Leaders take note: the era of leadership transparency has arrived

A significant shift in leadership is afoot and it’s begun to impact leaders worldwide, spanning government, business, media and entrepreneurship. It’s been brewing for some time and we are now starting to see how it’s unraveling leadership as we’ve always known it and demanding more of our leaders.

Trust in global leadership is fast eroding in 2018. 2017 was described by the Edelman Trust Barometer (Edelman) as a ‘global implosion of trust’ and a ‘trust crisis.’ 2018 has been described as the ‘battle for truth.’ It’s no secret that confidence in executives, CEO’s, politicians and our media is wavering, as is our trust in large corporations. People are now indicating they consider their peers more credible than their leaders.

What’s driving this plummet in leadership trust?

There’s been a few catalysts that have created the perfect storm, namely the rise of the internet, the influence of the millennial workforce and the diversification of leadership pools. This has fundamentally resulted in a saturation of examples of conflict between what leaders say and what they do, or what they say and what the data says.

There are many examples of this across various industries

The most recent including the criticism of Barnaby Joyce defending the values of ‘traditional marriage’ during the Australian marriage equality debate whilst simultaneously engaging in an alleged affair with a subordinate – a matter compounded by the decision of mainstream media not to report during his New England by-election, the unprecedented amount of male leaders being called to account over alleged sexual harassment through the #metoo movement and some banks claiming they care about helping their customers to achieve their financial goals whilst questions have been raised about how their products actually benefit them.

Understandably, this has created cognitive dissonance amongst the masses. Disillusionment and dissatisfaction is growing and the nature of the modern world means it will likely get worse for leaders who fail to adapt.

The power of instant access

Notwithstanding the rise of ‘fake news’ in the modern world, we have faster access not only to the rest of the globe, but also to vast amounts of credible knowledge, data and technology. Our ability to acquire, analyse and make informed decisions on this basis is influencing decision making. Once our leaders were the sole source of data relied upon. Now we have the ability to source independent information and viewpoints to comparatively assess leadership credibility.

With the rise of social media and in turn, personal branding, we now have instant access to our leaders and a peak into their world. This has been both a benefit and detriment in many cases, the latter where effective branding strategy is lacking.

Trust is a precious commodity to be earned

We’re moving away from the hierarchical ‘tell-do’ relationship with leaders and evolving into partnerships. Millennials, in particular, are expecting our leaders to be experts in their field and to partner with talent utilising a mixture of nurture and mentorship. At a deeper level of personal branding, trust is no longer automatically given and now has to be earned by leaders. We’re already in a place where personal branding is the number one determiner between whether clients will choose to buy from you, voters to vote for you or employees to work with you. However, more than who you say you are, they want substance to prove it; the connection between what you say and what you actively do. Your personal character matters in leadership.

Diversification through independent platforms

Despite the fact that the diversification of leadership has been slower than watching grass grow, there are now more minority groups entering leadership in various ways across government, business and entrepreneurship. We are seeing a bigger variety of leaders with different backgrounds, cultures, experience and other demographics taking centre stage, some through their own independent platforms.

Now that the changing tides are here, how do leaders differentiate themselves?

Leaders who succeed in building genuine brands on a foundation of transparency and trust will be the only leaders who will achieve credibility moving forward.

It’s not enough to toot on about your values or write impassioned commitment statements about the problems you’re ‘aiming’ to solve. People want more. They want leaders to demonstrate how you are practically delivering on your promises and to see the measurable progress you’re making towards achievable outcomes.

The age of transparency is upon us. The single most important attribute of any leader moving forward will be leading with transparency. Soon, there will be nowhere left to hide.

Shevonne Joyce
The dangerous new trend of 'trial by social media.'

There seems to be a concerning new trend emerging of ‘trial by social media.’ There's a couple of ways this can occur.

The first is where someone stands accused of a wrong doing and the alleged victim writes a public post, complete with photos and publicly names and shames the person. The issue is that this can occur without being reported to police or undergoing due process. There's been examples where people have allegedly had their Facebook photos stolen, fake profiles created and suddenly they find themselves in the centre of a social media storm being accused of things they did not say.

The second is in the case of this brilliant Ted Talk called 'how one tweet can ruin your life' by Jon Ronson, a person shares something that the world collectively loses their mind over. Suspending all judgement about them personally, the point is somewhere along the way they thought it was appropriate. Perhaps they made a serious mistake or misjudgement. Perhaps they are seriously misinformed. Regardless, the issue is often the severity of public response. There's a difference between constructively adding to a discussion and hunting people down within an inch of their lives.

The result is becoming a licence for everyone to grab their virtual pitch forks and engage in a public, mass witch hunt and in some cases, taking glee out of destroying another human being.

This is particularly relevant for personal branding and even more so for women who are positioning themselves as authorities in their field. As a person of influence, what you say matters. What you don't say matters. What you share matters. It can have wide reaching impacts for everyone involved and it's of paramount importance that you are working with someone who can help you effectively manage this.

For women such a mass scale show down usually becomes particularly personal by being accompanied by death and rape threats, or threats to your family.

When as a society did we decide that was acceptable?

Due process exists for a reason. If you're a victim of a crime, or witness something that could constitute a crime, report it to the police. If you see something unacceptable or inappropriate from a business, submit a complaint following the appropriate processes either directly with them or through the appropriate body. If you see one of these mass witch hunts unfolding, stop and think before you share and only share from reputable sources (eg. The police). 

The majority of people don’t get out of bed one day to deliberately harm others, but you just don’t know what you’re inadvertently contributing to that could have life long consequences for people.

Shevonne Joyce has built and monetised a trusted and quality personal brand that spans 60 countries. She works with women to position them as the go-to brand in their industry. If you're ready to become the go-to brand in 2018, please get in touch.

Shevonne Joyce
How a pre-occupation with being positive is damaging to your success

Everywhere you turn there are discussions about how to be successful. The messages out there in the market in abundance include variations of ‘think positive!’, ‘be fearless!’ and advice on how to gear your mind to greatness by conquering your negative thoughts. Young and old talk about how they achieved success in business or their professional lives through ‘ditching’ their negative mindset.

Whilst mindset is indeed critical for success, this pre-occupation with being positive is inadvertently setting people up to fail. Mainly because as human beings it’s physically impossible for us to achieve the level of endless euphoria we aspire to – at exclusion of all other emotions.

By our very nature we cannot help but be attuned to uncertainty or danger. Unsurprisingly, there are more negative emotions in existence than positive ones. Negative emotions, when functioning as intended, play an important role in helping us analyse our existence and experiences in the world.  They are vital to our survival.

It’s important to preface this conversation with the fact that prolonged depression or anxiety left unchecked can be debilitating to a healthy, functioning life. If you’re experiencing this, please don’t feel like you need to suffer alone and speak with your doctor.

How does society’s obsession with being cultured towards a constant positive state impact the success of women?

 The problem with our unattainable obsession with being positive is that it prevents us from experiencing a legitimate range of emotions in a constructive way. In some cases, women will go to great lengths to avoid, or be seen to avoid, any conflict whatsoever. They can end up on a relentless mission to void negative emotion from their lives completely, instead of learning how it positively contributes to their wellbeing and growth.

In other cases, the emotion they experience will be further compounded by guilt, shame and anxiety about the fact they’re feeling it. This is evidenced when they express a negative emotion, a fear, a worry, an anxiety or in fact anger and then apologise for it. They’ll often say things like, ‘I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do’, ‘I realise that’s pessimistic’, or ‘I’m sorry for being so negative.’ Often they will also pass judgement about the way they ‘should’ feel as women instead, based on decades of pre-defined social structures and stereotyping.

At a fundamental level, an unhealthy relationship with the spectrum of emotions we feel can lead women to be less satisfied with their success on the whole.

In the modern world, we’re currently undergoing an obsession with ‘re-framing’ negative experiences or emotion, instead of being accepting and comfortable with them as they are. For example, failure as ‘feedback’ and problems as ‘challenges’ or ‘opportunities for growth.’ Whilst these descriptors are, in themselves, representative of the paradox of emotion, the uncomfortable truth is that negative emotion was not designed to feel good.

Failure is not meant to be fun, patience was never meant to be easy, conflict alerts us that there’s a problem to be solved, anxiety tells us there’s something to be wary of. Pain and discomfort can be signals for growth and change – if we didn’t experience them we would never learn, evolve, develop skills or solve problems. Why would we? We’d be comfortable exactly as we are!

On the flip side and in a business context, women who invest in learning about how to utilise their emotions for success demonstrate more resilience. They feel able to build more meaningful relationships, are more likely to try new things and put themselves out there to attract their ideal buyers or chase an opportunity they’d never before dreamed of.

The key to success is not to avoid your feelings, going on in spite of them or to be void of them. It’s about learning your individual emotions, how they impact your patterns of behaviour and how to utilise them for your individual success. Sometimes we are able to do this independently and other times we need professional help and support to achieve it.

A recent example of a client who was experiencing a deeply complex fear of public speaking and public failure. The nature of her business meant this problem had prevented her from being able to achieve the level of success she was capable of – that is, to be the go-to brand. She described the anxiety she felt and then went on to pass judgement about her anxiety. We explored it together and the question was posed, “What do you think your anxiety is trying to tell you?” In this case, her anxiety was telling her there were skills to be developed. Her underlying assumption had been that everyone just instinctively ‘knew’ how to publicly speak without prior preparation or skill.

The minute we’re able dissolve our judgement for our feelings, and instead understand them and accept them, we’re able to move past the fact we feel it and on to what we need to do to solve our problem. With client in question, this included supporting our work together with a quality public speaking course that was tailored to her specific needs.

Yes, this experience is individual and won’t ring true for everyone, but it’s a good example of how utilising a negative emotion and experience to help solve a problem can lead you to the success you seek.

