Recently I was at a startup event in Belgium with 12 startups. How many of them were started by women? None… There are only 4.4% women as CEOs in Fortune 500 :/ Of course not every woman wants to be a CEO but I would really like us to be more representative, I want more of us in business world, because we are smart, we are resourceful, & we are strong!
Working for many years with men I was observing how they work & what they do to get ahead & I pulled most of my conclusions into this list, so we-women would understand where we lose the grip & what we can do to follow our dreams just like men do & succeed:
1. men don’t plan ahead too much. Well, they know their final goal & they focus on it, but they don’t try to solve all the problems ahead like women do. We try to visualise how we will solve each problem that MIGHT appear & we get scared not even starting. Solutions will come when problems arise. Take one step at a time!
2. men take risks & play big. Women prefer to take low risk tasks & ventures. Why women tend not to take risks? This probably goes back to our instinct of a mother who first of all thinks about security of her children. Taking risks might mean that we can lose everything & will not be able to provide for our children. But times have changed, now we have support of governments. and remember this: children motivate us to achieve our goals, so shift your focus on performing at your best for yourself and your children.
3. men don’t feel apologetic for their mistakes & they rarely accept them. Often what they do: they twist their mistake into sth like “by doing this “minus” I have figured out these “pluses”. And we women accept our mistakes & feel guilty for them for days & days. Next time you make a mistake, tell yourself, “That was not a mistake, it was learning, & I am proud I made it cause I am now smarter, more resourceful & I will not take crap from anyone who is trying to build their confidence by blaming me in whatever misfortunes.”
4. men do one thing at a time & we multitask losing ourselves in a multitude of task & losing focus on the main goal. Start exercising by setting a goal of the week & daily goals that bring you towards that goal. Try to set 1 main Goal for a day & stick to it until it is done.
5. men bounce from troubles, quarrels, losses like ping pong balls: basically, they don’t take things too close to their hearts. Shit happens, leave it behind and get to business. And we – women – tend to chew & chew on our misfortunes over & over again feeding our low self-esteem. Got into trouble? Who doesn’t?! Step over it & keep on walking to your goal.
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6. men focus on business, women focus on relationships. If our relationship with a partner/colleague is so so, we will often get stuck in cooperation & growing our business. Relationships are not bad, but don’t forget that your focus is your business. Quarrelled with someone? Step over your pride, forget your ego & focus on business goals.
7. men are confident & we constantly doubt about our skills & competences. How to solve it? Even if you think that you say or do bullshit, do it with confidence! Whatever silly thing made with confidence, can become very impactful. Still in doubt? Close your eyes, put your hands on your guts & trust them!
8. men brag about their even smallest achievements & what we do? “Ah no, this is nothing, it’s not me who brought this million to the company”, we say. What can we do about it? Firstly, start noticing & writing down your achievements into an achievements notebook Write down even the tiniest achievements. Secondly, start thanking yourself for them. In this way you will gradually build your confidence & will be able to speak out about your achievements.
9. men delegate & women try to do everything for everyone. I’ve read a very good example about it in the book “Good girls don’t get the corner office” where a top executive man was asked, ‘What do you do to ensure that an urgent task is implemented well & on time?”. The answer was, “I will delegate it to a woman.” So, what we usually do: we drop everything to help others & end up swamped by work, not able to manage our time & priorities. Start delegating tasks even if it feels difficult at first. By this you will safe time for yourself for more strategic tasks& show to management that you are able to manage people.
10. men ask for what they want & claim what they deserve. We all know that on average men have higher salaries than women. Is it because they work harder? No. That’s because they ask for it. Women assume that the harder they work, the higher is the chance that their efforts will be noticed & rewarded by higher a salary, promotion, respect & so on…but this doesn’t happen, because we never ask what we want!
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And remember this:
This means that everything is in your hands! Go, Girl! You can do it!
Author: Anna Boroshok