Women Business Owners: Play. Score. Repeat. Just Like The Women's Soccer Team During The World Cup

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

When I walked into my sunroom where the TV was on the day after the U.S. Women’s soccer team defeated Thailand 13-0 during the World Cup, I heard a group of talk show hosts on FOX discussing the appropriateness of the 13-0 score. FOX is broadcasting the Women’s World Cup this year.

What wasn’t mentioned in the seconds of the segment that I heard, was the previous year’s win of 9-0 the U.S. Women’s team had over Thailand. Or that it was the biggest blowout in history for men or women. Or that it broke the previous record of 11-0 win of Germany over Argentina in 2007. Or that “star striker Alex Morgan scored an astounding 5 goals to tie a long-standing record set by Michelle Akers against Taiwan in 1991,” as pointed out in this New York Daily News article. Or that in soccer, goals matter for a match tie breaker among teams and games played.

An article in The Washington Post by Steven Goff included many of these facts in his overview of the situation, and presented this concept: “The score also raised questions about whether the three-time champions needed to continue hunting for goals.”

Is There Room For Appropriateness In Hunting For Goals?

Hunting for goals is the name of the game. This isn’t a scrimmage. This isn’t a passing exercise. This is the World Cup. The whole point of the game is to score goals, not to apologize or hold back out of politeness.

In the article, defender Kelley O’Hara was quoted: “You don’t want to take your foot off the pedal because you want to respect the game and play them as you would play anyone else. It is a tournament. Goal differential matters. You can’t feel bad for scoring as many goals as possible.”

Turn Passion Into Profit - Is Appropriateness Factored Into Profit?

This reminded me of women in business, who are conditioned and encouraged to follow their passion. “Turn your passion into a paycheck,” is often how it goes. But winning, being a breadwinner, paying the bills, saving for retirement, aren’t usually part of the cliches in pretty Instagram quote posters. Instead, supporters on the home-front may show support, while at the same time, say things that condition a woman to hold back. Like any of these statements:

“If you have a storefront, will it suck you away from the family?”

“I don’t want to financially support a product you think you have, but don’t.”

“Why do you need an LLC (aka any business entity)?”

“The kids miss you.”

“Lower your fundraising projection because the other kids may not fund raise as much, and then you’ll stick out and it might make them feel bad.” (I actually said this one - fortunately my 9-yo daughter called me on it.)

Falling passively behind in our competence can happen easily, thus slowing down the business creation and growth.

Conditioning Women To Back Down Via Everyday Examples - Watch For It

The criticism that was being marketed on TV the morning after the game played right into the hands of casually conditioning women on how they should be in this world: Passive. Polite. To step aside. To step around. To not make someone feel uncomfortable. To not be bossy. Respectful to the point of deadness.

Couch Critics had typed into Comment boxes: “They should have let the clocks run out. I hope they slink home. I hope they don’t get paid what they are fighting for right now.”

Polite vs Getting The Job Done

When you’re on the field, as when you are engaged in the business you have created, you are running your heart out. All of your endorphins and adrenaline and smarts are pumping at their highest levels. When you have physically trained for this moment for years of your life, you are not going to step aside and say:

“You know what, I won’t score on you.”

”You know what? I don’t want to make you feel bad.”

”You know what? I’m sorry that your defense could be better. I’m sorry that you’re not as good as you could be in the goal. I’m sorry that your country hasn’t invested enough systematically into women to give you better coaching, encouragement, belief and motivation.”

”I’ll just bring this ball right to your goal, freak you out, and then kick it aside to my teammate. My teammates and I will just play pass-the-ball to each other on your end of the field until the clock runs out, which could be many minutes from now, which in sports, should normally stretch out into an hour, but because the those wanting women to be polite will be offended for you, we will make this game as unexciting as possible, doing nothing, except passing and dancing around you. And then we might get critizised for teasing you or showing off with our fancy footwork. And we might even get in trouble for not ‘showing up’ and competitively respecting the other team with honest goals.”

Wake Up, Women

You know what? This mentality is real, and is what keeps women down. It is spoken to women by other women and men, and by the most important person: one’s own self. It is what keeps women not growing their business into the successfully streamlined businesses they can be. Small or large businesses. Doesn’t matter. Women are conditioned to step aside and be polite.

When a woman shows aggression, when she shows success over and over again, the haters get jealous. Admit it. You’ve seen business creators in your Instagram, and you may have thought: “When will they stop? When will they give up? When will they stop showing this win with their latest new idea or feature in the media?”

Women’s Self-Sabatoge Mislabeled “Sportsmanship”

Women easily self-sabatoge, opting to pass the ball around the goal, and not score. Even if the scoring is easy. Even if with teammates and conditioned teamwork, the scoring, the executing of good ideas, the satisfaction of completing what is practiced after so many years of long weekends or long nights and Monday holiday work sessions, is successfully completed time and again.

Letting the clock run out and not scoring in a World Cup championship is not what athletes and professional teams do during championships. Letting the clock run out is not how you grow your business. Not scoring is not why you created this business.

Surround yourself with teammates who will condition what you need to get sh*t done. That could be increasing your profits. That could be planning your retirement. This could be growing enough that you actually step away and actually go on vacation. Because honestly, who wants to keep working from the beach? You want to lay out in the sun and play volleyball on the beach, and swim with the dolphins.

Let your business do this for you. Be a winner. Keep scoring. That is why you’re playing.