Whitney Abraham is a business and confidence coach for female entrepreneurs that run their businesses online. In just 2 years, she built a half-million-dollar coaching business from her living room whilst raising two toddlers. Having previously spent a decade raising millions of dollars for other organizations, Whitney’s expertise revolves around building confidence, sales strategies, and leveraging the Internet to scale businesses.
In her work with countless entrepreneurs, Abraham found that a lack of confidence is what keeps most women from hitting 6 figures in their business revenue. Seeing the same core issues arise for all her 1:1 clients, Whitney devised a program she calls 6 Pivots to 6 Figures, where she helps women adjust their mindset and sales strategies to scale to 6-figure businesses and beyond. Named the Confidence Coach to watch in 2020 by Yahoo Finance, she’s committed to changing the number of women making significant income on their terms, doing their purpose work. Here’s her thoughts on the one skill women need to hone in business, and why:
Time and time again, I’ve sat with women as they’ve expressed all the reasons why they aren’t where they’d like to be in their businesses. I hear the many valid reasons they feel at a disadvantage, whether it’s increased duties as a mother, warring priorities as their families grow, or even close-minded colleagues that don’t take them seriously.
I also hear the silent killers don’t recognize keeping that glass ceiling firmly in place. Those things sound more like, “I don’t want to come across too pushy,” and “I feel like I’m not qualified enough.” They adopt limiting beliefs from the fear of judgement, to imposter syndrome. These beliefs are the invisible barrier to success for most women, keeping them firmly planted where they are for fear of how they’ll be perceived for going after what they want.
And these statements are silent killers, because they strangle the number one skill you need in order to be successful in the workplace – confidence. A study in the Harvard Business Review suggests that confidence is nearly as important as competence when it comes to success in the workplace. I’ve seen this in action with the hundreds of women I’ve coached. I’ve worked with some of the best and brightest women in their fields, and if they don’t recognize their brilliance, or are too afraid to show it, they won’t make it as far as others who boldly go after what they want.
There’s a misunderstanding in our culture about confidence. We see someone that’s confident, and we think it’s an innate trait or gift, when in actuality it’s a skill that’s been honed and crafted. In the same way you learn to ride a bike, you learn to build confidence.
It’s a simple formula I use to teach my clients. Positive Self-Talk + Action + Repetition = Confidence. It works for every new skill you’re trying to acquire. Positive self-talk is a key first step, especially for women, as we need to create new neural pathways in order to actually BELIEVE those positive words we’re saying about ourselves. Getting those feel good chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins) flooding our system is step 1. Immediately following this step is the most imperative, action. You must rip the band-aid off, and do it quickly. Do the thing that scares you, and be amazed when you realize your worst fears didn’t happen! You then continue to show up and repeat the process of positive self-talk and action until one day you realize, that thing you were so afraid of, isn’t quite so hard anymore. This breeds confidence, in all things.
And I wish I could tell you that you’ll do this in one area of your life, and magically you’ll be confident in all areas, but this is more of a philosophy and way of life than it is a one and done process. Because as you become more confident, you increase the risk by biting off bigger projects. Putting yourself up for bigger promotions, boldly promoting your business, and asking for support where you need it. It’s a commitment to the process that creates the kind of confidence a woman needs to shatter her own personal glass ceiling.
And this is imperative, because only 18% of women in entrepreneurship make it to the 6-figure income range. If we are to see real momentum in the way of women in leadership, we must confront the confidence crisis in front of us.