Women, When Are We Going To Stop Pretending That We’re Collaborating (And Struggling When We Try)And Start Actually Working Together?

Recently I’ve been drawn to take a pulse on where the Feminine is at right now when it comes to the journey of connection, collaboration and co-creation.

Because whether we’re compelled to devote ourselves to these big visions that we’ve received, or we’ve joined an existing startup team to lend our rich and deep expertise to launch and/or support someone else’s vision to come to fruition, then there really is no getting away from the fact that we’re going to have to learn how to work effectively with other people.

The same old, “I’m going to make it happen all on my own”- mentality just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

So how do we do it?

And I mean really do it, rather than just paying lip service to it.

Because you may have noticed that you really don’t hear or see much in terms of effective, inspiring, vibrant and juicy, collaboration or co-creation going on out there in the world really.

Especially when it comes to women.

You may see the occasional jointly hosted podcast, affiliate partnership deal, or limited time tag-team coaching package, but enduring partnerships, working towards a truly shared vision, not so much.

Women seem to really struggle to grow and build stuff TOGETHER.

Which is strikingly at odds with all the hype that’s out in the collective about the “Rise of the Divine Feminine”, and the importance of us redressing the imbalance of a longstanding entrenched patriarchy.

The best thing we seem to have when it comes to women supporting or championing other women these days is gifting circles or goddess circles, which despite the various benefits they may offer, don’t even come close to constituting truly collaborative or co-creative business endeavors towards any kind of SHARED VISION.

And I get it.

Because collaborating and partnering is not an easy thing to do.

As a woman, historically it was hard enough to form healthy and enduring friendships with other women without some kind of jealousy arising, a fall-out taking place or us drifting apart as my life changed at a rate of knots.

Because it’s one thing to be connected to women socially, to exchange updates about where our lives are at, to hear the latest news about their intimate relationship or their children, or even to listen attentively about what new endeavor or launch they have their attention on, but it’s a whole other thing when you commit to start pursuing a vision together, and start venturing into the territory of mixing your financial interests.

I remember being captain of a sports team back at my all-girls school and when the time came to pick who I wanted on my team from the crowd of girls, naturally my mind would click into:

“Weed out the weak ones.
Be careful of the ones you know are already competitive with you or jealous of you.
You want the ones you choose to be strong and capable, but also open to leadership and direction.”

And nothing really changed into adulthood.

Because I believed that when it came to creating a real business partnership, a true business partnership, a balanced business partnership with other women, here’s what would typically come up for me:

1. I didn’t want to be the central brand or the boss, I wanted them to be as smart and capable as I was so that I wasn’t carrying the burden of responsibility;

2. I wanted them to have a level of embodied wisdom that rendered them just as good at providing value, and in their confidence in their ability to do so;

3. I wanted them to be as good or better than me at articulating their perspective and proactively and consistently putting out content;

4. I wanted them to be financially aware and financially responsible, so I could trust how they showed up when it came to finances;

5. I wanted them to honour my desire for intimacy and provide enough spaciousness for me to have that in my life, and honour my desire for freedom enough that they weren’t always pulling for my attention;

6. And if they were also in or pursuing an intimate relationship, for them not to be the kind of woman who disappears into a relationship vortex and loses herself, her identity, her ability to communicate with me and her focus on the business in the process;

7. They needed to be strong enough to give me good feedback, that I could take in, hear and respect, so that I didn’t steamroller all over them (even if that meant raised voices at times) without it devolving to an all-out power struggle;

8. They needed to be resilient enough and open enough to stay in the hard conversations with me and reciprocally take my feedback onboard too;

9. They needed to have a balanced enough masculine and feminine so that while being able to stand up to me, she could also be soft and nurturing, be with me in my breakdowns and tears, and stroke me like a cat when I needed it; and

10. They needed to be able to have fun and know how to blow off steam with me too.

I could go on, but you get the gist.

And it’s funny because in reading that list, you may notice that it’s oddly reminiscent of the qualities that you would want to have in a good intimate relationship partner too.

Because business partnership really isn’t all that far off from intimate partnership, marriage or choosing to have a baby with someone.

It requires an equivalent level of devotion and the embodiment of many of the same qualities.

But, as women, much of the way we’ve been conditioned has been to prioritize our intimate relationship first, over business. It was the theme of pretty much all the Disney fairytales growing up, and many of us were probably taught and encouraged by our families to, first and foremost, focus on becoming the kind of women who could attract a mate who could look after us.

Someone who our fathers could hand us over to and know that we’re safe and taken care of.

I know I was.

Purpose was viewed as a nice-to-have.

Something you could pursue until you settled down into your own personal fairytale.

But the real raison d’etre of Life was to settle down, make your parents proud and bear off-spring.

And so, if that’s been the case for us, then when we come into contact with other women in a business context, it’s not surprising that somewhere deep inside us (and for some it’s deeper than for others) there’s often a part of us that wonders whether the other woman is really that committed.

Whether she’s really going to stick around.

Or whether the moment her Prince Charming comes along, or there’s the possibility of her resources being taken care of elsewhere, or things get messy with her beau, she’s going to jump ship and abandon you.

