In honor of International Women’s Day, it’s time we should take a look at the female business leaders and entrepreneurs who made a difference in their respective fields and left us success secrets that can help us in our own quest for professional and entrepreneurial advancement.
Some of the ladies mentioned in this piece are famous, others are just known in their respective fields, but all of them have proven their mettle and climbed to the top through smarts, ingenuity, courage, and sheer hard work. What makes the climb more interesting is that they achieved it without giving up or foregoing any of the qualities that make them women.
Here are some of those formulas for success that we can take to heart:
While money is important and vital to success (try putting up a startup without it), it cannot be seen as a determinant of happiness or a measurement of your personal worth. Suze Orman in Moven learned this the hard way when she got herself into a lot of debt because she wanted to impress the competition by looking and acting wealthy—and yes, by keeping up with the Joneses. Lesson learned: use money as a tool and as a resource, and not as a substance to feed your insecurities.
Assert yourself, speak your mind, and do not think less of yourself especially if you are the lone female in the room. That’s how Orit Hashay, founder of online lingerie shop Brayola, cracked the glass ceiling in the predominantly male tech industry. In her interview with Business Insider, Hashay emphasizes patience and the refusal to take no for an answer in the face of discrimination and skepticism.
Specialize and create your own personal niche brand. That’s the advice given by Cynthia Tidwell, CEO and President of insurance firm Royal Neighbors of America in Benefits and Pro. Develop a skill and talent that no one else has, and use it to serve an underserved or neglected market. Pretty soon, you would have cornered it and created your own unique selling proposition.
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