Research last year from Starling Bank found more than 1.5 million women had started their own business in the last 12 months and nearly three times had ambitions to start one very soon.
Another study by YouGov and The Telegraph with women sole traders who started a business during the pandemic painted a picture of resilience and innovation, with 77% feeling confident about their chances of success in the coming year.
Business coach, Melitta Campbell says, “One of the positives to emerge from the pandemic is the number of women who decided to go it alone and start up their own business. The realities of starting, running and scaling your own business though can come as a shock especially for those new to it. I’ve interviewed close to 100 entrepreneurial women for my podcast about what they believe it takes to be successful in business. I’ve been blown away by just how candid they have been in sharing the good, the bad and the unexpected when it comes to running their business and I want to share some of their top tips here. “
Believe in your vision – Don’t focus on your current skills or resources, instead, think about how you love to use your skills, talents and experiences to create a better world. It doesn’t matter if your vision feels like an impossible dream. In fact, this could even be a good thing. Your vision isn’t necessarily a goal to be achieved, but an impact to aspire to. A big impossible dream will cause you to grow, connect and achieve more than a target you already know you can attain.
Understand your values – Our values drive our motivation and actions, and determine the way we interpret our experiences. Understanding your values, and aligning your activities and offers to these will improve your results, as well as how you feel about your work, which gives you the foundation for further success in the future.
Trust your instincts – Years of being ‘good girls’ and following the advice, guidance and structures given to us by schools, associations and workplaces have led many of us to disconnect from, or even distrust our natural instincts. Remember that our gut instinct isn’t some random feeling. It’s the culmination of all our learning and experience to date. It’s a powerful asset that can guide to us to meaningful success.
Build your network – Few successful people would deny the power of having a network filled with people who know, like and trust you. A strong network can help you develop professional goals, a solid pipeline of leads and referrals for your business, recommendations for speaker engagements, as well as greater inspiration and insights to help you achieve more success than you thought possible.
Surround yourself with inspiring women – In addition to your network, it’s worthwhile curating an ‘inner circle’ of women who inspire you and who believe in your vision and can support you every step of the way, encouraging you to dream bigger and achieve more of your goals in the process. Most of my podcast guests believe that this ‘inner circle’, mentors or business besties have played a pivotal role in their success.
Ask for help – This can be hard for many women. And most of my guests admit to having learned to ask for help the hard way. But it’s important to recognise that there is only so much we can achieve on our own. Learning to delegate, investing in a small team and asking those around us for support are essential to our success.
Embrace your skills and successes – We often discount the tasks and activities we enjoy and that come naturally to us, thinking that if they are easy for us, they are easy for everyone. The truth is, when you feel this way about your work, it’s a sign that you are operating in your zone of genius. The work you do in this area is likely to be highly valuable and sought after by others. Embrace your natural talents and own your successes.
Embrace your failures – Failure is often considered the opposite of success, but it’s not! It’s the process of testing and learning what works that makes it invaluable information that can help us grow in the direction of our big vision. So instead of being the opposite, failure is an important part of every success.
Invest in yourself – While you’ve no doubt gained a wealth of valuable experience during your life and career to date, when you come to level up and start something new, like a business, you can shortcut your route to success by investing in upgrading your skills and mindset with the help of a business coach.
Define what success means to YOU – Success is only meaningful when it has the impact on your life, and the world that you want it to have. Advertising often leads us to believe that success means having a big house, new car and wardrobe full of designer clothes, but these are only outer indicators of success. True wealth comes from feeling fulfilled and achieving the life we want. Spend time defining what success means to you personally, and then use this to determine your goals, plans and actions.