As we celebrate Women’s Day this month, the founding partner of Bizmod, Seugnet Van den Berg, has shared some of the lessons she has learned while working at an all women owned business.
“My own business partners, in particular, have taught me a lot and provided me with many enlightening relevant life lessons that we have been able to apply to the challenges we have faced as women in the business world,” she said.
Van den Berg shares some of the important life lessons and points that she would like all women in the business world, whether they have reached their goals or are still making their mark, to remember.
Don’t let anyone tell you what to think or do
By no means am I saying don’t take advice and mentorship on board, but also learn to listen to your gut. Take accountability for your actions and the path you pave. Trust in your ability and judgement, as at the end of the day you will have to accept the consequences. The final decision for your behaviour and choices is always yours.
Don’t let the naysayers get to you
The proof is always in the work you deliver, the way you do it and how you present and cope during difficult times. This will prove the naysayers wrong and they will disappear along the way as you grow and succeed.
Don’t worry about those that have a lot to say
Remember it is not the talking that makes the difference but rather the doing. You learn through doing and experiences. Even if you make mistakes and, unfortunately there will be those who will call you out on these, stay your course and you will grow. It is always better to have tried and learnt, than to have sat on the side lines.
Make your own plans and keep working on them
You must make the life you want as no one else is going to do it for you. You will go places by creating your own path and destiny.
Create opportunities for you to grow and learn new skills throughout your career
It may come with discomfort and sacrifices but is vital for your own development. Never feel guilty for wanting to improve and better yourself.
If you have put in the hard work then take the credit but always acknowledge those that formed part of your team.
When you build others, you build yourself
Quoting a famous saying “when you want to go fast, go alone, but when you want to go far, go together.” Building a sustainable business and your own path, is all about the long road and having others join you along the way may present some challenges, but it will also strengthen and benefit you and your organisation. Business relationships are often more difficult than personal relationships to build and maintain. It is important that you find the people that share similar values to you and that you work on the relationships and yourself constantly.
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate
This is all about learning the process and then creating the right fit for you, your team and organisation. None of us know what the future holds or whether what is relevant today will be relevant tomorrow. What we do know, is that by collaborating we can build a future together in all aspects of our lives.
“As women we have the amazing natural characteristic to be able to think beyond just ourselves and when applied in the corporate environment this has the ability to bring about change and impact,” says Van den Berg.
If we have enough resources to not just deal with our own survival, self-interest and self-esteem, we are able to think beyond our own business and benefit. Van den Berg says that this is when communities and women benefit from the value built in female owned businesses. “We are then able to set an example to other women, establish a new baseline and a different way of being in the world.”