It is very exciting and encouraging to see more Zimbabwean women getting involved in mainstream business than any time in our history. Whilst there are no obvious disparities on gender capabilities for running businesses, the following tips by Wendy Banks can further enhance the day to day engagement for enterprising women..
- Think big and be bold! “My company is successful not because I’m a woman, but in spite of me being a woman. I get to sit here and have this conversation on the backs of the centuries of women who came before us.”
- Don’t wait too long to fire someone. History shows that we drag our feet even when it’s obvious that a new hire isn’t a good fit. By then we’ve developed a relationship and that makes everything even more difficult. Trust your gut and rip off the band-aid the minute you’re certain about a course of action.
- When you’re underestimated because you’re a woman, rather than being offended, take it as a challenge to blow them away with your creativity, follow-through and work ethic.
- Remember: you don’t have to go it alone. “Just because I have a background in business doesn’t mean I’m all-knowing. I’ve had to find extra support and resources to help me in areas where my skill set is weak. Don’t hesitate to find out where those resources are and engage them.”
- Leadership can be lonely; find a mentor. This is different than finding people to compliment your strengths and weaknesses as we just mentioned. This is about your emotional health and strength. Find a community that will come alongside you for the journey.
- It’s all about grit. Sure, there will be days you’ll want to stick your head in the sand, but if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to keep going. “Entrepreneurship isn’t for wimps!”
- Seat a Board of Advisors right away. “I failed to do this and I can see now how helpful it would have been to have had some oversight and accountability with actionable goals. My dad did play that role for me – and still does – but quarterly meetings that I’d have to prepare for would really hold me to the fire.”
- Stay in the game: Don’t give up! Business isn’t easy, and it’s tempting to leave the office or go on vacation to escape – but your problems will still be there when you get back. Get a plan, get busy, and stay in the game!
Photo Credit; Jossey Mahachi