Our favourite career advice from 19 wise women in business
It’s a new year and with that, comes a feeling of change and renewal. The mistakes of the past subside as feelings of hope and optimism drives the new narrative. To capitalise on the fresh start that comes with 2016, here is a roundup of the best pieces of advice from 19 successful women, to get you through 2016 and make it the most productive and successful year yet:
1. Tina Wells on planning:
My dad taught me that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
2. Vashtie Kola on the myth of success:
That it’s all glitz and glamour. It’s all hard, dirty work. If I’m not running on no sleep and no food to get work done, I’m in below freezing weather shooting a music video with no heat…while still having to be cordial and pleasant to the people I work with or see. The end result is what most people see, to get to that point is all work.
3. Catey Hill on trying:
This is going to sound cheesy but ‘just do it.’ I didn’t ever think I could get a book published. It just never occurred to me. I never knew anyone who had done that but I said you know what I’m going to just try and do it and I did it.
I think a lot of times we get hung up and we don’t even try. ‘Oh it will never happen, I’ll never be the president of a company or I’ll never…’ whatever it is you want to do and so you don’t try, so that’s really what I try to live by. If I feel scared about something or think there’s no way I’m going to get this, I just try. And I think that motto just kind of stuck in my head.
4. Alexandra Wilkis Wilson on how she overcomes doubt:
I call my parents for advice and a good solid pep talk.
5. Mara Schiavocampo on her personal motto:
If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready.
on the myth of success:
I don’t think ambitious people are ever satisfied. I think we’re always looking for the next challenge.
6. Denise Perry on her personal motto:
My motto is – If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
7. Amy Jo Martin on what women need to overcome:
Being a woman isn’t a business handicap. If you believe you are inferior, you will be. Many women still subscribe to the idea that the playing field isn’t level and they think they’re helping the perception but in fact they’re actually substantiating the mentality. If you believe you have a disadvantage, you will. Sometimes, women can get in their own way. Studies show that while women attribute their success to other people or circumstances, men attribute their success to themselves. Be confident in yourself and own it.
8. Sil Lai Abrams on how she negotiated a higher income:
This is a director position. [At the time] I was making 30 [thousand dollars] a year. [The position was] going to pay 50-60. I interviewed and I knew that they were interviewing other people who had more experience, so I created a marketing plan. I went and I got a book out of a book store, marketing 101 or something like that, and then just did an analysis of who the competition was and a case study of how I would promote. I submitted that and left that for them to review. They came back to me, and they offered me the job. They were paying on the low end, and I said ‘no, I need more.’ And I really believed that, I really believed it. So they went back, sat on it for a week and came back and they made the offer in the amount that I wanted, and so I did double my income.
9. Reshma Saujani on the best piece of career advice she’s received:
The best advice I received was to put myself first and take risks. It helps you to prioritize what is most important for you to achieve without becoming overwhelmed. My life has been one big failure in the sense that every mistake led me to another career opportunity or to push me into the next level of my dreams.
on her personal motto:
Fail fast, fail hard, fail often.
10. Gwenna Lucas on what women still need to overcome:
It’s interesting because my answer will very well be coming from a naive place, and I’m comfortable with that. What I think for women, especially in my circle, is that they have to be comfortable with being a woman. It’s not about proving yourself to men, it’s just being comfortable being a woman. Once you’re comfortable being who you are, then thats when I feel you can truly live in your greatness. Greatness is not being something you’re not, greatness is fully being who you are.
11. Lizzy Okoro on her personal motto:
It’s in my bio on Instagram, and it’s ‘She who dares, wins.’ I really take that to heart, and I really tried to implement that this entire year. Whatever it is that I want to do, I just have to dare to do it. It doesn’t matter if everything is perfect, or if I don’t have all the money or all the knowledge, if I just try to do it, I will win.
12. Christina Lewis Halpern on deciding what to pursue:
As far as lessons I learned from my father, I remember asking him once, “How do you decide what you’re going to pursue?” He told me, “Well, you have to find a place where you have an edge” – and that was really eye opening to me. My father was playing his strengths, and if he didn’t see that he had a competitive advantage, he wouldn’t pursue it. Watching my father taught me that in order to reach your full potential and have full success, you must take everything about yourself and figure out how you can turn it into your advantage and exploit it. Don’t cheat, but have integrity. An opportunity is nothing without hard work and thoughtfulness.
13. Danisha Danielle Hoster-Wrightster on persevering through adversity:
No matter how bad whatever you’re going through seems to be, it can always be worse. Have a perspective shift and think about all the things that are going right instead of what’s going wrong. Remember that nothing is ever perfect. I love this quote from Oprah that says “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once.”
14. Jodie Paterson on winners:
Winners are losers who got back up. Full stop. I tell this to myself and my kids all the time. Simply because most people don’t. They stay down because the failure was too embarrassing or scary or it made them question themselves and change direction. But when YOU get back up you better come with wisdom, an aha moment and a lot less fear.
15. Keke Palmer on what it means to be an empowered woman:
To me it means not abiding by society’s ideas of you despite what people may perceive you to be. To be comfortable in your skin and loving yourself exactly who are. Being able to express yourself and living by your own rules
16. Suzy Welch on how to get your voice heard:
I think for better or worse, I just refused to ever believe that someone wasn’t going to listen to me because I was a woman. Part of it comes from the fact that I went to boarding school and it had just become co-ed and I was surrounded by guys. I looked around the table and thought, I have to speak up and put myself out there. I was born with certain personality traits; to describe me as an extrovert is an understatement. I was lucky to have an early experience and learn to put myself out there. And, I was received positively. If I got pushback to be quiet, I just didn’t notice it.
It worked out, too. I went onto Harvard and I spoke my brains out there and it seemed to continue on. I love being a woman and feel very empowered by it. I’m fascinated by other women, I love women’s literature and admired a huge amount of women journalists who were my heroes. Maybe I’m just stubborn, but if someone was telling me to hush up, I didn’t hear them.
17. Aliza Licht on time management:
I don’t believe in to-do lists. I believe in doing things the minute you learn it needs to be done. So everyone will go to a meeting and they’ll have their notebooks and they’ll be making these massive lists. I don’t have to-do lists. Just get it done.
18. Lauren Seeger on accomplishing goals:
I’ve learned that you can’t accomplish everything alone. It’s important to listen to others and to recognize their strengths. Other people have valuable insights that can help you. Be open to that and apply their advice. Also, as a working woman, I know that it’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of worry about whether we’re doing well enough in both your personal life and your work life. Women are conditioned to feel pressure to be excellent at both. Just know that it is possible to do both well but also recognize that it’s impossible do either perfectly.
19. Julie Greenbaum on her personal motto:
Well, I have a quote that I go to. It was one of my mother’s favorite quotes, actually: “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.”
This article was written by Aman Basra, and originally appeared on Her Agenda.