Barriers come in all shapes and sizes when it comes to creating the life you aspire to.
However, these days one of history’s biggest barriers to success is being overcome in record numbers.
A few quick facts…
This year a record 18 made the Fortune 500 CEO list.
In 2010, this group became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history.
In 2011, it was reported that the number of small businesses owned by this group was growing 50% faster than the total number of businesses.
And recently a survey conducted by Prudential Financial indicates that 53% are now the breadwinners in their households.
What barrier am I referring to?
Being a woman.
For years women’s struggle for equal opportunities has been viewed as a barrier.
In fact, last year when we held our first ever Women’s event, many of our women members were upset with the idea of a women-focused event because they didn’t want to be viewed as or treated any differently than men.
But here’s the thing, at the risk of stating the obvious, women have a lot to offer. And the “equality barrier” struggles we’ve had to overcome is something every entrepreneur can learn a great deal from.
Having to overcome what some have previously viewed as an impossible barrier, women entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 CEO’s who are the most successful display not only Renegade Millionaire thinking but solid and powerful advice.
Here are some of the top tips from women CEO’s and entrepreneurs:
Don’t listen to what the majority says. Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO, and current Hewlett-Packard CEO has a net worth of $1.7 billion. In 2005, she told Fortune Magazine, “Remember that you can do anything you want to do. Don’t let anyone say, ‘You’re not smart enough… it’s too hard… it’s a dumb idea… no one has done that before… girls don’t do that.’
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to hear that you don’t have a good idea or that you’ll never be able to achieve your dream. It’s also not uncommon to hear, “that’s not the way ‘it’s’ done.” Don’t worry about what others say. In fact, when you hear that you aren’t doing things the way everyone else does them, that is probably a good indication that you are on the right track.
Apply the 80/20 rule. Ali Brown, ranked on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies in the nation and named one of Forbes‘ Women to Watch, has grown her business into the millions. During her presentation at INFO-Summit, she said that one of her keys to success was re-making her business by applying the 80/20 rule or Pareto’s Principle that states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our activity. Brown says to identify which areas are making you the most money and which areas aren’t paying off. Once you’ve pinpointed these areas, she says you should make strategic decisions that will cut wasted time, effort and resources and help you focus more on the areas that will increase your revenue and earn you more money.
Stay on the edge of your seat. CEO of ADM Pat Woertz says that you should pay attention to everything that is going on—even when things are going well. She says it’s easy to lean back and get relaxed when you are profitable and headed it the right direction. However she advises that is when you should be on your best lookout.
Keep learning. Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont says, “I’m a big believer that people and organizations—if they keep learning, they’ll figure it out. If we stop learning, we stop growing.” You are bound to make mistakes along the way and not always know what you are doing. However, to make big breakthroughs, you have to keep striving to learn more.
Be yourself. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns made history in 2009 as the first African-American female CEO and the first woman to succeed another woman CEO—in the Fortune 500. She says you can’t be someone else. Have role models and mentors, but be true to who you are.
Think abundance. Sempra Energy CEO Debra Reed wrote in the New York Times, “There’s room for everyone to be successful.”
Develop wider, more diverse networks. President and co-founder of Portner Brewhouse, a brewpub and craft beer test kitchen, and a contributor to Center for Women’s Business Research, Catherine Portner cites research from “Women On The Verge Of Breakthrough”.
She says that too often networks are lopsided. Business owners have too many of the same sex in their network—for example a man might have mainly men in his network and no women. Because men and women network differently—men are more focused on transactions and women are more focused on building relationships—among other differences, these differences limit information readily available as well as the opportunities that may surface.
To make sure you don’t miss out, you should seek to increase diversity in your network and not rely too heavily on one gender. She also advises that when you seek to add other people to your personal and professional network, you should focus on adding highly successful individuals over individuals with average or poor success.
Follow these pieces of advice from millionaire and billionaire women CEO’s and business owners and you’ll have more opportunity, grow your business faster and bigger, and break through the barriers that stand in your way.
P.S. Do you want to add like-minded business owners to your network and find out their secrets to success in one of the toughest economies in history? Come to GKIC’s Fast-Implementation Boot Camp to connect, expand your network and grow your business. [Click Here Now For More Information]