Because I imagine many of us have had a friend like that (or been a friend like that). You know, the one who gets a boyfriend and then goes radio silent on you and you know how much that hurts.

And then, add to that in the context of a business endeavor:

- How we so often in our minds put ourselves above or below the other woman due to family conditioning, a tendency toward pedestooling, one-upmanship or belittling;

- How we have been bred to be competitive with each other throughout our education and professional careers whether in pursuit of accolades, prestige, financial bonuses or a mate;

- The way we’ve been conditioned to compare ourselves to each other in terms of our beauty, our bodies, our clothing, our innate gifts and our outward performance;

- How our family environments and the media we consume often cultivate a scarcity of love and attention within us, such that when our business partner is receiving attention (whether romantically or from the marketplace) at some level we can’t help feeling inadequate or less than by comparison;

- The ways we judge or feel impacted by how the other person is navigating their financial, sexual, emotional and relational landscape but don’t necessarily feel like it’s our place to speak to it (and don’t want to have to deal with the drama of their triggers);

- The ways we secretly wonder about or scrutinize how the other person is spending their money……

Again, I could go on, but you get the gist.

And because this is a woman partner (or partners) that we’re talking about here, and our relationship with them doesn’t go to the heart of our survival instinct and our ability to procreate in quite the same way as it does in our intimate relationships with men, somewhere, somehow, it feels easier (although not necessarily less painful) to jack it in and cut ties when the going gets tough, hire someone else, double down on going it alone, or refocus our attention on finding a mate that we can rest into becoming dependent on.

But, that’s:

EXTRAORDINARILY EXPENSIVE

EXCEPTIONALLY TIME-CONSUMING

OFTENTIMES REQUIRES US TO HAVE TO FIGHT IT OUT OVER IP

REBUILD OUR REPUTATION, FAITH AND/OR BRAND WITHOUT THEM

And, even after all that, if we’re not addressing the root cause of the judgments, aversion, mistrust, jealousy, competitiveness, insecurity and all round lack of self-responsibility within ourselves for how we’re creating those very experiences in our own lives and relationships, it only serves to set us up for a rinse and repeat the next time around anyway.

And ultimately, that’s no formula for stepping up as embodied examples of the Divine Feminine rising in connection, collaboration, coherence and co-creation with one another.

So, the bottom line is that if you’ve received a vision that you know you need to collaborate and partner with others on, or you’re involved in a startup that’s already moving toward a vision together, then how long are you going to procrastinate in navigating these kinds of internal blocks, keep struggling to hold it together and keep pretending that your friendships (no matter how deep) or your surface business connections with other women are you living anything close to true “new paradigm” collaboration or co-creation?

In a global environment of social isolation and social distancing, now more than ever those of us who identify as change agents, change catalysts or soulful entrepreneurs are being called to step up, embody the new codes and be the change we wish to see in the world.

So ladies, this is a call to action.

And as someone who has been on a 4.5 year journey:

- In business partnership with another epic, badass, female business partner in pursuit of a shared vision;

- Along with two powerful REAL men who have (miraculously) held us in unwavering unconditional positive regard, stood up to us when needed, guided us and championed our rise, for the duration;

- Where we’ve dived deep into the terrain of relationship and business and worked out some deep personal, interpersonal, familial, ancestral, archetypal and collective sh*t;

- Navigating the topics of sex, power, control, intimacy, freedom, and life partnership;

- Lived together, worked together, played together; and
Created financial awareness together and shared all of our resources.

I’ve learnt A LOT that I’m now ready to share.

So if you’ve made it all the way to the end of this post and it’s made you a little uncomfortable….

Good.

Then you’re finally sensing into your responsibility here to start walking your talk and learning how to be in the kind of relationships (with the women who truly share a deep devotion to your vision) that are nothing short of essential to creating a more beautiful world.

Fortunately, I’m now opening 3–5 one-on-one coaching slots to work with me, to support powerful visionary women to access the collaborative and co-creative power that lies within their relationships with other women in business.

This is for you if:

(a) You are currently in an uncomfortable conflict with a female business partner, it’s sapping creative energy out of what you’re doing, affecting revenue generation or is a risk to raising more investment, and you know you need to address it NOW;

(b) You somehow keep finding yourself in conflict situations with other women, whether in love, friendship or in business (whether those conflicts are expressed or not) and are ready to learn how to shift the pattern;

© You are looking to rebuild your trust in women after one or more of those relationships painfully fell apart;

(d) You realize that you keep avoiding getting into business with other women (whether consciously or unconsciously) but also really yearn to have those kinds of deep connections in your life; or

(e) You’re ready to become the kind of woman who can attract a good match as a female business partner who is as devoted to the vision as you are.

If you want support with any of the above, then reach out to me.

Or comment below if you’re interested in having a conversation with me.

This will be the lowest investment it’ll ever be…so JUMP NOW.

With blessings,

Anna

As a former lawyer, Anna merges material world memories, tales of transformation and embodied experience in articulating the future of collaboration

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