Gen X Women Founders: Our Collective Emotional Load

ambition business ownership confidence emotional labor emotional load empowerment female entrepreneurs feminine leadership gen x leadership self-advocate self-worth societal expectations Dec 25, 2023


In this final installment of this Gen-X Women Founders mini series, host Kris Plachy dives into the emotional load and labor that comes with being a Gen-X woman leading her own business. She delves into the societal pressures and expectations placed on women, especially those who are ambitious and successful in their careers. From the guilt associated with balancing work and family to the challenges of self-advocacy and trusting one's own instincts, Kris explores the emotional burden carried by many Gen-X women.

Throughout the episode, Kris encourages listeners to shed the guilt and embrace their worth and success. She emphasizes the importance of trusting oneself, and feeling pride in one's accomplishments. The conversation also highlights the need for empowerment and support among Gen-X women, addressing the impact of generational roles on personal and professional life.

This episode discusses how Gen-X women also fully embrace their drive to continue to show up in the work place and lead. Kris also shares insights on the kind of support Gen-X women founders benefit from when they surround themselves with others like them. By being in a space with women like them, Gen-X founders are able to continue to thrive and grow in their businesses and in their lives.

"You belong here in a leadership role. And we're going to swing that pendulum. We're going to pull the pendulum out of that masculine side and get you some more of that feminine leadership guidance so that you can be you. Confident you. Capable you. Exuberant you. Thriving you. Because she's in there."

Key Takeaways from this Episode:

  1. Self-Advocacy and Confidence: Encourages women to trust themselves, be proud of their achievements, and not succumb to societal expectations that may undermine their confidence.
  2. Cultural Expectations and Guilt: Addresses the cultural expectations that surround successful women, and acknowledges that even successful women may feel unworthy due to societal judgments on their choices
  3. Breaking Generational Patterns: Encourages listeners to break free from the patterns that have been passed down to our generation, and instead, make choices based on their own desires and aspirations.
  4. Celebrating Independence: Women should not feel shame for curating and navigating their lives differently from societal norms.
  5. Embracing Change and Feminine Leadership: Embracing change, integrating new ways of leadership, and shifting the pendulum towards more feminine leadership, where women can thrive and contribute to the success of their companies.

Why Gen X Female Founders Must Listen: 

This episode delivers a powerful blend of validation, empowerment, and practical insights tailored for Gen-X women founders. By addressing the unique challenges they face, fostering a sense of community connection, and encouraging self-acceptance, the episode serves as a source of inspiration and encouragement, offering a shared experience that resonates with the entrepreneurial journey of Gen-X women.

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Welcome to the final installment of Gen X female entrepreneurs and leading and all the things. Today I want to talk about your emotional load, the emotional labor that goes into being a woman who is a Gen-Xer, who runs her own business.

So women in general, have always been sort of raised to be the primary support role for people. Nurture, support, care, caretaking, you know, otherwise just always kind of on the radar, thinking about people. Whereas I don't think men are raised that way. I think some men are that way, but I don't think, it's not the way that we teach- we teach men to sort of do these things. And we teach Girls to do these things. We used to. I don't know that that's even true so much anymore.

But for those of us who are navigating these waters, that's why I see so much emotional burden. I think a lot of women who are outrageously successful are equally guilty for that same success. They don't feel worthy of it. They feel the pressure of the damage that maybe they've placed on their children, their marriage, because society says it's their fault.

If you are a woman who's ambitious, and she creates her own company, and she generates millions of dollars, and you get divorced. You know that people think it's because of your choices. Society does. There's a cultural whisper.

If something's wrong with your kid, something happens with your kid, maybe it's because you were working. Maybe it's because you were outside the home. That's the message because we were raised with mothers who were home.

And we're the ones who've been having the conversations, I'm sure. Like, I've had plenty of people say to me who are older, when I traveled for work a lot, "Oh, are the kids okay when you're gone? Do you have help?"

"I have help. I have a partner and he's amazing."

If we do anything for ourselves, it's, "Who's going to take care of the kids? Like, you're going to go away for a girls weekend. You're going to go away for a week by yourself."

Right? Like all the things. "Who's, who's, who's going to take care of the kids?"

It's fine. I got it handled. I hope the young women who come after us, they're not going to have to answer those same questions. Because even if you believe that you're living your life perfectly, that culture, social whisper of "you're doing it wrong, you're doing it wrong, you're doing it wrong, you're doing it wrong." It's real.

And I think that's why so many women who are my contemporaries don't know how to self advocate, don't have a strong sense of self-agency and connectedness. They aren't confident in what they want, they don't trust themselves. I've had so many people say to me, "I knew when I married him, I shouldn't have married him." But they just didn't trust themselves or they just didn't know what else they would do if they didn't get married.

That's a unique. I hope. I mean, I do watch a lot of young women on the internets and I see a lot of similar patterning and I feel like that's because they've learned it from their moms, and not because that's intentional. I've watched friends that I even know. I've watched young women stay in boyfriend-y relationships with young men that are really not nice to them. But they do it because their mothers say, and make excuses for the young boys' behavior.

And so I want to remind you that you have nothing to feel guilty about. You are worthy because you are. You don't have to do any more or any less or anything to be more important or valuable or worth your success. You are not an imposter in your own business. You just believe that you should be doing it differently than you are. But if you're already doing it, maybe we should focus on feeling pride. You have a voice. You are unique and special, and that voice is the voice we want to hear. And if someone doesn't want to hear it They're not your person.

