Write Your Own Chapter This Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month celebrates female accomplishments and honors everyone working to become or retain the title of ‘Successful Businesswoman.’ 120 years ago, Madam C.J. Walker, a Black daughter of slaves and a tenacious businesswoman, became one of the first American self-made millionaires. Her independent spirit and commitment to being a successful businesswoman provide teachable moments that resonate today.
In the 21st century, working women are the rule, not the exception; according to the Department of Labor, women make up approximately 47% of the US labor force. However, the Pandemic has disproportionately pushed women, especially Black and Latina women, out of the workforce and into unemployment.
How can our nation’s women get back to work and thrive in business? After 32 years as a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, I hope to offer my advice. I overcame countless obstacles, from the tech revolution to the pandemic, and persevered. These four tips greatly contributed to my success and I hope they add to yours.
Step 1 for a Successful Businesswoman: Stay Uncomfortable
Recognize and understand the “Imposter Syndrome” – that unshakable feeling that you have not earned your success despite your work and capabilities. Women, women of color, female members of the LGBTQ+ community are more likely to experience imposter syndrome, especially when transitioning into new roles. My take: imposter syndrome indicates you are doing something right. We generally feel like imposters when exploring new territory or trying new approaches. Our discomfort represents growth, not inadequacy. Stay true to your course and do not doubt yourself. Imposter syndrome will pass.
Step 2: Find a Coach
I continue to learn from amazing coaches and give back to others whenever possible. How do you find a coach? You likely know one already. Consider colleagues, previous educators, employers, and team leaders who helped you in the past. Revive these relationships, ask for a listening ear or seek a coach online. Coaches listen and share with you what they hear from you. You own all final decisions. Try getting started in professional circles on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.
Step 3: Volunteer
Giving back is a surefire way to boost your confidence, expand your network, and gain new skills – all while helping others. The act of volunteering expands beyond traditional boundaries, especially today. Help a friend, family member or colleague and enhance your relationships while possibly learning something. Be generous and you may discover new opportunities right there in your community.
Step 4 for a Successful Businesswoman: Enjoy the Ride
Challenges abound as we recover from the effects of this pandemic. And, we women need to cover more ground than our male counterparts. Although we cannot fully control what lies ahead, we can control how we prepare, react, and help others along the way. Set your business strategy and stay true to your values. Reflect on our shared past this Women’s History Month. While on your journey to become or remain a successful businesswoman, remember:
“Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” – Madam C.J. Walker
Tag a successful businesswoman in this post and celebrate her.
Your marketing momma,
Cheryl McCants ~ Impact President and CEO