Becoming a successful business women takes hard work, passion, determination and drive. The business world is extremely cut throat and can swallow up even the most academic person, let alone being a female in such a male dominated environment. Rest assured we are making huge changes to this every single day, we are no longer held back by the stereotypes of the past, we are free to voice our opinions.
This is why we should stick together support and salute our fellow women. We’re not talking about becoming a burn your bra clan, we merely mean to show your support to each other. For this world to prosper and become the world that is surrounded by love and a positive energy that has to start with US.
She Soca was built on the foundation that we want to celebrate women and their achievements. Our platform allows us to publicly do this. Whether the content is humorous or serious in nature.
This has lead to wanting to showcase and support budding business women we directly know. Some of you may feel that ‘you’re not enough’ to make your business work, or you’re unsure of your ideas, or feel that something is missing but can’t seem to find what that is.
In this article we’ve gathered some successful women of all ages and career backgrounds to give you some advice/insight in their own words on how they achieved success and how you can take the next step.
Head Of Investor Relations – At A London Based Hedge Fund
Being asked to write this piece made me really sit and reflect on the journey I’ve been on. By no means did I choose a smooth or easy one, but I knew that going in. The thing is – I always knew what I wanted to do – not a luxury most people are afforded – especially with the myriad of choices these days. I knew I wanted to be in Finance and Banking and set upon a course to achieve just that. I think that is one of the first things a person has to be clear about. It may take some time to get to the point of knowing what it is you want but narrowing it down to things you really like doing or that holds your interest or whatever you can find that you do well that can add some value to someone else is usually a good place to start. We are told and we know if we enjoy doing something, we tend to do it well – that is because you have pride in doing something that you’re good at and knowing that no one can do it as well as you.
Once we’ve narrowed down the choices, the next step is the HOW – how do I make this happen? What do I need to do? Who do I need to speak to? We are in the age of technology where all the answers are mere fingertips away. I always find this is the easy part –being resourceful and working out what components are necessary to make the wheel work. This stage usually churns up so much information, it helps make the picture in your head so much clearer and opens your eyes to the resources you have vs the resources necessary to make the dream a reality. I’ve changed courses several times. When I started I wanted to be in Commercial Banking, then realised that there was more – a lot more to banking than just being a teller. I left Trinidad and its commercial banking system to come to the UK to do my degree so that I can pursue a career in Investment Banking. A year or so after arriving and in the full swing of studies and part time employment, I read a magazine article about Merrill Lynch – an investment banking giant at the time. The article was so well written and it excited me about the possibilities they offered so I kept it – with the idea that I wanted to work in a place like this. How? I had no idea. I was introduced to a random banking head-hunter shortly after and I pulled out the article adamantly pointing at it saying I want to work here, no where else. This is the place. Saying the head-hunter was stunned at the time is an understatement. But I was still stubborn about it. Needless to say, he went on to tell me things didn’t necessarily work like that and then went on to explain how recruitment and banks actually work. I was so disappointed. I saw that dream slipping away fast. But I kept it at the back of my head. Not one to take no for an answer, I also spend a fair bit of time dabbling in art and art derivatives. I was interviewed for a job at Saatchi and Saatchi which I accepted – about to fully commit to the Art part of my life. As Sod’s law would have it, the impression I left on the head-hunter remained and he called me excitedly to tell me he had managed to get an interview for me at Merrill’s – the same day I was due to start at Saatchi & Saatchi. Without thinking, I said yes, let’s do it and went on to spend the most informative 5 years of my career at Merrill Lynch.
Build a network of the right people who can help you. Go through the thousands of names on your lists of friends and family and work out who is closest to where you’re trying to get to. Ask for help and find a few mentors that can guide you in the right direction. Some people find asking for help quite difficult but even within your closer network of friends – there will be someone there who knows someone – who can only help open your eyes more and aid in your preparation. You’ll also find that most people are more than willing to help and will somehow end up being a ‘support group/person’ that you can turn to at various points to spew questions at!
In the pursuit of your dream career, one should always be reading and learning about what is happening in that particular area. Be prepared to talk about it, be prepared to ask questions about it, be prepared to wake up one day at the deep end and have to try navigating your way out – because that is how you end up learning the most. Embrace opportunity and change. Embrace learning. Embrace growth and personal development – this is your responsibility. To excel at something, a person should always be learning everything there is to know about it.
Take the risk that you may fail but get up and keep going. Failure I think is an important lesson – we’ve all failed at so many things, so many times – learn from it – there is a lesson embedded in each attempt. Being resilient is something we all have within ourselves – what is for you is for you and you will get the rewards of the efforts you put in. Put little or no effort in and you remain standing in Square 1 – and you do not pass Go or collect your $200.
