Every woman reaches a point in her life where she begins to question whether she has short changed herself. We’ve taken on the roles and labels of mom, wife, employee and provider and, in the process, have lost or chosen to ignore who we are at our core. All of us had dreams when we were growing up but, too often, we decide that they are impractical or unattainable.
As a motivational speaker and life coach, women come to me in order to help rediscover themselves and find personal fulfillment. For many, that involves starting a business or learning a new skill. My role is to help them identify their unique talents and tap into the “soft skills” that most women innately possess to become successful.
Whether you’re considering starting a new business or growing your existing business, here are some of the most important strategies for success:
- Be a mentor and mentee – Ask almost any woman who has a successful career and she will tell you that she had a mentor. The opportunity to learn from someone who’s “been there and done that” and be coached is invaluable in developing your soft and hard skills. At the same time, paying it forward and becoming a mentor to someone creates a feeling of personal fulfillment.
- Network – I’ve found that networking for men and women is quite different. Men seem to view it as a sport, never really connecting but rather trying to just accumulate as many connections as possible. Women collaborate. We find commonalities and ways in which we can mutually benefit. We also encourage and learn. Whether it’s true networking meetings or business groups, such as the one I joined, women leave feeling inspired, jazzed and empowered.
- “Down time” is good – Working 12 hour days won’t make you more successful, it will just burn you out. It seems counter-intuitive but some of the most successful people realize that scheduling time for yoga, meditation and simply relaxing will actually make you more productive.
- Don’t be afraid of failure – The stories of “overnight successes” who failed at something at least 20 times prior are everywhere. Successful women know that moving forward will require some mistakes along the way and view these as growth opportunities. Women are usually their own worst critics, but once we learn to love ourselves and forgive ourselves, we find peace.
- Share success and acknowledge others – Recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and surrounding yourself with people who can “fill in your missing pieces” is critical to success. Enthusiasm is contagious. It truly does take a village to not only raise a child but grow a business. No one gets to the pinnacle of success, whatever that is, without people helping along the way. Just as a sports team wins together, so does the successful woman.
Regardless of whether you’re an entrepreneur, volunteer or employee, if you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, you will never be truly successful. GO FOR IT – whatever “it” is! Life’s too short to not be happy.