When I used to think of the definition of a businesswoman, I used to imagine an immaculately dressed, coiffed and efficient woman, running an empire from a sleek office in a skyscraper. The truth is that businesswomen, just like women in general, come in all shapes and sizes.
You have the CEOs of multinational enterprises, the small business owners, the ambitious entrepreneurs who are creating their first business plan. You need to look at every day as an adventure, filled with good, bad and challenges galore. I’ve learned a lot over the past few years, whether it was from advice or trial and error, and each experience has been edifying (I’m really not exaggerating!). I’ve outlined for you the five most valuable lessons I’ve learned over time, and I hope that they can help you too!
This is probably one of the toughest things that I had to learn, and honestly, am still learning. As much as you’d sometimes like to control everything, the world doesn’t work that way and you need to wait for your moment. This isn’t however an excuse to be lazy: keep working, be creative and you’ll get through it.
Value the lessons learned from negative experiences
You never stop learning and I’ve always found that the greatest lessons and growth come from the hardest and toughest of times. On the moment, it may seem like the end of the world and you might even think, ‘What’s the point of all this?’ Just don’t despair, stay positive, look to the future and believe in yourself! Remember what made you create this business and why you love it so much.
Don’t be afraid to demand your worth
It’s hard to put a financial value on you and your service when starting out, especially when you’re not actually selling a physical product. As well as doing your research online, it helps to talk to fellow professionals in your industry and find out how they got through the pricing challenge. Make sure you’re not under-pricing yourself: if the quality of your work is there, clients who value it will pay for it.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people who are a joy to collaborate with and who I trust implicitly. Value these relationships and nurture them, making sure that you check in with them to see how they’re doing, how their life is, outside of work. It’s essential to build the human side of the partnership as well as the professional side: this way, you will be building long-term bond and even a potential friendship.
Trust your gut
This point is pretty self-explanatory. Trust that little voice in your head, or the feeling in the pit of your stomach. However it manifests, listen to it and keep an open-mind. I’ve been in situations where my gut has told me the opposite of the general opinion and I’ve followed my instinct and been right. Everyone has a gut instinct, but it’s how you develop it and cultivate it in your professional and private life.