Collaboration is the Key to Success
As a business owner, we know all too well what it feels like to wear many hats. We find it quite liberating that we get to do this and have really enjoyed learning the new and multiple skills needed to manage a business.
At the beginning, when starting up, money may be tight, and you may feel like you have to do it all yourself. We remember struggling and wading through the vast amount of information online about starting up a business. It can be overwhelming and that’s why structured business courses can help. A mini MBA or business style course really helped us get an overview on how to set up and run a business, and, from there, we also took online courses and attended workshops to upskill.
But one thing we have really found useful is the power of collaboration. We meet with a bunch of girls who run their own businesses of varying sizes and we really encourage each other. We’re there for each other, we set goals and intentions together, and, most importantly, we share resources. You have to find your tribe. We’re firm believers in collaborating and sharing skills. We all bring something unique to the table and we are a believer in women empowering and helping other women. There’s room at the top for all of us and it’s exciting to see your friends do well and bring you along on the journey with them.
Upskilling has also been really useful to us. We identify blindspots and look at ways to overcome these ourselves. This often means doing short courses and attending workshops, but sometimes we just need to outsource. The time it takes to do something may be better spent on other areas of the business. You’ll know what works best for you.
You have to believe in yourself
I [Sarah] first heard about impostor syndrome during a workshop for my doctoral degree. It basically means feeling like a fraud and that your achievements are a fluke. There’s this fear among many women that we will get found out; that we’re not quite good enough. It’s a ridiculous expectation and sometimes we have simply listened to the wrong voices. I learned quickly to re-tune into encouraging and positive voices. We all know a negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer that dampens our dreams, but we have a choice as to whether we listen to them. At times, and in the early days, the only voice you listen to may be your own. You have to believe in yourself. Never think there is something that you cannot do. You can do anything with dedication and the desire to roll up your sleeves and get on with it. Remember, you can always rely on yourself; your skillset and your ability to win and relish the challenge you’re given. Women have given birth to humankind and human beings can do incredible things.
Team work makes the dream work
As cheesy as it sounds, working as a team is just as useful as that alone time. And, we say this as people that love to work on our own. Maybe you’re running your business as a one (wo)man band, but having accountability is so beneficial. While we both love having time out to knuckle down, we both value the passion we have for this business. Sometimes our hang out time is spent working on the business- developing strategies and setting goals, but when you’re grateful that you get to do something and build something like this with your best friend, you definitely don’t feel like you’re missing out.
Remember being a woman is your strength
Being a woman is a positive, not a negative. Humankind is magnificent and we’ve given birth to that. There is no obstacle in front of you that a woman hasn’t already overcome. When women use being female as an excuse, it upsets me because I see that women are letting the limitations that others have placed upon them to limit them. That’s sad because we have achieved so much throughout history. If you’re excusing yourself, it means you’re already imposing these limitations. If you want something done in business or, indeed, life itself, you cannot afford to allow the limitations of others to define you. Women around the world have overcome enormous, almost insurmountable odds, every day of every month of every year since the dawn of time. The mother who collects water from the stream and carries it back to her children in the village doesn’t rely on excuses, so neither will we. The woman holding down multiple jobs and yet still holding her family together doesn’t rely on excuses, so neither will we. Things might get us down from time to time, but that’s why we have an incredible support network that encourages us and helps us bounce back. That’s why we encourage other women to find their tribe.
The world of business is changing, and changing for the better, because women from around the globe are grasping their chance and working like only a strong woman can work; with determination, passion, and an inner compulsion to not only overcome the odds, but smash them into next week. Never give up, because that’s not what we do.