Shevonne Joyce has built and monetised a trusted and quality personal brand that spans 60 countries. She works with women to position them as the go-to brand in their industry. If you're ready to become the go-to brand in 2018, please get in touch.

Shevonne Joyce
4 female leaders who have nailed their personal brand in 2017

Personal branding has been around since the rise of the internet, but is only truly being understood now as we come to terms with our digital footprint on the world. Through the power of social media, there are more women than ever before who are trying to gain a spotlight in a crowded marketplace. As it stands, everyone has a platform, anyone can use it, but not everyone knows the powerful personal branding strategies that enable them to build a movement with maximum impact.

The people we lead are now demanding more human to human connection with leaders they trust and relate to both online and in person. In the modern business world, the number one differentiator between you and your competitors is personal branding. Effective personal branding goes beyond great first impressions and into how you position yourself as an authority in your market. Now, more than ever, trust is no longer automatically given to leaders, it must be earned. Make no mistake that business owners who don’t nail their personal brand in this climate will be left behind.

Who are the female leaders taking the crown for nailing their personal brand in 2017?

We’ve considered many women across entrepreneurship, politics, organisational leadership and celebrities and came up with a list of 4 stand-outs. 2017 has definitely seen an empowerment of women like never before. 2018 presents much potential for many more leaders to grow and refine their personal brand and reap the rewards of their legacy.

The below list are the kind of women we can truly aspire to. All unique, bold, and outspoken, with a demonstrated genuine care for the missions they are pioneering.

4. P!nk

Alicia Beth Moore, known as P!nk, has been unapologetically pioneering the empowerment of women since the day she stormed our music charts in the year 2000. Against strong criticism, P!nk has refused to conform to the typical mould expected of female artists, began to re-define beauty and became one of the worlds’ top earning female artists.

In 2017, she broke the internet with her acceptance speech of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard award at the VMAs with a story about how she taught her daughter about the true definition of beauty through a presentation of androgynous celebrities. It has been described as not only ‘powerful’ but a ‘revolution’ against body image and beauty standards.

P!nk has managed to create a real, bold, raw and powerful personal brand that connects deeply with many on a global scale and positions her as an unstoppable and respected female leader for audiences beyond her music fan base.

3. Jacinda Ardern

The newly elected New Zealand Prime Minister has given the world of global politics a refreshing breath of air. In a world where trust and confidence in politicians is at an all-time low, Jacinda has entered centre stage and, so far in her short time filling the shoes, is absolutely nailing her personal brand.

Jacinda has achieved that perfect mix of being a warm, down to earth and relatable leader whilst also maintaining presence and certainty. She emanates a genuine care for those she leads and the work she does. Despite still finding her feet and growing into her brand, she is taking good steps towards positioning as a leader who ‘walks her talk.’ The impact of this is clear in the comments people make on social media about feeling like she’s the only leader they’ve ever truly connected to.

She is definitely a key female leader to watch in 2018 and we look forward to seeing how she continues to bloom.

 2. Tracey Spicer

From her humble beginnings and, now claim to fame, as the ‘fainting weather girl’, Tracey Spicer has grown into an outspoken, courageous pioneer who is a hero for many women. With an impressive career in journalism and media, Tracey overcame the imposter syndrome that plagued the early days of her career to be a shining beacon for diversity in media and leadership representation.

She has been at the forefront of many worthwhile causes, most recently as part of the #metoo campaign, exposing sexual harassment and deeply entrenched layers of discrimination in the media industry. Further than that, she’s created the Outspoken Woman masterclass, giving women a platform to use their voice without fear.

Her book ‘Good Girl Stripped Bare’ became a best seller when she challenged the ‘good girl’ syndrome that prevents women from creating the success they’re capable of. Her brand is embedded in all her achievements. Tracey doesn’t do things by halves and is truly an inspiration to many. She represents a rock-solid crusader with an approachable, warm and genuine nature, who loves a good laugh. 

1. Penny Wong

Unassuming Penny Wong has created a legion of strong supporters with her unwavering crusade for human rights, including a more personal charge for marriage equality in 2017.

Penny has been the kind of leader who remained admirably collected and staunch in the face of some outrageous, divisive, uneducated and hurtful perspectives, while respectively fighting back with facts, conviction and common sense.

Her unique ability to demonstrate such strength, whilst also being heart-felt and human has allowed Penny to create a brand that is about the people and for the people, whilst also being fair and considered. She holds other leaders to account, has high standards and her impact on the successful marriage equality vote in Australia is undeniable.

With growing discontent in Australian politics, many have begun calling on Penny to become PM as they see her as a diverse leader who can represent many aspects of modern Australia, and in turn, truly represent the people. We look forward to seeing the great work she does in 2018.

Shevonne Joyce has built and monetised a trusted and quality personal brand that spans 60 countries. She works with women to position them as the go-to brand in their industry. If you're ready to become the go-to brand in 2018, please get in touch.

Shevonne Joyce
3 indicators you're not ready to be the go-to brand

Many women think they are prepared and ready to become the go-to brand in their industry without truly understanding what it entails. Becoming the go-to brand goes beyond delivering on the basic good standards of business; it requires greatness. The rewards of becoming the go-to brand are many, including making more money, having bigger impact and greater influence over the change you seek to make in the world. This goes beyond being visible and into being newsworthy. This is about being the thought leader of the modern business world.

If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to become the go-to brand in your industry and achieve what you're truly capable of, this article is for you.

There are many tell-tale signs that you’re not ready, however for the purpose of this article we’re going to discuss 3 key indicators, as follows:

1.  Lack of due thought and consideration:

Women who respond, "I don't know" to critical questions are not ready to become the go-to brand. This includes questions around why they think becoming the go-to brand might be the right way forward for them or what they're hoping to achieve with their legacy. It also includes questions around why they think a mentorship program of this nature could be the best option for them or why specifically they're thinking about investing in a particular expert to help them get results.

Becoming the go-to brand is not something to be taken lightly or a decision to be made flippantly. When you're the go-to brand, it comes with great rewards and responsibility; people want answers from you, they want certainty. Imagine if you are being interviewed in the media as the authority in your field and your response to the questions you're asked is, "I don't know"? It would be fatal to your brand. Fatal.

2.  Not being prepared to do the work

Becoming the go-to brand requires big investment for big results – anything worth having in life always does. Women who ask questions like, “Can I outsource the work involved in this to my team?” are not ready to become the go-to brand.

If you’re going to de-value such a critical part of your personal success as a leader in your field, then you are not ready for it.

3.  Those who aren’t prepared to learn the thinking behind the strategies

Becoming the go-to brand isn’t for women who want quick answers, or to engage a mentor to give them advice on the run, or just want four step formulas to follow. What do you learn from mentors who give you answers all the time? How to ask questions, not how to solve problems. Being prepared to learn the thinking behind the strategy is critical for your success as the authority in your field and it’s this kind of thinking that can be applied long after the mentoring has finished for the continued evolution of your brand.

Success is temporary if you're unable to strategically evolve. This is evidenced with entrepreneurs who have success quickly without being willing to learn the critical thinking required to evolve once the hype is over and the world moves on. We are not here for the sprint, we are here for the marathon. All of the most successful brands evolve with the times, are innovative and keep ahead of their market.

Becoming the go-to brand is building success for a lifetime, not for the fad of the moment.

If you are ready to begin the journey of becoming the go-to brand in your industry in 2018, please feel free to get in touch.

Shevonne Joyce
Personal branding myths, busted: it's not all about exposure

There are many myths and mistakes women make with personal branding. The first is believing that building a powerful personal brand is all about exposure. Here’s a #truthbomb for you: there are plenty of high profile women with all the exposure in the world who are struggling with positioning their personal brand for maximum impact.

Undoubtedly, being visible is an important part of positioning a meaningful personal brand, however without effective strategies in place to have the impact you are seeking, lots of exposure will lead to lots more exposure… And not all exposure is created equal.

At every step of the way, creating a powerful personal brand is about being the leader in your field. Your clients, followers and fans are looking for certainty from you – they want to see the roadmap for the journey you are taking them on. Where certainty is absent, confusion grows and it creates chaos. Not only will a confused market not buy, but they will become quickly disillusioned with your message and seek out other leaders to fill the void. This will impact your ability to achieve the results you’re seeking and to create the change you see possible in the world. Often the key gap between the results you have and those you want are a meaningful personal brand.

Here are the top 3 mistakes high profile women with lots of exposure make with personal branding:

1.      Believing that meaningful personal branding is about building a crowd. It’s about building a movement. A clear, high quality movement that people can align to, aspire to and feel cohesive with. Building a movement requires much sacrifice and investment – it’s about understanding that the purpose at hand is greater than yourself. Many high profile women believe they are building a movement and sacrificing and investing to do so, when in reality, one look at their work reveals, they are building a crowd. Often they’ll have high quantity of followers or fans that aren’t buying from them, or who are liking but not championing. All the best experts know that the number of followers you have is not a quality indicator for the movement you’re truly building.

2.    Thought leadership is more than just publicly sharing your thoughts. Randomly sharing thoughts and feelings without clear strategy on how it contributes to and progresses you towards your purpose and mission is not developing thought leadership. There’s thoughts and then there’s thought leadership. Thought leadership is all about changing thinking, positively disrupting and creating a legacy and lasting change. A selfie whilst griping about how long you had to wait for your coffee, is not thought leadership. It’s griping about how long you had to wait for your coffee. Building a powerful personal brand as a barista, creating a new and unusual blend of coffee and changing the way coffee is produced, consumed and ultimately the relationship a person has to their coffee in their everyday life is thought leadership put into action.