I believe as women who have cut out into this generation, this world that we now all live in, where 62 percent of female business owners are age 45 to 55. 12. 9 million of us in this country have our own business. The independence and ability for us to curate and navigate a life on our own in the way that we want is a gift. It is not something to feel shame over. We do not have to live our lives in a way that other people prescribe.

That innate, "There's something wrong. You're doing it wrong. There's something wrong with you," is perpetuating our unhappiness collectively. Which is why I know so many women in my Sage group, especially, are so happy when they find each other, not because they become- it's not like we're just all talking to each other all the time.

It's like, "Oh, you see me. There's a truth I've been living that I can finally allow to be seen that has liberated me." And it's, it's no surprise that these women just keep thriving. They're making more money. They're buying businesses. They're selling their business. They're improving their marriages. They're having better relationships with their family. They're thriving.

And it's not- I don't take the credit. The only thing I take credit for is allowing a conversation, creating space for a conversation that's unique to these women who lead, and how everything we've been raised to believe about who we are, has impacted how we are today. And that we have the opportunity, as Gabby Bernstein teaches, to choose again, but to choose again with wisdom, with rooted truth.

Because I do believe that despite the fact that we are a small population, or a small generation, we have made miraculous change to this world, and we still are. I mean, listen to me, none of us are done. Why do you think there's so many med spas and aesthetics clinics? We're going to keep getting the faces done. The body's done. And the lashes done and all the things.

Because listen, all of us are like, "No, no, I'm going to take the supplements, and I'm going to get the restorative practices, and I'm going to walk, and I'm going to do yoga and I'm going to do all the things. Why? Because I got work to do. I have an impression to leave on my planet, on my family, on my gender, on my industry. And just because a generation ago, 55 meant sitting on your lazy boy, watching Price Is Right. Ha! Not me."

I don't know if you guys saw this, but there was a meme that went around that showed all the actresses of the Golden Girls, when the Golden Girls was on. Which I think was in the late eighties and nineties. I don't, I didn't check before I posted this. They were all in their fifties, and I thought they were a hundred. And the old one, the little old one. She was even like, not even that old. Now, of course, they kind of glammed. But then they showed- I saw another one that showed what they would look like if they'd all had hair extensions and they looked so much different.

And so, I just, I'm excited. I think we have so much cool stuff still to do, but what I want for all of you listening, for all of you within earshot of this messaging, and this time is tell your sisters, tell your Gen-X sisters, "Listen to me. There is another way to feel, as a woman who runs her own business." And if she hasn't started her business yet, and she's still waffling, and she's still a corporate executive somewhere, and she's miserable, let's whisper her in her ear and say, "Hey, guess what? You can do this on your own." Because she can.

And as long as we keep moving with progress and not fighting it. We say, "Well, I wouldn't have picked that, but you know what? I'm going to master that. I'm going to be a woman who leads, who's going to integrate the new and best way to embrace what's happening in the world. I'm going to find the best talent. I'm going to be the leader who attracts that best talent. Not because I'm supposed to, but because I want to. Because I want to continue to create an environment for people to thrive."

Because women build companies that make more money, retain more employees, and see ultimately more success. That is facts. Do the research. So we know we belong here. You belong here in a leadership role, and we're going to swing that pendulum. We're going to pull the pendulum out of that masculine side and get you some more of that feminine leadership guidance so that you can be you. Confident you. Capable you. Exuberant you. Thriving you. Because she's in there, but we have to unlock her and you have to be willing. We all have to be willing.

I saw something this morning that said, you know, sometimes we run into people who aren't willing to change simply because we have to be reminded of what would happen to us if we weren't either. We've seen so much change in our lifetime. We can't get to be the older ladies in the room and now be against it. We got to go. There's more to do. There's more people to help. There's more lives to save. There's more life to live.

I think it's incredibly exciting and I think we should all be listening to 80s music while we're doing it. If I could be playing 80s music on this podcast, I would, but there's so much copyright infringement. I'm not allowed to. But you can imagine that I would be playing a Janet Jackson song, or I would be playing a Madonna song, or I would just for sure be playing, I don't know, Don't you forget about me, mom. Sweet dreams. I made of it.

Let's go. Talk to you next time.

That was my podcast series for you, Gen-X, female entrepreneur. All your uniqueness and amazingness. So I have a question. Did you like it? How did it drop in? Did it resonate? If it did, and if you liked it, and if you have something to say, I have three requests. Pick one.

The first one is, send me a message at [email protected] and let me know what you think of it. I'd love to know. You could also share that same message on the actual podcast reviews.

The second thing I would ask you to do is send this entire thing to your sister Gen-X female entrepreneur. I want to do the most I can to help 20 million women, who are in this specific place, feel better, do better. And it all starts by thinking better. And you can help me with that by just sharing it. Just share the link. Nobody has to sign up for anything. Just share it.

And lastly, if this spoke to you and you want to work with me, I work with a hundred women a year and I would love to talk to you about the potential of us working together. And if that's you, just go to and everything you need to know about how to go forward is right there.

I'm so glad you tuned in and if you have any other ideas, send them my way. See you next time.

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