Being a successful business woman requires a unique set of skills, determination, and perseverance. If you wonder how to be a successfu business woman, this article will provide you with essential tips and insights to help you understand the potential challenges of making money as a woman and seize the opportunities that come your way.
Challenges for Women in Business
Underrepresentation in Key Fields
While progress has been made in many industries, women are still underrepresented in key fields such as finance, engineering, and technology. In STEM industries, women make up only 24% of the workforce in the U.S. and less than 15% in the U.K. This underrepresentation limits the diversity of perspectives and experiences in these fields and hinders the overall progress and innovation that can be achieved.
Gender Bias and Discrimination
Gender bias and discrimination continue to be significant challenges for women in the business world. Studies have shown that women face biases in hiring, promotion, and compensation decisions. Gender stereotypes and preconceived notions about women's capabilities can limit their opportunities for advancement and hinder their professional growth.
Work-Life Balance and Dual Roles
Balancing career aspirations with family responsibilities is a significant challenge for many businesswomen. The expectation to excel professionally while also fulfilling traditional gender roles as caregivers can create added pressure and stress. Achieving a healthy work-life balance is essential for women to thrive both personally and professionally.
How To Be a Successful Business Woman
Take Yourself Seriously
First things first. Always take yourself seriously. I know some people on the internet, even in your life, would tell you not to take yourself too seriously, and we agree that you shouldn't let "serious" define your personality, but what we are trying to say here is that you should always believe in yourself, your idea, and your ability to achieve your goals.
Especially when it comes to gaining a sense of belonging from the previously male-dominated business world, the harsh reality is that if you want to be considered seriously, you need first take yourself seriously. Besides, setting life or career goals requires a certain seriousness about your life.
Find Your Passion and Set Your Goals
One of the fundamental pillars of success as a business woman is having a clear sense of purpose. And to set a reliable and clear goal, you need to find where your passion goes and follow it. The entrepreneur world can get overwhelming when various decisions come into play, it's essential to stay connected to your passion, stay true to yourself, and follow actionable steps along the road.
Lyndie Putnam is a holistic life coach, seminar leader, and the founder of Lyndie Putnan Coaching, a company that helps women reach their full potential.
As a passion-fuled entrepreneur, she was never afraid to take risks, try new things, and pursue her passions wherever they may lead. Her goal remains the same, whether it is in her life coaching business or other endeavors: to empower others to develop a purpose-driven life from the inside out.
Build Your Own Support Network
No one could achieve their goals on their own; same thing with woman in business. Building a community of like-minded people and mentor is essential for your personal and professional growth. Having a support network, surrounded by people who inspire, challenge, and believe in your talents, not only provides you with valuable advice and guidance but also boosts your confidence and opens doors to new career opportunities.
One way to build your own support network is to join professional organizations and actively participate in industry webinars or salons, seeking out networking opportunities with those who already succeeded in entrepreneurship. Below are a few business organizations that foster a positive vibe for women in business:
- National Association for Women Business Owner: one of the largest networking groups available to female entrepreneurs with 10 million members across the US. Their goal is to empower women entrepreneurs and educate them about the best practices in business.
- American Business Women's Association: connects women in various professions and provides online courses, webinars, and network meetings across the US. Additionally, they also offer resume writing and career coaching services for their members.
- Ladies America: a national organization with 3000 members who are top-tier business professionals. They hold various social events and educational seminars every month under the motto "Women Helping Women." As a member, you can also seek personalized advice from experienced mentors.
- Female Entrepreneur Association: an online networking group that motivates women to turn their business products and ideas into viable ventures. Their most notable benefits include weekly videos, actionable tips for small businesses, educational courses, and a supportive social community.
Invest in Financial Knowledge
A financially literate business owner is more likely to be fully in control of their business in the long run, so take some time to learn about budgeting, cash flow management, financial planning, and taxing. Understanding what balance sheets and profit and loss statements mean will allow you to gain a clearer picture of the financial state of your business and subsequently set realistic revenue goals, price your products or services correctly, and make informed financial decisions.
