In a world where most women feel undervalued, underrepresented and unheard, I am pleased to see and read about more women venturing into the business world! Some ladies as young as 14 are already brainstorming business ideas with interest in tutoring, baking, clothing lines, hair or beauty. These industries allow them to be connected 24/7 through social media, with the added advantage of free advertising which is revolutionary. It is advisable to start a business with something you really like doing, things that motivate you and make you thrive, not only focusing on the financial gain (it is still good to have enough money though). Having a sense of purpose of what you are doing, the “why”, will make you be intrinsically motivated. This will also allow you to stay connected with your customers and the world at large. Successful women in business are able to apply their vision to positively impact the world. They are willing to learn from their mistakes, grow and develop new ideas. They are able to create the lives they desire, with flexibility and freedom of choice, even though they work longer hours.
Start off by setting a goal and do not be scared to increase targets as you become more successful. There is a saying that “if you want to get somewhere you have never been before, you have to do something you have never done before”. Business is a roller-coaster with several uncertainties, unlike a regular 9 to 5 job. It requires hard work, determination, prayers, resilience and faith!
Putting in hard work will bring the dividends later on. It requires huge effort to make it work but a lot of determination will get you through the obstacles ahead. Prayers has always helped me cope with situations. It gives me strength to complete challenging tasks.
Resilience is about not giving up mentally, it is always a good idea to surround yourself with positive role models. The right circle of friends and family around you would literally make life easier for you. They can help you to re-charge and re-strategise.
Being an entrepreneur is demanding. It is exhaustive and could be somewhat demoralising. It is therefore important to understand one’s tolerance threshold and learn how to cope with stress that might arise during the course of the business journey. The starting point is to be in the right frame of mind, be healthy and physically ready for the venture. Achieving this will require you to identify your needs; your feelings, eating and sleeping habits. Having a self care routine is not selfish!
As women, it is okay to be assertive, strong, competitive, tough and direct. However, we should be aware of our soft skills that are also necessary in the business world. The emotional, sensitive, intuitive, empathy and feminine qualities would enable us to be connected powerful businesswomen.
The following are some powerful successful businesswomen in the world today that I admire:
The women mentioned above have millions and billions of dollars in net worth and have had a positive impact in the world through their businesses and charities. They remind me to identify and use the gifts and talent I have appropriately. No need to waste any more time figuring things out, just get started! The initial business plan does not have to be perfect but it will grow when you nurture and develop it. Also, it will amaze you when others get inspired from your humble beginning.
These women also remind us to be ourselves as we go about our business. It is not advisable to put on someone else's ‘coat’. Be authentic and original. We should encourage ourselves when we achieve some level of success, no matter how small.
As a business lady, you will be challenged to improve yourself, your product or service in order to become more engaged with your clients. You may want to delve into new ways of working, new strategies that would propel your business and set your innovative mind into gear. However, remember that when those new ideas come into your mind, a feeling of doubt and insecurity may follow. If you allow it to, the insecurity will overshadow your good ‘inner voice’. Re-focus your mind, assess new opportunities, review the level of impact of the ‘new opportunity’ such as the effort and time it will require to recommit to the initial vision before all of the doubt set in. Aim to sustain the flow of upwards trajectory. Belief you can do it!
My daughters and I
(we mean business)
In conclusion, it is good to build open and respective relationships with like-minded people who will keep you grounded, motivated and connected. Surround yourself with the right network of people that you can lean on. They will be available to provide the genuine care and joy you need during tough times. Some women have a full time regular job and still run their businesses on the side, I applaud them. Other women prioritise business over motherhood. Do whatever floats your boat, life is all about choices and we are constantly making them.
Would you ever consider becoming an entrepreneur? What line of business would be of interest? Share your your thoughts.