“Wherever you find a problem, you will usually find the finger-pointing of blame. Society is addicted to playing the victim” says Stephen R. Covey, Author of the best-selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Although women have come a long way in the business world, it is still very much unbalanced. But don’t only blame or expect things to change for the better if you are not prepared to grow, adapt, and develop. You as a woman also have the power to start with small changes, even baby steps, will guarantee your own success through self-development. Ginni Rometty said, “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” Now is the time to step out of your comfort zone and learn and practice some new habits.
Here’s how to become a successful businesswoman in 5 easy steps:
Although we are generalising now, we are of the opinion that women give away their power too easily because they don’t believe in themselves. They don’t speak up. They constantly doubt themselves and they think that they don’t have valuable contributions and ideas. Try working on, practicing, and improving your self-confidence daily by:
- not talking down to yourself
- not minimizing your opinion
- not constantly criticizing the way you look, speak etc.
- not using unsure words and phrases like “maybe”; “I think” etc. in business communication
- not speaking up
- not being a pushover
- not taking everything personally
- being your own cheerleader
- uplifting others
- being kind to yourself and believe in yourself because you are worth it.
And pay it forward. Create a positive cycle by laying the foundation from early on, not only for yourself but for your children. A more confident woman, feels and looks more positive, motivated, and is respected. She becomes a force to reckon with when she becomes an extraordinary leader.
2. Improve your skills and knowledge.
If you feel like an ‘expert’ within your field, you will automatically have more confidence to speak up and voice your opinions, take leadership, and own the stage, so to speak. If you constantly develop your skills in effective communication, presenting, prompt and well calculated decision-making, negotiating and good problem-solving etc., you will also feel like a specialist in those skillsets which will increase your confidence even more. Attend as many soft skills courses as possible and be hungry to learn. Focus on continuous improvements daily and be open to motivation and inspiration from others.
3. Have a plan
If you don’t have clear goals and align them with the rest of your life, you will be stuck where you are. Approach your life like you will a business. Set well-defined objectives for yourself and determine reasonable achievable deadlines. Throughout this journey, make sure you stay enroute. Distractions and negativity can cause procrastination and may very well derail your efforts to reach your dreams.
It is imperative that, although you map out your career goals, you leave space for wellness, mindfulness, and spontaneity. It’s like Emily Alyn Lind said: “You can have fun, but when it is time to work, work hard and be focused.” Be a hundred percent present when you work, and a hundred precent present when you have fun or relax. Focus on achieving that balance in everything within your life. Don’t forget to make time for yourself. No one is going to look after your wellness, except you.
5. Learn to fail successfully
There is a famous saying that failure is not the opposite of success, but it’s part of success. Everything in life has positives and negatives. You must fail in order to learn. In the business world failure is inevitable at one stage or another. It is however, about what you take away from it that makes you successful. It is about how quick you recover; get back on “that horse”; and what you learn from it that counts. “The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying” are the wise words of Paulo Coelho.
During your journey, it is always good to have backup and support. Make sure you have a good mentor or coach who is there for you. Don’t push away the people who want to see you succeed. Learn to listen to them, take the valuable advice and ignore the rest. Invest in yourself through self-development and personal wellness.