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This article by Melinda Sherwood was published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on

October 20, 1999. All rights reserved.

Business Therapy: No More Faking

Imagine a cross between Sigmund Freud and Adam Smith

and what you get is Marcia Rosen, a.k.a "the business


Rosen is well-known and liked among business women who have heard

her speak on such things as the "Orgasm Syndrome." "I

call it the orgasm syndrome because of the whole `faking it’ thing

— women pretend that they’re not really as smart as they are,

that they’re not as aggressive or clever. They give away the power,

pretending to be coy and cute, when they’re really tough and


says Rosen, who elaborates on the "Mindblocks & Roadblocks of

Success," for the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners’

on Wednesday, October 20, at 6 p.m. at the Valley Regency Caterers

in Montclair. Cost: $40. Call 973-783-1833.

"Women have faked it in the boardroom, faked it in the bedroom,

and faked it in the business arena," says Rosen, an entrepreneur

who has been speaking to large audiences of business women on the

New York circuit for almost 30 years now. In addition to starting

her own school, she served on the New York Venture Fund and the NYC

Task Force for Women’s Economic Development. She has been an advisor

and trainer in business programs sponsored by the American Women’s

Economic Development Corp., and she is on the verge of publishing

her cumulative work, "The Woman’s Business Therapist: Eliminating

the Mindblocks to Success." She also runs her own marketing and

PR consulting business while juggling phone calls from her two sons,

who she calls her best friends.

Rosen’s career as a therapist began with a few impromptu discussions

with clients: "I found that someone would come in and ask me a

question related to marketing or PR and they would eventually open

up and talk about the real problem: the stress of a family


debt, no one would loan them money, they had been sexually harassed,

they didn’t believe that they could really be a success."

After honing her listening skills, Rosen identified several


that appeared to be unique to women: problems with relationships,

money, and self-esteem. "Most men do not come to the business

world with generations of voices screaming in their head what they

should be and should not be, what they can do and cannot do,"

says Rosen. "Men come with a much better foundation for knowing

how to be in business. Women often get pigeonholed in the corporate


Self-esteem and sexual discrimination aside, some of the biggest


to women’s success is imperceptible at first. Ironically, says Rosen,

relationships — a woman’s relationship to her spouse, parents,

or others — can be tremendously damaging. "I was speaking

at a workshop and this woman stood up and said I really have a problem

making a lot of money — the problem was she had a lot of


level at making more money that her father," says Rosen. "She

thought it would embarrass him or make him uncomfortable, and she

didn’t want to do that to him."

Many women withhold out of respect for their relations, says Rosen,

for fear of hurting someone’s feeling — yet another


that women have to get over. "Women have had a history of not

wanting to make men feel bad or diminished so they have faked it,"

says Rosen, who recalls counseling one woman who struggled for months

to get a male client to pay his bill: "We get to the point that

we realize that she wants this person to keep liking her."

If women conquer their fears of hurting others’ feelings, and stow

away some of the expectations that have been placed on them at birth,

they start off in a good place, says Rosen, but there are many other

pitfalls that women often find themselves in:

Not asking for and getting good help. "Women often

end up hiring the wrong person," says Rosen, and often times that

wrong person is the friend or family member.

Not saving. Structured money management is extremely


particularly for women entrepreneurs, says Rosen: "Because capital

is still not as readily available for women, it’s important to plan

for cash flow problems, downtime and slow times."

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