Gone are the days when women stayed home to handle the chores. The days of undervalued female workers are also fast coming to an end as more and more venture out to run their own businesses.
If you aspire to be your own boss, here are some critical do’s and dont’s you’ll find useful.
• Researching and planning
DO get to know your area of expertise well – your market, resources, budget, advantages and disadvantages as well as the skills required. Now formulate a long-term plan.
Once you understand how the market works and what you’re going to do about it, you can map-out a proper strategy. Plot a schedule and to-do lists, and make sure you accomplish everything on the list in a timely manner.
Be frank about both your strengths and weaknesses, and seek help in areas you are not familiar with.
DON’T slack off and operate without a plan. It is okay to “go with the flow” at times, but you need to have a direction and a goal in mind for your business and for yourself to grow.
• Charting successes and making mistakes
DO be courageous and venture out of your comfort zone. Some will tell you to “think outside the box”, but why not just throw the box!
There is the risk of making the wrong decision, and you will at some point. However, rather than dwell on your mistakes; learn from them and move on.
Remember, even the most successful of women experienced many failures and rejections before getting to where they are now.
DON’T sulk over wrong decisions or give up. Not forgiving yourself for past mistakes will definitely take a toll on future ventures. Why give up when you can stand back up and try again?
• Daring to be unique
DO try something new. The corporate world thrives on competition, so it’s important to offer something that others in your area of expertise don’t. This is the time to stretch your imagination and let your creativity flow.
DON’T copy or steal ideas. Not only is this wrong; it also limits and curbs your potential. Don’t compare yourself to others – you are an exceptional individual. Instead, work at your own pace and strategy.
It will not be easy, but the sense of fulfilment in the end will be greater when you know you did it on your own.
• Practising good deeds
DO treat everyone as an equal, and be graceful at all times. Most importantly, never forget to express gratitude.
DON’T burn bridges. Not only is it unnecessary; the more bridges you burn, the greater will be their impact on your future.
• Helping your employees and interns grow
DO nurture and train those who work for you. Be patient in honing their skills so that their potential can be actualised.
Never forget to give praise when it is due as it is a good motivator. This is a win-win situation, as you will not only have skilled but also loyal individuals working for you.
DON’T put your employees down or make them feel inferior. Crab mentality will get no one nowhere, especially when you are the boss.
Just imagine how bad relationships, controversies, and workers quitting their jobs would affect you, your business, and your future.
• Paying attention to your intuition
DO listen to what your gut tells you. Many of us have experienced that “something’s not feeling right” feeling which has proven to be true.
Sadly, there are individuals or companies who will want to take advantage of a starting entrepreneur, so don’t doubt your instincts.
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
DON’T disregard your gut instinct.
• Allowing opportunities for growth and learning
DO learn new things. Listen to suggestions and constructive criticism without getting defensive or easily offended.
Read books and research on different aspects of your area of expertise, in particular changing market sentiments and new technologies.
Get feedback from customers and workers including family, close friends, colleagues, interns, subordinates and experts, and improve your system, services, and tactics accordingly.
DON’T be complacent or arrogant. These attitudes will be hindrances to the development of not only your business but yourself, especially as a boss.
This article first appeared in The New Savvy.
The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investment and career platform for women. Their bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. They deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.