Saturday Link Love for the Marketing to Women Online Crowd
Social Media Connections Run Amuck

If I Can Do It, Anyone Can Do It! Bull.

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia

I didn't realize how much I disliked this statement until the other day.

Many times people make this statement when someone is praising them for a job well done. I've noticed that women say this especially.

We say it as if to say, "'Lil ol' me? What I've achieved isn't really that great. I'm humanMargaritaville after all so please don't expect any more good things from me. I'm honestly not that great. Really. Now, please focus on someone else!"

What the heck happens to women when we are given praise that sends us on a first-class, one-way trip to Martyrville instead of Margaritaville?

I should say that it's not that I think I'm better than anyone else (I do, Sidney Poitier-style, believe I'm different), I just resent what the "if I can do it anyone can" statement implies.

It implies that, well, anyone can do what I do. And, I CERTAINLY don't agree with that. Well, not really...

Anyone can do what I can do if they're willing to do...oh...a few things. Like:

  • Launch a one-person speaking tour that requires you to travel to 5 states in 9 days and live out of a carry-on suitcase
  • Cook all your food for the week on the weekend, because you don't know if you'll have time to cook during the week and a home-cooked meal is one of a few things that makes you feel grounded
  • Fire your assistant - not once but twice (different people, of course) - knowing full well that it will increase your work load temporarily
  • Fire clients you like as people, but who eat away at your profit margins
  • Stay current in a constantly changing industry and maintain and grow your expert status
  • Write a book
  • Write five different blogs and one magazine column - consistently
  • Oh, and add like 90 other things here...

There are many people who couldn't manage ONE of those bulleted items, much less all the others simultaneously.

We are so quick to discount our achievements - even to the point of saying that ANYONE can do what we do. And, I'm not talking special training and degrees- of which I have neither. I'm talking doing what you do. Who the hell told us that we had to be vegan, philanthropic, multi-lingual, peace activist superwomen in order to be considered remarkable? And, if we find out who told us, why did we believe them?

I don't know about you, but I'm sure if you're reading this blog, there are LOADS of scenarios that you navigate every single day that most people couldn't imagine having to deal with just once in their lifetime because that's the kind of people this blog attracts. Maybe...

  • you have special needs
  • you're the parent of a special needs child
  • you're the primary care giver to elderly parents
  • you've written a book every year for the past five years
  • you battle depression or some other illness that makes getting out of bed and act of Congress - but you show up anyway without fail
  • you're "poor as a church mouse" (as my Grandmother would say) and you don't know if you'll be able to keep the lights on, but you work toward your dreams everyday.

Too often we see taking credit for all that we do during our day-to-day lives as bragging or unnecessary. Why? Because our day-to-day is exactly that....our day-to-day. We often forget that in many instances, our day-to-day is EXTRAORDINARILY STUPENDOUS.

Phenomenal women. That's us.

P.S. If you want to hear this phenomenal woman speak about where and how to find time for social media, I'll be leading a teleclass this Wednesday, the 19th at noon, EST, for the Downtown Women's Club called, "Social Media & Time Management: How Do I Find the Time?" You need to be a member to listen in.


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Lena L. West


Thanks! It's so hard for us to own our goodness sometimes. I just got tired of watching women push away their wins as "common achievements". They're not.

@BizBlogged: I don't understand your comment. Link bait maybe? Well, I didn't bite :)

Thanks for reading and commenting,



If I Can Do It, Anyone Can Do It! If I Can't Who Else Can Do It? quite annoying thought.. Motivation matters a lot but the second one has a slight selfishness mixed up..


Amen. Women are often so quick to minimize their achievements and skills. Good for you for taking pride in and acknowledging yours. Thank you for reminding the rest of us to do the same!

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