The entrepreneurial waters are getting more crowded by the day, and it’s a blessing in disguise, especially if we take into account the rising number of businesswomen swimming valiantly upstream and writing their names and legacy proudly as they go. As we pause to applaud the growing female presence in business – a world which has up until recently been considered a male dominion – we might as well pick up a few lessons from ladies who know how to carve off a piece of the corporate cake for themselves and make most of their resources.
If your eyes are set on sustainability and success in the business arena, it’s a smart move to pick up the cues from the best – and the fairest – of world’s top-rated entrepreneurs of the 21st century.
1. Take Every Chance, Drop Every Fear
“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global
Arianna Huffington built a global brand from scratch, and she says she wouldn’t have pulled it off had she allowed her fears to hold her back. If you have a business idea you think might just work, don’t think about the negatives: take initiative and see where it leads you. You’ll be able to tweak your strategy as you go, but unless you hit the road, you’ll be robbing yourself of a chance at success.
"You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." – Oprah Winfrey, actress, book author, producer and host of The Oprah Winfrey Show
Face it: you’ll never know all there is to be known about business, but not asking for directions is the safest way to get lost along the way. World-famous female entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey knows just how important it is to do industry-related homework in advance and not be ashamed to ask questions and seek help or guidance when you need it.
If your eyes are on peak business results, research and hard work will get you on the right foot – but it’s the answers that will keep you on the right and fast lane.
“Those who believe in quality produce quality goods.” – Lailah Gifty Akita, founder of Smart Youth Volunteers Foundation
In a world that revolves around quantity, quality is what makes a brand stand out in the crowd. Lailah Gifty Akita is a shining example that excellence is the road to success – but quality takes time, commitment, and long-term investments. Money spent on first-rate office equipment is an investment in employee comfort, wellbeing, and work motivation and as such has a hand in quality of both workflow and output. Fortunately, entrepreneurs are starting to appreciate the benefits behind ergonomic workstations and seating and are no longer averse to investments in quality office equipment.
4. You’ll Make Mistakes – Learn from Them
“It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.” – Sara Blakely, Spanx founder
Sara Blakely is America’s youngest self-made female billionaire for a reason: she made mistakes, and she grew from them. According to her, failing is a sign that you’re pushing the limits of your comfort zone and taking risks; as such, errors are an integral component of the path to success. Mistakes are a source of valuable lessons on how you can tweak business strategy and approach to ensure best results in the long-run, so make them – and learn from them, too.
5. Find Your Passion and Go After It
“Ambitious people have a spark that sets them apart. They don’t just accept their lot. They’re fighters and grafters and they claw their way out of often difficult circumstances.” – Karren Brady, English author, columnist, TV personality and vice-chairman of West Ham United F.C.
The path to success is covered in thorns, but ladies like Karren Brady aren’t fazed by obstacles, which is why they eventually rise to industry top tiers. When going gets tougher than usual, it’s the passion about your line of work that will keep you in the right lane and heading for top-notch performance metrics at full speed. For this reason, the spark is every businesswoman’s best friend: find your passion beyond fame and money, and let it guide you on days when the entrepreneurial waters grow murky.
Swimming in the business shark tank requires courage, constant learning, endurance, and skills – but these successful women have shown that success is attainable and worthwhile. We can all learn a thing or two from those who know business like the back of their ladylike hands, so pick up the cues listed above and put them to practice in your own industry, and laurels will hit home soon.
Who inspires you as your leadership story unfolds? Let us know in the comments.