As part of our ongoing book series, SingleEdition.com sat down with the women from Boys Before Business. Currently on tour, hitting major cities throughout the United States, authors Jennifer Wilcox and Kim Myles are helping career women across the nation “do it all.” Here are some of the insights they conveyed during our interview:
Q: Congratulations on your new book, Boy Before Business: The Single Girl’s Guide to Having It All. What inspired you to write it?
Kim was turning 40, had never been married and was wondering if it was possible to have it all. Both of us had successful careers but finding the love of our lives had eluded us. We found many women were like us and had focused on their careers. Now, like us, they wanted a relationship and had no idea how to balance both. We were convinced we could have it all and we wanted to teach other women how to thrive personally and professionally. We were inspired when we realized we weren’t alone. We both wanted the same thing and had similar challenges meeting the right man.
Q: Many believe that men are frightened by super successful women. Do you think this is true and, if so, why?
If you are successful and a man is frightened by your success, he’s not the right guy for you. We found that men actually like confident women and successful women don’t scare off men who are confident in themselves.
Q: It’s okay for men to make work a top priority. Should women feel guilty or be penalized if their careers come first?
They shouldn’t feel guilty. They should be proud of their accomplishments. However, if they want to share those accomplishments, it is important to put their relationship first. When you do this, an amazing thing happens. Your career also grows and flourishes. If you lead by example and show and tell your man that you are making your relationship a priority, you might be surprised to find that he will, too. Both men and women want to feel needed. When you decide together what you want, it is easier to have balance.
Q: What advice would you give to all those workaholics out there, both men and women, who do not make time for dating or relationships?
We would say check your priorities. It might be time to put people first. When you make time for dating and relationships, you will find that every aspect of your life will improve. The same skills you need to make a relationship work will also teach you how to be more successful in your career. In this age of technology, it is important to put relationships first in both your personal and professional lives.
Q: What about all the successful career women out there who do make finding love a priority but simply have not found the right man?
The key to finding the right man is to get clear about your values and clear about your must have, would like and dream traits that you want in someone and your relationship. A lot of times we settle for Mr. Good Enough because it seems easier than getting out there and looking for the right man. You also want to make sure that you are ready for Mr. Right to walk into your life by asking yourself simple questions like have you made room for him in your life? There are many things you can do to prepare to find the right man.
Q: In your opinion, what are some of the most common stereotypes and stigmas female professionals face in the workplace and how can they overcome them?
We hear a lot of comments such as “she doesn’t need a man” or “she is too busy.” We think it is about changing people’s opinions that all we care about is being successful. It’s important to let people know we have a bigger vision of sharing our lives. We also feel that women need to make sure they take time to do things for themselves and have fun.
Q: You talk a lot about life balance. What are some tools and techniques you can suggest to help all those singles out there achieve it?
It starts by having a really clear vision of what you want in both areas and then prioritizing. You have to make time for both boys and business, and to set boundaries. For example, if you are prone to working late, decide three nights a week to stop working and go out to do something fun that you enjoy. It’s even better when you have an opportunity to meet and mingle with others while you’re out.
Q: You have taught women how “having a great relationship can actually enhance your career.” Do you have any stories or case studies to back this notion?
Yes, we talked to many successful women who agreed that having a great relationship helps their career. Here is a classic example: Think of a time when you were in a relationship and in a fight with your man. You went to work and were completely distracted and unproductive. When you are in a good relationship, you can focus on your career. When you have the support and encouragement at home, it enables you to accomplish more. When you learn how to communicate and prioritize in your personal life, you can use those same skills to enhance your professional life.
Q: You also chose to support women who have faced great life challenges such as domestic violence and others who are just starting their own businesses with some of the proceeds from your book. What organizations are you supporting and why them?
We have chosen to support the Sojourner Center and the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance (DSWA) Global Fund with a portion of the proceeds from our book sales. Sojourner Center is the nation’s largest domestic violence women’s shelter and we are proud to support their efforts. The DSWA Global Fund supports women who want to start their own businesses. We know that these women have great opportunities to put the “Boys Before Business” philosophy to work and watch their businesses soar.
Q: Any other words of wisdom?
It’s never too late. You don’t have to choose one or the other. You can have a great personal life and a great professional life.