Interview Patty

Your Third Act

July 02, 2024

I felt startled by what she said – but not really surprised. How very sad.

My client Jill recently told me: “I don't think I realized the level of dissatisfaction I was living in and where that was seeping into all areas of my life, until the curtain got pulled back a bit. Because for 99.9% of us, we just keep going and it becomes our next normal.”

And that’s what I’ve seen: women falling into The Broken Cookie Effect® trap over and over.

When I was growing up, my mom made these fabulous cookies. The whole house smelled good. It was warm. The cookies were gooey. And all my life I watched my mom eat the broken cookies.

But it wasn't until I was a teenager that I even thought to ask her: why do you only eat the broken cookies? Do they taste better? And she laughed and said “No, I eat the broken cookies so you can have the whole ones!”

And this memory came rushing back to me several years ago as I was struggling to describe a really tricky pattern I’ve seen in the decades I’ve worked with women business owners.

This image of my mom, eating the broken cookies, popped in my head. And I realized that's what we, as women, are doing in our businesses.

We are bringing that spirit of self-sacrifice we saw in our role models - our moms and our grandmothers - and we're bringing that right into our business.

That's what I call The Broken Cookie Effect®. When everyone around us - our staff, our clients, our families - everyone else gets the whole cookie and we live on crumbs.

Today’s Questions:

Where are you in your business journey? What is your dream for your Third Act?

But Here’s the Twist
. . .

Like many women, I have fallen into The Broken Cookie Effect® trap over and over. For me, my business life breaks down like a play - in three acts.

I ate only the imperfect and broken cookies in my First Act, as an employee. I overworked and overdelivered as if it was routine, and thought I had to just live with the anxiety and stress.

In my Second Act, I wanted the whole cookie but felt guilty for taking it. So, I settled for the broken cookies, hoping one day to feel differently.

I founded my political consulting and lobbying business and learned things the hard way: how to price, how to sell, and how to get the deals done, knowing it wasn’t a level playing field for women. I was raising three small children as a single mom and the stress was so constant I felt numb.

Even when your business is very successful – maybe especially then – you’re busy saving the whole cookie for everyone else.

Meanwhile, you’re still living on crumbs, enduring that internal pressure that every problem is yours to solve, worrying you’re the bottleneck in moving things forward, and feeling acutely alone without a trusted, knowledgeable confidante.

Now What?

If "All the world's a stage…”, I leapt into my Third Act in 2006.

Every single step in my life has led me here – every broken cookie, broken promise, and broken dream. Where are you in your journey across the boards?

Maybe like me, you’re ready for your Third Act because instead of feeling like there's something missing - you're feeling like there's something more.

You’ve spent decades becoming an expert in your field and building your business. You care deeply about your staff and your clients. You’ve made it this far, delivering excellence and great results. Your clients sing your praises. And yet…

As a high-achieving woman business owner running a profitable and valuable business in your Second Act, you may be wondering ‘what’s next?’

I’m dedicated to helping women founders transition to their Third Act – when you’re ready to do the work you’ve always longed to do.

Work that lights you up. Work that is your purpose instead of just a paycheck.

In my experience, women don't retire; they transition into a new stage of purpose and impact. Whether you are 40 or 60, the idea of retirement may not appeal to you. Just because you can retire doesn’t mean you’ll want to.

We can redefine ‘retirement’ and think of your eventual business exit as a ‘purposeful transition’.

Are you ready to leap into your Third Act and grab the whole cookie?

That requires a new way of thinking, new skills, a simple and elegant design, and an advocate by your side. Contact me to learn more. 

Discover your Exit Readiness Index™ with this assessment: http://she-exits.com/

A Note from Patty...

My life’s work is empowering high-achieving women business owners to fine-tune their operations and scale their revenue for strategic growth, creating real business value and emerging exit ready. That value can transform into wealth when they are ready to exit their company - and I believe that wealth in the hands of women elevates society as a whole.

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