This will help ensure that you are only giving your best hours to your family and work..
To pose a challenge to the original concept that balance is required for a woman’s career and life, Penner asserts that sacrifices need be made, but they must be ones that will create more freedom and abundance in the future.
From her own thriving beauty business, she realizes the potential that exists for women to control their own schedules and create profitable businesses around their families. The crucial steps involved in building a seven-figure empire involve being intentional about where you’re putting your time and making your priorities crystal clear.
“And that I think is what’s going to change our entire culture – that’s going to change our relationships at home, and it’s going to change our economy because women are capable of making a lot of money”.( — Jessi Penner)