Bitch in business

18 Dec

Alrighty. I’m going to start by pointing out that I’ve worked in plenty of offices and that I’ve been running my own business since 2003. I’ve also worked in some very large organisations and have managed projects that had prices with lots of zeros at the end. Maybe I have a right to talk about business, maybe I don’t. And I understand that, according to a lot of people, the fact that I’m a 35 year old, white, male means that I’m speaking from some delusional and privileged perspective, but I did grow up dirt poor and had absolutely no support from my family, so like it or not, I reckon I’ve earned my point of view on this particular topic.

This is apparently what it's like to be a young, white, male. I must have missed the meeting when I was getting by on toast and water, until the toaster broke.

This is apparently what it’s like to be a young, white, male but I must have missed the meeting where they were supposed to throw all that easily attained money at me.

I’ve worked with all sorts of people and I’ve watched as my friends from school have progressed into the working world and where they’ve ended up now, which is about 15 years later. One thing that’s become increasingly clearer to me is that you don’t have to be a bitch or an arsehole to get ahead. As a matter of fact, I’d say the opposite is true. I won’t pretend it’s as easy for a woman to get herself established in business as it is for a man, but just because it’s extra difficult for women doesn’t make it an easy task for all the men who want to do well.

I think there are a lot of people out there telling themselves that success is more difficult for them to achieve than it is for everyone else and I think that’s a big load of bullshit. I think that’s just people discovering that something is more difficult than they anticipated and making excuses for the gap between how tough they thought it would be, and how tough it really is.

Business is competition. People treat it like a sport. They get all worked up about gaining as many ‘trophies’ as they can, except in business terms a trophy is a high-growth quarter, or landing a big account, or putting out a product that does really well. Let’s not forget that if it were easy to do these things, everyone would be doing them.

There are literally millions of other people out there trying to be successful at business as well. You don’t get to be successful in anything ultra-competitive without working your arse off at it, purely because everyone else who is after that same thing is working their arse off for it, too. If you want to be a success, you have to earn it. Moaning about what’s holding you back is just a good way to waste time that you could be putting towards earning the success you’re chasing.

Expect a lot of this vibe in the business world

Expect a lot of this sort of vibe in the business world

Of course things need to change and women need to be given a fair playing field, but the reality is, the people who are already successful want to retain all their wealth and clout, so fair or not, they won’t be giving up any of that power they have without a fight.

Yeah, I have run into some absolutely atrocious people in the business world, and yes some of them have done well. It’s funny though, they’re always the most unhappy people. They’re manipulative, controlling, bitter, little butt-holes and they’re never just arseholes at work, they’re just as horrible in their home and social lives as well. They’re monsters, pure and simple. Think of them as cannibals. Sure, they’re eating well, but they end up lonely pretty quick.

Cannibals: if they're well fed, you can bet they're lonely.

Cannibals: if they’re well fed, you can bet they’re lonely.

The way those little monsters get ahead is by cheating. They take credit for other people’s work. They start in-fighting within an organisation to try and benefit from the fallout. They fuck with people’s heads just to try to keep them from noticing the other dodgey shit they’ve been up to in an effort to get more power and more control. I’ve seen men who act like this and I’ve seen women who act like this.

The undeniable fact is that it’s far easier to win when you cheat. Look at old one-nut Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France ‘champion’. He took out 7 ‘victories’ by knowingly breaking the rules. Sure they’re taking them away from him now, but you’re never going to know the names of the people he was competing with that were actually playing by the rules, because that scumbag stole all the glory they were entitled to. That same shit happens in business. Ethics go out the window when the dollar signs start showing up.

Lance Armstrong: Cheats to win, doesn't have the balls to admit it ;

Lance Armstrong: “champion”

 

What’s awesome though, is that there are still people out there being successful in their chosen field who manage to keep their ethics and not waste their energy complaining about gender inequality, racism, religious prejudice and whatever else. Life isn’t fair. Business isn’t fair. Don’t expect it to be. Don’t waste time complaining about it. After you’re successful, that’s when you should start fighting for equality, because nobody can tell you you’re just a whinger if you’ve already succeeded despite the inequalities that exist.

