Entrepreneurs at Menopause

Entrepreneurs at menopause can face unique challenges. Being a hot woman is business is not always easy.

Around your mid-40s to your mid-50s is a stage when all the learning and experience you have gained in your career is starting to bear fruit. You may be developing your business as an entrepreneur or progressing into leadership roles. And then menopause comes along! For some women it is a serious disruptor.

My guest on the Hot Women Rock Radio Show this week, Candy Barone, is the CEO of You Empowered Strong. She is a leadership development expert, trainer and executive coach, as well as an international speaker and Amazon best-selling author. People who know her refer to her as a ‘power house’.

She shared with me her very current experience of menopause and the adjustments she has made to being a Hot Woman Leader.

Candy’s Story

Candy’s career started in corporate after she gained a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

‘One of the reasons I got into mechanical engineering was because I had several men in my life who told me I couldn’t! I was told ‘Girls can’t do that’. But I was really interested in hands-on building and creating things like engines for fighter jets, and planes.

That was 30 years ago and there weren’t many women in my program.  When I was in my junior year I realized that I probably didn’t want a career in engineering. I was also smart enough to realize I’d invested three years in university and my degree. Also, I was a female and I knew that if I actually graduated and kept where I was that I could “write my ticket”.

So, I stepped out as an engineer initially and then very quickly moved into more of a sales business development, more people-oriented type role. As I did that, I naturally fell into leadership opportunities through my career, where I was coaching developing mentoring others. It was something that I naturally did, even if I look back, when I was small, I always was in that capacity, where I wanted to coach. I wanted to train.

At times, woman entrepreneurI was more concerned about other people’s growth and success than maybe some of my own, at times. So, it just organically, and naturally evolved over my career and I eventually stepped out of engineering. I get people that will say, ‘how does a mechanical engineer become an executive coach?’ It’s a much more linear path than people think. Instead of dealing with products and systems, I deal with people and emotions.

Leadership is really where my heart is, and when I look at. It was probably about four years ago, I had some very significant things that happened to my business that rattled me to my core. They forced me to sit in a space to ask myself why I was doing this from an integrity standpoint. I had some people challenging the way I disrupt, the way I was going out and I internalized it.

I started to work with the first of many spiritual mentors and guides and really leaning into my own journey around what does it mean from a leadership perspective, what does it mean in terms of who I am. It has been a space of how what I like to call opening to grace.

The last couple years have really allowed me to move away from some of the unbalanced aggressive masculine energy that I had piled on layers working in male dominated fields and many ‘good old boys’ networks. It allowed me to uncover and discover what my divine feminine look like and how that works in harmony and balance with my divine masculine.

One of the things that’s been really interesting is to see how that’s a very personal, very unique experience and there was a lot of unpacking around what it was supposed to look like, for me. And so, even with some of my guides and teachers, I had to learn out to distill out some of that noise. Because while their perception of how divine feminine was supposed to show up in me wasn’t what felt congruent and integrity, for me.

Over the last four or five years I have really been on a quest to figure out what that looks like for me and guide those leaders that I work with to uncover that for themselves.

Now, I am finding the years before menopause to be an incredibly spiritual experience. There have been both sides of it, the growth, the humbleness the quantum shifts that have happened as a result of shedding old identity and stepping into a space that says, I can’t.

It’s interesting, even while some of those nods or those pushes have come throughout my life, I’ve always been able to say ‘I don’t want any of that right now. I’m good.’ Whereas now, at this juncture in my life and being in the throes of menopause myself, it has been very clear that there are certain things, whether it be my purpose, whether it be my calling, whether it be how I’m showing up that are no longer negotiable.

Candy’s Top Tips for Entrepreneurs at Menopause

  • Let go of trying to resist the changes that are going on at menopause. Recognise what is happening to you and allow yourself the space and grace for the ebb and flow as symptoms affect you.
  • Don’t judge yourself as you as you go through the process. There’s no need for shame or embarrassment. Be compassionate.
  • Let go of ‘other people’s stuff’ and the external noise that may be holding you back. This is not a time to play small. Create your own space.
  • Recognise your gifts and your calling. Step up and activate your fierce, bad-ass self. Play the game by your own rules
  • Enjoy the journey. This is a really precious, gorgeous, exquisite gift we’ve been given as women even if it doesn’t feel like it.
  • Talk to your friends. Ask them for support and give them support when they need it.
  • Be okay talking to men about what you are experiencing. Help them to understand how they can support you. By shining a light on the subject we will break the stigma around it.

You can pick up a copy of Candy’s free e-book 13 Strategies: How to Destroy the NOISE

If you need support as you move through menopause contact me to have a free chat.

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