We learn a lot in the course of our lives from our own experience, but it is also beneficial to be able to draw on the knowledge and expertise of other people. With the help of this advice, we may be able to save ourselves some failed attempts in our professional lives, which not only cost us time and money, but also often strain our nerves and our self-confidence.
It is pleasing to note that the number of new business start-ups is growing rapidly every year, particularly in the area of female entrepreneurship. Never before have so many companies been owned by women. And there is a lot that aspiring, young and talented businesswomen can learn from successful female company owners.
We have put together six guiding principles from successful women that might inspire you to take your own business to the next level of success.
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Debbie Reynolds – Focus on the Problem, Not the Solution
Online privacy is on everyone’s lips and has become a lucrative business for many companies. Whilst some industries such as sports betting and retail websites are subject to enormous regulation, there is still a high residual risk on the internet that your personal data could fall into the wrong hands. This has prompted Debbie Reynolds, together with her consultancy firm, to find ways to increase overall internet security. Her successes in the field of internet security have made her a recognised international authority in this technology sector.
The advice she can give to aspiring female entrepreneurs is simple: focus on the problem and don’t waste your time on the solution. She herself believes that most business people are obsessed with how great their own product or service actually is, without thinking about how they could really add value to their customers. Instead, they should start every meeting by addressing the current problems and only later show what ideas they can use to solve them. This inspires confidence in your customers because you are addressing their problems. According to Debbie Reynolds, this is the easiest way to build a good relationship with your customers.
Ekaterina Walter – Take The Time to Help Others
Helping others doesn’t always have to be selfless. Although this should ideally not be the main motive, you can also benefit personally from altruism.
In her book “Think Like Zuck: The Five Business Secrets of Mark Zuckerberg”, Ekaterina Walter talks about how important it is for your own success if you unselfishly come to the aid of another person who has also previously helped someone else. We like to remember good deeds, and we are then willing to do the same for others.
According to Ekaterina Walter, it has been proven that helping others also reduces our own stress levels, as it triggers a strong feeling of internalised empathy. This subsequently leads to an increase in mental health and general well-being – both of which are also fundamental prerequisites for a positive working life.
Lisa Vann – Know your Target Group Exactly
Her postulated concept is simple, but it is still more than astonishing how many companies are unable to realise her specifications. With her own company, she supplies event technology to a wide range of companies and quickly realised that she needed to gather as much information as possible about her customers to get to know their preferences and requirements better.
Once you have implemented this task, you will quickly realise what an invaluable asset you have created. Because the better you know your target group, the easier it will be for you to provide them with the right services. Of course, this concept also serves as the basis for your company’s advertising campaigns. Here are just a few practical examples: A beer company should know that many of their target consumers are often also sports enthusiasts, so they hand out free samples of their product to spectators outside a well-attended stadium. Or an online casino should know that potential customers like to play games without having to make a large deposit and therefore prefer to give interested players a bonus without having to make a deposit beforehand. This allows prospective customers to try out the games offered in the online casino free of charge without any major risk.
Lisa Vann also recommends including your own employees and colleagues in this professional principle. Because if you know how best to motivate them, you will quickly find an improved internal working atmosphere in your company.
Katty Kay and Claire Shipman – More Belief in Yourself
Women all over the world are victims of an only minimally closing pay gap. Although the Western values community has been trying to close this gender pay gap for decades, there is still a long way to go before women receive the same income for the same work as their male counterparts.
The authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman have taken a close look at this issue and, in their article in “The Atlantic” magazine, deliberately posed the self-critical question of whether women should not question themselves more often as to whether they underestimate their own abilities too much in comparison to men. After all, low self-confidence inhibits their professional success. This underestimation of their own abilities must be overcome as quickly as possible. Her motto: “Confidence in yourself brings a wealth of new opportunities”.
But how can this be achieved? In their article, Kay and Shipman emphasise the need to take risks. Men are much more willing to do so, and this is the reason why they climb the career ladder faster and higher than their female colleagues. And rest assured, even if the risk doesn’t pay off, that’s okay, because as we all know, we learn from our mistakes – just get up, brush yourself off and make another attempt at success.
Farrell Rodd – Find Your Own Way and Enable Your Team to Find it Too
In her role as Senior Brand Manager at Mars Incorporated, Farrell Rodd is responsible for the launch of the food replacement brand CocoaVia™. To reach such a responsible position, she has adhered to several basic principles. She emphasises one of these again and again in conversations.
Unfortunately, many workplaces make it difficult for women to contribute their own skills and develop them further. Rodd addresses these shortcomings and encourages all women to muster the strength to articulate their own opinions, even if they seem to go against seemingly predetermined basic rules.
Furthermore, women who are equipped with this ability should always try to help other female colleagues to do the same. Rodd makes it clear time and again that “nothing guarantees faster failure than an atmosphere where people cannot speak their minds”.
Anita Darden – Fall in Love With Technology
Many women still assume that technology is generally incomprehensible to them and that they are completely unsuited to technical tasks. But the exact opposite has been proven many times. However, the fields of software development and programming are still dominated by men. This is a clear indication that the feminine aspect is completely neglected in this industry and that women are urgently needed in these specialised areas.
Anita Darden herself began to deal with a wide range of technical issues at the young age of 17, but she believes that it is never too late to get to grips with new technologies, as the application of these is becoming increasingly important in professional life. She recommends that you simply take an online course and get yourself some specialised literature, whatever it takes to expand your technical knowledge. According to Anita Darden, this will significantly improve your career opportunities. This knowledge also helped her to found her start-up “On?va Inc” in 2014, a platform that specialises in artificial intelligence processes in healthcare.
Learning from others is certainly an essential part of personal development, so the above advice can be invaluable in achieving your goals. And Freida Pinto’s quote should come true at some point in the near future: “Women who want to learn cannot be stopped”: