Fight Wonder Woman syndrome

18:56, Feb 19 2013
Wonder woman
Wonder woman

Love Your Small Business co-founder Jo Foster has a name for the unreasonable expectations that women place upon themselves - Wonder Woman syndrome.

Miss Foster, of Christchurch, ran a workshop at the 2013 Realising Innovation Success and Enterprise forum in Blenheim last week.

About 80 per cent of the businesswomen who attended the workshop admitted to a big struggle with the syndrome, she said.

"We look at other women who are successful, and create this illusion that they've created their success all on their own, and still have time to spend on themselves and family."

The belief that women should be able to do everything, coupled with an aversion to asking for help, could lead to the business suffering, she said.

"The owners are so passionate and competent at delivering their service or skill, but obviously there are a lot of aspects to running a business."


Sales and marketing, website production and maintenance, packaging, logistics, finance and administration were some of the skills business owners could look at outsourcing to ease workload, she said.

Although business owners might be able to keep on top of everything for a while, the juggling act could eventually take a toll on their business, leading to a feeling of failure.

The key was for individuals to identify what success meant to them, whether that be spending more time with family or clients, or having the time to follow other interests.

The next step was to prioritise individual tasks, identify which areas were least enjoyable and find the right person to do the work.

But many owners of start-up businesses struggled with passing control to someone else, or found their budget would not stretch to pay someone else, she said. "A crucial step is recognising the benefits to yourself and your business and the positive difference it will make if you let go."

Miss Foster and co-founder Janine Ogg's web-based business involved guiding women to start their own ventures by creating a compelling life vision and process for achieving their goals.

On Tuesday next week, they are leading a free 90-minute online workshop aimed at mothers who own their own business.

The workshop would help women understand the illusion behind the Wonder Woman syndrome and prioritise what was most important to them, they said.

To register interest in the workshop go to: and a confirmed time will be emailed to you.

The Marlborough Express