To be an effective woman in business requires being strong, assertive, resilient, tenacious yet empathic with a lot of energy and drive. These attributes, along with a passion for what you are doing, are a recipe for success in business! However, I believe success, for a woman, encompasses achievements in all spheres of life, which includes: career, family, community and health, and true success is finding a balance to be able to do it all!
Business is fraught with challenges. To hear women in business say they have had it tough in a male dominated environment or have faced challenges being a woman, is a frustration of mine. I believe that whether you are male or female, challenges and obstacles will be met and overcome as they arise – using your sex as an excuse to label challenges and obstacles does not make you more of a successful businesswoman. From my experience, however, I strongly believe that networking within associations definitely provides support when you are faced with challenges. Networking and building a personal brand that people can trust to use and refer takes effort, sacrifice and participation. Belonging to a networking group such as the BWA is hugely beneficial, as the members support each other. I have surrounded myself with amazing and strong women who inspire me to be successful, face challenges head on, and be the best that I can be!
Being a wife, mother and businesswoman is not easy, and time is sometimes not easy to find. Someone once told me that there are 1440 minutes in a day and you can choose how to best use them to achieve everything you want to. They say if you want something done, give it to a busy person; we somehow find time to do it all. I don’t believe work-life balance is working 8 to 5, but rather finding time to fit it all in which takes flexibility and discipline.
In order for me to fit it all in, I start my day with a run at 4.30am then I need to fit in a full day’s work as well as be available to my kids by supporting them in their school and sport. There are times I can’t finish my work while the sun is up, so I then need to catch up when the kids have gone to sleep.
I find enjoyment in being dynamic and being involved in many things. I often find myself volunteering for things when my plate is already full, and this causes challenges of its own, but this is why I find it is so important to involve my family where I can. Involving them in my personal busy-ness is also teaching them a value system and commitment to causes with no personal return other than the satisfaction you gain by making a difference.
We know the business world is a tough place, and while we are mothers and wives, we can’t put half effort into our careers and expect success. What you put in, you will get out. Women are super-beings; we can succeed in all areas, and inspire our daughters to do the same.