Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Why Doing Business Like a Guy Isn’t So Bad, Either
Read Part 1: Why Doing Business Like a Girl Isn't So Bad

Whether you’re a man or woman, I think both sexes can learn a little from the characteristics of each gender. Even though these can be interchangeable, those known to be “male” in nature can be a huge plus for any freelancer.

For example, women are great at giving clients a personalized approach and focusing on details, while men are adept at staying competitive and less emotionally involved. Which is better for your business? Neither. You can take away something from both sides.

Instead of being defensive and arguing the age-old sexism battle, try to take something positive away from what this article has to offer and apply it to your career. Chances are you’ll find plenty of characteristics you’ll want to emulate as you rise to freelance success.

· Get competitive. It’s true: Anyone can be competitive. But this is a predominantly male trait—and a good one to have in order to get ahead as a freelancer. You don’t have to be aggressive to be competitive, either. Maintaining your edge includes having the right marketing materials that tie into your overall branding that represent what you have to offer as a freelancer. It means putting yourself out there how others in your industry are. It could be via networking or by keeping your prices competitive. Survey others in your geographical area and keep up on industry trends.

· Don’t get emotionally involved. Not all women wear their hearts on their sleeves, but this predominantly female characteristic should be avoided in most cases. While it’s great to give a personal touch to business relationships, you should avoid yelling, being rude or crying with clients at all costs. Stay professional—even if you get angry or upset. Men can sometimes be better at hiding explosive emotions, and that’s one thing that can be a plus for any freelancer. If a rude client really ruffles your feathers, take a break and vent your frustrations outside of the workplace.

· Say it like it is. Sure, women can be direct. But when it comes to business, I find that men are more likely to be upfront about things and state them bluntly. Sometimes it’s good to have this trait. For example, if a client tries to get you to negotiate your rate and you don’t want to, you can stand strong by stating that your pricing is non-negotiable. Not so great at this? That’s okay—practice makes perfect and you can always rehearse on your own so you’ll be more likely to stand your ground on things.

· Check things off. Clearly, both sexes can complete tasks, but men are traditionally very task-oriented. This is a great way to keep moving with your daily work. Instead of pondering things and getting sidetracked, focus on the task at hand and worry about the rest later. Procrastinating is definitely not going to benefit your business—even if you do work best under pressure.

· Learn something new. Hey, maybe you can’t change a man—but men are driven by exploring new things. So if you’re a whiz in HTML, move on to learning CSS. This goes along with staying competitive, because the more skills you can acquire, the better. Even though women are adventurous, too, I think men have more of knack for learning something new that doesn’t naturally come easy. They’re great at persisting until they figure really complex things out, which is trait any business owner can benefit from.

These are just a few personality characteristics generally assigned to men that can be positives for your business. So whether you like football or sappy movies, you’ll want to put them into your business toolbox.

Missed Part 1: Why Doing Business Like a Gal Isn’t So Bad? Read it here!

link | posted by Kristen at 2:25 PM |

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