11 Essential Sovereign Business Practices Every Female Founder Needs to Put into Place

Shawn Fink
12 min readAug 9, 2023

I love the work I do because my whole life I have dedicated every ounce of my being to the advancement and empowerment of women and those who identify as female.

Empowerment is one of those overused words, though, and often loses its meaning after a while.

What I really mean to say here is this: I am here to see you feel confident enough to do what feels good for you and to feel ready and willing to do what is uncomfortably necessary to grow your influence, your success and your power.

And, in business, this means daily — or multiple times a day.

No time is better to do that than when you feel like you are not feeling aligned or when your business is a runaway train, like you’re off track but the train is speeding along and there is no end in sight.

In those moments, or seasons, something isn’t feeling right and you feel powerless.

  • Perhaps you are feeling invisible or as if you are playing too small
  • Perhaps you are feeling swamped and finding yourself leading a team and feeling out of control in your own life or creativity.
  • Perhaps you feel like you are calling in the wrong kinds of clients or not earning enough income for yourself.
  • Perhaps you feel like you are spending more time in your day doing what you do not love and what doesn’t bring you joy.

Any of these scenarios — or many others — can create friction in your role as a founder.

You went into business for the freedom but, if you are not careful, you won’t have the kind of freedom you really want.

I work with my clients on the Entrepreneurial Freedom Trifecta : Designing business and offerings that create time flexibility, meaning making and identity freedom.

All of this, though, requires that, we as women founders and entrepreneurs, feel empowered and stay in our power as we make key decisions and take bold action.

The goal for me as a coach is to empower my clients to reach a place of sovereignty in their business — in their offerings, in their revenue, in their leadership, in their marketing and sales, and in their daily activities.

This involves a lot of outer changes and inner shifts that results in more confidence and feeling much more empowered in how they show up in their business and for their team — and personally.

For instance, I have a client who was barely leading her team, not expecting enough from her team and slowly came to realize that she needed to step up and lead more boldly. That meant she had to make a lot of changes, including becoming a more sovereign business owner.

What does it mean to be sovereign?

As a founder and entrepreneur, you decide how your business is going to be shaped and the culture it will operate under.

When you are no longer making those decisions that benefit you or your business vision, or when you are pleasing others far more than your interests, you are not operating in a sovereign way.

But, what does sovereignty really mean?

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, Sovereignty means:

a : supreme power especially over a body politic

I work with my clients on what I call Brave YES Power Moves, which include a myriad of bold actions especially sovereign business practices that give you back your power, your ability to influence your role and your business, and freedom from other people telling you how to do things or what you can and can’t do.

When you operate as a Sovereign Founder you are embracing power within that reminds you that you are the visionary and the leader of your business. And you get to be the boss. You get to be authentically you and design your business around what works for you. This doesn’t give you permission to be a jerk or a bad leader. It doesn’t mean powering over your team or being unavailable for your clients.

It simply means you are grounded in presence because you have a clear understanding of what is happening and what you need for your highest good of service in this world.

Why Sovereignty is Essential for a Thriving Business

Far too often, entrepreneurs burn out and bottom out in business because they lose control of how they are spending their time and where their energy goes. This can be from working with clients and service delivery or it could be working with a team.

When you have sovereignty, you feel like you are in control and that you are able to make decisions from a place of empowerment not power loss.

Running and growing a business takes a lot of patience and discernment.

The more you feel empowered, the happier and more balanced you are going to feel.

I wish someone had told me more about staying in my power and being sovereign early in my entrepreneurship journey. I would have made some different key decisions that benefited me more in those early years. Instead, I let others influence how I ran my business and what decisions I made.

Once I stepped into my power and truly felt like I had agency over my decision making and leadership, I found the balance and joy I had been searching for at that time and the confidence to take some strategic risks that I had been holding back on.

It’s never too late to devote yourself to empowering yourself to bolder leadership and taking more aligned, braver action in your business and that’s what we work on in my private coaching program as well as my Brave YES Power Squad, a group coaching program devoted to boosting your courage, confidence and inner power.

