As of 2013, it was estimated that there are over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.8 million people. Women-owned firms continue to grow at a rate exceeding the national average, and now accounts for 29% of all enterprises as revealed in the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.
When I read these statistics I am elated to be a woman in business. I think about what it takes to maintain and thrive in business and I also wonder what secrets have these 8.6 million women-owned business owners learned along the way that have supported their leadership success.
When I think about the secrets I’ve learned that have helped me to grow as a business owner and a person; I realize that “my secrets” have shaped and molded me. We must share our secrets. We must share those secret mistakes, challenges,and failures with others and how we have grown from them. Sharing our secrets will help other trailblazing women in business.
So I am sharing my secrets. The secrets that have sharpened my leadership skills and they are hidden in my lipstick. If James Bond can have his fancy gadgets and Dora the Explorer can have her magical backpack, then we can surely have our lipstick! So I present to you, The Lipstick Chronicles.
1. (L) Lose the losers!
Pray, meditate, light a candle, but ask for discernment and the ability to see what IS and not what you want it to be. As women we have a tendency to hold on to people and stuff when we need to let them go! Leaders recognize who to keep and who to toss early in the game. It’s not just business. Its business and its personal! Drop dead weight, energy and liability as soon as you recognize it! Only nurture true potential.
2. (I) Investments.
Invest beyond your 401K, we must invest in ourselves and we must invest in others. Leaders invest time, money, energy and in relationships. Where are you putting your energy, your time and your money? What does your investment in relationships look like? Are you developing strategic partnerships?
3. (P) Play your own tune- we must learn how to master the art of bragging in order to market and promote ourselves without turning people off. If you have great skills shout it from the mountain top. The key is to be confident not cocky. Your “tude” has a lot to do with the tune. Which are you playing?
Systemize and Organize! We must release the unorganization of our organization. Extract the mess and release the stress. Women leaders must be strategic, intentional and growth driven. The strategic plays can not be designed in clutter, i.e. cluttered environments, ideas, people. We must systemize and organize our thoughts, our plans, our teams, and our steps. Get them out of your head. Write them down. Make them known (to someone you trust).
5. (T) Talent Hunt!
Leaders give back by developing talent. Search for talent to create win wins. Talent Hunt creates a winning team! Talent Hunt develops a diverse team. Don’t be afraid to hire talent who know more than you do! Everyone knows your name is on the door and you sign the checks, but the reality is NO ONE DOES EVERYTHING AT 100%.
6. (I) Iron Sharpens Iron.
Leaders understand that growth does not just happen, it must be intentional! Steven Covey said, Iron Sharpens Iron. So, let’s get busy getting sharp! Invest in yourself- Go to training, Get a coach, Read industry specific books or listen to audio. Develop a daily IRON plan and implement the plan! TODAY!
7. (C) Cool Down.
Revive. refresh. reconfigure. Revive your mind for clarity. Refresh your spirit so that you are open to all things good, effective and efficient from the universe. Then- reconfigure the plan. As women we give so much…, too much at times and we must take the time to rejuvenate our mind, body and spirit often! Pray, meditate, exercise, read my new book; whatever it is takes to disconnect and refresh.
Bishop Dale Bronner says,“You must learn to divert daily! Find something to give you a daily diversion. Withdraw weekly- find a day to not do any work. One day a week to have some down time. Abandon annually! Take off a week!” Following these suggestions will help you in a great way to reconnect with yourself and revive your vision.
8. (K) Knack- means an acquired or natural skill at performing a task. That’s your Charisma! It’s important for women to embrace the qualities of charismatic leadership. Former President Bill Clinton had it, President Obama has it, Vice President Joe Biden even has it too. But do you have it? What is your Knack! Or maybe you’ll understand it better if I say, what is your flair? What makes you memorable? Let’s not just perform. Be Bold! Be Dynamic! Be Magnetic!
These are my secrets, which have helped me to grow as a woman in business and as a leader. I am sure will be others along the way. Think about them, which do you relate and where do you need to adjust?
Now take your lipstick, lipgloss, or chapstick out. Hold it up in the air like you are at a 70′s party and repeat the lipstick mantra.
This is my lipstick.
It is my special gadget.
It contains leadership secrets and strategies for MY success.
Reapply as needed!
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Taunya A. Lowe, Ph.D. is the CEO of a human services and leadership development consulting firm located in Lawrenceville, GA. Dr. Lowe is a speaker, trainer, strategist, success coach, professor, entrepreneur; and the Siegel Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Character 2013 Phenomenal Woman. Trained by John Maxwell and his team, she is a skilled change agent with a focus on developing people and organizations. She enjoys combining her photography and writing to motivate, inspire and lead people and organizations toward transformation. To contact Dr. Lowe, visit www.drtaunyalowe.com email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her office (855) 873-4445.