By Orsi Parkanyi, published in Shoestring on January 24, 2013
Did you know that women are starting businesses at a much higher rate than men all around the world? I am so proud to be part of a global movement that encourages and empowers women who have decided not to settle, instead, have the freedom, support and resources to pursue their dreams and create value for the benefit of the entire human race.
Whenever more women are involved in any fraction of the workforce, it better represents the whole population. Society is definitely missing out when over 50% of the population is not utilised to its fullest potential, and 2013 will a big year for us all to realise and act on the gender issues that effect everyone in the world.
To kick the year off, below I collected a few tips specific for the small biz ladies for the upcoming year. Your comments are welcomed and appreciated below this blog post!
1. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF! Don’t change and behave like a man, be proud of being a woman
I have seen many women struggling to fit in, and as they move up the corporate ladder, they become “one of the boys”, because they don’t know any better. If we had more female role models at our workplace and in the media who have managed to succeed while being true to themselves and their heritage, it might be different. The truth is, we as women, will never be more appreciated and more accepted if we change ourselves. Being who we are is our biggest asset! Be proud of it and show the world who you are, because the world needs that special something that only you can give!
2. CONNECT! Surround yourself with like-minded women and men and learn from them
Smart people know that learning from other people’s mistakes takes much less effort and struggle than learning from their own. Growing and constantly improving ourselves is nearly impossible without exchanging ideas and opinions with one another. There is so much to learn from the men and women who came before us, who have different experiences from ours. An old Chinese saying states something very important: “While learning without thinking is pointless, thinking without learning is dangerous” Please put ‘connecting with- and learning from others’ on the top of your list of things to do in 2013 and you’ll see how far you’ll go!
3. REFUSE TO COMPROMISE! Women can have it all
As a woman, you’ll always have multiple areas in your life where you want to perform your very best. If you are a woman in business, juggling family and your business can be challenging but very rewarding. I don’t have any children yet, but I do believe there is a reason why only women are capable of bearing children. A very good friend of mine, someone who I highly respect as a successful business woman, a devoted mother of 2 and as a human being, Kim McGuinness told me something that resonated with me deeply: “Women can absolutely have it all, but maybe not everything at the same time” Life may force you to put one thing before the other and focus on that for a while, and then you can turn the table and focus on something else. Keep all the things that are important to you in life alive, and manage your time well. That is the key!
4. BE A LEADER! – Become a Role Model and Mentor
All entrepreneurs are leaders with a great responsibility for the next generation. I doubt that there is anything than can give more satisfaction to a woman, than seeing someone succeed she nurtured and mentored. There is no reason why we can’t introduce the things that give us joy and satisfaction into our professional lives. Remember that there is always somebody who can benefit from your experiences, knowledge, mistakes and achievements. This is true to the contrary, we also learn from the people as we teach and mentor them. Fantastic opportunity to learn about yourself too!
Have a very happy and successful 2013!!