3.    Talking about themselves and blaming clients, followers or fans

This is a hard truth of developing a meaningful personal brand, but it’s an important and necessary truth: your clients, fans and followers do not care about your feelings. It's not because they're not caring people, they are. It's that they care about the results you can achieve for them and the problems you solve that matter to them. A photo of your breakfast isn't relevant to them unless you are creating thought leadership with relation to the breakfast and your post relates to helping them. Truly connecting with your clients, followers and fans means everything has to be for them and about them. A powerful personal brand is merely the vehicle for the purpose and change you’ve set out to achieve. Many high profile women make the mistake of talking about their why and story all the time, instead of talking about their clients why and story. They also make assumptions about what their clients ‘should’ know or understand about them and blame their clients for the results they are getting instead of understanding that the gaps we see in our clients are gaps in ourselves. They are an opportunity to ask how we can add more value to help our clients be their best selves. Ultimately, it's about the change you are creating for the greater good. The most difficult part in all of this is recognising this is a problem for you - many don’t recognise the critical mistake they are making.

4. Cognitive dissonance between an online and in person brand. How many leaders have we been inspired by and yet when we meet them in the flesh, they don't demonstrate the characteristics and values their personal brand is built on? Cohesive online and in person branding is essential, whether speaking at events, working one-on-one with clients or meeting and greeting fans. If you build a personal brand on the basis of empowering women and yet in reality disempower them in every day interactions, that will create conflict between your online and in person brands. The saying is true, it takes a lifetime to build a meaningful brand and one moment to destroy it - ensuring it aligns across the board is critical for success.

It’s true that these problems directly impact your quantifiable results as a personal brand. The good news is that resolving these key problems is possible with an effective strategy and approach. If you’re ready to create a meaningful personal brand that truly connects with your clients, followers and fans for maximum impact, please feel free to reach out.


Shevonne Joyce
The problem with male employees taking pay cuts to ensure their female counterparts are paid equally

Unless you’ve been holidaying on planet Mars recently, you would likely have seen the media coverage regarding pay disparities in the media and entertainment industry.

After being locked in negotiations with Channel 9 for 6 months over a pay dispute involving a pay gap with co-host Karl Stefanovic, it’s been reported that Lisa Wilkinson left to take up an opportunity at channel 10. The ins and outs of this case are still unfolding and there’s many reports and unconfirmed social media commentary that Karl is paid more due to having more roles with the channel than Lisa, that Lisa is not paid for sitting in hair and make-up and that to pay Lisa what she was asking, they would need to cut 10 Producer jobs. Whilst we are not privy to all the details behind the scenes that led to this outcome, what we do know and what has been confirmed is that pay negotiations faltered and by all reports were a key part of her decision to move on.

Whilst Lisa is undoubtedly in a position of privilege that many other women are without, her move has still empowered many. It has demonstrated the power of choice we each have in the face of these issues and that we simply do not have to accept payment arrangements that we believe are not suitable. Further, we simply do not have to accept being paid less than male colleagues for the same role where that occurs.

The second example of this is the pay inequality between Kate Langbroek and Dave Hughes at KIIS FM. Upon discovering that Hughsey was earning a reported 40% more than Langbroek, he took it upon himself to take a pay cut so that the business could pay them equally.

Again, we don't know all the ins and outs of what lead to the difference in salaries between Kate and Hughsey, however there are many calls for men out there to take pay cuts to ensure that their female counterparts can be paid fairly. Undoubtedly, this is a gesture of true leadership and commitment to gender equality and closing the gap. This raises further questions to explore, however. Firstly, why are we asking employees to demonstrate the leadership that businesses, across many industries, are lacking? And, why are businesses being able to get away with justifying having a pay gap due to budgetary restraints?

We are talking about profitable businesses who are claiming their hands are tied in this issue due to budgetary restraints. Businesses who knowingly negotiate and re-negotiate contracts where male employees are paid more than their female colleagues for the same role.

If truly locked in tight budgetary restraints, why are we not asking the CEO’s (or the leaders who made the decisions regarding remuneration) of these organisations to take the pay cut needed instead of expecting employees who, through no fault or responsibility of their own, have found themselves involved in the gender pay gap dispute to do so on their behalf? Where is the true leadership needed to demonstrate good will and true commitment to resolving this pervasive issue?

It’s time for businesses to stop talking about “working towards pay equality” and simply walk down to payroll and fix it. Even where issues are extensive and will take time to correct, leaders need to demonstrate leadership and put plans in place to implement the change needed instead of talking about it.

While admirable that employees are stepping up to pioneer change and taking pay cuts of their own to support their colleagues, what we should be asking for instead is this level of leadership to be demonstrated by the businesses that employ them.

Shevonne Joyce
Death by exposure: the true killer of businesses

We’ve all been there – email after email from profitable businesses and multi-million dollar companies asking us for something or to do something or to 'collaborate' and then the little disclaimer that comes after the big sell: ‘this opportunity is not paid’, ‘we’re looking for those happy to volunteer their time.’

You would be surprised how many opportunities are not paid and how many female business owners are working themselves to the bone for sweet, sweet nothing of the quantifiable variety - particularly as personal brands.

Now, before we get deep into the complex problems that surround this phenomenon called ‘death by exposure’ in business, let’s preface this conversation with the fact that, of course, not all valuable opportunities are paid and not all exposure is worthless. To apply blanket statements to all scenarios would be foolish, because it’s truly about what is most valuable to you at a certain point in time. For example, if you are after your first experience with speaking opportunities, the opportunity to speak, practice and build your profile as a speaker would undoubtedly be valuable to you, even if not paid. Of course, if you are a small business who is after more awareness marketing to build your brand and profile, exposure is valuable to you. It makes sense. Where the value exchange is truly beneficial is when it is mutually so: that exposure means just as much to you as what you’ve given in return. That's true collaboration.

The trouble with this is the sheer volume of requests that women field where they are asked to work for free where there is little, quantifiable benefit to them. Particularly if the other party is making money from your complimentary IP. Justifications for this include exposure, but also ‘building your network,’ ‘strengthening relationships’ or that there is ‘no budget allocated to pay.’ The critical point that is missed in all of this is that it’s perfectly possible to gain exposure, build your network and have meaningful relationships whilst getting paid for what you do. These benefits don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

Asking to be paid for what you do doesn't mean that you don't value the opportunities coming your way or aren't grateful for them. It also doesn't mean that you can't help out your fellow business owners or choose to be generous for opportunities that you're taking up for the love of it or for charities or causes. What it all boils down to in the end is that business does not exist if it isn’t making money and it’s okay to make money as a woman in business. There's a difference between scamming and fraud and making money with integrity. This brings us to our second misconception, that if you're passionate about what you do, you can't ask to be paid for it. Of course, you’re passionate about what you do and of course, you’re passionate about business, but that passion is not a tradable commodity; you can’t pay your mortgage with it or take it to the supermarket to exchange for groceries. Passion is not enough alone to build a profitable business.

There’s two parts to the solution here – valuing our own worth in business and valuing the worth of others. Part of valuing your worth is understanding it, being clear on where the value lies and setting standards with it. This is something that many women in business struggle to determine, particularly as a personal brand. Something as simple as having a rate card prepared and available when someone contacts you can be effective. Having a clear policy on what opportunities you are happy to volunteer for and those you expect payment for is also a good idea.

When the shoe is on the other foot and you’re contacting others to collaborate, ask yourself what the possible benefits are to them and ensure you have a budget that accommodates paying them what they are worth if the benefit is more weighted to you than them. It’s only fair to do so.

The consequences of death by exposure is lots of failed businesses and burnt out women in business. Instead let’s empower ourselves and other women – change starts with each of us, today.

If you're struggling to understand how to price yourself as a personal brand, please feel free to get in touch. This is discussed further in the e-book, The Clever Little Book of Biz. More information can be found below.

Have you heard of The Clever Little Book of Biz? It's for those who don't want to make the mistakes of business women past. This handy little treasure will be your comrade, your confidant, your trusty adviser in the middle of the night when all hell breaks loose on the biz front. A little pot of gold at the end of a rainbow with 7 common questions women ask about real problems they experience in business and how to overcome them. Sans the BS. It's like a little mentor in your inbox. The best part about it is that this e-book all yours for $7. WWHHHAAATTT. Yes, it's true.You can get a clever little copy in your inbox by ordering via this link:


Shevonne Joyce
How sticking to your strengths is stalling the growth of your business

It’s undeniable we have become completely obsessed with understanding and utilising strengths in our work, which coincidentally, are generally the things we tend to enjoy. While we’re all busy learning and honing our strengths and aligning ourselves to the parts of our business that most benefit from these (this is usually ‘doing the do’), we’re often leaving the other crucial parts of our business by the wayside meaning our results suffer. Whilst strengths undoubtedly play an important role in our success and there's many ways we can utilise these in the growth of our business, there's another fundamental piece that business owners are missing.

You see, business and entrepreneurship will force you to learn and take on skills and roles you never dreamed possible. While your strengths play a key role in the success of your business, it’s your weaknesses that hold the key to taking your business where you want it to go. This is because your strengths will only take your business so far before a period of growth and development is required. Yet, we tend to underappreciate our weaknesses, in some cases going to extraordinary lengths to avoid and ignore them, instead of pinpointing which weaknesses we need to develop at any given time.

Of course, not all weaknesses require development. There are some that can be outsourced and situations where that’s entirely appropriate. However, if we drill down into what weaknesses are at their core, they are underdeveloped skills and abilities that given dutiful care, attention, patience and practice, could well become strengths in the future. If this were not the case, learning would be impossible.

When unpacking the definition of a ‘strength’ in the context of skills and ability, it refers to your assets, your talents, the ones that come ‘naturally’ to you - which when you break it down, probably feel more natural to you because you’ve utilised them and refined them multiple times over the course of your existence purely through favouring them. Of course, we all have preferences and tendencies, that’s undeniable, yet we tend to pay less attention to those that are preventing us from solving the problems we’re experiencing in favour of those that reinforce how talented we are. It's possible to be talented and still experience problems, learn and develop.

