To celebrate International Women’s day I asked some amazing entrepreneurial women about their journey. What do these inspirational women (and me!) want you to know?
I’d urge all women to write a loving note to their younger self, what would you like a younger version of you to know? I was asked to do this for an author compiling a book and as I looked back on myself as an insecure young woman with no idea of my own strengths, I actually wanted to give her a hug! We can’t travel back in time, and what matters is the present but it’s quite cathartic to look how far you’ve come and give yourself a pat on the back for just how wonderful you really are. I also used to be envious of other women who were powerful and talented, I’ve since embraced that wonderful statement – Her success is not your failure! Together we are stronger, when women focus on kindness and work for the greater good magic happens.
All ships rise in high tide!
Janey Lee Grace, author, presenter and media coach
Sufficient preparation and knowledge will almost definitely result in your business being a success. Producing a business plan was hard work and subsequent real life bore very little resemblance to the plan, but without it I would have had no compass with which to make the changes that were and still are needed every day.
Embrace and learn from the challenges you come up against and the mistakes you make and use them to help anticipate and tackle similar problems. There were many days when I saw no way forward from problems I was experiencing but those days are now mostly behind me and I’m still moving ahead. Don’t give up and don’t lose your head. Think it through, make a mini plan and interact with people. Repeat until the issue is resolved.
Stay on top of your industry, never stop learning, listen to and take advice from other people and ask lots of questions. I attend webinars and expos, read industry publications, keep my skills updated, follow experts in different areas of business and keep an eye out for suitable collaborations.
Don’t do things against your ethics for benefit of your business, if it’s not right, change it and have the confidence to remain true to yourself and your beliefs.
Taryn Rule, Director of Umundu Ltd – UK Distributor of Africology Skincare
Be yourself. Never try to be what others want you to be, as the wheels will come off one day. Celebrate being a woman and see the strength in your tenderness – it is not a weakness, remember, you are as young and beautiful as you will ever be. Don’t waste your time wishing it were different. Be at peace and live in the moment as it is the only one you have, but most of all, find happiness in being the person you are.’
Janet Jones, Coach and author – The Happiness Millionaire
Life is a journey, some days will always be better than others, the days when you try to be someone else, live by pleasing others, will always be the days that will be challenging.
KNOW THYSELF are the 2 little words I would have given to my younger self daily. It doesn’t matter that your feel so deeply, it doesn’t mean you’re dramatic or weird, it is a gift – it means you can connect deeply in relationships, which gives you a deeper reflection of yourself.
You don’t need to do it alone, though sometimes you might feel like you are alone. Reach out for help, vulnerability is your strength. Forgive, forgive, and forgive again. You may never forget, but for your own sake, forgive. And try to forget.
Laugh more, don’t take life too seriously, one person cannot save the world, do not be the rescuer, you are not responsible to heal everyone – when you shine your light you simply allow others to do the same. Be true to your own heart, do not seek counsel and take time to connect with your soul. Honour the seasons and live in tune with what they have to teach you.
Catch any criticism or judgement of yourself and replace it with a loving positive thought of how well you are doing. Finally, be in joy in all you do, emotions are our natural sign posts, they won’t let you down, and will lead you to live an authentic passionate life.
Love is the highest vibration there is, through loving yourself first, you will love everything and everybody next naturally – which automatically floods out to the whole and rises the vibration of all you meet.
Louise Allen, founder of Rhythm of Beauty
If you are launching a business ONLY pick something you are really passionate about, you will need that heart thumping passion to keep you going when times get tough!
Don’t be super woman! – ask for help, delegate, take expert advice. In the beginning, I did everything myself – graphics, accounts, marketing, social media etc. to ‘save money’ but that really is a false economy. For example, when I started Turmerlicious I got a great designer upfront to do the brand and packaging and it has made the world of difference.
Balance work and family. I have 5 sons and have always put them first – I only work in the office until 3pm then I am there every day for them after school. They are only young for such a short time and it is time you can never get back.
Be kind to yourself! You will probably be your own worst critic, so take regular checks of what you HAVE achieved rather than what you have not done yet, take time out to chill even when you have a meter long ‘to do’ list. and of course, the usual… eat well, exercise well and enjoy the ride!
Maggie Howell, founder of Turmerlicious
When you were born, you may not know this yet, but you arrived with your very own internal guidance system; your intuition and your emotions.
Just because your intuition speaks to you with a soft and gentle voice, does not mean that you get to ignore it. I know that you want to find your own way and I am not saying that you shouldn’t…accept a little help along the way, after all you trust some satellite in the sky to show you the best route to take whilst driving your car.
