Being a Female Leader in Business

Leaders and entrepreneurs are not always born … sometimes they find their way despite many challenges in the world.   Myself, I was absolutely one of those people.   Growing up, I was raised that girls wash dishes and make beds and boys mow lawns and work.  Gender equality?   Huh … what’s that?   I was good at school and wanted to study Veterinary Science at Uni.   Not happening; I was clearly told that you don’t waste an education on a girl!    Now I hear some of you cringing.   You wouldn’t stand for this yourself and certainly wouldn’t set these limits on your daughters.   I was raised in a different time.

I had certainly been brought up with limiting beliefs and the certainty my purpose in life was to find a husband, get married and have children.   I can recall as a young adult, thinking how much I’d love to drive a BMW but carrying those limiting beliefs with me so of course, that would never happen.

I should also mention that my husband of nine months died from a brain tumour.  We’d been together four years, and now at age 22, I found myself a widow.    At this point, I had no mother in my life and no sisters.  I cannot say how hard that time in my life was.

My point here is that despite being raised that I had a certain destiny, plus of course the adversity as a young adult – I still forged forth.   When I look back, probably the first instance I decided to start breaking that ceiling I was living under and push through was buying that BMW.  That was the beginning of things.

Despite not having the opportunity of a further education, I decided shortly after the birth of my second son to go back to adult education and 12 years later I attained my Accounting qualifications.   You’re wondering why it took 12 years?   Well, in there was baby number three, a divorce (from my second husband) and the emergence of my first business.   The point is, one thing I’d already learnt was to not quit.  I’m disciplined, decisive and downright determined!   Did I believe I could write a book?   No way in this world!   Just published my sixth book “No Stone Unturned” and have started writing my seventh.

I have founded, grown and sold a number of successful businesses.   I have been coaching other businesses myself for nearly a decade; in fact, I now coach other coaches through my Coach the Coach ™ program.   How did all this happen?  Let me share these thoughts with you – they are not hidden secrets of female entrepreneurism – I’m happy to share with you all.

 

Being a Female Leader in Business

 

Don’t be a victim.

The sooner you stop thinking like a victim and start living like as a victor, the sooner you will achieve far more.   Mindset is a huge and powerful thing.   It can hold you down with invisible ropes that squeeze the air out of your lungs, or it can raise you to reach for the stars.  With the right mindset and belief in yourself, you really can achieve anything – regardless of gender.  It starts with you.   Don’t worry about everyone else.   If you believe in yourself that is the one person who really counts.

Get educated.

This doesn’t have to be Uni.  It might be TAFE, or workshops, seminars, reading a book, listening to TED talks or getting a coach.   Knowledge is powerful.   Knowledge opens so many doors, so many opportunities and gives us all the ability to reach our full potential.   My tagline in my coaching business is “My passion is your potential” and that’s true.  Everyone has in them the potential for so much; I work to tap into that potential to give clients the confidence and the practical skills and know how to make great businesses.

Set your goals.

Now here is the important thing; don’t set the bar low.   I’m not saying be unrealistic, but if there is something you want to do, then why can’t you?   Your goals must absolutely be written down and specific.   Saying “I want to be wealthy” isn’t specific.   You could say “I want a 10% increase in my net profit every month”.   As important as the goal are the action steps on how you will achieve that goal.  I read somewhere “A goal without a plan is just a dream”.   And it’s true.   If you don’t have an action plan then you are just dreaming.

Discipline.

I get up every morning around 4:30am.   In summer it’s lovely but in winter it’s hard.   I do it without fail, now without even an alarm.   I am personally disciplined and to succeed as an entrepreneur, I believe you need discipline.   Were there times during writing those six books that I felt tired, or “over it” or wanted to hang out with friends, or watch TV?   Absolutely!   Did I waver?   Sure, I know I did a few times.   But more often (than not) I didn’t waver.   I didn’t give in to easy.   I didn’t quit.   I had my action list for the week, I had my writing day (usually it was a Friday) and I stuck to my tasks, stuck to my routine and yes, used a big chunk of that determination I possess.   As I say to the clients I coach, there is a clear message:   Success isn’t about luck or an opportunity falling into our laps – it’s 99% of the time about hard work, consistency and turning up, day after day.

Got lemons then make lemonade!

Difficulties will always occur.   A competitor sets up around the corner, or you find yourself single again, or a boss is giving you a hard time.   When my (ex) husband didn’t want to mind the kids when I went to lectures, I switched to remote education.   Sure I could have stood my ground, though we might have been divorced a whole lot earlier.  I found another way, other than quitting.   There are challenges in business, adversity in life, curveballs and bumps in the road.  People will treat you poorly or worse, try to rip you off.   The big message here is how YOU face these situations?    How do you respond?   A big part of this is mindset and having a positive approach to your life, work or business.

I am not an extraordinary person.   Yes, I am strong.   Yes, I know how to succeed.   It was never handed to me or easy … but then, I can say, because I worked hard for everything I’ve achieved, the rewards are very sweet and very satisfying.   To your own brilliant success!

Donna Stone

Coach / Author / Entrepreneur

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