And lastly, one of the most important things you can do to help yourself – is write everything down. From the actual goal, to the process and to being in a job – it not only shows your progress, but it’s a reminder of how you got there and what steps you need to take next. By no means is this an exhaustive list of do’s and don’t’s – it is a summary of tips and ideas based on my own experiences and I can only hope that it helps at least one person out there who is starting out on a career path and needs a little guidance on navigating the roads ahead.
Thank you to She-Soca for providing the platform on which to share this!
Miss TNT UK & Owner Of Wassiville Mas Design
Starting or running your own business can be exciting yet daunting, especially for many females who have the task of balancing family, social life, studies, these are a few of the things I had to juggle.
When a person thinks of success they usually think of achieving the goal before starting the process. For me the journey is the biggest part of success, knowing that you have tried and tested everything in your path to the goal that creates the winning formula. Do not be afraid to test out new ideas and to explore different avenues, ideas can change frequently and you may feel sometimes that you cannot keep up with the idea factory constantly working in your head, but once you are confident that a business idea will work most importantly for yourself confide in family and friends to see what support is available.
I started my business without knowing what to expect and no planning, being young and in fulltime education I found it hard to find the right advice, mostly because I was not very outspoken, I was also a little confused on what steps to take. Most of my journey has been trial and error but to cut most of this out if you have a business idea ready the best thing to do is to seek business planning advice. All ideas are worth a try but seeking professional advice on planning will help you to see if your business idea will be viable, long or short term and even help forecast your future income.
Networking and advertising yourself to every potential client and partner does not need to be expensive or complicated, I was extremely shy and it took me a lot of encouragement to start talking to other people about my business, but once I started I began creating important links with people and then it became easier and people I would meet were able to point me in the right direction, just simply tell people what you do and then start building your brand.
Know your limit. Sometimes I like to do more than one project and many times I got pressured to do more work than I can handle alone thus resulting in something that was not good quality. It happens to all businesses and individuals but it took me a long time to realise I needed more help. The best thing to do is to start creating a team before the workload becomes too much whether it be to do your paper work, or help in shop, asking for help can go a long way and employing someone to do things that you are not so good at can help improve the standard and value of the business. If this is not an option for you, do not be afraid to say that the demand outweighs your capabilities and scale back on what you can do.
Keep on going, we all start at the bottom and develop at different rates, you may get frustrated because business is not like another you have witnessed, but you have created something that is your own and the best way to improve things is to mould it to your liking. I did want my business to be like others when I was just starting out and somewhere along the journey I realised what works for one person does not work for me simply because my work ethic and how I wanted my business structure was completely different. Try not to compare yourself to others, stand out, don’t be afraid to be different many great businesses and individuals go through rough patches before they completely become successful and they continue to evolve once they have their winning business formula.
Former North American Vice President – Managed Services For Tata Technologies
Current Founder & CEO Of – Free To Sketch
I want this message to reach women who may think that they can’t change their life because they are too old or lack the qualifications to do so and maybe thinking ‘this is as good as it gets for me’… It’s never too late to change your life story I am a living testament to that.
I started my career as a temporary recruitment consultant when I was 25 years after not really knowing what I wanted to do for many years. Now just over 10 years later without doing very well at school and not completing my university degree I went on to become a North American Vice President for a sales division generating revenues of $30 million dollars this position saw me as the first female to head a sales and delivery function in the company’s history. I’ve been so blessed to have travelled and worked all over the world, India, parts of Africa and Vietnam to name some of my favorites. I have climbed and summited three mountains in the Rockies, have and am raising a wonderful son and was living out my dreams and new life in the United States with my beautiful husband/best friend who tragically passed away last April.
I am actually not one for giving advice as I think we all have different paths and advice can hinder your own self progression but if I had to tell you the things that have served me well on my journey which is still yet to see many more amazing self discoveries the biggest pieces of advise I would give anyone are these:-
1. Believe and trust that God knows where you are supposed to be even if sometimes you can’t believe it yourself. Through the good and the bad know that his plan has been built specifically for you and so embrace it and don’t be scared even when it takes you out of your comfort zone.
2. Stay true to yourself, never try and be something that you are not as sooner or later people will see through you. I can always look at myself and say I am proud of achieving my success by never distancing myself from the real me.
3. Finally have a sincere attitude of gratitude to all who have helped and continue to help you on your journey. The same way you thank the CEO for believing in you and giving you a promotion is the same way you thank the janitor for helping to clean up your office or workstation. Appreciate all who help you rise both professionally and personally as without them your success would not have been possible.
Everything in life is possible, if you have already visualized it in your mind then the reality and realization of it is all up to you.
Stay humble and stay blessed
Young And Budding Entrepreneur
My name is Sophia and I am a business woman. I have always had a hands on approach in life and was driven by a ‘need to do more’ work ethic. I found working in retail; having to answer to someone was a waste of my talents, as I never was pushed to my potential. I decided at the age of 18 that I am going to get my foot in the door by doing something I love.
Promoting events for Pic-n-mix allowed me to get my foot in the door. With this event I was able to socialise with an immense amount of people, creating contact links with like minded folks both here and across the pond in the big apple NYC.
