But I'm Not Ambitious, Do I Need Business Savvy?

Season #1

These are five reasons,  and there are many more, that even if you don't self identify as ambitious,  developing and demonstrating business savvy will serve you well.

Hi, this is Susan Colantuono  coming from beautiful South County, Rhode Island.

Not long ago, a woman said this to me, "Susan, I don't think of myself as ambitious. Why should I care about developing Business Savvy? "

Well, I can think of 15 reasons, but I am going to share  just a few of them here.

1. For me, the most important answer to this question is comfort. This is especially true for women  who work in predominantly male environments where it's very difficult to be seen, to be heard, to be valued and respected.

And one of the paths to that is to be seen as a partner in the business, to be seen as someone who's interested in the business, who's learning about the business, and who is taking action and making decisions that advance the business.  Of course, it's no guarantee that you will be treated differently, but  it does increase your chances significantly of being more seen, more heard, more valued.

So that's an external reason.

2. Let's talk about an internal reason to develop Business Savvy, even if you don't identify as ambitious, feeling more confident.

This is huge.

I have said for years that confidence rests on a platform of competence. And this doesn't just mean technical or professional competence.  It means competence as a business woman.  When you work on better understanding business financials and strategy, it brings your competence to an entirely new level. You add to your identity as a technical pro or as a professional, the identity of a businesswoman.

And if you are in a leadership role, it strengthens your identity as a leader. Because after all, we know  that business, financial, and strategic acumen enable stronger leadership because you're better able to "use the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others."

3. Here's another reason. Even if you don't think of yourself as ambitious, you know that self promotion matters. You might not be striving for a promotion, but  making others aware of your positive impact on the business helps ensure that you are respected for your contributions and that you get the compensation and/or other rewards that you are due.

As I've talked about in many other places, and you can read about  inside of the Be Business Savvy blog. The key to self promotion  isn't to tell people how great you are, it is to make known to others your positive impact on the business. And the way to do that is to have worked on your Business Savvy - enhanced your business, financial and strategic acumen.

4. Going along with feeling more internally confident, Business Savvy gives you a foundation  for speaking up in meetings or in one-on-ones.

I often talk about my experience of bragging on a project about what a great job I did putting a team together and how great our first meeting was - which created a snooze fest for the project lead.

I finally figured out that what he was interested in hearing about was how the work of my team was going to have a positive impact on revenue, not adversely impact expenses. When I began speaking up about our work toward those goals, all of a sudden  he sat up and paid attention.  

This is an example of how my then increasing Business Savvy enabled me to speak up  more competently, therefore more confidently and more professionally.

5. Another one of the reasons is that when you've been developing and demonstrating Business Savvy people above you are more likely to have conversations with you about the business. And this creates a virtuous cycle where their conversations with you about the business put you in the know.

And you're even more equipped to make recommendations, make comments, get interesting project assignments that relate to moving the business forward.

Let's Recap

These are five reasons, and there are many more, that even if you don't self identify as ambitious,  developing and demonstrating business savvy will serve you well. 

  1. You will feel more confident you will speak up with more authority on a foundation of competence,
  2. You'll be able to self-promote to earn the respect and rewards that you are due,
  3. You will feel more comfortable at work -especially if you work in a mostly male environment, and
  4. You will kick off a virtuous cycle where, by showing that you're focused on the business, you're likely to hear more information from people above you that puts you in the know that better equips you to demonstrate your focus on the business, thereby supporting all of the others that I've talked about.
  5. In other words,  even.  If at this point in your career or this stage of your life, you don't think of yourself as ambitious, Business Savvy helps you navigate the business world with more strength. Ease and less stress.

What's a Woman to Do?

So, what's a woman to do? Well, shift your mindset.  You don't have to be ambitious. Or think of yourself as This powerful career woman in order to benefit from business savvy No matter your level or your degree of aspirations Enhanced business, financial and strategic acumen will help your  daily work life in the future. In immeasurable ways, five of which I've shared with you,  all of which bring more ease  and less overwhelm and stress into your life. And this is what I wish for you.

Catch you next time.


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Podcast produced and original theme music by Megan Tuck www.megantuckaudio.com