When you feel powerful, you can do anything and you will do anything. Do not think that your power is too much or excessive. Your POWER is the driver of your creative energy and your generosity. It is the core of your business. Your team relies on you to put your POWER to use for good. Your power can shape every single member of your team into a star. If you use it. This is essential inner work my clients are ALL are encouraged to do with my business and courage coaching program.

Here are 10 Essential Sovereign Business Practices Every Female Founder Needs to Put into Place:

1. Set Bolder Boundaries.

I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur for 10 years and I learned many boundary lessons by NOT having boundaries in place.

The truth is that no one can tell you what boundaries you need to have in place to feel empowered and energized. You have to figure them out and implement as they come up.

Boundaries are your inner and outer personal rules to abide by that help to protect your joy, your energy, your resources and your time. Often, we are good at setting boundaries with clients and, perhaps even, team members.

The thing is, though, powerful boundaries that you set WITH YOURSELF are just as important and will help you advance and be proactive not just reactive about your goals and vision are also equally as essential.

In other words, setting boundaries to protect you against your own self-sabotage is just as important as the ones you set with others.

>>>> Sign up now for my Bolder Business Boundaries Boost FREE Challenge here.

2. Lead with Your Brave YES Edge

Everyone is talking about being authentic these days.

And, for some, being authentic is performative and splashy.

But, what if you are beige? A bit too vanilla?

Well, that’s perfect, too!

This is where my passion for helping you discover and Own YOUR Brave YES Edge comes into play.

I’m not just a business coach.

I’m a business strategist who also specifically offers courage coaching to help my clients uplevel and do hard things — and I work with my clients on their next Brave YES Leaps.

And, you’re not just a … landscape architect, book coach, graphic designer, painter, writing coach, etc. etc. etc.

Your Brave YES Edge is the key to drawing people to you and the work you do and how you can help them. It’s what sets you apart.

>>> Get started with finding your edge by Discovering Your Entrepreneurial Courage Style!

3. Step into Brave Leadership

Your Brave YES Edge is how you stand out, NOT how you fit in.

The state of our future relies on YOU putting your genius out into the world — whether that is in speaking up and speaking out, your ideas, your services, your art or your energy, your products, your offers, your voice.

When you stand for something and express it, this is how you claim — or reclaim — your power.

Our systems are broken and bold creators and thought leaders like you are going to save us — by leading more courageously and creating work that bridges us to the New World we all crave and desire.

4. Say YES Before You’re Ready

Once you know what you stand for nothing will stop you and you can make an impact … with your influence, your money, your leadership, your ideas and your power.

Be willing to be a leader and not a beginner. Step into your expert status now. Let them see your brave.

It’s so easy to think you need to learn more and experience more before you say YES to a big goal or dream you have for yourself or your business.

The thing is, at some point you have to move beyond your beginner’s mindset and step into your expert status.

5. Determine How YOU will influence and market in your business

For women entrepreneurs this can be especially challenging. Unlike our male counterparts who tend to walk into a new experience confident, we tend to hold back, play small and wait for clear evidence we are ready to take a risk or try something new.

In order to get your business where you want it, you’ll have to start saying YES before you think you are ready.

When you let the Big Guys dictate how you will market based on their needs and wants and how they set the algorithms, you are not in your power.

If you love video and video is where your happy place is, that works well for you. If you do not love video, you do not have to use video. Most of my clients do not love video or consume it so we use many other ways to market our work.

6. Set Brave YES Intentions for Yourself, not just your business.

When you step into your power and listen to what you know works best for you and your business, you can determine how you will influence and market your business in a way that feels fully aligned with your passion and your values.

Your Entrepreneurial courage style can absolutely guide you in how you approach sales and marketing.

I have a general rule — well, it’s more a bit of an anarchist/non-conformist/anti-authoritarian streak — where if you tell me exactly what to do, I’m not going to do it.

