Today I’m sharing a little inspiration from a 40-something woman entrepreneur who is living proof of the power of believing in yourself. After years of working in technology in the 90s and fighting against a “can’t do” corporate culture she left to start her own company. The most important thing she brought with her was knowing that she had to shed the defensive behavior that can accrue when you work in a caustic environment. She knew she just had to believe that anything is possible.
On running her own company:
“I’ve never worked harder and I’ve never been happier. To be able to create and experiment and do the things that you see as possible that other people don’t think are possible is amazing.
On creating a culture of possibilities:
“With new members to my team, I’ll put up this audacious goal on the wall and I’ll say OMG ‘we should do X.’ They look at me and say, ‘why would we do that?’ I’ve learned that the best employees are the ones who believe. They know that we can move mountains. I’m exuberant about everything. I just think, ‘of course we can do that!’”
On nature vs nurture:
“I grew up in a family that’s very entrepreneurial and as young children we were taught how to be entrepreneurs. We were given goals. I was 5 years old and I saw my parents and my siblings do things that were just incredible. There was never a question of whether you would be able to do it. That’s just not a question. You have to believe.”
On turning possibilities into productivity:
“When I first started my company, one of my early team members would ask me, ‘How are we going to do this?’ ‘Are you sure we can do this?’ And I said, ‘we can absolutely do this. I know we can do this.’ We laugh about that now because we have done many things together as a team. It’s really the team. It’s about having a vision and knowing how to put the right resources together and actually operationalize something. It’s one thing to have an idea. It’s another thing to know how to get it done. – 40-something, entrepreneur, New York, NY
I loved this woman’s perspective that vision is being able to see something, but also how it can be done and inspiring others to want to get it done.
I also find that many of the most confident women I speak were challenged at a young age to be independent. We can’t change how we were brought up but we can challenge ourselves. For personal growth that gives you confidence to break out the box, find ways to put yourself out of the box. The more you do it, the more comfortable in your skin you will get and the more of a force you will be in your career, whatever it is. This was ingrained in this woman since 5 years old.
How can you test your own waters? Going to a conference on your own? Accepting a speaking engagement? Learning to surf? Try setting some audacious goals for yourself outside of work and making a plan to get it done. You will find you will then get more confident doing it at work.
* Excerpted from an earlier post