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Why Boss Shame Is Blocking Your Business Growth

Never let the possibility of embarrassment keep something broken that your visionary intuition wants to fix.

As you are reading this, you probably also have multiple emails in your inbox to respond to, a handful of proposals to send out or follow up on in addition to that process task you have been meaning to get to for a while now that just keeps nagging at you.

Meanwhile, the magic laced solutions you have sprinkled all over your client’s are working flawlessly. They cannot sing enough praises about how you have helped them transform from being a hot mess to full on badassery mode.

In the marketplace, the perception is that you have it all together - in reality, you know that your business is in survival mode. And if you get really honest with yourself you can admit that things have been that way for a while and you aren’t really sure of how to make them any better. You almost feel paralyized by the overwhelm.

Identifying Boss Shame In Your Business

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I can do XYZ for my clients, but can not seem to do the same thing for my own business

  • I am way too busy and don’t have enough time to work on my business

  • I am so frustrated that important things keep slipping through the cracks

If so, whether you have ever put a name to it yourself or not, you are probably dealing with the type of overwhelm that I refer to as Boss Shame.

I recently had a connection call with business partners from a firm that does similar type of work around business systems that I do. And during our conversation they revealed how embarrassed they were to be able to streamline and make their clients' businesses run smoothly while at the same time being afraid that anybody might see the mess and lack of operational structure that lurked just underneath the surface of their own business.

I completely understood where they were coming from because I have stood in that same place myself.

Why do we live with Boss Shame?

We live with stressful and stagnant effects of Boss Shame because we do not want to jack up our professional credibility in the marketplace.

It is my opinion that the limiting mindset of I’m the boss, so I should know how to do this keeps too many entrepreneurs stuck and silently suffering in chaos.

I talk about examples of Boss Shame on Boss Talk all the time. Far too often we feel the pressure of presenting ourselves in a certain kind of way because we are trying to nurture valuable connections and attract new clients. So openly talking about how whack or non-existent our business systems are, usually is not very high on the conversation list.

There is always the potential embarrassment associated with raising a hand to admit that help is needed. And I get that. I promise I do.

In this moment, you are being presented with two choices: evolve or stay stuck.

A critical step in evolving is acknowledging that there is a problem and seeking out the support and resources needed to solve it.

Here is an example of when I lived with Boss Shame.

Before I hired my amazing assistant, my client on-boarding process was super clunky and took up so much of my valuable time to complete manually.

This is how things used to go. After receiving that coveted yes from a client I would manually update the Word version of my contract with the project details, then format that document into a PDF to upload it into my electronic signature program before sending it to my client to review and execute. Once the contract was signed, I had to log into my invoice system, set up a client profile and then manually create an invoice or a set of recurring invoices to go out to that client for payment. After receiving payment, I’d log into my email account to send a welcome email with an embedded link to have the client schedule their initial on-boarding call. And if I remembered to do so in a timely manner, I’d send a thoughtful on-boarding gift.


The excitement of welcoming a new client quickly became deflated once I thought about all the work associated with my disjointed on-boarding process. I knew I needed help - and eventually I got out of my own way, pushed aside my own pride and finally asked for it.

Boss Shame be damned - I was tired of being bullied by overwhelm in my own business.

The temporary embarrassment of acknowledging that I didn’t have it all together was outshined by the long term benefits of kicking overwhelm in the face. Acknowledging and doing something about the Boss Shame I was living with freed up my time and actually increased my revenue. Yes, facing my Boss Shame head on and investing in support allowed me to develop a streamlined on-boarding process that increased my revenue by over 400% just 6 months after admitting that I needed help.

3 Steps Toward Recovery

Want to stop feeling overwhelmed in your business and start recovering from Boss Shame as well? Here is a good place to start.

Do a Self Check

I firmly believe that taking care of yourself is taking care of your business - so how are you? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Stressed out? On the verge of losing your shit? Give yourself permission to be vulnerable and honest with your answer to this question.

I routinely do a self check each week on Sunday evening. For me, touching base with myself is the perfect way to start out my week.

Identify Your Needs

Once you have touched base with yourself about how you are - ask yourself, what you need. Deep down you already know. Really listen to your responses and build that trust equity with your own visionary intuition.

In my own Boss Shame recovery, once I got real with myself about needing an assistant, I also got real with myself about my crappy systems too. I am a systems goddess afterall, so imagine the embarrassment of having to admit to a new team member that my own systems sucked. It was one thing to waste my own time manually logging into 6 different tools to on-board a new client - but I was determined that I wasn’t going to pay to waste someone else’s time. So I mapped out a beautiful on-boarding process for my own business and did the heavy lifting to consolidate 6 tools into 1 and added some automation to fire myself and my assistant from certain tasks altogether. Now the only task that my assistant is responsible for during our entire on-boarding process is dropping a thoughtful gift in the mail.

I am happy with our on-boarding process the way it is now - however my visionary intuition told me to give attention to this need in my own business at least a year before I took action.

Do you have a year to waste feeling overwhelmed and stuck?

Seek Help

I know that pulling the curtain back to reveal the real state of your business systems may be a little scary - but consider the alternative, staying stuck in your chaos.

Like I said earlier, I get it, and I’ve lived it too. And I haven’t been introduced to a business system improvement that has scared me away yet. The business partners that I mentioned above, they actually became clients and after our first virtual working session they shared how relieved they both felt to talk to someone that not only understood what they were experiencing but that also provided a judgement free zone for them to share the current state of their business and where they really want it to go.

No shame - just support.

If you know it’s time to recover from Boss Shame, click HERE to schedule a complimentary 20-minute Connection Call with me to discuss the needs and areas of opportunity within your business.


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