• Jenny Stallard

Big Girl Pants – a love/hate business term that's growing on me...

Over the Summer I posted about my loathing of a phrase I’d heard a lot: Put on your big girl pants. AKA Brave Pants, I felt like it was a bit, well, icky.

Why did we have to be brave? What did it mean? Was it only aimed at women?

For me, putting on my Big Girl Pants felt a little patronising.

I had a few replies, and one of them stuck with me so much I decided to interview the person who posted it.

And, through our chats, I have actually come to rather like the phrase!

The person in question is freelance colleague and friend, Rachel Spencer. Also a former journalist, she now also runs a business helping pet businesses secure publicity and shout about what they do on social media.

So my first question was, what does Big Girl Pants mean, then, really?

Rachel said: “Big girl pants for me means being brave and not caring what people think. I think of the phrase as a way to spur me on, to help me to be bold and do the things that might scare me.”

She told me how she spent many years hiding away, waiting for the phone to ring, "not seeing myself as a business, and then I changed things around 4 years ago and started working with small businesses."

So what changed? “It took a lot of Big Girl Pants (BGP) action because I was scared what people (other journalists and editors) would think. But if I stayed hidden away, my business would have disappeared,” she told me. “Now, I encourage others to do the same, put themselves out there to attract the people who need support, and to do this to be be brave, to be vulnerable. BGP is a way of addressing this in a less heavy, more fun way."

Another thing I need to clarify was, well, it’s not about pants! “Ha, no it’s not - I don’t have a set of pants - but I have a ‘you can do anything’ t shirt,” says Rachel. “This was from when I did a 24 hour relay run. I wasnt fit, I didn’t have time to train, the newspaper I did most of my work for had just shut down so I saw most of my income vanish overnight. I did 30km in 24 hours on a hot July day, it was a hilly cross-country route and it was hell. Everyone who took part got a T shirt and I have kept mine, and whenever I have something challenging to do, I put it on. So really, it’s about a lucky talisman. It can be pants, a badge, a grotty, smelly t shirt!"

And how does it work when it comes to business?

“When you work for yourself there is so much to learn, new social media platforms or tools like reels, and so often you are out of your comfort zone. You’re trying new things, you don’t know the reaction, you don’t know if a new course or workshop will go down like a lead balloon or bring you record sales, and it’s scary. But if you don’t push yourself, how do you know? So having support, and a community like yours is a great example, is vital, so you stretch yourself. The BGP idea is around acknowledging you’re doing something brave, and it might be amazing, it might be a disaster, but you’re going to go for it anyway.”

Rachel now runs a bootcamp harnessing the BGP ethos. It begins again on Sept 20th 2022. It came about after speaking to a client, and after speaking then about being more bold, she found that it stuck, and grew on her.

“It came out that actually there are a lot of BS-ers out there who aren’t even qualified and have little experience but they’re great at bigging themselves up. Meanwhile there are people with amazing experience and knowledge and accreditations as long as a telephone book who are terrified of putting themselves out there. So the idea for the Be Bold Bootcamp came to me. I did a free five day training, focusing on helping people feel more confident talking about their products and services and how they help people.

Every day I went live, answering questions, and at the end of each live I read the poem. It was ACE!. At the end, I put together a six week course taking people from bashful to bold.

We had interviews with bold business owners including Kerry, who creates reels while dressed as a giant willy, Niki who went viral with #dontwalkyourdogday, Sarah who is on a crusade to support anxious dogs and Nadia who went on Dragons Den.”

As for me, I do like big pants! And after chatting to Rachel, I am way more into the idea of BGP when it comes to business. So I’ll be launching into autumn wearing my pants with pride!

How about you?

To find out if Rachel’s Be Bold Bootcamp is right for you, read more about it and hear from her on her podcast via her website publicityforpetbusinesses.co.uk


If you know it’s right for you and you want to book, click HERE


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