Having someone say “You’re like a man.” isn’t a bad thing unless of course they’re referring to your face hair.
This is exactly what a man said to me this week – I have learned over time that it is best not to react to odd statements. Instead I asked whether he wanted to chat about this a bit. and we did.
I knew he didn’t mean it as an insult even though at first glance, it could be taken as one. I knew this because he is someone that I respect quite a bit and I know that he respects me – so we had THE TALK.
1. LEARNING ON THE FLY
Apparently for years the entrepreneurial space was dominated by men and they had certain characteristics that helped them to fast track success. For example, there is this tendency for men to jump in with both feet without having all the ducks lined up. Apparently this is something that women aren’t known for. I hate to speak in broad terms or “extrapolate from a sample of one” but I have noticed that women do procrastinate more before taking action. Maybe I learned to “act like a man” from all of the years that I worked with men in the army – I do have a reputation for learning on the fly. Personally, I think that this is the way we need to roll in business – course correcting as we go as opposed to playing it too safe.
Don’t get me wrong or read into this more than there is – it’s great to be prepared but there comes a time when you must take the plunge. Done is better than perfect folks.
2. CHANGING THE SCOPE MEANS CHANGING THE PRICE
Ever had one of those contracts that changes halfway through? It’s fair to say that we don’t know what we don’t know. We can get into a project and have the client want things done differently as time goes on. When this happens in business “when the scope changes” halfway through, you need to get the parties back to the drawing board and look at the cost again. When the scope changes, the hard (and soft) costs often change and that means that the price has to change. I have this discussion early with clients. That way it comes as no surprise when the time comes to up the price. This ensures that the client gets the value they were promised while I get paid what my service is worth.
We discussed many other examples including things like the tendency for women to charge the right price and then throw in so many extras that they watered down the price and value. This looks like hidden money mindset issues.
Apparently there are variations in how men and women do business. I have a few pretty savvy business women in my corner who are just like me so I hadn’t noticed until he mentioned it.
So here’s the upshot – I told him that I didn’t think that I was acting like a man as much as I was behaving like a business woman who took this gig seriously. What about you? How do you act?