What Makes A Successful Business?
This past week, at least 2 very important emails landed in my inbox. Less important about being new information than being affirmation of what I’ve known, and hopefully practiced before becoming a recovered professional therapist!
First let me clarify. It’s not a business that’s successful; it’s the person doing the business that is a success. The fact her business is successful is a by-product of who she is and how she does what she does! Believe it or not; this important aspect of life successes just occurred to me recently, after 40+ years of being in the marketplace in some capacity. Businesses succeed because the person behind, in and of them succeeds.
So the question becomes less about what makes a successful business; than about what makes the person behind, in and of the business, a woman who can produce a business that succeeds?
It makes sense to me. Does it to you?
So Who Is This Woman. . .
Who is this woman who has what it takes to produce a business that succeeds? That’s the $64,000,000 question!
Much has been written about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Similarly, much has been written about what it takes to do much of anything in the marketplace – in general. Not all women are cut out to be an entrepreneur; likewise some women want to carve out a niche in the marketplace on behalf of the owner/entrepreneur. Other women want their claim-to-fame to be running a smooth-functioning household and family.
Since I can’t hear your answers to the question above; I’ll share some of mine. Perhaps they will ‘jive’ with some of yours:
- Confidence ~ a sense that she can do what she sets out to do. Most importantly, she has the confidence to go to others to learn what she doesn’t know how or what to do. . .
- Self-hood ~ a level of knowledge about who she is. What she’s capable of and what she still has to learn. . .
- Fearlessness ~ not so much the absence of fear as the ability to recognize fearfulness and the fortitude to not let it stand in the way of what she wants to do. . .
- A paradox ~ comfortable, but uncomfortable with being comfortable. Willingness to live with being uncomfortable while learning something new (about self, others, business or life-in-general). . .
- Curious ~ always eager to explore. A woman who enjoys, even seeks to take the road less traveled in order to discover something previously undiscovered. . .
- Bold ~ a willingness to know her own mind, strengths, values and the confidence to openly express them when the timing is right (and proper). Not an overbearing boldness; but one that defines her and helps others to define themselves. . .
- Courageous ~ an eagerness to explore what life has to offer; especially the what if I did this or that in the world of business or career. . . or an eagerness to make my home and family the most successful project of my life.
- Knowledgeable ~ Not a know it all, but a woman who knows what she knows and what she doesn’t. She knows that what she does know is valuable to others and is willing to share it. . .
- Articulate ~ ability to succinctly define the word success for herself personally, professionally and spiritually. Then put that definition to work to achieve what it is she wants. . .
The Toughest Questions of All!
The toughest questions get us into the depths of who we are and what we can consciously learn about ourselves. They are also the questions we must ask – and answer, if we are going to enter the marketplace and find the success we desire.
Yesterday morning, business partner Jen and I had a conversation about who we want to be when we relaunch. She asked a tough question I couldn’t articulate. I knew the answer but couldn’t succinctly put it into words. Tough questions are like that. And unless and until we can succinctly answer them for ourselves; the success we desire will most likely elude us! Especially when the world we are entering is very very busy!
Ask To Get The Answers!
Jen and I apply our deep and abiding faith to what we do – and ask. Although I couldn’t answer her question, I know that if we both pray about it; the answer will come. Our part is in asking – then waiting for Papa GOD to respond; knowing that He will.
One aspect of the the woman who produces a successful business I did not list above is a believing prayerful woman. Yes I know that many successful business women are not necessarily women of faith or prayer. But real success includes the knowledge that there is no such thing as a self-made success. And it is premised on a dependent relationship with the Author of our personal ‘who’ and unique ‘what’.
In closing, the answer to producing a successful business is to first become a successful woman. And to become a successful woman. . . start asking yourself the tough questions. Then ask them of others in your life.
Most especially ask them of the Author of the person you are – and want to become.
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community of Christian Business Women
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