My clients know this about me. 😄

So, when all the craze several years ago was picking a word of the year, the more my brain tried and tried, the more my heart and soul resisted.

So I started setting intentions instead and that was all great.

But sometimes intentions are a little too comfy.

Setting Soul Goals & Brave Yes intentions is not a left brained exercise.

Learn more about Setting Brave YES Intentions here.

7. Define Your Own Success

And it needs to be done in the perfect environment — a safe space or spaciousness — where you can really open up and allow all possibilities to step out of hiding. Otherwise you end up choosing intentions based on shoulds or false illusions — those things that are based on what is beckoned to you, that shows up in front of you and suddenly you need.

But, don’t forget you aren’t just a business owner. Set intentions that GROW your own interests, dreams and visions for your life. This is where the real Brave YES yearnings come alive.

There’s lots of talk about making 7 and 8 figures these days.

Let’s clear something up.

You can be successful earning less than 6 figures — if that’s where you’re at, own it and soak in the abundance of where you are currently.

It’s all in how you define success for yourself and how you live your life.

Don’t let other people’s ideas of success determine your own.

8. Take Actions that Scale Your Joy

Think for yourself.

Design metrics of success that are deeply personal to you.

If your any of your sales, marketing or business tasks make you feel ick or angry or bored out of your mind, you need a joy infusion!

If you feel resistance to a certain way of doing business that you’ve learned from someone else, that is a red flag that that system isn’t working for you.


Create your own system that is centered around what works for you, what feels good. It’s easy to think there are rules in business — that’s just because we’ve been conditioned by capitalism to operate by a certain set of workplace and business rules.

We can reject any and all of that if it doesn’t feel good.

As a coach, my role in a coaching relationship is to keep a focus on your wholistic life — and our work together is about bringing all of your many fragmented parts into alignment.

10. Use Your Voice and Take Up Space

We weave wholeness into everything including your own self-worth through my business coaching. Once you know yourself so well that you can see how you have been showing up in the world out of alignment, it’s so much easier to lead and create more boldly.

The key to being the change we want to see in the world beings within. It begins with no longer self-sabotaging. It begins with no longer letting energy leaks take over. It begins with trusting yourself.

Despite what the voices in your head tell you, you are ready.

You are ready to start taking up more space in ways you never dreamed.

In order to attract your most aligned clients and you need to let them see your B.R.A.V.E … this means you need to show up, take risks and really start to put yourself out there — consistently and boldly.

You are an expert. You know what you are doing. You are more than capable.

11. Invest in Believing in Your Self-Worth

It’s time to take up space.

It’s time to use your voice. You can do this through strategic content creation, speaking, hosting events and more.

We have to find new ways of seeing ourselves and that means focusing more on what’s strong and not what’s wrong.

When we focus on what’s wrong, all the gaping holes of our entire existence start to show up as glaring stains on our nice clean shirts.

But when we focus on what’s strong like our strengths, like our assets, like our experiences, like our skills, we start to see ourselves for what we are: wise, beautiful survivors, people who’ve been through a lot, who carry a lot, who are going to change the world one tiny moment at a time.

All of this can carry you through a sale, can carry you through a marketing campaign, can carry you through a new program- all of it.

Once you start to empower yourself. By investing in boosting your self worth and confidence, you will see sales.

>>> To do this, you may need to untangle your self-worth from your bank account

Marketing visibility offers creativity, making the hard asks become easier. It impacts the boundaries you keep and the way you communicate with others.

When you communicate from a place of self doubt or low self worth, nobody’s going to take you seriously. You’re not going to make the kind of impact you want to make.

Any of these practices will help you stand in your already-existing power. Any of these sovereign business practices will empower you to make more sound decisions that impact your bottom line, wellbeing and team more positively. But, putting all of them into practice over time will be a game changer.

Which sovereign business practice would you like to double down on and make your priority the rest of this year?

Originally published at https://shawnfink.com on August 9, 2023.



Shawn Fink

I help wholehearted entrepreneurs be #BusinessBrave and start taking up more space and running your biz on your terms.