During one of our recent Third Tribe Q & A sessions, Chris Brogan made a comment about sex that really got my attention.
I should probably clarify that I don’t mean sex as in “Are you getting any?”
I mean sex as in male vs. female, and how that influences our behavior, our thinking, and the potential of our blogs.
Assuming we all have equal opportunity from the start, is one sex more likely to succeed in blogging than the other?
Do men have a natural advantage over women — or women over men?
In other words, does sex matter?
Chris was responding to a woman about to launch a service business but hesitant to do so because she had no formal “qualifications.” Personal experience, yes. The ability to help her clients, yes. But not the kind of “qualifications” worthy of quotation marks.
This was Chris’s response, in a nutshell:
There’s a really fascinating gender thing where women worry that they’re not qualified. And men [on the other hand] always just blatantly rush in and say ‘yeah sure I could do that’ — even if they have no real related skill. If they think they have a sense of the skill, they’ll do it.
The reason Chris’s answer about sex got my attention is that I recently wrote an ebook on reinventing yourself.
I had no reservations whatsoever about writing as an authority on the subject — even though I do not have a psychology degree or any similarly validating credentials. I have successfully reinvented myself on several occasions, so I assumed my real life results would be experience enough.
Apparently the fact that I had no reservations about publishing the book despite my lack of third-party validation makes me more like a man than a woman.
I just double-checked … I am definitely a woman
It’s not the first time I’ve heard something like “you’re more like a dude than a girl.” Most of the people who have said this to me are men, so I’m going to assume it was meant as a compliment.
The point is there is a difference in male and female characteristics. Some traits are much more likely to be found in women, and some in men.
Which brings me back to my original question:
When it comes to blogging and the potential for success, does sex matter?
I’m going to say yes.
Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
- According to Annabel Candy, one of the 8 habits of highly effective bloggers is being analytical, typically thought of as a “male” trait.
- Sonia Simone says one of the ways to make more sales online is problem-solving, also often described as a male trait.
Interesting that both these articles highlighting male traits are written by women. On the other hand …
- Brian Clark writes that being a good listener will lead to “supernatural success.” I’m going to put “listening” in the feminine column.
- Jon Morrow teaches you need to make friends. Women are good at that.
- And Chris Garrett promotes longterm relationships and empathy. I’m not even gonna touch that.
Study the smartest advice coming from both sexes and you’ll see that both “masculine” and “feminine” traits are vital to your success as a blogger, writer, marketer, and businessperson.
Obviously, you don’t need to change any of your plumbing. And you don’t need a personality transplant.
When I met them recently at Blogworld, I noticed that Sonia can be an assertive, analytical businesswoman and still wear pink shoes. And despite his tendency to listen more than he talks, Brian strikes me as a logical, problem-solving guy who doesn’t second-guess his own authority.
Success doesn’t belong to one sex
The bottom line is this: Sure, sex matters.
It matters in the sense that, generally speaking, some skills tend to come more naturally to men and others tend come more naturally to women.
The best of the best seem to suggest that success as a blogger doesn’t depend on your sex. (Good thing, because that’s pretty complicated to change.) It depends on your ability to cross over and develop a balanced skill set — one that includes both the typical masculine strengths and feminine sensibilities.
You just need to be willing to learn from the other team.
Which makes me feel a whole lot better about being a “girl who’s more like a dude.”
And saves me tons of money on therapy.