A big part of doing business is innovating – being on the edge, doing the most you can with what you got. It also means that quite often, innovation is a young man’s game – or in this instance, the game of young women. Namely, millennial women have already been carving a name for themselves in the business world, facing serious obstacles, investing serious effort.
Whether it’s a corporate law firm or an artisanal coffee shop, there is much to learn here. The innovation of young people coupled with struggles that women in general face in the business world leads to invaluable information. So, below you can find advice given by smart and successful women.
The first thing they will tell you is the importance of how you look at things. There is a big difference between understanding that things are truly hard and more difficult for women, and actually feeling sorry for yourself. Furthermore, failure will happen, it’s a part of success in business. By adopting the mindset of failure not only being ok, but necessary, you will be able to overcome it better. Staying positive, but objective, is vital for achieving your dreams.
A big part of creating this kind of mindset is surrounding yourself with the right people. Any professional businesswoman will advise you to avoid negative people, but to, at the same time, avoid surrounding yourself with yes-people. It’s a delicate balance of finding people who support you fully, while at the same time call you out when you have to be called out.
You also need to pay attention to what you feed your mind with. Read inspirational books, listen to inspirational podcasts, hang out with good people, and cut out as much negativity as you can from your life.
Every successful millennial businesswoman has battled prejudice. They are often seen as unstable, emotional, and not assertive enough for business. However, when they do show initiative, they are perceived as pushy and aggressive. At worst, some men (and other women too) look at successful women like they achieved what they did thanks to connections or thanks to their looks. Couple all of this with the perceptions and prejudices millennials in general face (prejudices like them being lazy, or entitled) and you end up with some serious hurdles that need to be overcome. For this reason, working harder than anyone else in this situation is a must.
A simple lesson, a bitter one, but still very true. You will have to invest more hours than someone else in your position would. Giving 110% is a must.
In line with the previous thought, you need to be thorough. The general prejudices you will face means you will have less room for error. Mastering your field to its fullest extent is a core part of success. Do your homework, get as much research under your belt as you can. Keep your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed, and set yourself a higher standard.
Never stop learning. Try to get as much information as you can. Anything, from advice you can gain from professional work injury lawyers on drafting employee contracts, down to the local truck driver on how best to assist your suppliers can be vital.
Millennials have done away with the idea of managers being cold, calculated taskmasters. They expect humanness from their superiors, and will always act humanely in return. Millennial businesswomen report that you will always attract more flies with molasses than with vinegar. By treating your employees like actual human beings, by appreciating them and their lives and needs, you can expect great results and the nurturing of a positive work environment.
Keeping your passion, fanning that flame inside you, is key to keep your enterprise going. And a big part of keeping that passion is by doing work you truly believe in. If you are doing something only for the money, without a trace of passion, you will burn out. You need to stay true to yourself. One of the defining traits of millennials is the refusal to dedicate their lives to things they don’t believe in. If they have a choice, they will never settle for a profession that doesn’t speak to their true selves.
On a more practical level, passionate work is more effective in both the short-term and the long-term. Namely, doing any kind of work you are passionate about is inherently rewarding, and simply more fun. When you truly care about something you can tap into energy reserves and fire you never knew you had.
And there you have it folks, some lessons on how to be a successful millennial businesswomen. We all face challenges in some way or another, and an egregious set of examples can be seen in how women are treated in the business world. But, by working harder than anyone else and pushing through prejudice, by staying true to yourself and being humane, you will definitely see success. Change your mindset, do your homework, and get to work.
Women Love Tech would like to thank Alexander Hunkin for his story.