You’re 24 years old. You’re a single mother, working hard to pay the bills. You’re standing in a room full of suited and booted businessmen, trying to convince them that you know your stuff. But you can already see it: They aren’t taking you seriously.
This happens far too often to women in business, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a great deal since listening to Kate Stewart’s episode of the SWCC (Success Won’t Come Calling) podcast. I was hugely inspired by Kate – by her driven attitude and by her refusal to be frightened of failure. These qualities resonated with me.
In this podcast, Kate shared, “I didn’t buy into the education system, but I did have a really good worth ethic from a very young age.” Again, this is something I understand, as someone who’s been working since age 16.
And she spoke about the story I asked you to picture above. The story of pitching to Belgravia in her early 20s, and of only being taken seriously once she had the numbers and facts to back herself up.
When we talk about the qualities of a successful businesswoman, we understand that though they are many and various, a few are absolutely essential, and should be focused on as you work to build a personal brand…
- Confidence and tenacity – When you’re confident in yourself and actively backing yourself, you’ll find that others are much more likely to do the same. Confidence will help you to accomplish your goals, and tenacity will be your driving force in business, helping you to achieve despite setbacks and challenges. Helping you to welcome failure, just as Kate can.
- The knowledge to back it up – At The Brand Marquee, we are firm believers in the idea that having an excellent understanding of what you do is a must when developing a personal brand. Even the best salesperson in the world needs to know their products.
- Drive and determination (regardless of background) – You have to be driven. Regardless of where you’ve come from and what you’ve experienced in this life, the drive to succeed can take you a long, long way. Stay focused, stay positive, and give 100% to your business.
- Willingness to constantly change and grow – If you want your business to keep growing, you’ll need to learn to keep growing alongside it. To keep pushing towards new goals and pivoting to new customer demands, even on the days when weathering the storm feels hugely challenging.
I have worked very hard, over the years, to make myself heard in the business world and to make my dreams realities. I didn’t need a leg up to do great things. If you’re committed to doing the same, I can promise you that success awaits. Especially if you know how to best represent yourself.