You are too young to handle this project, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, pretty girls are not taken seriously, it is hard for a woman to survive in a man’s world, think like a man, act like a lady and look like a girl. Over so many generations, we have been force fed so many of these affirmations and wise words to survive in the work world. But lately, we have seen numerous gorgeous, pretty, foxy, smart, talented and hardworking women in the boardroom sealing million dollar deals, starting e-commerce portals, acing YouTube, acquiring companies, heading venture capital firms and juggling so many roles and still managing to squeeze in a manicure and a spin class.
Here are some tips to be a rocking entrepreneur:
1. Be wild, not apologetic – It is ok to be yourself (crazy, whacky, serious, sincere, and everything you are) without apologizing for it. Don’t let anyone (men or other women) intimidate you and at the same time don’t walk around with a wall in front of you to intimate others. Being yourself and being comfortable comes with innumerable advantages – getting respect and being a team player are just two on top of the list.
2. Get in the zone – whether it is pitching your idea to investors, starting your fashion blog, becoming a fitness expert or anything else that involves putting yourself out there. If you constantly worry about being ridiculed or care too much about how you are being perceived, it will make it very hard for you to concentrate on your goals. Haters are not going anywhere and rejection is part of the game – so if you sit around waiting for everything and everyone to change before you take actions, then you are flying too close to the sun, that too with a pair of wax wings.
3. Exit the bitch zone – Don’t indulge in idle gossip, speak ill of other girls / women, and don’t accept any special privileges. If you don’t want others to ignore you for being a woman, don’t use unprofessional methods to get ahead either. And if others are being nasty to you, focus more on your work and less on negative comments. Sometimes when you want to change yourself (for the better) and fly high, people from your old life will try to make you feel guilty or constantly remind you of your old self. Don’t detest them or go around explaining yourself to everyone – the ones worth keeping in your life will always find a way to be around.
4. It’s no rosy sunset: Being your own boss, running a company, hiring new employees, paying people on time, getting work done, laying boundaries are all challenging. You will feel tormented, ecstatic, paranoid, lost, depressed and even downright crazy at times. But learn to power through and be a toughie when needed. Everyone including Beyonce, Oprah and several other women entrepreneurs have mentioned that over a period of time they realized that to be a businesswoman you have to be business-like. Don’t expect to run the show like a family business, because it is a sure-shot recipe for sheer frustration.
If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. You will get several “we told you so” speeches when you are trying to break the rules, or make your own. The secret is to take all victories by being humble and all failures with a pinch of salt and balls of steel. If you really miss the 9 to 5 deal, you are either throwing in the towel too soon or just having a bad work week.