There’s a disease spreading throughout the United States among today’s aspiring entrepreneurs. It’s called the “big idea syndrome.” Many people assume that all that separates them from business and financial success is one great idea. Having worked with several entrepreneurs over the years, I have discovered that what distinguish a thriving business owner from one that is barely surviving isn’t more start-up capital, more talent or even access to more resources (though having these things does help). It’s perseverance and self-belief.
Njeri Rionge, co-founder of Wananchi Online, East Africa’s first mass market Internet service provider, has used this mind-set to become a pioneer in the IT industry, a position typically reserved for men. “I have no time to think about challenges,” Rionge told How We Made it in Africa magazine. Because I convert them, they stop being challenges. I have been at many points where I knew the cookie was about to crumble, but my focus was [that] it cannot crumble. Therefore, I focus on the upward movement.”
Much of what stops us from achieving higher levels of success are the mental blocks we experience as a result of the obstacles we encounter, real or imagined. However, when we can focus our attention exclusively on getting to the other side instead of the hardships themselves, the challenges we face cease to have an impact.
The second half of the success equation is self-belief and trusting your instincts. You might be thinking: What does intuition have to do with women’s business success? Read closely. Have you ever experienced a time when you just went for it? Despite logic and what others around thought, you dived in heart first and it was one of the best decisions you ever made. Alternatively, have you ever been in a situation where you knew it was time to let go of something or someone who was no longer serving you, but you stayed? Take these moments as intuitive cues.
Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran, who attributes much of her success to following her gut, summed it up like this in a recent interview: “I think if I had judged my salespeople, managers and marketplaces using only my left brain and analytics, I would have reached the wrong conclusion.”
So does this mean we should toss out all the business books, fire our therapist and rely solely on our inner wisdom? Well, not exactly. All of these things are catalysts for the unleashing of our powerful selves. But ultimately, if we’re to come into our own power as women business owners, we must put our instincts at the top of the list and carefully examine the voice inside before we adhere to conventional wisdom for the sake of popularity.
How have you used your intuition to guide business decisions?
Watch this video, where Barbara Corcoran shares why women’s intuition is powerful in business.