Humans are biologically programmed to favour that which feels good and we demonstrate this in many ways, even in the language we use. From re-framing ‘problems’ to ‘opportunities’, ‘failure’ to ‘feedback’ and ‘weaknesses’ to ‘development points,’ we are again avoiding the opportunity that solving problems, learning through failure and developing our weaknesses presents for us. Becoming truly comfortable with the important role these elements play in the evolution of the human condition is necessary and powerful for your journey in business.

Our preferences and tendencies to feel good also span across all other aspects of our lives, from relationships, to hobbies, to careers. We will even go as far as adapting our lives, mapping our habits, routines, relationships and businesses to accommodate our strengths, without understanding the limits this puts on us. Take for example, a couple who are opposites who become frustrated at the way their relationship highlights their deficiencies, instead of valuing the opportunity for evolution it offers to each partner.

With all of this in mind, we begin to realise that the success we are searching for is on the other side of the growth that happens when we stretch ourselves beyond our strengths, which in themselves, can become almost like self-imposed barriers.

In other words, the very way to success is through developing your weaknesses.

You read that correctly.

The weaknesses that need to be developed at any given time, will depend on the problems you’re experiencing in your business.

Let’s look at an example to demonstrate this by taking a business owner whose strengths lie in their technical ability, rather than their people managing skills. Suddenly, they are thrust into a position where they are required to lead, manage and motivate a team. What does this highlight? Their weaknesses. What’s the very way to success? Developing these weaknesses.

This leader can learn and develop the skills to help them effectively manage people, if they are willing and committed to doing so.

Does this mean we should completely discount our strengths? No, not at all. Your strengths will continue to play an important role in who you are and what you achieve in life. You will continue to develop them and likely develop new ones, just like a bodybuilder builds muscle. It’s the combination of your strengths and developing your weaknesses into strengths that will take you to a new level for those who are prepared to stay the distance and implement the strategies that work for them.

If you’re out there staring at your strengths wondering why you are failing, turn instead to your weaknesses. That’s where the missing pieces to your puzzle will be. Tackling them won’t be easy, but nothing worth having ever is. If you need any further help, please feel feel free to get in touch so we can discuss how together we can achieve real results in your business. 

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Shevonne Joyce
How to lead in the modern business landscape

How to be better leaders has been a continual conversation, topic for debate and pondered by the best experts since the beginning of time. As the world of business and work evolves in the modern landscape, so too does the discussion around what the magical, unicorn formula is to better leadership. How can we get people to do what we want them to do? How can we reduce the costs of attrition and poor engagement?

What if a key problem to our success in leadership is to do with the questions we are asking?

Questions like the above completely miss a vital point of leadership in the modern business landscape. They focus on alleviating the symptoms of getting it wrong for so long, as opposed to how to drive success into the future. The key to that vehicle comes in the form of a fundamental understanding that being a leader isn't actually about you. It's not about your business. Your bottom line. Your engagement scores. It's about the people you lead, whether they are employees, fans, followers or clients.

That's right, your success as a leader is simply about facilitating the success of others. It comes with great responsibility and sacrifice.

It seems the majority of us acknowledge that leadership is about the people you lead and serve, yet how many leaders are still out there building empires that are all about themselves? How many leaders are out there plugging up holes in their sinking ship, instead of investing into building a new one? It's not to say these leaders don't care about the people they lead or serve - the majority of them do. It simply isn't demonstrated in an effective way and the spotlight is on the wrong part of this equation being, ‘what they can do for us?’ as opposed to ‘how we can facilitate their success?’

How exactly does genuinely investing in the success of those we lead contribute to our success as leaders?

When we shift our focus from what they can 'do' for us to how we can empower and develop them to apply their skills and talents towards the greater purpose, something amazing happens. Suddenly, they become more invested in us and our purpose. They teach us things we would have otherwise never learned. The positive impacts to business become an organic part of the process - it's a by-product of a powerful human to human connection and the cultivation of talents we otherwise would have dismissed.

What leaders often fail to understand is the short term sacrifice for the long term gain that benefits the collective. They fail to understand that the rewards for getting this right, far outweigh what leaders have sacrificed to achieve it. It's like the classic salad and hamburger scenario - we can keep eating the hamburger now, and enjoying the comfort it brings in the short term, or make a conscious choice to eat the salad and be patient for the higher value rewards further down the track.

Now, you may be sitting there wondering if facilitating the success of those you lead means giving them everything they want? This is a common misunderstanding that we need to clear up before delving any further in this conversation. We know, as leaders, that facilitating someone's success sometimes means having hard, yet necessary conversations, or saying no, in the best interests of the other person.

It's the way we go about these conversations, in a way that still champions their success and empowers their thinking, that matters. This often means asking more questions than answering them. The majority of people understand outcomes if they feel they have been treated fairly and that their interests have been genuinely considered. It's a strategy and balance that's important to get just right.

As the world progresses, people are increasingly wanting work with purpose and to feel like their contribution is being made towards a mission greater than themselves. Regardless of whether that mission is ending world hunger or a passion for fast cars, they seek the fulfilment that comes along with being empowered to channel their skills and talents into their work (as opposed to just 'doing a job'). How many leaders deny those they lead the opportunity to do a job better, in favour of trekking the same worn paths? How many leaders forget to ask what those we lead can teach us?

The key to success is figuring out how to demonstrate genuine investment in and care for the success of those we lead - not for the purpose of getting the best out of them, but for the purpose of helping them to be their best.

If you're a female entrepreneur who is ready and committed to being a better leader in the modern business landscape, please feel free to get in touch via www.shevonnejoyce.com so we can discuss how together we can achieve it.

Shevonne Joyce
How a fear of sales is leaving female business owners short-changed

There’s no doubt that the tides are turning in the modern business environment regarding recommended practices about approaching and generating sales. The overwhelming feedback from the market is that people no longer want to be ‘sold to’ or subjected to the ‘hard sell’ that once personified successful sales people around the globe.

From something as simple as being ‘forced’ to opt onto someone’s email marketing list to access content they described as being ‘free’ and subsequently spammed to death, all the way through to deep concerns about being ‘tricked’, ‘fooled’ or inappropriately ‘convinced’ into a buying decision that ultimately doesn’t deliver the results it promises. We’ve all heard the horror stories. The buying market is on high alert and who can blame people?

Women in business often recognise this problem and strive to separate themselves from it. They want to build a relationship of trust with their buying market to ultimately ‘convince’ them that they are not like everyone else. Sales and selling yourself have become words to be avoided and we see this often. People who pre-empt their call to actions with, “I’m not trying to hard sell you, but just so you know, I have this on offer if you’re interested. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression!” through to networks and communities of business owners who have upfront disclaimers that their relationships are built on support and subsequently, sales are not allowed. There are examples of business owners being asked to share their value for free and told they are not allowed to include a call to action at the end, because it’s assumed that a call to action automatically equates to a hard sell.

We’ve reached a point where women are frowned upon for marketing, making sales and building profitable businesses in favour of being liked and accepted by their business communities. What happens in this scenario is that there ends up being large groups of women expending their energy trying to convince others of their worth, without achieving any quantifiable results.

Let’s be clear that the days of hard sell are done for a reason and it’s a period of sales that’s best left in past tense. That said, the notion that trust and sales don’t go hand-in-hand, that support and sales don’t either, that it’s not possible to build meaningful relationships and sell or that if you quote a fee in exchange for work, you care more about benefitting yourself, than your buyer, are all common misconceptions that stifle the growth of businesses.

The result is that far too many women are doing far too much work for free instead of charging what they are worth. Their business is suffering, they are personally suffering, overwhelmed and burnt out trying to understand when anyone will decide what they offer is worth paying for. The point is, it’s not up to our market to decide what they are going to pay for. It’s up to us as business owners to set standards about what helpful content we are happy to share for free and what requires payment.

As business owners, we need to let go of this idea that to be a decent business owner we should give everything away for free and start paying each other what we are worth. After all, when you break it down, a sale is merely the exchange of value between buyer and seller for a product or service that solves a problem. An exchange that fundamentally must be built on a foundation of trust and one that is the life blood of business.

Sales and scamming or spamming are not automatically lumped into the same bucket and it’s important to make the distinction here. We’re talking about the difference between a legitimate exchange of value in the best interests of both parties and fraud. It is possible to build a successful business making sales with integrity, that helps your buyer to make the best buying decision. In fact, it’s essential for success.

If you’re a female entrepreneur who is committed and ready to overcome the problems you’re experiencing with valuing your worth, pricing your services, designing your business model or effectively making sales, please feel free to get in touch so we can discuss how together we are able to overcome it.

Shevonne Joyce
We need to stop sugar-coating the start-up grind

We’ve all heard the industry experts who make comments along the lines of this: ‘it’s never been a better time to start a new business. You don’t need lots of money - you just need a laptop, a phone, a social media account and off you go.’

Statements like these are the whole reason that the vast majority of businesses fail. Sure, to start a business, you might just need a laptop, a phone and a social media account. Go for gold. To truly grow a sustainable business, you need a lot more than that… And yes, you need money.

The main reasons why businesses fail? Lack of Cash flow, lack of customers or failure to retain them and lack of business skills and expertise. Even businesses that are making money, can still die from these very factors.  You see, winning work is just the first hurdle in a saturated market and making money is not the sole indicator of success. Businesses can be making millions and burning millions while struggling to break even due to poor business practices and expertise.

The reality is that hundreds of thousands of women are entering the world of business and entrepreneurship without truly understanding what it actually takes to be successful - and I talk about women because I work with women. They are drawn to it by the glamorous images of people ‘living their purpose’, working from luxurious locations, flexible work opportunities or making money while they sleep, combined with promises that ‘’it’s so easy to start a business these days.’ All these options are possible, no doubt, but to achieve this kind of business success takes grit, it takes grind and much sacrifice. This is what many business owners are glaringly unprepared for because not many talk about the real that goes behind their shiny website.

