Business can be tough. Entrepreneurship is a challenge. Being a businesswoman can be especially difficult, especially if you work in a male-dominated industry with an “old-fashioned” mindset. Decades ago, women in the workplace may have felt the need to mirror men in order to be successful. In our current climate, that is no longer the case. Women are valued for their own unique perspectives and strengths. However, we always make mistakes that can hinder our business progress. I believe we need to identify the mistakes and overcome them in order to realize our full potential as businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
No matter what our circumstances, we businesswomen can all benefit from greater self-awareness. That alone will help us identify pitfalls and gaps and overcome them to become all we can be.
Let’s take a look at five mistakes women make in business and how we can avoid them
1.Underestimate your worth. Women often fall into the trap of simply taking what is offered to them with gratitude. Its clear that there is a wage gap in this country. How many times have you negotiated your salary or requested this promotion or salary? Studies show that men do it much more often than women. To be truly successful in business, women must take ownership of who they are and be aware of their own needs. We need to start asking or demanding what we need to be successful and to help our organizations shine. Believing in your abilities and having confidence in your business success are essential. At the end of the day, no one cares about you, so defend yourself.
2.Not being able to say no. Warren Buffet says that “the difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” As women, we tend to bring our nurturing side to work and end up taking on too many tasks. While being a team player and feeling needed is rewarding, too many tasks will lead to failure for many. But how do you say no to this next commitment or this opportunity so that you can continue to say yes to what is most vital? This is where it is important to focus and simplify. It means saying no over and over to all the superfluous things every day so you can stay focused on saying yes to the few things that really matter in our lives.
3.Compare yourself to others. Yes, we all do that. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. I often compare myself to other CEOs, and I usually find myself craving – I’m too soft, too tough, too stuffy, too brash. But I am not. I am me and I succeed in being me. For success everyone’s process is different. Remember that you have to take risks to make your idea a reality. You cannot stay in your comfort zone and expect to be successful. And a reminder, you don’t know through what problems one is going through in life or career. The good news is always easier to share. We all have them, but we know how to hide them.
4.Waiting for opportunities to present themselves to you. As young girls, our society dictates rules for female behavior. Fortunately, these “rules” are changing! It’s no secret that we learn to be polite at an early age, in addition to saying “please”, “thank you” and waiting for others to stop talking before sharing our ideas. The ‘nice girl’ attitude you may have learned growing up doesn’t work in business, and clients, leaders, and clients may tend to doubt your abilities or, worse yet, try to take advantage. from you. Focusing on being heard rather than being polite can help bring your ideas to the forefront of the conversation and solidify your expertise.
5.Underestimate the power of networking. Networking is a natural tendency among men. It’s not usually for women. Male pack behavior exists, and it works in favor of men in business. Men have a larger group of trusted advisors. In most of the peer groups that I have been a part of, they are 10-20% women and 80-90% men. Networking time is never wasted and, for most of us, it is essential to success. Relationships are useful when you need advice or additional information on a business topic such as industry, another company, or even another person. Investing time and energy to develop a large network of contacts to tap into when the need arises will always pay off in the long run.
As women in the world today, we have many opportunities to excel. We have made great strides as professionals across all industries, which is why it shocks me when women keep repeating the same mistakes described above. Without hesitation, it’s time for us to be more aggressive, to learn to communicate on an equal footing and to be more assertive. We add value to business and will continue to do so by owning our travel. So defend yourself and the other women you know! We will all be better at it.