Besides, financial management is essential to the financing activities, such as crowdfunding your business. If you don't know how to manage your money, you can't be serious about managing other people's money or convincing people to invest in your business. So, if necessary, consider hiring a financial advisor or taking courses to enhance your financial literacy.
Be Prepared to Take Risks
Successful businesswomen are not afraid to take calculated risks. They understand that playing it safe will only lead to stagnation and missed opportunities. That's why they take the time to evaluate potential risks and rewards, gather relevant data, and make informed decisions. They are also willing to step outside their comfort zone and embrace new opportunities.
What can you get by taking calculated risks as a female entrepreneur?
- Accelerated growth: Taking calculated risks allows you to move faster and achieve your goals sooner. Instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity, you are willing to take a chance and make things happen.
- Increased confidence: When you take risks and succeed, your confidence grows. You learn that you are capable of more than you thought possible. This increased confidence can help you take on even more significant challenges in the future.
- Greater impact: Taking calculated risks allows you to make a bigger impact on the world. When you start a new business, launch a new product, or enter a new market, you are creating opportunities for yourself and others. You are also helping to shape the future of your industry.
Of course, not every risk will pay off. But that's part of the learning process. By stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing new opportunities, you can position yourself for greater success and open doors to new possibilities for your own business.
Foster Effective Communication Skills
Effective communication is critical for the success in any business endeavor. Your team members are more likely to be productive and efficient if you can effectively explain your expectations and goals to them. You may easily inspire and motivate your team to accomplish your shared goals.
Effective communication is also essential for gathering and sharing information, which is necessary for making sound decisions. Being able to clearly and effectively, both verbal and written, convey your ideas, also allows you to build trust with your colleagues, customers, and other stakeholders, leading to stronger relationships and partnerships.
So how can you develop and improve your communication skills?
- Be clear and concise: When communicating, it is important to be clear and concise in your message. Also, try to communicate with your audience the language they are able to understand.
- Be an active listener: Active listening is just as important as speaking effectively. When someone is speaking to you, pay attention to what they are saying and ask clarifying questions.
- Be open to feedback: Seek feedback from your colleagues and clients on your communication skills, since this will help you see which areas you should improve and which you should preserve.
- Practice regularly: The more you practice communicating, the better you will become at it. Make an effort to communicate effectively in all aspects of your business life.
Embrace Continuous Learning
Embracing a learning mindset is crucial for long-term success in the ever-evolving business landscape. In today's world, change is the only constant, and businesses that are unable to adapt and grow will be quickly left behind. As a business woman who is committed to lifelong learning, you'll be better positioned to navigate change, find new possibilities, and stay ahead of the competition.
How can you cultivate a continuous learning mindset?
- Be curious: Ask questions, explore new ideas, and challenge the status quo.
- Be open to feedback: Be receptive to feedback from others and use it to improve your performance.
- Be willing to take risks: Don't be scared to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone.
- Be persistent: Learning takes time and effort. Don't give up easily.
Particular aspects in continuous learning you may need to consider as a future successful business woman:
- Attend conferences and workshops: This is a great way to learn about new trends and technologies and to network with other professionals in your field.
- Invest in relevant courses and certifications: This is a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in your field and to develop new skills.
- Read books and articles: There is a wealth of information available on a variety of business topics. Make time to read regularly to expand your knowledge.
- Join online communities and forums: This is a great way to connect with other professionals and learn from their experiences.
Be Resilient and Tenacious
As a female entrepreneur, you will face setbacks and challenges along the way. It is inevitable. But if you are resilient and tenacious, you will be able to overcome these obstacles and keep moving forward.
Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a news anchor because she was "unfit for television." But she didn't give up. She went on to become one of the most successful talk show hosts in history. Sara Blakely was rejected by banks and investors dozens of times before she was able to secure funding for her Spanx business. But she didn't give up. She went on to become a self-made billionaire.
