Do I Really Need Balls to Make it in Business?


I've always been a fan of words like chutzpah, moxie & audacity, anything that is reminiscent of positive persistence and that "glass half full", gonna-make-it attitude. Often times, the word I hear most often to describe this attitude is ballsy.

When I decided to move to New York City (which took very little convincing despite the fact that I had no job waiting for me, and my vast knowledge of the city was limited to the long weekend I spent visiting tourist spots with my parents during a spring break over a decade ago) my friend Richard told me "Everyone needs a New York City chapter, forget 'balls out' go 'balls in' and just do it".

Later, when I moved here and became a full fledged entrepreneur, I heard the term "you gotta have balls" tossed around almost daily. One of my favorite women of late, best-selling author (and Tin Shingle member) Karen Salmansohn even has a line from her book "Ballsy: 99 Ways to Score Extreme Success" which states "you don't need a penis to succeed in business, just balls".

Sure, all of this is fine and good, but I'm left with one problem: I don't have balls, and I'm fairly certain that I wouldn't care for them either. Sure I know that it's symbolic, but why use a term for male confidence and the male anatomy as a frame of reference for our female success? Alisa Vitti, founder of Laughing Sage Wellness once said to me that when she meets a powerful and inspiring woman who is breaking down walls and making things happen, she exclaims something along the lines of "you sure have a great pair of ovaries". YES! What a great start!

Like Gloria Steinem said, a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Well I am starting to think that a woman needs balls ...well she just doesn't need them at all! Do you know what she does need? She needs to continue to push to change the way society feels about a woman in control of her own business, her own life, and her own destiny. She needs to remind herself that what she does need is endurance, faith, moxie, bravery, an ability to believe in herself and keep going when everyone else wants her to quit. She needs her faith in herself and a community of like minded women in her corner to support her and move her even faster towards her goals!

With women starting businesses at nearly 4x the rate of men, and succeeding - let's leave the men their balls - they need something of their own and we have enough great things going for us without that extra baggage!