American Business Women's Day
Did you know that September 22 is American Business Women’s Day? That’s right! Back in 1983, by Congressional Proclamation, this date was set aside so we can celebrate the many accomplishments that women bring to our workforce along with the value they bring to our communities.
As a mom, business owner, employee, coach and mentor (not all at one time, of course!), I’ve watched many driven women push out in the workforce and look to define who and what they are. One thing I learned early on was to be okay admitting when I don’t know something, and that is okay to seek the input of others to make informed decisions. I’ve been fortunate to build a strong network of successful women who are happy to support others in their journey, and thought I’d take the opportunity around this date to reach out for some words of advice.
I reached out to two powerful women who are active in the Tempe Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Council, and I asked them, “if you were going to give a few pieces of advice to help support and nurture women in business, what would you say?”
First suggestion is to take the time to determine what you really want your personal presence to be. Specifically, it is important to build a persona and brand by doing things like: dressing the part of how you want to be known; creating a level of involvement inside your company and the community at large that is aligned with the persona you want to create; and finally, consider what and when you share personal information with the public. This is perhaps one of the biggest pitfalls I’ve seen in business. It is easy to share information, make posts, and publish pictures based on the events and feelings of the moment, only to realize later, it doesn’t represent you in the best light. Even worse, is then discovering that nothing is ever really deleted from social media or the internet.
Another suggestion was around accepting how important the idea of balance really is. No, it is not about trying to be perfect at all your roles or equally dividing up your time between work and family each day. Additionally, we must show up no matter where we are emotionally. I was reminded we must be prepared for, and embrace the moments when we walk away from being the boss and focus on in being the partner, friend, parent, etc. What matters most in these moments is to show appreciation for those we love and those who support us. Finally, one other piece of advice – remember that boardroom attitude (read: competitive, killer) doesn’t need to be front and center around the dinner table.
Ultimately, we all agree that as women in business, we need to get out of our own way and forget the stereotypes or expectations that others may have. It isn’t for the rest of the world to dictate how we should behave, what our roles should be, or how we are measured. The truth is, we can and must create our own rules, and achieve the goals we set. Go out and find organizations and/or business partners who can embrace and support your dreams and purpose and are willing to hold you accountable to achieving results. After all, if you don’t know where you want to end up, it’s very unlikely you’ll ever arrive.
Nicole Spracale is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at , where she focuses on helping entrepreneurs and business owners find their purpose and execute on their goals. Advice contributors were Tracy Bullock, CEO of ; and Suzy Greenwood, Business Manager with .