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Being A Dominatrix Taught Me How To Become A Badass In Life And In Business

Business

You walk into that upscale networking event, the one you have been itching to go to so that you can make some higher quality connections, but suddenly you find you are in full out comparison mode. Is your outfit up to snuff, are you too old/too young to be here, do you have enough credentials to do what you are doing.


Is your outfit up to snuff, are you too old/too young to be here, do you have enough credentials to do what you are doing.

Argh!!

Why does that always happen, this is precisely where you need to be, yet somehow you can’t stop the constant self-doubt.

Women are famous for this. We have mastered the art of being mean to ourselves. Continually comparing who we are and what we have done to others.

The thing is, we are far from fair when we do it, and it stops us from showing up as a Badass in our life and our business.

Now, let me first clarify what a Badass actually is. Media has traditionally portrayed her as a woman who you can’t say No to. She’s callus, maybe a little manipulative, and will stop at nothing to get the sale. She works 80 hours a week and never misses an opportunity to sell, sell, sell.

To me, this describes the masculine model of “push”, the belief that going for something bigger means living with discomfort and pain. This is the hustle and grind approach that leads to burnout and illness.

To me a Badass is someone who knows her value, is at ease with her body and how she shows up in the world. She attracts people to work with her, compelling them with her passion. Never forced, she seems to create things as if by magic, all the while having time for friends and family.

Anyone that comes to mind? There might be the odd woman who is born with this talent, but the good news for the rest of us is that these skills of becoming a Badass are all things that we can develop.

For me, I began my journey towards becoming a Badass when I became a Dominatrix.

Now, while this line of work is not most people’s first choice on the path to self-discovery, it’s who I had to become in order to stand in my power. The role changed how I showed up in my business and in my life.

If you have only ever seen the Hollywood version of the Dominatrix, it would seem that it is about power over another person, yet I can tell you from personal experience, everything that happens in the dungeon is actually pre-negotiated and is centered around the client.

The Dominatrix is in charge of holding the space and controlling all aspects of the scene so that the client can surrender fully. That surrender allows the client to shed all of the outside pressures and allow someone else to be in charge for just a little while. It takes courage to let go in that way, and it takes strength to hold that scene for another. A Dominatrix is, in fact, a high-level service position!

I had to quickly learn how to authentically be the one in charge, to be confident. Faking it would not work, so I had to become that person.

For almost two decades, I managed a chain of wellness centers and now operate my own professional coaching and speaking practice. Bringing those skills from the dungeon into my business has been invaluable. Looking back on my failures, I can pinpoint exactly what went wrong, and when I wasn’t using those same skills - missteps and old habits.

The good news is that you don’t have to put on the black pleather and boots in order to learn from the archetype of the Dominatrix and become more of a Badass in your own life.

Here are some practical tips you can apply today:

1. Never say sorry

When you are in the dungeon, and your submissive is blindfolded and fixed to an apparatus while you are flogging them, the very worst thing they could ever hear is “oops!”. You will instantly ruin the scene, and all of the trust that they had in you will be gone in that second.

It is the same thing in business!

Constantly apologizing will put you out of your power, and worse than that, others will begin to question your expertise and their decision to work with you.

Instead of “Sorry…” start every email you write for the next week with “Thank you...”

Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for being so amazing to work with.

Each “thank you” releases a tiny hit of dopamine for the client and that helps to disperse the frustration they may have had if you started with “Sorry,” and it keeps you standing firmly in your power.

2. Be willing to lose

Very few of us have the precious time or money to just throw away, yet the irony is that the harder you work to make sure you hang on to these things, the more likely you are to lose them.

The lessons we take from people who have had incredible successes, the Oprah’s and the Elon Musk’s of the world, is that it takes great leaps of faith to get that big and they’ve learned how to play all-in, without putting attachments on the outcome.

When we try to force something to happen, we are less connected to what is actually happening and are hindered from being responsive to what is right in front of us.

The Dominatrix takes time to script out a scene based on all the elements that were negotiated, but when she steps in the dungeon, she releases the need for that script to play out exactly as planned. She must stay present to what is actually happening. Things rarely go as scripted, but when she is fully present they will remain on track, and the submissive is able to relax knowing that she is fully in charge.

So make your plans, pull out the map of what you would like to happen and then be willing to chuck it all in the ‘F*ck it Bucket’ the moment it no longer works.

3. Negotiate like a Dominatrix

My time studying to become a Dominatrix taught me some incredible mindset skills, with negotiation skills at the top of that list.

In the dungeon, every single detail is discussed prior to starting a scene. You talk about what is okay, what is not okay and what is a not right now – for both players! Where there is overlap is what is explored in the scene. There is no room for compromise; it is win/win or no deal.

To become a Badass, you can learn from the Dominatrix and create your own list of what you are willing and not willing to do and what is a maybe, under the right circumstances.

Having your list mapped out ahead of time will stop you from falling back into old patterns, and will allow you to achieve more of your goals for the long term.

