I received an email from one of my mentoring mums the other day. She was questioning her role on my site as she did feel '...rather a small pea compared to the fantastically high profile mothers...' I had on board. It wasn't the first email of this type and it won't be the last. And every time I receive this sort of correspondence it makes me want to shout the same thing - 'Mums! Stop selling yourself short!'
I'm not sure why, whether it's the time away from the workforce, the moving into new fields of business, gradual wearing down by your kids or other reason but I have never come across a group of people who (in general) so grossly underestimate themselves.
At a time when we are all juggling home, kids, husbands, social lives, work, business etc etc and proving how amazing we are on a daily basis you would think we would all be walking ego maniacs but the opposite is true. Instead of referring to the incredible things we are achieving, we keep insisting on comparing ourselves with other people, other achievements, our own mothers and coming up short.
But let me let you in on a few realisations I have picked up along the way:
1. That businessmum is more high-profile than you because she has been in business for 10 years longer or has had the money to spend on PR or her husband's in business with her etc. Her journey is different to yours and therefore you are in different places, so there is no point in comparison.
2. Hell! Stop comparing yourself with others all together! If you must use people as a yardstick, simply observe where they are and recognise this is where you would like to be and make it happen. But don't let it make you feel bad.
3. No one person has it that together - you don't see them curled up in a ball on the bed at home dealing with stress, doubts, disapointment and depression. They will always show a different face to the world and it will always look good from the outside.
4. We are amazing people with education, travel, career, business and mothering behind us. We also have eyes and ears, we have opinions and ideas, we have friends and contacts. Even if you are just starting out in business you will always have something to offer because you have lived and have experience to draw on.
So, what am I going to write back to my mentor? That I chose her because I see something in her that she should also be able to see. That she is an intelligent, experienced, bright woman and that I see what she has to offer my clients, even if she doesn't. And the reason I chose my other mentors wasn't because they were high-profile but for exactly the same reason she is on my books. And then I'm going to shout Mum! Stop selling yourself short!