It is possible to get ahead by being a bitch in business, but doing so will probably make you an unhappy person, so what’s the point? What’s the gain if you’re cashed up but you’re soul-crushingly lonely because you can’t trust anyone, and they can’t trust you.

This belief that being a bitch is the only way for women to get ahead in business is just a flat-out lie. I’ve worked with some extremely successful women who are straight-up lovely, easy going people. The became successful because they understood that they needed to work harder and smarter than everyone they were in competition with. They did that, and shock-horror, it worked out in their favour.

Being a bitch is a bad thing. You don’t have to be a bitch to assert your opinion or disagree with someone. It is possible to be female and make a point without coming off like a bitch. We call it being assertive. When you were a kid, did you do what your mother said? Of course you did! And why? Because she had an air of authority about her!

Have an air of authority, like this, but with less spoon and angry pointing.

Have an air of authority like this, but with less spoonage and minimize the angry pointing.

That’s what some people are missing when they go into business and that’s what causes them to feel trodden on. It’s not just women who experience this. Men have the exact same problem. When a meek and quiet guy tries to talk at a meeting, he’ll be talked over. When a ‘soft’ person tries to negotiate with someone aggressive, the soft person comes off second best because they’re not on the attack.

When you start getting into the business world, you have to get it out of your head that people are going to be nice to you and treat you with respect. They will mock you and tease you and try to hurt your feeling because they’re trying to beat you. They’re trying to crush you so there’s one less person to compete with. Don’t stand for that shit. Get that air of authority about you. Make it clear you’re not going to be pushed around. That doesn’t mean you have to be a bitch, it just means don’t be a pushover!

To clarify:

  • Speaking up when you need to speak up is not being a bitch.
  • Voicing your opinion is not being a bitch.
  • Not backing down when you shouldn’t back down is not being a bitch.
  • Demanding to earn as much money as anyone else who does the same work as you is not being a bitch.

Versus:

  • Spreading rumours about a colleague or competitor is being a bitch.
  • Making jokes about the size of your colleagues or competitors genitals is being a bitch.
  • Giving a colleague or business associate the ‘cold shoulder’ or ‘silent treatment’ because you’re unhappy with them is being a bitch.
  • Getting annoyed at the only guy in your team because he doesn’t think your personal drama should impact your ability to meet a project’s deadline is being a bitch.

And, finally:

  • Expecting to get ahead in business without having to outdo your competitors isn’t exactly ‘being a bitch’ but it’s not going to get you anywhere.

Crazy bitch tip: Instead of focusing on being a bitch in business, focus on doing a better job than your competitors.

Crazy bitch bonus tip: Very, very, very few white women can rap well enough to do it on a music video.

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3 Responses to “Bitch in business”

  1. Jen 2014.12.23 at 11:02 pm #

    What if you get called a bitch for speaking up when you need to speak up, voicing your opinion, not backing down, and demanding to earn as much money as anyone else who does the same work as you? These are the gender-biased situations where a women are routinely called a bitch, which is what I believe the video was addressing.

    It’s good that you acknowledge your privilege, but I think it’s preventing you from seeing that not everyone subscribes to your definition of “bitch.”

    Like

    • the editor 2014.12.24 at 12:21 am #

      Thank you for commenting.

      If you’re dealing with someone stupid enough to call you a bitch for standing up for yourself, speaking your mind, or expecting to get paid evenly, there’s no value in their opinion. They’re afraid of you and they’re saying mean words as a defense mechanism.

      As priveliged as I might unknowingly be, I still had to work my arse off. A handy little outcome of that is I now have subcontractors working for me. 2 men, 2 women. I pay them all the same, which is how it should be and I don’t want to work with people who constantly have their dukes up ready for a fight.

      The underlying sentiment of the video is good, but using the word bitch as a positive term is misleading and problematic.

      We don’t need women entering the workforce expecting to have to be a bitch to get things done. We need people to be treated fairly, with dignity and respect, and being a bitch is not a good step towards that.

      Like

  2. m88 2015.01.07 at 4:01 pm #

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always exciting to read articles from other authors and practice something from other sites.

    Like

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