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I’m not my business, profession or “a” career. I’m a person! And I am that before I’m anything else. I may own a business, be a professional in upward mobility in my career or a woman who is the CEO of her home and the manager of a busy family.

But FIRST, I’m a person!

One of the things that brought about the feminine revolution was the fact that women became angered at being seen as someone’s “wife” or “mother” or a “housewife“. Labels that denied or hid our humanity as a person - a woman recognized and respected for what she brings to the world.

Now, I’m a “watered-down” feminist. In many ways, I believe we were sold a “bill of goods” that had an upside and a lot of “downside“.

What infuriates me is that after all these years, we - women in general - have allowed ourselves to trade our personhood - the “who we are” for the “what we do“! I see it all the time and it causes my blood pressure to rise & my voice to elevate several decibles!

Affiliated Women is our way of countering the trend that women in the marketplace have adopted. What I call a “sales mask“. The “mask” of what I do that relates to trade, commerce and financial reward. Not the refreshing honesty of simply being a woman who has intelligence, creativity, skills, abilities and boo-coo talents that soften a world hardened by the masculine! Women who are comfortable in our skin whether we wear that skin to a “job“, a “business“, a “product” or anywhere else that commerce, trade and financial reward are worshipped. - or to the spa, salon or hockey game.

IMHO, we’ve adapted to the “masculine” worldview! The view that the all important thing is the “sale“. So intent on that outcome that we’ve lost our sense of the “who we are“. More importantly, we have in many instances, so turned others off by our approach only to wonder why we haven’t achieved the level of success we desire.

No one wants to be “sold“. We want to buy. Because to “buy” puts us in charge and control. Ultimately in any transaction - that’s what we want.

I’ll give you an example from my life. I hate situations where a sales person comes up to me immediately I arrive in the shop. I’m a browser and I don’t want to be hounded by some eager-beaver “commission-salesperson” hovering over me as if I’m the days “catch“. So I’m often a wee bit rude when they rush over.

Recently in Office Max, I told the 3rd eager young man - in no uncertain terms - that I wanted to just look and if I found something I needed help with, I’d come find him! And that’s exactly what I did. When I was ready to ask a question about a new printer - I found him; asked my questions and thanked him profusely for being attentive. We parted company as ‘friends‘.

The kind of behavior I’ve just described takes away my humanity - my “personhood” and treats me as a ‘commodity‘. You know - that “thing” over there who is my next “cha-ching” on the cash register.

But as women in the marketplace, we often do the same thing. Instead of adopting the common wisdom of the day, which is building relationships with others who have the potential to send us a lifestream of referrals - we ‘accost’ folks. It seems we are so eager to make a “sale” that we forget she is a “she” and not a source of the next register receipt.

You know I can tell the difference now between AWI women who know, understand and value our core concepts of relationship-building and a woman who has not experienced the same. It shows. AWI women come with their “personhood” showing 1st!

After all, that’s what we all want. We want to be encountered as a person - a woman - first! We want to be engaged by another because there is something about us as a person that makes us valuable. Valuable for no other reason than who we are!

So the next time someone approaches your for the “sale“. . . .tell them - “First, I’m a Person!”

Have an awesome day where everyone greets you as “person first“!

Linda, a fellow journeyer


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