Many business owners end up leading a double life – portraying the ‘ideal’ entrepreneurial lifestyle on social media and to those they interact with, whilst secretly suffering and wondering how they are going to afford their next meal, because they didn’t realise it would be this hard. This continues the endless cycle of people chasing their entrepreneurial dreams without being adequately prepared.

The key to ensuring you give your business the best opportunity to survive and grow is to firstly understand you’re not alone and secondly, to focus on overcoming problems as opposed to just focusing on problems. The truth is that anything worth having is worth committing to and investing in. This is why investing in your development in business is not just a nice to have, it’s actually the very fabric to your success. In the words of Marie Forleo, ‘everything is figureoutable’ when you have the right expertise and support on your team.

In fact all the best and most successful entrepreneurs and business owners are dedicated to investing in overcoming the very problems that hold them back in business and understand the crucial role this development plays in their business growth. Your willingness to invest in yourself and your business is what will ultimately differentiate you from the 80% who fail. It is here in the 20% that you will find the best parts of business - the rewarding experience of making your mark on the world and being paid for doing what you love, on your terms.

If you’re currently living a double life and would like to chat about how together we can get the results you want and need in business to live the life you want, please feel free to get in touch.

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Shevonne Joyce
The ultimate sacrifice for success in your field

Dear Changemakers
There are two things you need to get over if you want to make real change in the world:

1. Being liked
2. Pleasing everyone

The reality is, your preoccupation with being liked and pleasing everyone will detract from the essence of who you are, what you stand for and your ability to build the movement you're capable of in business. That is, if this overshadows your focus on the end result.

As humans we want to feel connected, liked, accepted, loved, have meaningful relationships and feel secure. It’s natural and it’s healthy when the balance is right. Collectively we can achieve so much more than a single person. This is less about being able to harness our collective power (necessary for success) and more about absolving your attachment to being liked and pleasing everyone while doing so.

This topic is often fraught with misunderstanding, in that – when people think of a person who isn’t preoccupied with being liked or pleasing everyone, they automatically assume the person is riddled with self-interest, anti-social, not heart-centered or in fact, unlikeable. Let’s dispel these myths right here before moving forward.

Being unattached to how liked you are or pleasing everyone does not mean you can’t have meaningful connections or relationships with peers, your network or clients. It doesn’t give you the permission to stop being a decent person or caring for people. It also doesn’t mean you should stop listening to feedback or going above and beyond to understand the needs of or help your clients or supporters. Lastly, it doesn’t mean you should stop taking responsibility for your mistakes or failures – genuine ownership of these are key to growth and learning.

The reality is that creating a movement and making change is not about you – it’s about those you are making the change for. Those who need the change. Those you are helping. Integrity, empathy and genuine care are paramount in every aspect of life – including business and leadership. It is possible to be a caring, kind, generous, inspiring and evolving leader without being attached to whether everyone likes you or digs what you are about. When we are attached to this, it becomes more about us and less about what we are trying to achieve. We are more focused on our fear of being alone or judged or disliked than on the change we are creating.

The reality is not everyone is going to dig you, your message, your approach, your focus or the work you do. Some people will actively try to sabotage you. They will manipulate their own agenda at your expense – these are not your people. If you're attached to how much everyone likes you or their judgements of you or trying to avoid failures more than achieving the end result, you’ll amass a volume of ‘friends’ (albeit questionable meaningful relationships) while at the same time limiting your potential.

How can this be so? Because in your pursuit to please everyone, you’ll dilute your message, your approach, your momentum and your ability to have real impact. You’ll become just another person in the sea of people instead of the thought leader that you are capable of becoming.

Think of some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet right now or the most inspirational world changers throughout history – they have or had zero attachment to being liked or pleasing everyone. This includes some of the biggest pioneers of human rights. If they had’ve had an attachment to being liked, they would never have succeeded at their movement. Just as much as people applauded their bravery, courage and leadership, many others had heavy criticism. In some cases, they were punished and incarcerated.

It doesn’t mean they didn’t care about what people thought of them or weren’t considerate of how they impacted others. It simply meant they understood that in order to achieve their purpose they had to let go of their compunction to be liked or to please everyone. They had to step out of the crowd, they had to pioneer and bravely navigate unchartered territory.

We sometimes forget the lengths that people have gone to in order to make change. Often we sit here seeking the ‘magic pill’ to changing our lives or the world without being prepared to put in the effort. Sometimes this effort can be exhausting, take unbelievable amounts of courage to speak our mind, spread our message and grow our movement. Sometimes it means having hard conversations with ourselves and others and challenging the status quo – even if this is a lonely place. Sometimes it means facing deep rooted fears and resistance and going through many periods of uncertainty.

Ultimately, it means being so focused on the end result, which is often bigger than ourselves, that we are crazy in our own persistence and belief that it’s achievable against all possible odds. Of course, how far you are willing to go to achieve your goals depends on how important the change is. It doesn’t mean your journey will always feel good or be easy or comfortable – what it means is you need to decide how worthy this pursuit is and what lengths you are prepared to go to in order to see it through.

If this is a problem you are currently struggling with in business, please feel free to get in touch so we can chat about how we can overcome it together.

Shevonne Joyce
How could you be choosing to fail?

We’ve all read extensively about how failure is a key part of success in business. This includes mistakes we make and how we respond to failures in our environment. It's generally not black and white - there's not a 'fail' or 'win' scenario and failure can lead to success, just as success can lead to failure.

Have you ever stopped to wonder what kind of role you could play in the failures you experience?

Failure is generally seen as something that happens ‘to you’ as opposed to something that you play a role in. Let’s face it, events external to us shape our experience of the world. What about internal events? The way we think, perceive, respond, behave and approach scenarios? 

Some people may call this a load of mumbo jumbo – the reality is that our internal and external experiences are linked, we just need to choose what we have control over and how we want to influence the result. It’s hard to unpack, especially when you have operated in a certain way your entire life and this is all you have known. One thing you can be sure of however is this can positively or negatively impact the growth of your business.

The beauty and the beast of business is the way it forces us to question everything we’ve ever known. It propels our thinking and innovating to a level we’ve never had to operate from before. It is almost guaranteed to expose all the parts of ourselves that we had carefully boxed and shelved, complete with pretty bow. This is because we are suddenly in a place we’ve never been before… Especially when we’re starting out in business for the first time. What the specific parts of us are will depend on the person... Some will be our strengths in business and others will be opportunities for growth.

Regardless of where you are right now, rest assured you absolutely have control over your failures, even when the catalyst for them is external to you. This doesn't always mean we have control over events that happen, it means finding the parts we do have control over. Sometimes this requires having some tough conversations with ourselves or facing uncomfortable realities about how we contribute to the very result we’re trying to prevent. If you want to fail, that’s perfectly okay. It’s important to take responsibility for and recognise your power of choice.

Here are some examples of things we tell ourselves when we play a role in our own failure:

1.     “I don’t have time for that.” Is it true you don’t have time for it or that you’re simply choosing not to make time for it? If you truly don’t have time for something that’s important, how can you find or make the time? If it’s truly outside your realm of expertise or ability, how can you ensure it happens or gets done? What do you have time for? If the way you are currently spending your time isn’t delivering the results you need, how else can you utilise time? Simply rejecting an idea on face value is contributing to your own failure.

2.     “I’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.” Awesome – now let’s talk about what didn’t work about it – why didn’t it deliver the results you were looking for and what role did you play in that? This is where real change occurs. Just because you tried something, a specific way, at a specific time does not necessarily mean it was wrong or not worthy of your time or consideration. Does it need a complete re-haul or just a tweak? Did you give it a red hot go or just dip your toe in? Dismissing what didn’t work without exploring why it didn’t work or what you learnt from it is contributing to your own failure.

 3.     “There’s no point even trying.” There is always a point in trying. What’s the worst that can happen? It doesn’t work and then you can learn more about what does work. Refer to point 2. What’s the best thing that can happen if it does work? If you approach problems and setbacks as the end of the road, as opposed to a bit of rough terrain to navigate you are contributing to your own failure.  If you are spending all your energy trying to avoid any form of failure, feedback or mistake, you are contributing to your own failure.

 4.     “I didn’t bother doing it.” Identifying what the problems are that prevent you from growing your business is one thing. Figuring out how they hold you back and impact your business growth is another. Putting learning into practice is the next essential step. Sometimes there are quick solutions we can implement in our business, other times real change takes time, practice and investment. If you are constantly looking for instant ‘get rich quick’ results without being prepared to commit to the necessary change you are contributing to your own failure. Remember, progress is more important than perfection. Even if you can’t achieve all you set out to, what progress can you make today, tomorrow, this week?

 5.     “The universe is responsible for this.” The universe represents the external and works in marvellous and often mysterious ways. Rest assured that no matter what the universe delivers, you have the power to choose how to turn your biggest business pain points into the fuel that propels your business to a new level. It will take action and investment on your behalf, however. Are you open to the new learning, transformation, growth? Often when we are closed to an alternate way of being and working is where we pigeon-hole ourselves into failure.

6. "We're already successful." You may already be successful, however it's important not to become too comfortable with your success. As quickly as success can come, it can disappear too. We've all heard about organisations who have seemingly dissolved into the abyss because they failed to innovate. Destination 'made it' is a myth - business is hard at any stage and the risk of failure is still real no matter where you are.

Sometimes overcoming the internal scripts and behaviours that prevent us from evolving into our potential can be difficult on our own. It can be daunting, painful, overwhelming at times. The first step is awareness. The second step is making a choice. The good news is, with the right support and resources you can overcome it –if you want to.

If this is an obstacle that is preventing you from growing a sustainable and successful business, please feel free to get in touch so we can discuss how you can play more of a role in your success.

Shevonne x


Shevonne Joyce
Love Your Critics... For reals.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now how starting a business for the first time, involves endless experimenting, failing, and rejection. Not to mention the motivation it takes to pick yourself back up, put your big kid pants on and jump straight back into the shark tank. Read: Shark. Tank.

