15 WAYS THE AFRICAN WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR PAVES HER WAY IN THE BUSINESS WORLD
In the competitive world of business where there are so many males, how would you love to be the woman that turns heads when you walk into a room? How would you love to be the woman whose charm and personality seems to attract people to her? How would you love to be the woman who moves with an air of grace all about her? If there is one thing that makes a woman downright sexy and appealing, it the aura of confidence she has, especially in the corporate environment. Embracing herself in all her fullness, she feels so pleased with herself and who she is. Nothing makes her happier than the singular fact that she is a woman. She sees herself as special and unique and of course, she is. She is done being talked down on and marginalized. Now, she knows her self – worth and never again is she going to settle for less. For too long, she has been relegated to the background and now she says, “Enough! No more!” Now, she speaks up and makes her presence known and felt in the business world. No more hiding behind the curtains or lurking in the shadows of man. She is her own person and would live as such. The African woman entrepreneur:
- Believes in herself: She says things as they are without mincing words – her yes is yes and her no is no. She acknowledges her weakness and flaws but refuses to let them put her down instead, she struggles to overcome them and strengthen her virtues. She is not plagued by inferiority complex instead she knows she is a woman of substance; a woman of great potential and she needs no one to tell her, though it may feel good if told.
- Has Self- love: She loves herself so much and is so comfortable in her skin that she is not envious or jealous of other people. She is really assertive and with this attribute, she displays some other wonderful and admirable qualities such as honesty, compassion towards others, decency, graciousness, courtesy etc.
- Is humble: She doesn’t look down on other people instead, she accepts them for who they are while she helps them become the best of who they can be. She is a mother not only to her family but to everyone she comes across. She may appear fragile and delicate but trust me, you can’t fathom the amount of strength she possesses.
- Finds her purpose and lives it: She has a focus, goal and vision for her business in mind. She knows it’s not going to be easy but still she continues in her journey feeling really motivated and inspired. She has a definite drive. She doesn’t look down on men all because she feels she is a woman of substance. She knows what she wants to make of her life and goes for it. She has discovered her purpose and is all about achieving it.
- Hones her skills: A woman of confidence discovers her passions, talents and skills and she sharpens them continuously. She knows what and who she wants to be and works around achieving them. If she wants to become a public speaker or writer, she practices. She wears the high-heels and a pretty dress in the comfort of her home, holds a hairbrush as though it were a microphone, stands in front of the mirror and watches herself as she speaks. She watches her expressions, body language, smiles and all. She even records her voice to listen to how she sounds. She strives to be the best in her field.
- Requires no outside validation: She is not a people-pleaser. She doesn’t self-doubt instead she believes in herself and her capabilities. She is a trendsetter and doesn’t necessarily go with what is in vogue or what others like. Gossips are not her thing and she doesn’t need to be with the “in-crowd”. She does what she likes and sets her own trend. She is her own person. She doesn’t need the approval of others to be happy. In fact, she doesn’t require anyone to like her but ironically, she is greatly loved by most.
- Has respect for the male folks: A real woman of class and confidence; a woman of elegance; a woman of glamour, appreciates her male counterpart and respects him. She doesn’t try to go into a power tussle or competition for his position, instead, she comfortably walks by his side and assists him. She helps him become a better man and the king that he is. She understands she is not in competition with anyone instead she is all about living her life greatly and being herself.
- Indulges in Self-care: She knows to take care of herself. She eats healthy, keeps fit, gets enough sleep……she knows to set a balance in her work/personal life. She keeps her health especially her mental health in check because she knows once her mental health is great, so are the other aspects of her life. She thinks outside the box and is rational in her reasoning.
- Is creative: She is not afraid to let her imagination roam free. She hates mundane and is always creative. She lets herself be and doesn’t dwell in regrets or worry or pity. She learns from her past and doesn’t hold on to it. She basks in the joy of the moment. She can let her hair fly wildly in the breeze, she loves the feel of the sand beneath her feet on the beach, she could be positively wild and enjoy the very joy of living.
- Sees failure as a teacher: She believes in failure being a great teacher and is even more determined to succeed in whatever she has set her mind to do. She has a mind of her own and doesn’t believe in joining the bandwagon. She takes a firm stance in her beliefs which could be flexible but are also her guiding principle. She trusts her instincts explicitly. She knows others have a right to their own opinions and she respects it hence she doesn’t take anything personally when people don’t agree with her choices.
- Has good fashion sense: Dressing smartly, intelligently and decently is one great confidence and self-esteem booster. Looking smartly dressed and elegant at all times is one of the strong suits of a confident African woman entrepreneur. She understands that “looking good is good business”, so in order not to stay out of business, she makes it a point of duty to always look good. Being confident in her dressing makes her feel more poised and dignified. She attracts respect from all who come her way, making good and true the statement, “Dress the way you want to be addressed”. She takes into serious cognizance, her hair-do, make-up, nails trimmed and well-polished, etc.
- Speaks well: Speaking eloquently and in a well – polished manner is another great confidence booster. Eloquence in speech doesn’t just show that she can speak but that she communicates well. People would always want to engage her in a conversation because they like how she speaks and how she expresses herself. Having a good command of spoken English is one way to stand tall as “today’s woman”.
- Indulges herself: The African woman entrepreneur indulges herself greatly. She enjoys her own company, having herself some “me time” re-energizing and refreshing her inner self. She soaks in bubble baths, watches movies and enjoys sweet cravings. She indulges in self-love and doesn’t feel insecure about anything.
- Is emphatic: Being compassionate towards everyone she comes across is another strong suit of the African entrepreneurial woman. It goes to show that she is not insecure in herself and tries to take out her frustration on others. She is nice, loving, caring and easy to approach and get along with. She is modest and always wears a brilliant smile irrespective of her mood. Whether in joy or pain, she never lets the smile get off her lips because she sees it to be an illuminating light to other people and she wouldn’t want to deprive them of that. She says kind words and is very jovial with everyone. She doesn’t see herself as superior to others regardless of her position, instead, she plays and jokes with everyone, creating a joyful mood and tense – free environment wherever she is.
- Empowers herself: In addition to honing her skills, she empowers herself. She takes classes to become more enlightened. She keeps herself abreast about happenings in the society but particularly her business industry and in the world at large. In addition to the strength she possesses with her emotional side, she can also be analytical and logical in her reasoning. She doesn’t feel the need to question her desire for happiness and how deserving she is of it. She just allows herself to be happy. Now, being confident doesn’t apply to the African businesswomen in the world of entrepreneurs only but to all. Self – esteem and confidence, gives you class even if you feel you do not have one.
Again, it pertinent to note this – NEVER SELL YOURSELF SHORT. You are worth more than you know. You are a rare gem and if only you knew your worth, you would treat yourself with more respect. Know your flaws and weaknesses and try to work on them and convert them to virtues. You know those areas where you are not so “fantastic”. Work on them. Great people are not only born; they are made. Do not see yourself as irrelevant or insignificant. You are as important as any other walking the earth and that is why you are alive. Find your purpose and achieve it. Step out of your comfort zone; break free from that cocoon of fear or narrow-mindedness. You can do so much in your capacity.
You are a C.E.O. So act like one. Be one!
PHOTO CREDIT: LEADING LADIES AFRICA