Staying resilient and tenacious can be hard sometimes, especially when dealing with multiple challenges at once. Here are some tips to help you cultivate resilience and tenacity:
- Embrace failures as learning opportunities.
- Maintain a positive attitude.
- Surround yourself with a support system.
- Remember that rejection is often a stepping stone to success.
- Take every obstacle as an opportunity for growth.
Overcome Self-Doubt and Imposter Syndrome
Self-doubt and imposter syndrome are common among many successful business women, but they don't have to define you. By recognizing and addressing these feelings, you can overcome them and achieve your full potential.
Here are some additional tips for overcoming these problems:
- Challenge your negative thoughts. When you have a negative thought about yourself, ask yourself if it's really true. Is there any evidence to support it? Or is it just a thought that you're having? If you can't find any evidence to support your negative thought, challenge it and replace it with a more positive thought.
- Focus on your strengths. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Make a list of your strengths and remind yourself of them regularly. When you're feeling down, focus on your strengths and all the things that you're good at.
- Celebrate your accomplishments. When you achieve something, take the time to celebrate your accomplishment. This will help you to recognize your progress and build your confidence.
- Surround yourself with positive people! Your social circle can have a potential significant impact on your self-esteem. Surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and support your goals.
Overcoming self-doubt and imposter syndrome takes time and effort, but it's worth it. Remember, you are capable of great things. Just believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams!
Embrace Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are not ethical imperatives but major drivers of innovation and success in the business world, so, as a business woman, you should embrace diversity in all its forms, including gender, race, ethnicity, and background. Create an inclusive work environment that values different perspectives and fosters collaboration. By embracing diversity, you get to tap into a broader range of ideas, insights, and resources, which can lead to better decision-making and business outcomes.
To embrace diversity in the workplace, you need to first build an inclusive environment in which everyone feels appreciated and respected. This includes removing barriers to involvement, promoting a culture of open communication and feedback, and giving opportunities for professional development.
What can you do to create a more inclusive workplace?
- Establish diversity and inclusion goals and metrics: This will help you track your team's progress and make sure that they are making meaningful progress.
- Provide training on diversity and inclusion: This training should help employees to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and to identify and address unconscious biases.
- Create employee resource groups (ERGs): ERGs are employee-led groups that provide support and networking opportunities for employees from specific backgrounds.
- Celebrate diversity: Businesses can celebrate diversity through events, holidays, and other initiatives.
Self-Care Is Important
Running a business, even just the small business, can be extremely stressful, so it's critical to prioritize self-care. Taking a good care of your mental and physical wellness is essential for your long-term success. Besides, investing time in self-care may lead to business opportunities you never imagined.
Melissa Azul spent the greater part of a decade researching various consumer trends, clinical studies, treatments, and products pertaining to sleep after years of suffering from jetlag and insomnia. She opted to study Sleep Science and become certified as a Sleep Coach, CBT-I and NLP Practitioner, as well as a Corporate Wellness Consultant after failing to find a permanent solution to her sleeplessness.
She then created a distinctive program, PEAK SLEEP BLUEPRINT, by combining principles from neuroscience and behavioral science to help customers to achieve optimum sleep with a holistic method tailored to individual needs. She also created and implemented a strategy for the aviation industry and worked with Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Express to address employee difficulties related to circadian rhythm abnormalities and occupational challenges.
Being Female Is Not a Roadblock
Last but not least. Being a woman is not a roadblock. While it's true that women have historically been underrepresented in the business world, being female should never be seen as a roadblock.
Here are just a few of the ways that women are excelling in the business world today:
- Women are more likely to start their own businesses than men. In fact, women-owned businesses have higher earnings growth than male-owned ones.
- Women are holding more leadership positions than ever before. According to a recent study by Deloitte, women will hold around 40% of Fortune 500 board seats by 2024.
- Women are closing the gender pay gap. While there is still a wage gap between men and women, it has narrowed significantly in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women now earn 82 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn, up from 62 cents in 1979.
If you are a woman who is interested in pursuing a career in business, don't let anyone tell you that you can't be successful. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.