2016 predicted that “the future is female.”
In 2017, it feels that the future has arrived, because it is definitely looking female.
Theory hosted a panel discussion with several entrepreneurs for Women’s History Month. All of the panelists shared incredible stories about their personal and professional journeys.
The panelists were
- Tiffany Dufu, Author & Entrepreneur
- Alexandra Friedman, Co-Founder of LOLA
- Glennda Testone, Executive Director of LGBT Center NYC
- Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, Health Coach & Model
- Dee Poku, Founder & CEO of Women’s Inspiration & Enterprise Network (moderator)
Here’s what they had to say:
Fortify the communication channels within yourself.
It’s common sense, but this step can be easily overlooked. When you feel like you’re not moving forward in professional or personal life, you need to connect with you. Be the same person in whatever room you walk into and make the commitment to be the best version of you.
Find the things you love. Be honest with the way you are living your life and ask yourself if you’re happy. Understand where you put your energy, then create a practice that allows you to take the best care of yourself and achieve your goals.
Reconcile your expectations with reality.
It’s difficult for ambitious women to accept that they can’t do everything. The pressure comes from the quiet obligation to fill the roles as a good sister, a good daughter, a good wife… When you step back and look at the invisible job descriptions that you put on yourself, the list does not end. Know that your best efforts to meet these requirements are enough and remember that the people who truly matter in your life should be putting forth the same amount of effort.
Find the courage to speak up and don’t stop. Educate others who do not understand your perspective and have the patience to do so. For example, if you are pitching your female-driven business idea to a room of men, take the time to know their perspective and anticipate the information they need to understand your concept. Have the confidence to trust what you’re saying and run with it.
Be direct, but recognize the humanity of others.
As a leader, you’re going to make decisions not everyone is going to like. Deliver your action plan in a clear, straightforward manner, especially in tough situations. Remember that everything you do sends a message and that everything everyone else does also sends a message. Choose kindness, put forth your best intentions and others will take note.
Rejection and disappointment happens, but it should not cripple your ambition.
Healthy compartmentalizing exists—make sure you have your tribe of supportive friends and family who will help you cope, then eventually rebuild your confidence to bounce back.