"I’m extending my hand to lift you up, and I expect you to put your hand out to lift another woman up."
--(A real conversation between two NAWBO members)
As women, we were once conditioned to believe in the scarcity mindset: there aren’t enough jobs and opportunities for women to go around. We’re in such a different world today, mostly due, in part, to the efforts of NAWBO changing the face of women-owned business legislation and helping to shape policy.
But…though the scarcity mindset is outdated, we often still have to overcome its shadow.
The Art of War for Women (Sun Tzu’s ancient strategies and wisdom to winning at work) by Chin-Ning Chu highlights that there are women who still believe there aren’t enough opportunities to go around and describes the phenomenon with a brilliant analogy.
“In an effort to keep each other down, women seem to have fallen prey to something I call the crabs-in-a-pot syndrome.
When you cook crabs, you don’t have to place the lid on the boiling pot because the crabs keep one another from getting out. As one crab gets near the top and attempts to climb over the edge, another crab will naturally pull it down in its own attempt to escape. As a result, all the crabs go to their collective doom.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are countless examples from history of women who have risen to the top because they’ve helped other women excel.”
She goes on to describe moments in cinematic history that were changed by the generosity of women helping women.
The truth of the matter is that we’ve “come a long way baby” and there are an abundance of opportunities and plenty of business to go around for female business owners. We should all be so lucky to have someone extend kindness to us along the way and help us reach our next level, like a safe haven on a rough journey. I would argue that getting institutional wisdom from someone else is 100% necessary in the life of owning a business, no matter your gender.
At NAWBO we place a high premium on extending our hand to other women and work within the DC chapter to promote helping each other…right out of the boiling water of mediocrity and into success!
We Help Women Business Owners Advance to Their Next Level. Get Connected. Move Forward.