The lesson here isn’t that life can start feeling ‘easy’. Life is going to get uncomfortable. But I invite you to learn to ride the waves of challenges in a way that will bring greater ease and less long-term damage; standing in the inner power that you know you possess; listening for cues and surrendering to what needs to be done in order to earn a greater reward.

7min read
Culture

The Middle East And North Africa Are Brimming With Untapped Female Potential

Women of the Middle East have made significant strides in the past decade in a number of sectors, but huge gaps remain within the labor market, especially in leadership roles.


A huge number of institutions have researched and quantified trends of and obstacles to the full utilization of females in the marketplace. Gabriela Ramos, is the Chief-of-Staff to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an alliance of thirty-six governments seeking to improve economic growth and world trade. The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.

To realize the possibilities, attention needs to be directed toward the most significantly underutilized resource: the women of MENA—the Middle East and North African countries. Educating the men of MENA on the importance of women working and holding leadership roles will improve the economies of those nations and lead to both national and global rewards, such as dissolving cultural stereotypes.

The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.

In order to put this issue in perspective, the MENA region has the second highest unemployment rate in the world. According to the World Bank, more women than men go to universities, but for many in this region the journey ends with a degree. After graduating, women tend to stay at home due to social and cultural pressures. In 2017, the OECD estimated that unemployment among women is costing some $575 billion annually.

Forbes and Arabian Business have each published lists of the 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen, yet most female entrepreneurs in the Middle East run family businesses. When it comes to managerial positions, the MENA region ranks last with only 13 percent women among the total number of CEOs according to the Swiss-based International Labor Organization (ILO.org publication "Women Business Management – Gaining Momentum in the Middle East and Africa.")

The lopsided tendency that keeps women in family business—remaining tethered to the home even if they are prepared and capable of moving "into the world"—is noted in a report prepared by OECD. The survey provides factual support for the intuitive concern of cultural and political imbalance impeding the progression of women into the workplace who are otherwise fully capable. The nations of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan and Egypt all prohibit gender discrimination and legislate equal pay for men and women, but the progressive-sounding checklist of their rights fails to impact on "hiring, wages or women's labor force participation." In fact, the report continues, "Women in the six countries receive inferior wages for equal work… and in the private sector women rarely hold management positions or sit on the boards of companies."

This is more than a feminist mantra; MENA's males must learn that they, too, will benefit from accelerating the entry of women into the workforce on all levels. Some projections of value lost because women are unable to work; or conversely the amount of potential revenue are significant.

Elissa Freiha, founder of Womena, the leading empowerment platform in the Middle East, emphasizes the financial benefit of having women in high positions when communicating with men's groups. From a business perspective it has been proven through the market Index provider MSCI.com that companies with more women on their boards deliver 36% better equity than those lacking board diversity.

She challenges companies with the knowledge that, "From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies."

Freiha agrees that educating MENA's men will turn the tide. "It is difficult to argue culturally that a woman can disconnect herself from the household and community." Her own father, a United Arab Emirates native of Lebanese descent, preferred she get a job in the government, but after one month she quit and went on to create Womena. The fact that this win-lose situation was supported by an open-minded father, further propelled Freiha to start her own business.

"From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies." - Elissa Frei

While not all men share the open-mindedness of Freiha's dad, a striking number of MENA's women have convincingly demonstrated that the talent pool is skilled, capable and all-around impressive. One such woman is the prominent Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, who is currently serving as a cabinet minister in the United Arab Emirates and previously headed a successful IT strategy company.

Al-Qasimi exemplifies the potential for MENA women in leadership, but how can one example become a cultural norm? Marcello Bonatto, who runs Re: Coded, a program that teaches young people in Turkey, Iraq and Yemen to become technology leaders, believes that multigenerational education is the key. He believes in the importance of educating the parent along with their offspring, "particularly when it comes to women." Bonatto notes the number of conflict-affected youth who have succeeded through his program—a boot camp training in technology.

The United Nations Women alongside Promundo—a Brazil-based NGO that promotes gender-equality and non-violence—sponsored a study titled, "International Men and Gender Equality Survey of the Middle East and North Africa in 2017."

This study surveyed ten thousand men and women between the ages of 18 and 59 across both rural and urban areas in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority. It reports that, "Men expected to control their wives' personal freedoms from what they wear to when the couple has sex." Additionally, a mere one-tenth to one-third of men reported having recently carried out a more conventionally "female task" in their home.

Although the MENA region is steeped in historical tribal culture, the current conflict of gender roles is at a crucial turning point. Masculine power structures still play a huge role in these countries, and despite this obstacle, women are on the rise. But without the support of their nations' men this will continue to be an uphill battle. And if change won't come from the culture, maybe it can come from money. By educating MENA's men about these issues, the estimated $27 trillion that women could bring to their economies might not be a dream. Women have been empowering themselves for years, but it's time for MENA's men to empower its women.