Attending four International Women’s Days events last week in London was an incredible opportunity to listen, learn, reflect and discuss the issues and keys to success for women in business today.
I attended the outstanding Women Inspiration and Enterprise Symposium, an intimate and inspirational Islington Chamber of Commerce Women in Enterprise event, an exuberant Women Unlimited Annual Conference and then a very stylish and chic Woman in Business Brunch. Speakers I watched ranged from Dame Vivian Westwood, Ariadne Founder Julie Meyer, Lynn de Rothschild, Muks founder Jaime Cooke, and vegan cupcake and bakery owner Ms Cupcake.
Across the International Women’s Day events I watched over 30 successful women business owners speak about how they succeeded and in some cases almost failed, then succeeded again. Distilling the lessons from their stories, it was evident there are three traits all of them shared which enabled their success.
The common traits all of them share are;
What are you trying to create? What is the vision for your business and how will you impact your customer? All speakers spoke about their commitment to their vision of where they could see their business would be in the future. By having a clear vision, this enabled them to stay focused on the core business idea and do one thing brilliantly. Whilst tempted, they realized that shiny new toys, and left field opportunities would dilute their focus and thrust behind the original idea.
Related to that focus is also the choice that these women made about what type of business they wanted. Did they want a lifestyle business, offering flexibility, smaller working hours and potentially less stress and income or were they going after a high growth business? In their experience, making this decision early on determined the future and revenue potential of the enterprise.
The clarity of vision underpins the mindset needed for success. Many speakers talked about their desire to really bring their vision to life driving them and their mindset. Their mindset is one of determination; belief in what they have created and it’s potential for growth. Their mindset is passionate and courageous, often pushing through after a series of ‘no’ and setbacks.
For some of the speakers, it wasn’t an easy road to success. Many of them sought out supportive and stretching networks, mentors and continual education to enable them to keep on going.
Even with focus and a success mindset the path to success had challenges for all speakers. What was astonishing is no matter how bad it got, they found a way to regroup and keep going. The belief in what they wanted to bring to the world was unflinching and this drove their perseverance. With the benefit of hindsight, many of them were grateful for their setbacks and subsequent learning. Carole Stone summed this up well by saying “how you overcome things when you don’t succeed is critical”.
When I work with my clients and ponder my own approach to my business I can see clearly how these three tenants play out with us all. Being conscious of them and being active in these areas will enable all of us more success.
Your say: I would love to know how you fare with focus, mindset and perseverance…..easy, hard or a bit all over the place???