Every business faces obstacles – some take off from underneath you and leave you completely bewildered and scrambling to keep up. Others are the slow burn that seemingly take forever to build momentum. Regardless of how your business emerges from the blue, it’s true that you will inevitably cross paths with all kinds of people.

Some who, instead of helping you put on your shark proof rashie for the swim, like to give their ‘helpful’ advice on everything you are doing wrong. Please meet… Your critics.

Now, of course, just because your critics are, well, critical of you, does not mean they don’t want the best for you or want you to do well. There are always the small minority that will literally tear you down to better themselves and then there are others who legitimately are trying to help. Your job is to figure out which category the critic at hand falls into and whether the advice they are giving you is relevant, appropriate or ‘helpful.’

It’s also important that you don’t mistake the qualified professionals for critics – especially if you have paid them for their professional advice.

For this article, I’m specifically referring to the friends and family or people in your network – or perhaps random strangers at the bus stop, stranger things have happened – that are coming from a place of love. They don’t understand that when you are in the throes of pouring blood, sweat, tears, limbs, all your savings, sleepless nights, stress, worry, frustration and an ocean of passion into starting your own business that their ‘helpfulness’ can come across as being so damn unhelpful and sometimes, hurtful.

When your critics make comments to you, this becomes a moment of choice: you can become a victim of what they’ve said to you and throw a big old woe is me party with your own internal critic (critics love getting together!) and completely give up, or you can see the beauty in the underlying message or lesson. This does not mean you aren’t allowed to be hurt or upset by what they’ve said. Sometimes their comments can be damn hurtful – it’s okay to feel and to take time to process that.

There’s so much content out there about ‘why you should ignore your critics.’ This is wise to a certain extent. Ignoring them is more about not letting them rain on your parade, but it’s not about ignoring the learning – that part is actually critical to focus on. So here are three things my critics have said to me, what I’ve learnt from it and why I love them.

1.    “If your business is still going in 6 months…”

This was my first introduction to the fact that everyone quite literally expects you to fail in business, especially the first time and especially in the beginning. It’s understandable, because the failure rate of new businesses is about 80%. Why are so many businesses failing? There’s many reasons but mostly it’s that people don’t understand what it actually takes to be successful in business and therefore aren’t prepared for that. Why would they be when candid discussion about business failure is few and far between – this is the reason we started our podcast, The Business Experiment- to have these very discussions and help people succeed.

I’ve realized this particular comment can generally come from three angles – either the person has heard that most businesses fail and have zero idea what it takes to build a business, they failed in their own business and are projecting that on to you or they are in the throes of their ownbusiness struggle and are trying to prepare you for your journey.

What’s missing however is that no two business journeys are the same.

What did comments like these teach me? Not everyone is going to believe in me. A lot of people won’t. If you spend your time seeking external validation for your success, you will set yourself up to fail. Success happens when you believe in yourself and sometimes you are the only person believing in you. That’s all you need to kick arse at this, because you are enough just by being you.

2.  “How are you expecting entrepreneurs to want your services when you are not a successful entrepreneur yourself?”

I didn’t see this one coming nor had I thought about it before, which is the precise beauty in this question and how much I love it (now). At the time, I was nothing short of flabbergasted.

This question kick started thinking about a few things. Firstly, what’s the definition of success here? Just because someone else doesn’t consider you to be successful, does not mean you aren’t successful. The thing about success is it’s subjective… No two successes are the same. I also started to define why clients came to work with me and what success we achieved together. A question like this is a great opportunity to:

a)    Define your niche – who are your ideal clients and what problems do you solve for them?

b)   Consider what skills, experiences, qualifications, talents, strengths and benefits you, individually, offer clients?

c)    Decide how to communicate the results you achieve with clients in a way that potential clients understand. At the end of the day, the success of your clients contributes to your own success, right?!

3.    Upon announcing that I’ve decided to work with female entrepreneurs to grow their business, “Oh that’s an interesting choice. It’s very competitive.”

 The world is a competitive place. There are literally only a few professions in existence. For example, the world is saturated with plumbers. This doesn’t mean you can’t build a successful plumbing business. It’s about what you individually bring to plumbing that counts.

The world is also full of podcasters. Anyone can start a podcast. It didn’t stop my business partner Jemimah and I starting The Business Experiment (which in 6 months has hit 30+ countries and reached 1.5 million people on Facebook alone).

It’s important to do your due diligence, but if you spend too much time worrying about your competitors, you’ll never find the courage to get your business off the ground. Remember, once upon a time Richard Branson started an airline against the advice of many. If he had have instead sat there and said “well Qantas dominate the market, what’s the point of trying?” where would we be today?

Remember, you are a smart person. Be responsible, make a plan, back yourself and be open to learning (and failure).

Be grateful to your critics and their helpful contributions to your evolution in business (despite how painful they can be!) Without them, you wouldn’t have been forced to think about things at a deeper level, you wouldn’t have found the courage you needed to keep going and you would not have the same level of resilience that you have now. That’s a beautiful thing; sharks and all.

Shevonne Joyce
Why are we so addicted to people pleasing?

Today I want to get real about people pleasing. This came up for me recently last week when I realised that I was actually doing it. People who know me will be like “WHHHAAATTT” - I know… The long story short is… I’m human.

I started to think about why I was people pleasing, how I enabled it to play out in my own business and how it’s preventing me from being able to grow and serve others. I want to point out that I’m not what you would classify as a chronic people pleaser, however there have been times when it’s crept in undetected.

I would like to preface this with the fact that a healthy amount of people pleasing can actually be of benefit to you. Like with everything, it’s about balance and moderation. After all, making other people feel good, helping our clients to achieve, feels great, right? Where you need to assess is when you find yourself people pleasing to your own detriment.

Why, as humans, are we so addicted to people pleasing?

Basically, we don’t want to be alone. We are biologically programmed to be part of a community, a collective, to play our roles, to be loved, nurtured, to feel secure. I’m sure you’ve all heard of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, right? This guy knows what he is talking about. It’s part of the very fabric of our existence and it’s a beautiful thing. Feeling loved, connected, appreciated and accepted is important. Giving and receiving is a key part of our wellbeing and that of others. Being part of a society is about finding genuine connection, friends, family, love, relationships, clients – people who help us evolve, grow and enjoy!

The key difference is between being generous, thoughtful and caring and constantly putting other people before yourself for fear of what they will think of you – at the compromise of your own health and sanity. The reality is, only you get to decide what’s best for your business, life, who you want to be and what you want to do.

We generally people please because we don’t want to be alone, but in reality when the pleasing is off balance, we end up very alone - surrounded by all these people who really don’t give a bleep about us. Because guess what, the more you sacrifice of yourself to appease other people, the more they demand of you – and take from you. Where does this leave you? Running on empty.

I’ve worked with women who have spent years people pleasing and totally losing themselves in the process. Through the work we’ve done together, they have been able to overcome it and go on to create healthy people pleasing boundaries in their business and life.

How does problematic people pleasing translate into business?

There are many ways this can cause problems in your business, but here are a few examples:

  • You end up spending time working with clients that are not the best fit for your business. Signing up clients that are misaligned with what you offer, setting up unachievable standards and failing to deliver or over-promising to land a deal can stifle the growth of your business. Not only will this deplete your time, energy (and let’s face it, money), it will also lead to those clients being dissatisfied with your work.

If you’ve heard our podcast you would know we talk about how “not all dollars are created equal” (wise words by Paul McCarthy). Truer words have never been spoken. As the business owner, it is your responsibility for setting up an appropriate business model and establishing who your ideal clients are, what you offer and how you service them. This means sometimes you are not able to offer exactly what someone is looking for and this is totally okay. One way of overcoming this is to establish a great referral network so you can refer them to other businesses or resources that are in their best interests.

  • You’re so busy trying to please your clients that sometimes you might not be doing what’s best for them. If we aren’t doing what’s best for our clients, where does that leave us? This can include telling clients what they want to hear all the time, feeling unable to constructively say no to them and in some cases just saying nothing at all.
  • You’re making business decisions based on your need to please other people. This means you are not thinking commercially or objectively about what’s in the best interest of anyone. This can manifest across all aspects of business and usually ends up with the people pleaser doing all the leg work, being taken advantage of, enabling their business to go in the wrong direction, not charging what they are worth and in some cases doing a lot of work for free.
  • You people please because you expect reciprocity. This does not always occur nor can it be expected. Decide what you are comfortable giving and to whom its best given too and then give freely. That’s true generosity.

Sure, you might bleep off some people in the process of deciding not to constantly people please – but they are not your people. The truth is people who align to your authenticity are your kind of people and will flock to you like a moth to flame. In this case, sacrificing people pleasing is giving up people who aren’t truly your people, for better people who can’t get enough of you just as you are.

What can you do if you find yourself people pleasing to your own detriment? Awareness is the first step to overcoming it. Don’t beat yourself up, it happens to the best of us. Simply course correct. Change takes time, practice, investment and dedication.

If you’re struggling to break this pattern on your own and it’s potentially damaging to yourself, your business or your clients, the good news is that with the right support and resources you can overcome it and find the balance that works for you. As always, please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.

Shevonne x

Shevonne Joyce
Destination 'made it' is a myth

In amongst the mass chaos that ensued the Donald Trump election, news that Sophia Amoruso’s Nasty Gal empire has gone into bankruptcy in the midst of her Business Chicks tour left many #girlbosses shell shocked. Many people have weighed in on the debate about it already; some showing compassion and empathy for what Sophia is going through and others penning prose about how she only has herself to blame. I’m sure over time we will hear more about how the Nasty Gal cards came tumbling down, however regardless of the ins and outs, it’s an important reminder for everyone that business is difficult at any stage – even when you’ve seemingly 'made it.'

