(As promised, this is going to be one of my shortest blog posts of all time.)
I was bored out of my mind yesterday. I mean, how many hours can you sleep in a day without seeming (to yourself) like a complete bum, right? But yesterday I did something that I have never been able to do in my life: Start reading a new book without finishing the one I started. And I struggled with opening The Mary Kay Way because I knew I had roughly 100 pages to finish in Wicked Success Is Inside Every Woman. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am still on my women entrepreneur kick. Trying to read every book I can find written by, for, or about women entrepreneurs.
Only four pages into the introduction of her book, Mary Kay Ash wrote:
“Throughout this book I discuss the specific ways in which women do think differently from men. Such differences are in no way inferior to or incompatible with ‘the way a man thinks.’ And so one of my objectives in founding Mary Kay was to create a business atmosphere in which “thinking like a woman” would not be a liability. In my Company those special sensitivities and talents often labeled “women’s intuition” would be nurtured-not stifled.”
Wow! No references to women being hormonal, moody, criers, etc. Nowhere in the book did she state that women need to abandon ‘acting’ or ‘thinking’ like women in order to be successful. In fact, Mary Kay showed how staying true to who she was-a woman-enabled her to build one of the most successful and easily recognizable companies in the world. Not the United States…the world. Anyone with two eyes knows that the pink Cadillac is synonymous with Mary Kay Cosmetics. Nuff said.
One hundred fifty-nine pages into a book with only 229 pages, I can say this: Everything she discussed and encouraged people to consider in their interactions with family, friends, customers, employees, etc. is based on common sense. She built her empire by treating all people with respect, dignity, and ensuring that she made everyone feel important. People do matter. If one plans to build a successful and sustainable business, s/he needs to acknowledge that business-building begins with people-building. If you don’t treat employees and customers with respect, you will never be ‘successful.’
Women, let’s embrace all the things that make us women. Let’s celebrate them and use them to our advantage, not just in business dealings-but in people dealings as well. Don’t let anyone convince you that ‘thinking like a woman’ is a liability. When in doubt, remember that Mary Kay Ash did it her way and look how things turned out for her!