If you ever doubt or think that your intuition may be disconnected or off, use your fall-back system, your emotions. If it doesn’t feel right or you have doubts, it’s easy, simply don’t do it!
Deborah McPhilemy, author and coach
As a 53 year old woman, mother and entrepreneur I want to empower you with the knowledge that… ‘You Are More Than You Think You Are’.
You are mind, body and soul and you are one with the Divine energy of all things. This is where you came from and it is where you will go back to. The journey in between is called ‘life’. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths, feeling the air going into your body and see it leaving your body… this ‘air’ is the source of life, it is Divine energy.
To live your life in balance you simply have to connect to this breath and release the mind. My wish for you is that you never have to take to the streets like the women before us, but instead you can connect with your Divine feminine, through the breath. When you embrace this state of oneness you have eternal power, this is how we become the master of our destiny and NO MAN will be able to take that away from us.
Jacqui Land Keavney, founder of Globalsoul Jewellery
When the Welsh Assembly Government came to visit our farm recently, they asked me what our projected business plan was for the next five years.
I told them that it was to help as many people as possible. Our company motto is “Family first”; I encourage my employees to look after themselves and their family members, and they respond by volunteering to come in to work early, working late, and showing a real passion for the job.
I like to think of this as running things the female way – empowering employees, helping them care for their loved ones, and doing well by doing good. Chuckling Goat and our natural healing treatment for eczema has had a 1,113% growth rate in the last 12 months. Nice companies do finish first!
Shann Jones, founder of Chuckling Goat
Don’t try to be perfect!
I learned very early on in my career that sometimes you just have to get on with things. We all know people who agonise over which shade of white to paint their kitchen and a year later they’re still sitting in a room with plaster on the walls. This is the business equivalent of having a great idea and spending so long finessing it you never get your product to market at all. If you’ve got a great idea then do it before someone else does. It doesn’t matter that you may not have absolutely perfected it, you need to get out there and establish whether there is a market for it, what type of people will buy your product and understand how you can reach them. Perfection can come later and can be informed by all that you’ve learned along the way. My company, Medichecks, sells health tests and blood tests you can do at home and simply post to the lab for analysis. We got the idea up and running with the most basic of websites (all that we could afford at the time) and have re-designed it twice in the last 3 years. Are we perfect now? No! But closer to it with all the knowledge we’ve acquired along the way
Helen Marsden, Medichecks (Premier sponsor of the Platinum Awards 2017
Do what you love. Embark on a project you are extremely passionate about as the passion will give you the drive during the tough times and the likelihood is there will be a lot of these in the first 3-4 years. Don’t start a business because it seems sexy or has high potential profit margins and returns. Businesses built on your passion and around your strengths and talents will have a greater chance of success. It’s not only important to create a profitable business, it’s also important that you’re happy managing and growing it day in and day out. If your heart isn’t in it you won’t be successful.
You’re a new addition to a crayon box, ask yourself what colour would you be and why? Green – quite an obvious choice for a matcha green tea business owner! Green symbolizes nature and peace also my personality type has quite a lot of green influence as I love being social and focus lots of energy on relationships.
Katherine Swift, Founder of OMG Tea (organic matcha tea)
You DO have something to say to the world! So many people, especially women, feel they don’t have anything important to say, so they don’t write the articles, blogs or books they could write, they don’t get up and speak in public or even on video. If I could light a fire under every single woman who holds herself back and sabotages herself, I would do that (in the nicest possible way).
It’s a proven fact that men can be over-confident, while many women are under-confident and undervalue themselves and the wisdom they have to share. Please find your message and story, and begin to share it with the world. We need more women to step up and shine a light for others, to be role models and show the world how great they are. Don’t we like hearing from and learning from other women (not just men all the time)? I believe in you. You just need to believe in you, and then go out there and share your story!
Mindy Gibbins-Klein, speaker and founder of The Book Midwife® and Panoma Press
Sometimes it may feel like a mans world, but that’s not true. It is the feminine aspect that will cause humanity’s healing. We must teach the men to realise their feminine aspect and embody a healthy masculine aspect within ourselves. Determine to be the change we want to see in this world. Meet each challenge as an opportunity to grow and let go of old limiting behaviors, this world needs women like you; driven, determined and full of love.
The feminine aspect has deep power and a duty of care. Women are more naturally open, honest, caring and connected to this earth. Hold the world as if it were your newborn. The time for femininity is now; take action, connect and unite. Be courageous, as if the work you will do is the most important thing in the world.
Vanessa Jacoby, Lomi Lomi Practitioner, Co-founder of Real Remedies and SkyLimit.