Regardless of your education, talent or training, becoming a successful businesswoman depends heavily on how well you work with others. As the saying goes, “She who would lead, must first be willing to serve.” No matter the commodity, all businesses are ultimately based on the art of dealing with people. Even if you’re the best at what you do, you can’t be a successful businesswoman if no one wants to deal with you. Let your unique, fabulous self be your advantage over the competition.
Pursue what you love. Being a successful businesswoman takes focus, determination, passion and most of all, time. Your interactions with others in your field will benefit when you dedicate your life to something you love. Don’t choose a career solely based on the supposed success it will bring you. Instead, choose a career that makes you happy, and you will find it easy to maintain a balanced life while putting in the continued hard work and effort that bring success.
Make excellence the goal in everything that you do. Be the best. If you aren’t the smartest, be the one who tries the hardest. If you aren’t the fastest, be the one that trains the longest. Becoming a successful businesswoman requires thinking and acting strategically; your career is a marathon race, not a sprint. Be willing to give it your all. Decide to be unstoppable.
Play the odds. Odds are, you’ll succeed as long as you keep trying. Difficult bosses, competitive co-workers and career setbacks happen to everyone. Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged by rejection or disappointment. There is nothing wrong with falling, so long as you get back up. Keep your eye on the prize and never give up.
Look at the big picture. Plan ahead strategically to execute the right sequence of moves necessary to achieve the career you desire. Keep your long term goals in mind so that every moment, you know what you’re fighting for. A successful businesswoman in the making might turn down certain social engagements in favor of studying, because of her goal of being valedictorian. Maybe she wants to be valedictorian because she wants a scholarship to college. Perhaps she wants the scholarship so her parents can spend her college tuition on buying her a new car. And maybe she knows she’ll use the car to get back and forth to a job she couldn’t otherwise get to in order to begin saving start-up capital for her first business venture.
Believe in yourself. Successful businesswomen are confident because they know the far reaches of their own capabilities. Maintain a running list of your career strengths and add to it often. Inspire yourself by reading the biographies of successful women and looking for businesswomen to mentor you. Create a vision board with pictures and words that describe the success you’re aiming for. Surround yourself with your own vision and fearlessly dream your own dreams.
Learn from every experience and circumstance, whether good or bad. Think of roadblocks as stepping stones. Allow yourself to be taught by every person you encounter. Listen more than you speak, and suppress the impulse to say, “I know.” Continue to study and advance your work skills, even after you’ve achieved the position you desire. Half the work of success is getting where you want to be; the other half is staying there.
Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.