How Confident Are You Ladies?

Women don’t show up until they have the perfect script. Carol Sankar

What are you waiting on to show up and make your mark? That was the question I began to ask myself as I reflected on Carol Sankar’s presentation during #LEAPAntigua this past week.LEAPWomen-Carol-Nerissa

I enjoyed having only to sit and take in the women’s only session after a day and a half of being part of the other activities at the business conference. This witty Trinidadian who now makes her home in North Carolina, shared powerful truths about her work which evolved from a project she didn’t expect to fail.

Carol is head of a Confidence Factor Movement to get more women to step up and show up in their own lives.

Her work comes out of a four-year study of 100 business women from around the world, who she provided with access to mentors, money and opportunity in an effort to level the playing field. At the end of the project, when faced with investors ready to provide the money to take their businesses further than their bedrooms, only one of the women stepped up and accepted an investment offer, which turned her small business into a million-dollar one.

Armed with a 99% failure rate, Carol wanted to understand why didn’t the women take the leap to fulfill what they’d been saying was their dream to grow their business.

She found that it didn’t matter where in the world they were from, color, background or business, the women all lacked confidence.

“Women stay in the beginner’s circle for a very long time,” Sankar said.

This resonated with me. Although I’ve been an entrepreneur for most of my life, I still felt like a beginner. Even with more than 20 years in media, I wasn’t quantifying my knowledge and looking at the value I was bringing to my clients in any meaningful way.

Even writing that last paragraph was hard. I began to do what she said women always do, we make our fear of what other people will think overshadow our own desire to be bigger than we currently are.

Don’t say it! Nerissa didn’t you write something similar in The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur? Yes I did! Carol showed up to remind me I was living well below the capacity I knew I could and deserved to be at.

Like it is for many women, it is much easier to encourage my clients and especially other women to be bigger and see themselves as successful. But I wasn’t living in the fullness I  desired.

Carol Sankar speaking at LEAP Antigua.
Carol Sankar speaking at LEAP Antigua.

One of the ways in which she said we need to be ready to be bigger and live out our confidence is by learning the language of the place we want to go. If you planned to visit France and didn’t know French, I am sure you would do your best to be able to know the basics. Where to find the bus or train station? How to order food? How to ask for the bathroom?

Adventurous and confident people would prepare to go. Fearful ones would decide to only visit countries where they speak the language they already know or better yet stay home.

We aren’t bigger because we haven’t learned the vocabulary of where we need to be. If you want to be better at managing your finances, then you need to understand what is an income statement and a balance sheet. If you want to take on an investor, then terms such as shares, profits, equity and exit strategy would need to be part of your conversation.

I am still processing much of what I heard and experienced while at #LEAPAntigua. It was a blessing to teach but also to receive as well.

Read more about the study and how to improve your Confident Factor by getting your copy of her book here….

Visit Carol at .