TBS Partners

International Women’s Day: Advice from those who have succeeded in business

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we’ve asked the inspiring women of business for advice, and to share the lessons they’ve learned.

 

 

Today is a celebration of all the things that women have achieved and are looking to do so. Trailblazers both known and unknown today should be heralded. This is especially true for women who have risen to the top of their profession. In the spirit of International Women’s Day we’ve asked a collection of inspiring women of business to give their advice to those who are striving to gain what they’ve accomplished.

 

Karen Hillen – Director, Hillen Staff Solutions

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

It is important to identify your strengths and continue to develop them and outsource your weaknesses.

 

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

How important it is to know your numbers and monitor your cash flow regularly.

 

 

 

 

Michelle Szalinski – Co-Founder, Networkish

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

There will come a time within your business that you should outsource, align, hire and surround yourself with people smarter than you! The businesses energy and momentum becomes far more powerful.

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

Throughout the journey, the action of “sacrifice” is a constant in every part of your life.

 

Philippa Lewis – Principal, Elementum and Chairman of The Big Smoke

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

There will be many hurdles placed in front of you but watch this pattern because sometimes it might be you who is actually placing them. Don’t dwell on those that don’t believe in you but rather, make sure you find a way to stop or ignore the self-doubt and the stupid, negative “mumblings” around you; get up every day and reaffirm your inimitable and intractable belief in yourself. Accept that there is loneliness at the top and that it’s OK. Forge meaning in the things that matter (to you) and make sure you laugh about everything because after all, it’s best not to take yourself too seriously and when you look at things clearly, it’s usually pretty funny.

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

There have been so many!

The hardest lesson I’ve had to learn has been to trust the inherent value of my gut (or at least give it a fair hearing).  Almost always, it has served me well. Allowing intuition to influence decisions, analyse risks and manage fears is not subjective “babble” but rather it is a way to harness all learnings and experience into a response that should be given a voice. The second most important lesson has been to “play with a straight bat” even when the easy way is to avoid or screen out the hard subject. Being honest, ethical and straight down the line is so much easier than any other way. There is enough in business to keep you awake at night so don’t add to the worry. Hold onto what is right, legal and ethical in all things, then it’s easy to do the tough stuff.

 

Paula Harris – Managing Director, Vizion Group Queensland

 

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

If it was easy everyone would be doing it, so just keep moving forward one step at a time and lead by example. Create genuine connections with people, and always look for new opportunities, as they can be in unexpected places.

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

I had the mindset “no one can do this task as well as me”, so I refused to hand over a lot of my tasks to my staff, so my workload just kept increasing and overwhelm set in.  Once I realised it was OK to handover some of “the reigns”, I started training staff members to do the administration tasks. This freed up my time to work on the business instead of in the business. Astonishingly, the business hasn’t fallen apart without me doing these tasks!

 

Kristina Ellul – Co-Founder, Networkish

What is your best piece of advice for women in
business?

Don’t stop until you get to where you want to go…there will be times in your business you are faced with barriers and challenges. This is the time you rise up, dust yourself off and trust the process. Adapt, shift gears or change direction if you must, but keep going and don’t give up as this is when the magic happens.

 

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

No matter how much you plan and forecast, things will happen in your business that throw you off course and that don’t go to plan.

 

Rebecca Ramsay – General Manager, Adrian Ramsay Design House

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

Your integrity is your worth. Know what you stand for and be an example of what it means to commit to that.  Some business isn’t worth having so remember “no” can be as profitable or more so than “yes”.

 

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

Being surprised due to not having my eyes and mind on the financial dashboard! Best to make get this lesson early, nothing beats clarity on the numbers for growth and sustainability.

 

 

Samantha Dybac – Managing Director and Founder, The PR Hub

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

Growth and success will come from constantly challenging yourself, taking on projects that you fear yet you know will deliver rewards and understanding that rejection is part of doing business. My greatest learning and achievements have come from some of my toughest times in business, and when I reflect on those situations I am grateful for them.

 

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

Being far too trusting and not backing myself has led to bad business decisions and costly outcomes. It can be hard sometimes to know if you’re doing the right thing and allowing emotion to come into business decisions can be damaging.

Gill Walker – CEO, Opsis

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

You can do it.  Exploit your feminine communication skills, use them to lead yourself and your team.

 

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

It must be in writing. And for services, at least some should be paid up front. It is too easy for disputes to be created, sometimes due to misunderstanding and sometimes because there is little that can be done after delivery. Having the agreement, including a description of what is to be provided, can save you a lot of money and heartache.

 

Kyla Kirkpatrick – Founder and CEO, The Champagne Dame and Emperor

What is your best piece of advice for women in business?

Start with the end in mind. I see too many people limit their success by thinking about what small task has to be done next. Create a very clear picture in your mind about what your business should look like. Done that? Great. Happy? Yes. Then go back and make that dream a little bit loftier as women often tend to think small for no good reason. Once you have the big picture of what you want your life and business to look like you can then work on breaking down the steps that will help you get there. Never lose the end vision of your success. It’s crucial.

 

What is the hardest lesson that you have learnt in your business journey thus far?

I have been in the champagne industry now for 13 years and every day presents a new challenge or opportunity. My passion for the industry and a desire to teach others about it have meant that I have had some big ideas and goals that I wanted to achieve as quickly as possible. I have learnt that good things take time in a big measure and hard work in a greater measure. This can be frustrating for an eager entrepreneur who is looking for quick results and validation that their idea or strategy is right. Not everything is always going to go your way so you need to keep the faith, believe in yourself and never give up on your dream.

 

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