There are many reasons why business is hard (and rewarding – let’s be honest) and when I heard this news, I paused to reflect on how to date there have not been enough business real conversations. People are entering the world of business without really understanding what it takes to be successful in business. This is why my business partner Jemimah Ashleigh and I started The Business Experiment and created the business real conversation. We decided it was about time someone spoke about what it really takes to be successful in business; the good, the bad, the ugly. We talk on our global podcast about all the things that no one wants to talk about and listeners contact us regularly to say things like, “I thought I was the only one!” or “thank god someone is finally talking about this!” Is it any wonder that 80% of businesses fail, or in the words of Paul McCarthy “80% of business owners burn out”?

Often people associate business being hard in the beginning – and it is. However, repeatedly over the history of time, seemingly successful companies have dissolved into the abyss. At this point Nasty Gal plans to restructure and seek further investment. What do these examples tell us?  It’s important to recognise that as your business evolves, your challenges evolve. If you fail to keep ahead of the game, you may just find yourself in a tricky situation.

It reminds us to be mindful of all the moving parts in a business and how they can contribute to its overall sustainability. Whilst this is not an exhaustive list of every factor to consider, I've penned a top 5 as a good starting point: 

  • The supply and demand of today may not be that of tomorrow

Supply and demand is a very important thing – your business will tank without it. In fact, it won’t even get off the ground if there is no demand for your products or services. A fundamental step in creating a business is to ensure there is demand and then to build a movement. Simply meeting a demand now is no longer, in itself, a surety for keeping business alive. The world is moving at a faster pace than ever before and a key requirement for being successful in business is keeping ahead of the game as life evolves. I’m sure we all recall the demise of the Blackberry phone in the face of the iphone or Kodak in the face of the digital camera. Blackberry and Kodak, once profitable businesses, ultimately failed to keep ahead of the game. In fact, an employee of Kodak invented the digital camera and while they made money from the patent for a period of time, they ultimately failed to make the most of the technology before them and went bankrupt.

  • Don’t just have a purpose, live your purpose

More and more people are questioning and care about where their products and services are coming from. Businesses have more responsibility than ever to ensure they are delivering on their promises. If your brand is built on the back of a movement to empower women and you are not empowering women in your everyday operations, Houston we have a problem. It’s more than writing some values and a mission statement. Your purpose must be the fabric of your very existence. From your culture, to your production, to the way you treat your customers, your suppliers and employees. As your business grows and becomes more profitable, the need to maintain living your purpose does not diminish. In fact, it becomes more important.

  • Build a culture that empowers others to live your purpose and your brand

Leading on from living your purpose, as your business grows and you employ staff, it’s important to build an internal culture that reflects your purpose and values. Do not underestimate the power and cost associated with high turnover and what the market is saying about working for your brand.

Just like online reviews from customers is growing, so too are online reviews about employers. The age of transparency is upon us more than ever before and quicker than one can toast a piece of bread, people can surf websites like Glassdoor.com and read anonymous reviews from current and past employees.

Sure, the reviews are anecdotal and there is always more than one side to consider. However, when you have 100 reviews, all saying similar things, where there is smoke, there may be fire. Glassdoor.com receives about 30 million unique visitors each month, which indicates that the world is paying attention. Forbes has suggested that businesses are starting to utilise these platforms as a way to get a sense of their cultural undercurrents and keep policies relevant.

How do you build a culture? It’s important to have policies, values, missions and clear parameters on “the way we do things around here.” Exactly what’s required to build culture in your business will depend on the business. The key is to ensure your culture is implemented in practice. A good place to start is ensuring your managers have built strong relationships with your employees, that employees have the tools, processes and resources they need to do their jobs, feel valued and are clear on their purpose.

  • Enable your thinking to evolve along with your business

Think about your strengths and your shortcomings. What kind of development do you need in order to ensure your business has the talent and capability it needs to pioneer? If it’s not something you are willing or able to develop, outsource it to someone who has that capability. We’ve all heard the stories about employees who were technically brilliant, however had terrible people skills and were promoted into management positions without any or with minimal training.

Learning continues throughout business and throughout life. You will face new challenges as your business grows. The biggest mistake any #girlboss can make, is becoming “comfortable” with your success. Think about the types of resources you might need to continue to develop. For example, coaching, mentoring, training etc. Invest in what gives you the most value and contributes to your overall aim.

  • Understand success and failure go hand in hand

There’s a quote that I love by Maya Angelou which has become a bit of life hack: “Do your best until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Success and failure are less black and white and more a series of triumphs and tribulations. The road, in some parts, may be rocky. Ensure your suspension is up to scratch and do the best you can, with the resources available to you, to navigate the rough terrain. There will be times you make mistakes and blow a tyre. It’s less about the mistake you make and more about how you fix it.

Success is learning through failure. Many of us have failed and reinvented ourselves. All the best #girlbosses do. Embrace it, respect it and learn from it. Remember, destination 'made it' is a myth – we all must continue working hard to reap the rewards of business.

Shevonne Joyce is the Founder of Yellow Palomino and the Co-Founder of The Business Experiment. She works with womenpreneurs to assist them with achieving in business and life. She also co-hosts a weekly podcast about the real of starting a business for the first time and has listeners in 16 countries. Shevonne can be contacted via hello@yellowpalomino.com , on Facebook or Instagram.

Shevonne is guest blogger for Girl Bosses Australia and this blog first appeared on their website on 15 November, 2016.

Shevonne Joyce
How mindset affects your ability to grow your business

Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will likely tell you that mindset is critical to your success in business. Yet, people tend to underestimate how much mindset actually impacts all elements of their life, including business growth. Definitions of mindset vary slightly depending on which source you refer too. Essentially mindset is the way you understand and respond to the world around you. It’s about your thinking, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours and can influence everything from the way we build relationships, problem solve, our creative thinking, how we perceive success and failure, valuing our own worth and more. A lot can be determined about our current mindset from what we prioritise and value. For example, Dr. Carol Dweck talks about the idea of “fixed” vs “growth” mindset and how your mindset can contribute to your success in life. A key part of her work includes the fact that mindset can be changed – the brain can be re-wired over time.

Carol demonstrates this with examples of children in school who went from consistently scoring some of the lowest results on tests to out-performing top schools through developing a “growth mindset.” In her book, “Mindset: Changing the Way You Think to Fulfil Your Potential”, she defines “fixed mindset” as “believing your qualities are carved in stone” and the need to “prove yourself over and over.”  In other words, people with a fixed mindset often have black and white thinking about success and failure and rarely push themselves outside of their comfort zone for fear of making mistakes. This means they are more likely not to try new things and operate within the boundaries of what they’ve always known and done.

On the other hand, in her book Carol defines the growth mindset as having the “belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.” She highlights how this impacts people through focusing on learning as opposed to what you know now - she refers to this in a Tedx talk as "the power of (what you don't know) yet."

How can mindset apply in starting and growing your own business?

The reality is it can impact your business a great deal, in ways you might not have even imagined. Through the coaching work I do, I have seen changes in mindset take place within clients who came to me stuck, burnt out and struggling to overcome the obstacles that were preventing them from getting where they want to be. Mindset in business is about how you operate within your business to cultivate business growth and success.

Here are 5 examples of the ways in which mindset can impact your business:

  • Creativity

From building business strategy, to sales and marketing, creativity is important for growing business. You are always required to think outside the box, keep ahead of the game and try to be original in the way you think about your business. Notwithstanding legal and compliance requirements, on the whole the best part is there’s no pre-determined rules when you are in your own business. The worst part is there’s no pre-determined rules. This requires a truckload of creativity.

Creativity simply cannot flourish when you are stuck in your mindset. Sometimes clients say to me, “I can’t” or “I don’t know what to do.” Referring back to Carol Dweck’s work above, the truth is, they don’t know what to do YET. The beauty of this is, with the right support and resources, it is possible to change thinking, become “unstuck” and work out the best way forward.

I’m a great believer in our potential only being limited by our mindset. A great example of this is how Daniel and Justine Flynn and Jarryd Burns built their social enterprise Thankyou by questioning all the rules, building their own movement against great resistance and being creative in their  implementation. They did not approach this venture from the perspective of “we've never done this before, it will never work, no one will take us seriously.” They googled “how to manufacture bottled water” and went forth with the mindset of “how can we make this happen?”

  • Resilience

We’ve all seen the memes floating around with “failure is the key to success!” What does this actually mean in real life? The failure itself is not the key, what you learn from it and how you grow and evolve is. I saw Paul McCarthy talk at a conference recently and he said “80% of businesses don’t fail. 80% of business owners burn out.” I could not agree more and I believe a large part of this is down to not investing in nurturing and growing mindset.

How do you know it’s time to shake up your mindset? When you’re feeling a bit like a mouse on a wheel – expending tonnes of energy and not seemingly getting anywhere. This is where burn out begins to occur and it can happen at any stage of business. Being able to utilise your mindset to overcome failure, obstacles and adversity, to find the learning and apply it in new and creative ways to move forward is critical. As mentioned above, those who have developed a “growth mindset” are more likely to value the learning than despair over the failure.

  • Accountability

When you are your own boss, no one can hold you accountable but yourself. This can lead to a tendency for procrastination. I’ve coached clients who have a lot of great ideas and are struggling to implement them, which was leading to poor sales and failing businesses. To add insult to injury for them, sometimes they would procrastinate about their need to tackle their procrastination!

Procrastination in itself can be complex. If it is hindering the growth of your business, it’s important to think about what assistance and resources you might need to help you move past it. I’ve worked with clients who have been able to develop tools and strategies that they’ve continued to successfully use after our coaching program finished. One client wrote to me to tell me how she has been using our tools and strategies in her every day life, which I thought was brilliant!

  • Perfectionism

I’ve worked with clients whose perfectionism was driving them to physical exhaustion. It would manifest in different ways from feeling unable to let go of or pass work on, overcommitment and a series of hasty decisions out of fear of making the wrong decision (which inevitably lead them into one mighty pickle).

