Women in business generally belong to one of two leadership groups: female founders or female executives.
While equity ownership may vary, these two groups both have decision-making power, scores of employees who rely on them, and have arguably paved the way for the modern woman entrepreneur.
I started my first company while still working full time at a top law firm—also a male-dominated industry. There were times that I encountered clients who only wanted to work with male associates. I had to prove the quality of my work while also not taking the rejection personally. As a result, the qualities of a driven work ethic and tough skin have transferred into my life as a serial entrepreneur.
Luckily, I have had the pleasure of meeting several top female executives along the way, who inspired me and taught me valuable lessons. Here are five tips I learned from these amazing women:
Don’t Have a Complex About Being the Only Woman in the Room
Even with the most optimistic outlook, it can be normal to have feelings of self-doubt, especially if others in the company are vocalizing concerns about you. No matter what, you have to believe in your abilities.
Elysa Walk, general manager of Giant Bicycles, enjoys the outdoors and is a recreational rider, but came to the bike industry with a master’s degree in business and no work background in the outdoor sports market. Some people at Giant initially had their doubts, and some even left the company due to her presence. Throughout the time it took for Elysa to “prove herself,” which wasn’t overnight, Elysa believed in herself and refused to acquiesce to the naysayers.
Lisa Song Sutton, J.D., is a real estate investor and serial entrepreneur, holding ownership interests in several companies in the real estate, retail, tech and food & beverage sectors, including the popular alcohol-infused bakeshop: Sin City Cupcakes. In addition to her professional careers, Ms. Sutton is a contributing writer for various business publications and is actively involved in her community as a former Miss Nevada United States 2014. Learn more about Lisa and her companies atwww.lisasongsutton.com.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.