At the age of 22 I had my son so I decided that I will take a back seat of the promotion of events as I didn’t feel comfortable going out at night leaving my baby behind. However I couldn’t sit idle and used the first couple of years post-birth reflecting on future endeavours of mine.
Early 2015 being a consumer myself, I saw a huge market for female hair supplying. My first independent business was born SLAYED COSMETICS . The success of this venue went from strength to strength which allowed me to embark on another business along side my sister called SHYLDN selling female clothes at affordable prices.
At the moment my current business plan has been aspired by a family tradition of mine which is Notting Hill Carnival. A side with a very good friend of mine we have created a brand new carnival band directed at young people. We embark on your first journey this year, with Lincoln being a man who also has his own business and my experience believe that the future is very bright.
I hope to keep on growing from strength to strength, with many more fantastic opportunities opening up for me.
If I had to advise any woman who’s was a bit skeptical on chasing their dreams. I’d say spend some time developing on your ideas. Most time it’s about who you know. Always take part in conversation with people in the same industry as you. You never know what you can learn. And don’t be scared to take a loss. It takes money to make money
International Artist & Entrepreneur
Ever since I can remember, I have always loved singing and performing. When I was six, I was signed to a talent agency and started performing arts school. It was great. Everything is great when you’re young. Having roots in the Caribbean, I loved soca music and decided to release my first soca song in 2008.
Singing and performing was all I knew, so I consistently released songs year after year, but wasn’t really gaining any traction. By this time, a lot of my friends from my previous agency were signing big contracts with great musical productions or getting roles in big films. Of course I felt like I had failed. I kept second guessing myself; thinking ‘is soca music really worth it’. But unlike them, Caribbean culture was embedded in me and there was no other music that brought such joy or freedom to my life. So I persevered. I made a vow to learn everything there was to know about not just the soca industry but also the music industry in general. I wanted to know everything from every angle, from an artist’s perspective and also that of a management’s perspective.
Slowly but surely, I was gaining little popularity. It wasn’t easy being a solo artist, and not just a solo artist; a female solo artist. It seemed like I had to work ten times as hard just to gain a fraction of respect male artists could gain in a second. But I kept on at it.
I remember in 2012, I was at a point where I wanted to give up. Yes people knew me and my music, but it seemed like I was fighting a losing battle. But isn’t it funny how God works. Just as I was about to give up, something happened. On a whim, I decided to enter the UK Soca Monarch Competition that year, and I won. Never in a million years did think I would win. I didn’t have a huge production of dancers or wardrobe changes or even props. But with the encouragement of my family and close friends I still entered. After gaining that title, I was scouted by MTV executives and shortlisted for the MTV Brand New for 2013 competition. It was surreal.
At my lowest point, I kept on going. If I had quit, I wouldn’t have been featured on the BBC, worked with Universal Music or had my music featured on the in-flight entertainment of all British Airways flights. Four years on, I now have a successful PR and Talent Management company Desire&Aspire and own my own little slice of Carnival, with my mas band Infinite Mas.
So to all you women out there that feel like giving up, remember why you started. Perseverance it the best attribute to have and a little self-belief goes a long way!
Owner of MB-Makeup And Beauty
I started my beauty business from nothing. I was a young mum at 21 with new born twin sons. I worked part time as a waitress and went to college full time to gain my qualifications to become a beauty therapist.
Yes it was hard but my long term goals were always in my sights. I started working in a salon but after 10 months I decided there must be more to me than this, so I started my own business. Now my home-based salon 9 years on is successful, with lots of future ventures in the pipeline. I have returned to my college as a guest speaker, as a judge for various skilled competitions and I’ve been placed on the college committee to help build strength back in learning.
My clients love to say “you never let the grass grow under your feet do you”, and no I don’t. It’s never my intention to do so, I always feel that I can do more, I am my own worst critic like many I’m sure.
Success isn’t a lucky card that you think everyone else draws apart from you, success is a belief in yourself that no matter what you are going to make it.
To women out there who may feel like ‘how am I going to achieve it all the odds are always against me’, I would say stop thinking about the obstacles that you may have to overcome and start thinking about the achievements that are on there way.
You can see just how much positive energy these women have shown along their journey, regardless of what they have had to come up against. One testament that is apparent in all these women’s stories is that their is still so much more to come from them, they are still traveling along their road to success. Those who are happy and secure in themselves want others to prosper, and they are willingly to help those who want and need it. Success is limitless, therefore there is more than enough to go around.
If you have a talent no matter what industry it resides in, take that next step further to make it more than just a talent, make it a career/business and a future for you.
‘Energy Goes Where Attention Flows’
SHE SOCA SUPPORTS AND SALUTES YOU
Thank you to all the inspirational women who took the time out of their extremely busy schedules to help make this article possible.
We truly hope that you found the advise/insight given helpful. Please pass on this article so it may support and help others.