Happy Women’s Day!
Its been a while since you heard from me!
Like many business owners, balancing the needs of my family and my work commitments took up a lot of my time. And in the middle of frenzied working, I had a career –altering epiphany! I was reading an article in the National Geographic1 which spoke about how, over 3,000 years ago, ancient Polynesians sailed thousands of miles across the Pacific, discovering and colonizing hundreds of Pacific Islands. They did this using an indigenous, complex system of wayfinding techniques, which involved reading the stars, the sun, and the ocean’s swells like a map.
In my present situation, this article appealed a lot to me. As an entrepreneur I felt marooned on Profit Island, which in turn was draining rapidly into choppy business waters. I had to urgently find newer pastures, away from my comfort zone, if I had to stay afloat. Business was humdrum at best and tedious at other times. This frustration reflected in the quality of my familial relations as well. That’s when I realized I was working harder and more furiously at climbing a ladder that was leaning against the wrong wall. This is certainly not why I became an entrepreneur! (To learn more about what I do, please visit me at http://cobblestonesconsulting.com)
So, like a true business voyager, I decided to leave familiar shores. Armed with nothing but my own self-belief (which was shaky at times, what with all this turbulence around me), my knowledge of the business terrain and the guidance of a mentor who was my Pole Star, I adjusted my sails, sought warm currents and read the stars as best as I could.
Image Courtesy: Pinterest
It worked! With a few missteps behind me, a couple of clients who taught me what NOT to do and greater wisdom, today I am in a much better place than I was. Business is looking up, familial relations are sorted and I am focussed, productive and clear.
And so today, on the eve of International Women’s Day, when the United Nations is calling upon all actors to Step It Up for Gender Equality, by ensuring that the world of work, works for all women, I share with you what I’ve learnt as a lady business owner.
This is what I learnt:
Community is Critical – This is what all of us women entrepreneurs need. And enjoy. The reciprocal give and take among clients, support systems and staff with self is what fuels our entrepreneurial urge and keeps us centered.
Organisation is organic, not fostered – As women, we are born organizers. Our ability to multi-task derives from this ability. So go on! Be as chaotically organized or as methodically ordered as you want. It’s what you do naturally. Use whichever resource suits you best. To-do lists, digital reminders, organizers, bullet journals…….take your pick, run with it and make it work for you like I did.
Intuitive Understanding – Never downplay your ability to sense the unseen. In business, as in life, go with your gut instinct. More than objectively reading the business scene, do what women do best! Scan the business environment, read the patterns emerging in the market, follow your inner voice and be ready to serve emerging customer needs today. This ability to satisfy the market today as well as offer the market today, what is needs tomorrow, has helped me stay ahead in today’s shape shifting markets.
Number Crunching – It has nothing to do with Math Aptitude. Yeah, this is this is one of the best kept secrets in the business world. And as a woman, you know it almost instinctively. What you can measure, you can control. All else is just a fairy tale you tell yourself to stay in the rut! To succeed in business or anything else, keep your focus one-pointed, have indicators to measure how well you are achieving your target, course-correct regularly and never hesitate to change the metric if it does not serve your objective. You are allowed to do this, like I discovered.
Service with Personalization – Clichés be damned, but as a woman, this is my core strength. Be it a family dinner or a business offering, nobody does it like I do. So I have institutionalized how my company offers its services. This service manual of sorts helps me deliver results that keep my customers happy, the cash registers ringing & competition at bay. Do what you do best, do it with flourish & let your swag be your signature. Like it does for me, profits will taste much sweeter for you too, when they are earned this way.
Go on ladies, make success happen for you!
#BeEpic!#Be Bold!! #BeBossbabe!
What have you learnt on your business voyage? Do write in and leave your comments. I would be glad to hear from you.