Earlier today I was working on a scheme.
We were a group of women founders all running growth stage scaling businesses with no safety net beneath our feet. I had trained them myself on how to prospect and grow their sales and we had all grown our businesses over 2x since. And in turn, they had taught me so much about what works and what didn't, and gave me the inspiration and drive I needed on the hard days. Like a cohort, we had learned and progressed together and now we were ready for the next big leap.
What got you to your first big milestone will never be the same thing that gets you to your next one.
The topic of venture financing (or lack thereof in our city) came up. And suddenly we were all mad. Really angry. Because the short and long of it is it's very difficult for women owned businesses to get growth capital, and it's f*cking stupid. As we all told our stories, I realized a valuable thing:
Anger is so valuable. It's a flaming arrow pointing directly at what sucks.
When you are mad, relish it because it is powerful. Anger translates to action. The action that can be spurred from anger can burn and burn long beyond the time that the anger disappears.
Anger becomes a problem when you hold onto it. But if you use anger to ignite something and propel it forward, it will burn like almost nothing else will.
What is pissing you off? I am not talking about a minor annoyance, what are you actually mad about?
No need to be nice here. What's not fair? What is happening that should not be? What straight up sucks?
Just acknowledge it and label it for what it is: Total crap. You'll be surprised at the movement and change that can come. State it so you can change it.
Update: Since this post was written in August 2016, we have created the XXCelerate Fund. The first loan fund of its kind specifically for women entrepreneurs in growth stage. As it turns out, we were right, Less than 3% of venture capital funds nationwide go to women founders, and less than 5% of SBA backed bank loans go to women owned businesses. Yet, according to the economic statics of the US congress in 2015, women started businesses at twice the rate that men did.
The flaming arrow pointed directly at exactly what sucked. To learn more about the flame that we've ignited as a result, please visit XXCelerateFund.com.