I’ve always thought it a little funny that one day in March is considered International Women’s Day. Isn’t every day a day that we should celebrate women and all of the ways in which they are amazing, groundbreaking, and making the world a better place? In any case, this month inspired me to look at certain changemakers – who just happen to be women – and how we can model our own behavior after theirs. Studies have shown that certain traits make people more predisposed to success. Here are 4 lessons that we can learn from a few of the biggest changemakers on the planet:
Believe in yourself. Sara Blakeley, the founder of SPANX, had doors shut in her face over and over again as she tried to sell her control top creation. No hosiery manufacturer wanted to buy it. But she didn’t lose faith in her idea. In fact, she was even more motivated to succeed after seeing that most hosiery was being created by men – who don’t even wear it! Finally one of the manufacturers changed his mind, and the rest is history. Sara Blakely’s creation forever changed the hosiery market– and now is worth over a billion dollars.
Embrace adversity. J.K. Rowling encountered multiple stumbling blocks before the publication of the first Harry Potter book. She had to face the death of her mother, divorce and single parenthood, and financial deprivation – not to mention the rejection of twelve different publishers. Each of these obstacles on its own would be sufficient to waylay many of us. But she found failure to be a motivating force. In her 2008 commencement address to the graduating class of Harvard University, she talked frankly about how failure actually helped her. It stripped away everything that didn’t really matter, except the book she was determined to write and publish.
Be Fully Present. Oprah Winfrey (who also conquered a staggering amount of adversity) attributes her success to giving her full attention to everything she takes on. Whether it’s a television show or a magazine or running a network, she has learned to give everything her full-on attention, because with that comes “a level of intensity and truth,” she’s said. And when she tries to multitask? “It’s a joke,” she says.
Make peace with a lack of balance. Entrepreneur Grace Bonney interviewed over 100 female entrepreneurs and found that most have accepted the fact that work/life balance is almost impossible to achieve. A more realistic option? Accepting that different areas of your life will demand your entire attention at different times. And that this is okay.
Need help setting good habits for success? Schedule a thirty minute free consultation with me today. In spirit of International Women’s Day, watch my talk Leading Like a Woman in a Man’s World.