3 Tips on How to Become a Successful Businesswoman

Picture of by Ros Jones

by Ros Jones

Business coach and author

How can we get to feel more in control, confident and empowered to become successful businesswomen?

One quarter of female entrepreneurs struggle with confidence in business and 55% are more likely to cite fear of going it alone as a primary reason for not starting.

Here are three simple tips to become a successful businesswoman.

  1. Be kind and help each other

It can be very easy to get caught up in stuff. We cram our diaries with things to do and people to meet so that we just don’t have time to do the little things that make a big difference like taking time to be kind, to ourselves and others.

Being kind starts with being kind to ourselves. It’s easy to get into a habit of mentally beating ourselves up for whatever we perceive we’ve done wrong. We need to forgive ourselves more and move on.

Women of a certain generation will also often put themselves last because that’s how they were brought up. It’s important to take care of our own needs as well as looking out for those of others.

Successful businesswomen help each other and boost each other up.

Successful businesswomen don’t harbour secret envy and resentment when they see the success of another businesswoman. Instead, they celebrate their own achievements and those of other women. They are genuinely pleased and proud to witness another woman’s success. They know that what goes around comes around and that abundant mindsets attract more abundance. There is enough for everyone.

Successful businesswomen look out for opportunities to help others, to collaborate and share their knowledge. The more women help one another, the more we help ourselves.

  1. Speak up

Lack of confidence and the “imposter syndrome” are common with women, perhaps because we’ve been preoccupied with caring for our family or have escaped an oppressive relationship, or just not feeling good enough. Lack of confidence can lead to us being fearful of speaking up and expressing an opinion in case we get it wrong.

Fear of failure, of being judged or found not good enough prevent us from trying new things and hold us back. But making mistakes and getting it wrong can be a positive thing. Making mistakes is how we learn after all. If we do get it wrong, we need to take time to reflect, be kind to ourselves (see Tip 1 above) and decide what we’ll do differently next time.

A great way of building confidence is to get out your notebook and list all the achievements in your life so far, however inconsequential you think they may be. You’ll find you’ve achieved a lot in your life and that there is no reason you can’t be a successful businesswoman.

Unless we’ve made repeated mistakes which caused us to lose confidence, lack of confidence in ourselves as a successful businesswoman is all in our mind. And because what’s in our mind is not actually real, we can change it. Affirmations and visualisation are easy ways to change our mindset.

Affirmations to become a successful businesswoman

Affirmations are positive statements you say to yourself repeatedly until you actually believe they are true. This is an easy way to change your mindset. It works by reprogramming the way you think about yourself.

Here’s how you do it. Decide who you want to become or how you want to feel. Then turn that into a statement beginning with “I am …” For example, if you want to become a successful businesswoman but don’t currently feel you are, then turn that into your reality by creating an affirmation that goes something like “I am a successful businesswoman”. Then say it over and over again, preferably with some emotion to give it more energy.

Mohammed Ali was the king of affirmations. He recreated his whole identity with his use of affirmations. By repeatedly saying “I am the greatest” he not only came to believe it himself, but he did become the greatest heavyweight boxer, creating his own reality.

Visualisation is the process often used by athletes and other successful people to prepare their minds for the winning outcome. You just imagine the best outcome for you and visualise it in your head. You could even write it up in your journal with as much detail as possible.

Successful businesswomen steel themselves and learn to “sit at the table” to use the words of Sheryl Sandberg in her book ‘Lean In’. They don’t just stick to the edge of the room. We need to stop trying to fit in but to speak out. Let’s ask ourselves what amazing possibilities could I create for myself and others if I wasn’t afraid of speaking out?

Get help to increase your confidence … and go for it! Successful businesswomen dream the possible dream, not the impossible.

  1. Give up perfectionism

One of the things holding women back is the belief that everything must be perfect. So we tell ourselves, I’ll wait until XYZ and then I’ll do abc. I hear this all the time.

What we’re doing here, by putting things off until the circumstances are perfect, is coming up with reasons, kidding ourselves, because we’re afraid (see Tip 2 above).

We delay things until the circumstances are perfect because we’re afraid of being judged, being found not good enough and so on and so on. We want approval. The trouble with perfectionism is you end up nowhere, doing nothing, because no human being can ever be perfect. We need to give up perfectionism.

Successful businesswomen get over the need to be perfect because they’ve learned there’s no such thing. They know that you just have to show up, do your best, learn from mistakes and move on. When we hold ourselves to unattainable standards and erect internal obstacles of self-doubt and fear of judgement, we risk procrastination, inertia and the loss of sharing our gifts with the world.

Successful businesswomen just put it out there. Go ahead and tell us how amazing you are!


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