I recently had the opportunity to attend a spectacular talk by Gina Diez Barroso -one of the most renown businesswomen in Mexico- at the Dalia Empower facilities. That talk made me reflect, and I was very grateful for her advice since it’s not at all common for a triple-A businesswoman to dedicate so many hours to advising and supporting women in such a genuine way.
It’s a reality that there are very few women in the world who, being at the peak of professional success, strive to share their experiences and failures. Hence, I dedicate this blog to share that learning. The best advice a businesswoman can receive can only come from another woman who has traveled the road. These are the 11 tips that Gina shared:
1. Take off your guilt
It’s normal that as women we are constantly worried about balancing our personal life with our professional life. To achieve that desired balance, it’s important to divide your time in an orderly and disciplined manner. If you organize well, you can effectively balance both aspects of your life that are highly relevant. You must make a constant effort to remove the feeling of guilt and assume yourself as you are.
2. Take time to think
Really analyzing what you want to do, as well as reflecting deeply to realize your true vocation is fundamental. If you’re dying to get married, forming a family in a traditional way and being a housewife is totally valid.
However, if your desire’s another and what you’re looking for is to become an executive, businesswoman, chef, doctor or any other profession, the difference in your decision must also be accepted. Likewise, in the personal part, it’s equally valid to decide to marry or not, or choosing to have children or not. We need to open up to live in a much more inclusive society where the most important thing is to listen to yourself and realize what you really want from life.
3. Find your passion
There are few things as relevant as discovering what really makes you feel happy and fulfilled. There’s a quote from Mark Twain that I love: “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you discover why.” This is clearly not an easy task and it may take time, but once you discover that passion fight for it and that nothing stops you to achieve your dreams.
4. Find allies to help you
You’ll always find people who tell you that you can’t. However, you must make an effort to find those who’ll tell you how.
The day that Gina wanted to start with the Centro University several years ago, everything was aligned so that it wouldn’t materialize. When she solicited market studies, they pointed for the project not to be done, because it was supposed to be an imminent failure. When she asked for advice, they told her that there was no need for more universities, let alone in the creative sector.
Not caring all the times that she was told that her project was not going to take off, she continued believing in the solidity and necessity of her proposal and focused on finding those people who also had faith and who ‘got on board’. Today, Centro University is a great example of successful entrepreneurship.
5. If you want to have a partner, look for someone who adds and doesn’t subtract
More than focusing on it as a couple, you have to see it as a partner in life, as a person with whom you can share your dreams and who helps you achieve what makes you happy and who brings out the best version of yourself. This will undoubtedly be the most important decision of your life.
6. Out with the stereotypes
It’s common that we get carried away by pre-established molds and by paradigms of how we should be and behave in our lives. You shouldn’t allow them to affect you and, above all, to mark the person in whom you must convert. Only you have to decide and plan the map of your life. Stereotypes can range from very simple things like, for example, that you should like pink or play with dolls, to other things such as that you can’t study acting or civil engineering for the simple fact of being a woman.
7. Beware of work partners
Having a partner is like a second marriage since you dedicate a lot of your time to that person. A bad partner’s even worse than having a bad spouse. It’s crucial that, if you decide to associate with someone, you choose a person who shares your same scale of values. Also, you can’t underestimate the fact that they must share your work culture, as well as have complementary strengths and abilities.
8. Never become a victim of your gender
For many, it’s easy to fall into victimizing and fatality. Under this mentality, it’s assumed that because they are women they can’t go as far as they propose. What you must assume is a proactive attitude and instead of focusing on the disadvantages of your gender, focus on the strengths and take advantage of being a woman to achieve everything that men find more complicated. Don’t lose your femininity and try to become what you’re not.
There is a lot of strength in the differences and you have to learn to not only feel comfortable with your gender but to take advantage of it and turn it into your main asset.
9. Lean on others
Instead of entering a competitive environment with other women, we must create and foster an environment of collaboration among us. It’s important to share your dreams with other women who have the same ideals and desires that you have in order to strengthen your purposes and help you not feel alone. Find echo in networks, friendships, networking events and other activities with which you feel related.
10. Don’t forget about the ones that haven’t arrived after you’ve succeeded
Nothing will give you more happiness and satisfaction than helping those who need it. We all have in some way or another benefited from the support and advice of others and when we achieve our objectives, we are obliged to provide a helping hand. Adopting an attitude of generosity with your time and resources will not only bring you well-being, but you will be setting a great example both within your company and within your family nucleus.
11. Plan a life and not a wedding
This is one of Gina’s famous quotes and refers to the fact that we need to ‘un-punish’ ourselves. Many times, they mind wash us that as women we should aspire to only get married and dedicate a large part of our time to achieve this goal. We plan the dress, the food, and the party and we forget to think of ourselves first.
By worrying first about our future and achieving our emotional and economic independence we can eventually make that marriage, but with the solidity and tranquility that if something doesn’t go as expected, you’ll have the tools to make it out on your own.
Original Post: Huffington Post