Habits of Highly Successful Women

What success means to you is your decision, and yours alone. For most, it means achievement and success, personally and financially. For others, it’s doing something that makes you happy, or overcoming huge obstacles in your way. It may mean becoming smarter, calmer, and more spiritual, but it could also mean being more appreciated by your peers, friends or family. 

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” 
—Winston Churchill

How to become a successful woman is often a matter of confidence coupled with a mindset to set goals — then have the courage to meet them. Here are few mindful favorites.

Challenge yourself

Write down goals, accomplish them (yep, check ‘em off), then set them higher. 
Knowledge is power. Never stop reading and learning.
Push yourself in personal life and business. 

Stay healthy

Acknowledge that health is both mental and physical. 
Eat right, keep moving, get plenty of sleep, and avoid risky habits.
Reduce stress and learn to say “no”.

Practice gratitude

Note the small things. Make a daily list of 3 things that went right.
Write simple thank you notes to colleagues, customers and clients.
Be respectful of others, especially their time.

Make time for yourself

Minimize distractions and stay focused.
Appreciate your own value. Let go of perfection.
Schedule time to do what you love. Have fun along the way.

Constantly work on self improvement

Visualize success. Stay socially connected. 
Look and dress your best. Smile often. 
Practice random acts of kindness

Get and stay financially savvy

Know your finances and set financial goals. Use a budget. 
Pay off debt and avoid future debt. Don’t just save – invest. 
Prioritize your retirement – women live longer than men!

Dear Mr. Churchill offers another nugget of inspiration… “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” As for all the men out there, simply reread this blog and substitute “men” for “women.” It works.

Dare to Think

We’ve all heard the phrase: think big. Big goals are achieved far more often than small goals. Not because they are easier (they aren’t), but because they matter. In business, we set big goals to get things done.

Small goals are more attainable, comfortable, and achievable. Our ToDo list is created from small goals: return calls, clean out the inbox, write checks, meet with managers and teams. All safe, all attainable, and all within our comfort zone. 

When it comes to goal setting, big goals stretch us and push us past our comfort zone and enable us to do something that we may have thought impossible. 

Set a big goal and you are actually thinking “big commitment, big action.” If that big goal feels uncomfortable and scary, you’re likely to work harder to attain it. A Big Goal achieved makes us work harder, think smarter, and make things happen. 

The ’60s controversial psychologist Timothy Leary (or was it Socrates, 400 BC?) coined the phrase “question authority” as a reminder for us to develop a healthy skepticism of the status quo. In business, it’s a reminder to follow your own path — never blindly follow what someone else says, especially if it’s at odds with your own instincts. Just because someone says something is true doesn’t actually make it true. Learn to discern the difference.

Never make excuses. If everyone used their common sense to make everyday business decisions, the world might be better off. Instead, we often let our fear of failure get in the way. We make excuses why something can’t happen even before it’s had a chance to happen. 

Companies rarely fail for lack of talent or strategic vision. They fail for lack of execution. Instead of daring to think, we make excuses. Some may play the victim card. Others may rationalize why something won’t work and never even hear themselves making excuses. 

As small business owners, we have to decide: no excuses (because a good excuse is still just an excuse).

It takes courage to take responsibility for what happens, to own it, and stay in complete control of our choices. But success, prosperity, doing good for others…it’s all worth it.

There are no mistakes, only lessons. But we can talk more about that another day.

Working From Home

When the COVID-19 lockdowns reached their peak, at-home workers across America turned to Zoom meetings to get things done. The efficiency increases within these companies and the response of their home-bound employees have not gone unnoticed. Many companies are seriously considering (or firmly planning) “Zoom forever” even after the pandemic has passed. And surprisingly, the majority of workers are okay with this!

Working from home has its advantages: money saved on restaurants, parking, Uber rides, gasoline, clothing and daycare. Just roll out of bed, look good from the waist up for Zoom, work in socks, play with your kids, and graze from the fridge at will. Then there’s taking a mid-day bike ride, and “not available” days just for yourself or with friends because keeping in touch with the office is a text message or cellphone call away.

But for too many, there’s loneliness. When humans spend too much time alone we can begin to question or doubt our adequacy for accomplishment or the quality of our relationships. It’s human to desire an emotional attachment or connection with others. When we lack that emotional support, we can feel empty and lonely.

Feelings of loneliness can affect our physical and mental well-being. It can cause us to hang back from conversation or even withdraw during social events. Loneliness gives rise to depression and a feeling that we are misunderstood or disliked. This gives rise to insecurity, self-doubt, negative thoughts, and increasing isolation.

According to a Gallup poll in January 2021, 56% of U.S. workers always or sometimes worked from home, and by April it was 70%. Today, it’s more like 33% “always” working from home, but the poll says that 44% prefer to work from home and 39% want to work at the office. It seems that convenience trumps the commute.

How will this last year change the landscape of small business? What long term effects could it have on our employees’ mental health? No one is sure, but awareness is a good place to start. Bottom line is that federal law entitles all employees to a safe workplace, making the coming months very interesting to watch.