In the world of business, you either win or you die. Okay, you may not actually die, but without the right habits, your corporate results will probably fall short of the mark. But how exactly do you make it to top tiers as a female entrepreneur with family responsibilities and active private and social life to go with career? Easily: you pick the cues from the best and use them to your advantage. Here are the top seven lessons we can learn from successful businesswomen: these ladies don’t just know how to make it in the shark tank – they know how to own it.
1. Act on the idea – and grow from there
“I think in terms of evolutions, not revolutions. Failure is not part of my vocabulary.” – Sheila Marcelo, Care.com founder and CEO
Every business venture starts from an idea, and evolves thereon. The idea can be a new product, service, or an updated version of existing merchandise – it’s the domino tile that sets off a chain reaction and gets things rolling.
2. Don’t be afraid of failure
“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post
The idea is the starting point for business growth, but it’s the mindset of a winner that gets the job done. Fear of failure is a shortcut to fiasco: those who sit on the bench never make it to the big league – or the Hall of Fame, for that matter.
3. Success is built on trial and error
“It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.” – Sara Blakely, Spanx founder and America’s youngest self-made female billionaire
Few, if any, businesses make it to the top over night. Growth is a process that involves trial and error, and mistakes are a normal part of it. For this reason, entrepreneurs need to be willing to experiment and take risks – and make mistakes now and then.
4. Be ready to work hard for the prize
“I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.” – Estee Lauder, co-founder of Estée Lauder Companies and one of the most influential 20th century business geniuses
The courage to act on a business idea sets the wheels in motion; hard work keeps them going in the right direction. Not only does success take time – it takes a ton of work. Impressive final figures are built on sweat, tears, persistence and hard working habits, so don’t hop on the bandwagon hoping for easy gains.
5. Knowledge grows a business – keep learning
“(Total work hours I put in a week add up to) about 60+, with customers and another 28-30 consistently on learning, writing, researching for the social media immersion.” – Valeria Maltoni, leading brand strategist and owner of Conversation Agent, one of the world’s top marketing blogs
On top of strong working habits, an entrepreneur needs to keep adding new items to their bag of business tricks. A sustainable business is driven by fresh knowledge and insights in industry developments, so every entrepreneur should keep their eyes set on personal and professional growth. Career success doesn’t grow from scratch – it grows from constant learning.
6. Change is invariable – and inevitable
“My new motto is: When you’re through changing, you’re through.” – Martha Stewart, best-selling author and publisher, TV personality, and founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
Adaptation is essential for survival both in and outside the business arena. Brands that refuse to adjust their business strategy in line with the constantly changing market are doomed to failure. Entrepreneurs set on bringing success medals home should always be on the lookout for fresh opportunities for growth and expansion, and they also need to be willing to take heed of market developments and adapt to the new circumstances in order to stay competitive.
7. Don’t lose yourself in the game
“No matter the situation – whether you’re single, married, have kids, don’t like your job, or love your job – you need to be fulfilled. The only way to be happy is to be fulfilled. So to have a happy life at home, you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. To go home every night and be happy and not stressed is the goal. Do whatever it takes to make this happen.” – Jennifer Waltzer, CEO and Founder of BUMI
However much you may love your job, all work and no play is never a good thing. Healthy work-life balance is the key to sustainable business success, and entrepreneurs who lose themselves in the rat race often drop out before they reach the finish line. After all, what’s it the ride worth if you never get to enjoy it?
Being a female entrepreneur is not easy: there’ll be tough times, downhill slides, and tons of research, experimentation, and work to do – but each one of the successful businesswomen listed above made it, and they wouldn’t change their path if they had the option. Kudos to all brave ladies out there: may your business ventures hit home as gold, glitter, and good game!
Thank you to our dynamic Guest Blogger Chloe: Chloe is an art historian and environmentalist who blogs with passion about design, business, success and productivity. She is a huge fan of social media, dark chocolate and stylish interior design solutions, such as colorful office furniture. You can find Chloe on FB or Twitter.