One example of how you can stifle the growth of your business through perfectionism is feeling unable to delegate work to staff members. This can prevent you from spending valuable time working on your business, because you are always stuck in your business. Being in business is hard, right? You’ve invested so much in growing your business that often the thought of handing it over to someone else can seem incomprehensible, I get it. However, it is possible to work with the clients you want to, build better relationships with your employees and free up more time to take your business to the next level. I know because I've worked with clients who have achieved it.

  • Value and worth

The other day a talented and completely capable woman told me she was unable to define why people would pay her for her services. As in, what benefit they were actually getting out of hiring her. She was comparing herself to others in her industry and how they approach servicing their clients. She knew her differentiator, however couldn’t articulate why anyone would want to pay her for that and she was doing a lot of work for free. She was stuck in her mindset about her value and worth. This is more common than many people would realise and every client I have worked with has had varying degrees of this issue.

In some cases it can be so crippling that people struggle to effectively market themselves, talk about what they offer to potential clients or charge appropriately for their products/services. Through my conversation with her, we were able to unlock the value of her differentiator and suddenly it opened up a whole new world of thinking. She said “Wow! I had never thought of that before.” This is an example of how the mindset can be shifted and unlocked through coaching.

Often people will look to their competitors for the answers. Trying to model your business on what your competitors are doing, can sometimes cause you to miss the value you individually bring to the table. Understanding and applying your value requires self-awareness, understanding your strengths and the ability to leverage your mindset to grow and evolve your value as your business also evolves.

The good news is, it is possible to grow your mindset and develop innovative thinking tools that can span across all areas of your business. Mindset is an important part of being successful in business and in some cases, can be the make or break component to getting where you want to be.

If you would like to chat with me about how I can help you grow your mindset in business, please click here.

Shevonne Joyce
The silly season is the best time to get serious about your potential

It’s November and the silly season is now upon us.

Traditionally, the 1st of November signals the perfect time to break out the bubbles and the cheese board, let our hair down and put off all the important things until the new year… Or does it?

Contrary to popular belief, now is actually the best time to get serious about your potential. Of course, make time for bubbles and cheese platters (and we all need to let our locks flow free every now and again), but more than that, make time for yourself. Many people say that business isn’t personal, however I disagree. When you have your own business, you are the brand. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that ‘mindset’ is one of the most critical elements to being successful in business – even during the festive season.

From now until February is actually the perfect time to invest in preparing yourself for ‘girlbossing’ 2017 like you’ve never ‘girlbossed’ before! Here are my top 5 reasons why:

  • When the world slows down, it gives you space to reflect, grow and learn.

    Some of the best ideas and revelations can occur when your brain stops. The outside world goes quiet and you have time to re-wire. As the everyday demands of working in your business slow down, it enables you to start thinking about working on your business (and yourself). It’s a great time to tackle problems, issues and worries you have been putting off and get your creative juices flowing to sculpt your business strategy for the New Year.
  • Working on your business and yourself now will give you a head start for the New Year.

    While everyone else is rushing back in a mad panic to get their new year’s resolutions in a row, you could be sailing back to work clear on the direction you are heading in – because you’re already one step ahead of yourself! While everyone else is trying to remember their computer password in a fog of champagnes past, you’ll be kicking arse like you’ve never kicked arse before.

    A key aspect to being successful in business, particularly in the beginning is being able to utilise the resources you have at your disposal to achieve your goals – one of these resources is time, which most of us feel like we don’t have enough of. Feeling stressed, trying to prioritise this during the New Year buzz could be counterproductive. Think about what you could achieve if you started now!
  • Investing in yourself is an investment in your business

    “Potential” seems to be buzzword of the century, I get it. The reality is we all have it and it will serve us best if we make the most of it. If you have issues, worries and stress holding you back in business and depleting your energy, potential can be the difference between mediocre and good or good and great. Who wants to be mediocre and just scrape by when you can be good or even better, great?!

    Being in business is hard. The good news is it doesn’t have to be THAT hard if you are investing in the right resources to get you where you want to be. I’m working with coaching clients right now who have recognised that they have the potential to start 2017 renting less headspace to problems and stress and more headspace to implementing goals and strategy to grow themselves and their business. You can too!
  • “Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s mandatory” – Jemimah Ashleigh

    My business partner and co-founder of The Business Experiment, recently wrote a blog about how “self-care isn’t selfish, it’s mandatory.” I absolutely love this sentiment. The way you self-care is entirely an individual decision, based on your needs and personal preferences and can cover body, mind and spirit. People often save all their self-care up for holidays and run themselves to exhaustion the rest of the year. Instead, self-care is something that is best practiced regularly, particularly when you are in the all-consuming world of entrepreneurship!

    Instead of relentlessly being at the grind stone until 5pm on December 23, aim to incorporate self-care into your routine all year round. If you’ve been working to the bone, don’t panic. Instead of putting this off until the New Year, just start. The best place to start is somewhere – and that somewhere is here and now.

    It doesn’t have to be a huge, time consuming or expensive exercise – something as simple as prioritising taking a break from your desk and walking around the block to clear your mind and get your heart pumping can be beneficial. Think about what you need and what’s realistic for you to incorporate regularly. Taking some time out for thinking, creating and problem solving now can be a great way to dedicate time caring for yourself and in turn, your business.
  • Investing in yourself is also investing in those we care about – friends, family, colleagues and clients.

    We spend so much time investing in other people and putting our all into caring about them that we often forget to invest in ourselves – particularly over the silly season.

    When we are our best selves, we have much more to give to those who are important to us. This is true in both our personal and professional lives. Of course, we don’t want to spend the entire holiday season focusing solely on our business – it’s all about balance and being present to the different elements of our lives (including time with our loved ones). However, instead of feeling guilty about prioritising and investing in ourselves, it can help to recognise what the wider benefits could be to everyone who matters to us.

    In summary, the silly season doesn’t have to be entirely silly. It can actually be a great time to begin achieving what you want to achieve now to give yourself the best head start in the New Year!

Shevonne is the Founder of Yellow Palomino and the Co-founder of The Business Experiment. She can be contacted at hello@yellowpalomino.com, via Facebook or Instagram.

Shevonne Joyce
Why business owners should care about what happened to Kim Kardashian West

Shevonne is a guest blogger for Girl Bosses Australia. This blog appeared on www.girlbossesaustralia.com on 11/10/2016.

Unless you’ve been on holidays at the Sea of Tranquillity (that’s right, on the Moon), you have probably heard about the Kim Kardashian West robbery and the extensive media storm and public debate that has ensued. From what I’ve seen it appears people are divided on this topic. Some asking why anyone cares about this, others suggesting it’s her own fault and then there’s a tribe of supporters who are sending well wishes and hoping she is okay.

What interests me about people in the public eye, and particularly celebrities, is that for some reason, as their profile in public life grows, they seem to lose their humanity. People seem to lose all sense of the fact that they are a human being, like the rest of us, who think, feel, make mistakes and deserve compassion and basic decency. They become commodities and sources of entertainment, idolisation and ridicule. Let’s remember that, notwithstanding the fact French police are still investigating and the details pertaining to this case are still evolving, a woman has been allegedly bound and robbed at gunpoint and some of us are suggesting she is responsible for the crime committed against her? This is victim blaming if ever I have seen it.

Regardless of whether Kim Kardashian is your cup of tea or not, the fact remains she is a very smart business woman and a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter. She has built an empire of her lifestyle and monetized her very existence. The fact that she has in excess of 84 million, yes MILLION, followers on Instagram alone indicates that people are very interested in what she’s eating for breakfast, her outfits, her travels, photographs of her flicking her luscious locks and of course, her jewels. Naturally, part of her branding is documenting her daily frivolities. A question has arisen regarding whether she perhaps “brought it on herself” by posting images of the $4 million bling that Kayne gave her. Firstly, we can’t say that’s true for sure because we don’t actually know, however it opens a few great talking points.

Firstly, how many of us are sharing details of our everyday lives on social media? We share images of inside our houses, our location, our cars, our travels, our families, our businesses, the places we love to eat. In fact, if you are in the business of being in business, extensive documentation and content creation online is touted as necessary for business success. Quite honestly, it could happen to any one of us. Secondly, we are all learning the exact ways in which social media is blurring our personal, professional and public lives, including Kim herself. She hasn’t been social media-ing any longer than the rest of us and quite understandably her Instagram feed has been silent since this incident occurred. Let’s be kind to humanity and give the woman some compassion. From all accounts, she is lucky to be alive. People make mistakes but that does not mean they deserve to be victims of crime. If we were to apply the same logic to women who post photos of themselves on Instagram in their bikinis, do they deserve to be sexually assaulted? Of course they don’t. Would we say a man who shares a photo of his Lamborghini deserves to be car jacked? No! So why is it okay to suggest Kim is responsible for what happened to her?

Am I suggesting that we should all cease using social media immediately? No, of course I am not. Social media has made many positive contributions to connecting the world and will continue to do so. What I am saying is it’s a great opportunity to stop and think about how we utilise social media and what parts of ourselves we are comfortable with sharing. This is an individual decision. It’s also a great opportunity to re-assess the way we view and talk about people in the public domain, particularly women. These are some of the #girlbosses amongst us. Yes, being in the public eye comes with great responsibility, but it also comes with sacrifice. This is why we should all care about what allegedly happened to Kim. At the end of the day, those in the public eye are people like the rest of us and they deserve our respect, compassion and understanding – even if we don’t necessarily dig what they do.

Shevonne Joyce is the Founder of Yellow Palomino and the Co-Founder of The Business Experiment. She works with womenpreneurs to assist them with achieving in business and life. She also co-hosts a weekly podcast about the real of starting a business for the first time and has listeners in 12 countries. Shevonne can be contacted via hello@yellowpalomino.com



Shevonne Joyce