Happy International Women's Day. As a woman owned business, Fly Feet's Kristin Shane shares her thoughts on being a boss lady.
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it. ~ Maya Angelou
Does anyone ever say "male owned business"? "Working dad"? "Boss man"? I'm so conflicted as I write this. I don't consider myself a "feminist". I believe that as humans, we are all entitled to be treated fairly, have access to the same opportunities, and be evaluated on a similar playing field. As a woman, I don't want special treatment. I don't want to be considered for opportunities differently because I'm a woman. I want to fight in the same fight as everybody else, held to the same standards, and then may the best person win.
But sadly, the world doesn't always work like that. And in the last year, that has been made more clear than ever before. So why do I then have to take on a label of "feminist" to stand for people having equal rights? She's a "feminist". A name that in some circles takes on a stigma. No, she just believes that everyone should have the same opportunities. Maybe she's an equalist?
Whatever. I've been in the corporate world for most of my life. I was an officer at Target and ran one of the biggest divisions in the company. As a WOMAN. And now, I'm a WOMAN entrepreneur. But really, I'm business person and an entrepreneur. Throughout my career, there have been a few guiding principles I've used that have helped me along the way. To be clear, I think these apply to both males and females, but for some reason when they come from a woman ... anyway ...
Always raise your hand
I have always asked for the tough jobs. The ones that people thought were too dicey or risky. (Hello Target Canada, Peace Corps, Fly Feet, just to name a few.) They were always the ones I learned the most from. Those experiences were hard, but each one added a skill set to my arsenal to continually take on the tough jobs and do cool things.
Be ok with failure
Oprah Winfrey gave an interview in 1986 where she told Mike Wallace that "If my show does not do well, I will still do well. I'm not defined by a show." I whole heartedly agree with that. We are not defined by our failures. Failure is how we learn and grow. It provides the absolute best training ground and self discovery. Every time I interviewed someone at Target, I always asked about their biggest failure. And if it wasn't big, or they had to really think about it, it told me a lot about them.
Speak your truth
My dad says that he just sticks to the truth because then he doesn't have to remember what he said. But I take it one step further. I am very direct because I believe that transparency strips away all of the nonsense that as humans we get caught up in. If something bothers me, or I don't agree, or I don't understand, I speak up. I put it out there. Whether I'm in a status meeting with one of our fabulous coaches, or having a status meeting with the CEO of Target. I always speak my truth.
Set the bar high
Set expectations for yourself and your team incredibly high. It's easy to go down. It's very difficult to go up. Even if you miss, you'll still find greatness in the process. I had an old boss tell me once when I was complaining about something that "all the easy jobs are taken". Amen. Those jobs would suck anyway.
Take the right next step
Chase your biggest dreams. It's so easy to get stuck in the complicated process. Just take the right next step. You don't have to have all of the answers. You just need to know your next move. Set your intention and universe will help you figure it out.
Live your best life
Yes you can be a parent, have a career, a good marriage, time to workout, go to church, and whatever else you want to do. You just have to decide to do it. But, you also have to be ok with making tradeoffs and knowing that there is magic in the messy journey. It's not always perfect. But, that's the beauty of it. Live your best life. Just do your best.
All Hail the TreadMighty,